Comfort Life - Your guide to retirement & care

Brushing up at Glynnwood

Ontario is a long way from Nova Scotia, but when Marion Faulkner picks up a paintbrush, she's a little closer to the sea.

Painting is her "release," says Faulkner, 84. "My subject matter is Nova Scotia because I carry that in my soul."
Faulkner is a resident of the Glynnwood retirement residence, just north of Toronto, and a student of Dell Brown, who runs art classes at a number of retirement residences in the Toronto area.

"Dell has a very good eye - he gives me that support and encouragement I need," says Faulkner, a native of Nova Scotia's south shore, where her ancestors built many homes.

Formerly a member of the Victorian Order of Nurses, Faulkner believes in the therapeutic effect of painting for seniors.

"It gives them something constructive to do, which takes their minds off their aches and pains," she says.

A graduate of the Ontario College of Art, Brown, 48, has been teaching seniors to use their artistic talents since 1985.

At Glynnwood, five of his students are over 90. "I have one student, Rand Sparling at Glynnwood, who started at 90 and is now 93," Brown says. "He shows up first and stays to the end, which makes it worthwhile."

Brown spends individual time with students during monthly workshops, which range from watercolour to collage to acrylics, and include students between the ages of 60 and 90. "I love teaching seniors because of their life experience, wisdom and sense of humour," he says. "It's amazing how some people bloom, they surprise themselves and come up with pretty good work."

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