I LOVED today. Wendy (coordinator of Senior Companions) walked me into the building and said, "Do whatever you want wherever you want." I chose to work in a nook in the backroom -- a place where the senior congregate to play pool, dominoes, cards, eat meals, socialize, and watch movies. No one sat at the table in this corner and you can probably guess why: (hint: it's ugly!)
What better to paint on a sweltering day in the city but a tropical paradise. "I feel cool already" said one gentleman, tipping his hat. This mural went over especially well with the residents - most of whom spoke Spanish and hailed from Puerto Rico. One woman said proudly, "You paint my island!" Another man stood in silence and watched me paint for over an hour in the same position leaning on his cane. As the mural progressed, I heard increasingly excited Spanish in the background: "Parece Puerto Rico! Es la isla de verde! Mira! La pintura!" Though they had not been to their island in over 50 years, the sight of their homeland lit up their eyes and encouraged them to talk to me. "You know what would make this perfect?" one man stated, "Pelicans. Add a couple Pelicans and then it will be like home." So I did. He was happy, and the mural looks better too.
The attention I received was extremely gratifying to any artist's ego. The women came up to me praising the bathroom and the men asked me, "hey, what about equal rights?" I think that means they want one in theirs. Still have the front room to do too! We'll see what comes of everyone's requests tomorrow!