memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

Posts tagged ‘rehabilitation through art’

Therapy

While we’re on the subject of my paintings I would to like to showcase more of the recent products of my therapeutic and calming activity (which I love to do). Here are 4 or 5 designs of a woman’s face. (Some people have remarked that it’s always the same woman – yes, it may well be so, but the truth is that it’s only face that I know to draw -nothing more significant than that).

Here we have a repainting of the picture that won me second place in the Rehabilitation Through Art competition 4 years ago. (Wow, great)

WOMAN WITH BLUE SCARF – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

Here is an attempt to go a little abstract.

ANOTHER FACE – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

Here is a touch of cubism.

CUBIST GIRL – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

Here is a combination of the two.

GIRL WITH BROWN HAIR – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

Here is a variation of the theme.

AMANDA ACQUITTED – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

I was concentrating on the colour combinations rather than the design in this one.

IMELDA BABY – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

Back to the annual Art competition down in the Algarve; this was my second entry which earned me only fourth place (disappointing).

AMAZON – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

Last year this was my third entry which merit first place (hurrah).

WHERE AM I? – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

And finally this year this larger canvas got me third place (not bad).

MY SON – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

Rehabilitation through Art

I cannot claim to know Portuguese people really well (give us a chance, I’ve only been living here for 30-odd years – a couple more decades should do the trick and get it nailed).

More than a few years ago, a combination of circumstances and setbacks (and just sheer bad luck) obliged me to enter an Old Peoples Home in a coastal village in the north of the country.

How have I occupied my time? Well, for one thing, I have proved the theory that a happy, rewarding, busy, dynamic and interesting life occupies exactly the same time continuum as a dispiriting, uncomfortable, restrictive and boring one.

In the last few days I have decided to enter, for the third time, the annual National Art Competition for Disabled People under the auspices of APEXA based in Albufeira in the Algarve, which is an organisation that I whole-heartedly support. The theme of Rehabilitation through Art is one I’ve been banging on about for years. Painting as an excellent recovery therapy, time-consuming, calming the nerves, improving motor responses and eye/hand coordination, increasing understanding of composition and colour chemistry and, in general, viewing one’s environment in a different way.

I was in a black pit in the early days and showed a stubborn reluctance to climb out. I couldn’t even sign my own name let alone describe a curve on a piece of paper. I had a «slight deficit» on the right side of my body; I had problems with speech, stumbling and producing a sort of verbal dyslexia – very different from the fluent, glib, firing-from-the-hip delivery of my former self. But eventually, after all the patient, nagging, nudging hints (someone produced a basic painting-kit and paper, a second person arranged a little table, yet a third lent me some how-to-water-colour books) one day I had (good) idea of trying my hand at a spot of drawing. The first results, the childlike splats, splurges and blobs went straight into the bin but I began to be absorbed. Note the heavy use of ruler and marker pen:

EARLY ATTEMPT 1

Total lack of colour-control:

EARLY ATTEMPT 2

Simplistic design:

EARLY ATTEMPT 3

Lacklustre tonality (if there is such a word):

EARLY ATTEMPT 4

But things are getting better. This one:

SIMPLIFIED LANDSCAPE

Is taken from this photo:

 

Back to the competition for us disabled people. For my entry I painted my little heart out and produced this (quite réussi) painting:

WOMAN WITH GREEN SCARF - PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

It came second in a field of 120-odd runners; the prize was a glass trophy, an artist’s easel and a large wooden box of Windsor & Newton acrylic paints! Congrats all round; I was pleased and gratified. The next year this was my entry:

AMAZON - PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

It wasn’t placed, but received an Honourable Mention and I got a hempen bag of this and that.

Now I’m pondering what this year’s entry shall be.

%d bloggers like this: