Emerald Hills Institute
Emerald Hills Institute has concluded its 6-week Creating Aging Art Workshop series instructed by Saundra Shanti.
Confronting a white canvas with hopes of creating a painting can be intimidating. The participants in the Creative Aging art workshop, “Flow, Flexibility, and Finding Spaces” bravely faced that challenge, even though many of them had never painted before. Our class studied Abstract Expressionism, viewing many works by artists such as Marc Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, Jackson Pollack, and more. We were able to watch short videos that demonstrated how each artist worked and identified the motives behind Action Painting and Color Fields. By utilizing the elements and principles of design, such as line, color, and texture, students made artistic choices all along the way to create their own abstract pieces.

In addition to painting, students practiced reflecting on their own creative process and giving feedback to one another by asking,” What do I see?”, and “How do I feel?” Just like the New York School Abstract Expressionists, we tapped into the emotion and spirituality of creating and sharing that in the community. In our final survey, participants expressed that they overcame their fear of painting, had fun learning, and discovered artists they never knew. Perhaps most rewarding of all was that people felt uplifted and positive, and enjoyed the connection and new friendships formed in the class.