Dementia and Art


This painting was a quick study of the use of cadmium red, cadmium yellow medium, ultramarine blue, and titanium white.  The blue and red mix almost look black, a deep purple for sure. I like the glow that the yellow makes. I wanted to create movement in my strokes of the crashing wave and the clouds, and the birds. I put on big chunks of unmixed paint and moved it around in the messy waves. I was going for messy and free.

Dementia and Art

Creative expression through painting and writing is good for me, the caregiver. But, my husband isn’t interested. Dementia made him lose his interest in everything but me and his TV.

I’ve read articles that recommend encouraging a person with dementia to participate. But, my husband doesn’t want any part in it. What he does like is to sit across from me while I am painting. Once in awhile he gets up and walks around to see what I’m painting before he leaves to go watch his television.

At our house we art all the time. I like to work in clay, paper mache, ink, watercolor, shaving cream with food dye or acrylic paint… I’ve dipped greeting cards and t-shirts in the shaving cream paint. I make T-shirt’s and books for my grandchildren with “lift the flap” that I cut out and paste in and of course I put my original paintings in them. Once I made a book for my grandson by staging pictures with a tiny stuffed matchbook mouse and took pictures, sent to Walgreens for printing (and they are done in an hour… yay) to put in a little photo album where I hand wrote the story.

My Workday: Yes, I am working here.

My daughter starts her homeschool day at 8:00 am and I try to maintain order in myself as much as possible because I don’t want us to fall into chaos here. So we get up and get dressed – no caregiver pajamas allowed here. And, then I start “work” as well.

I begin by writing my blog, or better yet, edit it if I have written it the night before. Then I go on WordPress to reach out to others that are doing the caregiving as well. I haven’t yet found anyone doing caregiving and homeschooling all at once, but I can’t be the only one.

While she is homeschooling, I feel that if I keep myself occupied on these things I think of as my work then I can build my career as an artist and a writer even though I’ve been unable to work these past six years when I was forced to retire as paralegal. So, when she is doing her classes, and in between grading her assignments, I write, paint, plan meals, cook, clean, laundry, and of course, practice the fine art of caregiving.

And, of course, I’ve mentioned before that I am beginning work on a Patreon account as well as learning how to make videos of me painting. Today I made a video of my painting the above ocean scene and had technical difficulties that I have a plan to solve for next time.

I’m glad to have my teenage daughter still at home because she joins in with me on projects. It would be a lonely existence here without her bright presence.

6 thoughts on “Dementia and Art

  1. Great posts, yes so true my husband is only interested in me and his TV, which is always on Fox or CNN talking about trump, he cannot stay away from those two channels, and we live in New Zealand.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello! I’ve just found your blog, such a gift. My wife used to love painting, but dementia made that process too confusing. We discovered adult coloring books which she devours, spending hours coloring designs. The number of colors she uses has diminished but who cares, she loves coloring, always bringing her finished treasures for me to see. Being blind, which she doesn’t really recognize, matters not. I simply applaud her efforts. It’s good to connect with you and thanks for blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.