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Creative Casey's Blog

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Family Art Therapy

I paid 10 dollars for this table in a yard sale and had it hanging out in our foyer. Can't remember how the idea came about but decided to involve my close family and friends in this art project. By the time it was finished it ended up being a pretty amazing process and I discovered many neat things about my family and friends along the way. It was really interesting for a myraid of reasons. First being my brother-in-law got more into the project then my sister and my father who dispises painting still created a piece. My nephew was only 1.5 years old but had a fun time contributing.

While it was excellent to watch everyone create or hear about their experiences perhaps one of the most profound parts of entire process was both of my grandmothers contributions. My maternal grandmother has Alzheimer's and was in an assisted living home when this was created. She was a very artsy crafty woman. My paternal grandmother is a very anxious wonderful woman and had never painted before in her life. (Though she did embroider and create blankets with the help of my aunt for many years but did not consider this art). While at home visiting one weekend I made a picnic basket lunch, picked up my paternal grandmother and we went to the nursing home to visit with my maternal grandmother. We all had lunch outside on a beautiful summer day. Following the lunch I pulled out the paints and tiles and asked them both to simply create. My anxious grandmother was of course anxious because this was a very new experience for her but she did amazingly well (the sunflower tile- note: sunflowers are her signature flower) and my other grandmother struggled. It was difficult for me to watch her because she had been such an artistic woman and she struggled with painting and what to paint, but I was very proud of her to for creating a piece. I also believe this was an enjoyable highlight to all of our lives.

In the end, this project was like family art therapy. I now have a unique piece of furniture that continues to catch my eye and help me remember those I love and the experience of creating this piece with them. Overall my mother, father, sister, brother-in-law, nephew, grandmothers, two close girlfriends, my loving boyfriend, and myself created a piece. Below are some pics and a description of how it was made.

My boyfriend helped me to frame in the table top with some simple inexpensive wood trim from HD (Home Depot) to create upraised walls boxing in the top. Then I purchased 12 white tiles from HD for about a dollar each. I purchased glass paint kits from a local craft store and took turns passing the paint kits around after giving everyone a tile. I purchased a finishing top coat and applied it to each tile twice, used tile adhesive to place them on the table top. Crushed a blue tile that I purchased and placed it in the center, then grouted, cleaned off the excess grout and applied another top coat for extra protection (can't have enough of that).

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