Experience met imagination recently with beautiful results – all thanks to retired architect and L4A volunteer Nigel King.
Below is Nigel’s watercolour painting, capturing the faded charm of Evington Park House, in Leicester. This was the inspiration behind the ‘Painting by Numbers’ workshop he organised and expertly led at a ‘Keep Calm and Get Creative!’ Wellbeing Day, held at Evington Park House itself.
Nigel has been participating in L4A’s Social Prescribing project since June 2017 – first exhibiting his artwork at our patient-led community events within the Evington area.
Coming from an architectural design background much of his work is naturally influenced by buildings in both urban and rural settings, including pencil drawings and paintings of local landmarks.
On viewing his work, L4A’s Social Prescribing project coordinator Anita Barrand had a ‘light bulb moment’ and suggested to Nigel a ‘Paint by Numbers’ activity which would recreate the image of the Park House. Anita says she was aware it was ambitious – “but given Nigel’s consummate skill, both as draughtsman and artist, I instinctively knew this could work!”
Nigel commented “There are no rules in art and the concept of deconstructing and recreating something new appealed to me. Also, painting doesn’t have to be a lonely, solo exercise. This workshop was devised to be inclusive, enabling people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to work together.
I was originally reluctant to get involved in the workshop because of the time commitment but although it did involve a lot of work I found myself looking at the historic building with new eyes and in more detail.
I enlarged the original artwork, re-drew and gridded it up then divided it into individual pieces so everyone could paint a square in their own way. Combined together, this produced a completely new, colourful work of art. It was a very sociable day and great to work with old friends and new acquaintances in a relaxed and happy atmosphere.
Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves; many said they would like to do this again. It felt very satisfying to be a part of such innovative activity with successful outcomes. Feedback during and after the session was extremely positive, with over 25 local people contributing to this collective community painting. Seeing my artwork make the front cover of the Evington Echo was an added bonus and a very pleasant surprise too! My thanks to all.”
This special event was run by a partnership between L4A’s Social Prescribing project, WEA and Friends of Evington, and was part of the wider Leicester Ageing Together festival ‘Celebrating Older People in Leicester 2017’. It provided an ideal opportunity to showcase the invaluable contribution older people can make to the life of their local community – something which is at the heart of L4A’s Social Prescribing project.
To find out more please contact Anita Barrand on 07964 091693 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org .