Sage-ing With Creative Spirit A JOURNAL OF THE ARTS & AGING

HeART Cart at Hospice House

Open publication – Free publishing

The HeART Cart is an open invitation to enjoy the process of creating according to your own heART. It is dedicated to the memory of Nel Clark whose loving spirit inspired friends and family. It has been made possible by their generosity and admiration for her passion. The Celebration of Life service held for Nel, October 2, 2010 was animated by a collection of her paintings, photographs of her creating them and wonderful anecdotes from younger family members about how her creativity and artful love of play had enriched their lives.

Henri Matisse, one of the great painters and idealists of the twentieth century, understood any passionate expression of life is art. Like Nel, he buoyed his spirit creating art from his bed until he died in 1954. In what is perhaps his most famous image, The Dance, with its circle of stamping, twisting figures, Matisse celebrates his love for creative expression. He reminds us of the energy it takes to live life to its fullest.

HeART Cart at Hospice HouseOkanagan Institute I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces upon me. It has bothered me all my life that I do not paint like everybody else. An artist must possess Nature. He must identify himself with her rhythm … express himself in his own language … the essential thing is to put oneself in a frame of mind which is close to that of prayer. I would like to recapture that freshness of vision which is characteristic of extreme youth when all the world is new to it. – HENRI MATISSE

During her stay at Hospice, as her speaking voice began to fail, Nel continued to fill her days joyously expressing her feelings in paint and sharing her “creative outpourings” with friends and family. When friends came to visit she invited them to join her in the painting experience.

Thus begins the essay HeART Cart at Hospice House by Karen Close, now a chapbook from the Okanagan Institute. Karen Close is a painter and author of two books. Her heART FIT classes at the Rotary Centre for the Arts, Kelowna, lead participants to “honour the urge to create … for ourselves and for others.”

To Read Karen’ Essay click here.

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