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[back] A Picture Paints a Thousand Words Sara Lew - 8 August 2011

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

As a child we were always dabbling with art in one form or another. We have done it with pencils, coloured pencils, water colours and even oil paints for people. We used to marvel at people who could draw and paint and wished that we could be like them instead of only knowing how to draw a man like a potato. As we moved on in life, we left painting behind us, and the only painting that we ever did was the painting of our gates, grills and the walls of our houses.

Therefore, when Muhani Musa, our volunteer, came with a plan last September 2011 to teach our members how to paint with acrylic paints at the Parkinson Center, we were rather skeptical, not with her though, but with ourselves. Remarks like "Aiyoh! Never painted since we were kids in school!", "Don't know how to paint lah!", said another. Muhani responded coolly, "Don't worry, you can paint. It is very easy".

Muhaini was beaming with so much enthusiasm and confidence in our ability to draw that whatever doubts we'd had within us disappeared in no time. She assured us that we need not have to be an artist to be able to paint.

We put together a few tables in a row topped them with newspapers. With palettes, water, brushes and canvasses in place, we were all set to begin. Muhaini started the class with an introduction to painting, followed by a step-to-step instruction on how to draw a vase filled with flowers. Soon we were happily chattering and laughing away as our painting began to take shape. With Muhaini's instructions, painting didn't turn out to be as difficult as we had thought earlier. Pn. Pharidah, Ng Sie Meng and Ivan Lim needed some assistance from their caregivers, and by the time the class ended, everyone had an art piece to proudly call their own. The pictures now adorn the walls at the Parkinson center. Who said we can't draw?

Muhaini, the art guru giving a step-by-step instruction on how to paint a good picture Art Therapy at work. It improves a person's emotional and physical well-being during the process of expressing one's feeling artistically.
Mr. Lai looking over Cheryl's painting for inspiration. Seated from Left to Right: Juliana, Rajeswari and Pharidah Sulaiman. Standing behind is Haslina holding up the canvas for her mother-in-law.

Art is therapeutic. It helps people to express their feelings in images and colours. if they are unable to adequately do so verbally. It requires no artistic abilities, and can be an individual activity or carried as a group activity. The important thing is the process and not the product. I believe that there is never an ugly painting drawn for we can just called it by another name, that is, an abstract art. As people say, a picture paints a thousand words.

Who say we can't draw? Here're our masterpieces

"Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life." - Pablo Picasso
"Practise what you know, and it will help to make clear what you do not know." - Rembrandt van Rijn
"The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting." - Vincent Van Gogh