Art Therapy at any age – one man’s story

 In Julie's Life Musings

Never too late to embrace something new…

My Father-In-Law Peter is 86 years old… Pete has spent a good amount of time staying with us over the last couple of years, and whilst he never had an encaustic lesson, he’d seen enough of me at work to say… “Yes, I like the look of that. I’d like to give that a try at some point…”   True to his word, he did….

His bought himself an I-pad, got himself online, and started putting internet shopping to the test!

He ordered himself an encaustic iron and some supplies and spent a great amount of time playing around and seeing what effects he could make.   The next time we visited, I was amazed, he showed me pages and pages of encaustic abstract works he had created.   All were either bound in very impressive presentation folders, or carefully mounted.   Pete, had well and truly caught the encaustic bug….!

Looking through these creations, I was struck, by how I could really sense the feeling of his mood when he had created each piece. He was going through some big life changes, with long hours on his own to fill, and his choice of colours, and movements of the iron, were quite apparent to me.

Art therapy interests me.   It’s benefits to mood are incredible. I have always considered encaustic to be ‘pure therapy’ and I can often tell if I have created a piece of work on a good day or not.

Anyhow, two years later… Pete gets up most mornings, makes himself a cup of coffee, puts his music on his I-pad, and sits in the sunshine at his table, in front of the window, and spends a couple of hours ‘ironing’…. !

He photographs that mornings’ creations on his I-pad, uploads them onto Facebook, and interacts with his family and friends, informing us of the music he was listening to, or the mood of a piece.   We don’t speak every day, but it is always good to see that notification saying that ‘Pete has posted a photo’…

He’s a bit handy with a scalpel our Pete, and the pictures he doesn’t want to keep, creates some amazing geometric designs and makes them into cards.   He sells his cards at local coffee mornings, to raise funds for the local churches and charities, wax painting is always a great conversation starter!

Encaustic works in the strangest ways.   I’ve always said it’s pure therapy. Pete’s latest development I’ve heard is that the vicars wife & another friend want to have a go at encaustic, and have asked him to teach them how!   The encaustic web grows.

To have a go yourself, I’ve put these resources together for you to help you.

I will leave you with a selection of Pete’s work, comments, and musings… Enjoy!

(Having some technical difficulties enlarging photographs, sorry!




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