Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Unforgettable Art and Alzheimer's, A Few Thoughts

Unforgettable Art is around the corner and I'm looking for ideas for this year's painting.

This will be my third year participating in Unforgettable. I always like to put a positive spin on things so I usually talk about how fun it is to paint alongside my fellow artist and to meet new artists etc. etc. But the truth is it's pretty stressful. I usually don't have the time to walk around and socialize during the event, I need every moment to finish my painting. Most artists don't usually produce great works in 6 hours that are living room hang-able quality. Don't get me wrong, some days we do. But, mostly not. I like to paint the painting I'm planning on doing a few times ahead of that day to make sure I have enough time to complete it. I can correct any composition problems, color choices or whatever ahead of time. My paintings usually take me several weeks to complete. And even if I do my best will someone like it enough to pay a few hundred for it? Will it be one of those days that nothing works and my piece is terrible?

I know I'm not unique. There are a lot of artists out there that loose sleep over this event. Why would we do it? Well, for most of us it's for those people we have loved and lost to Alzheimer's. The names are different but the stories are all too familiar. It's those people who we love, who so slowly slip away from us a bit each day, until one day we turn around and realize that they are already gone... and we didn't notice enough to say good bye because physically nothing changed. My list of friends who are going through this, or have, with their own parents grows longer and longer each year.

I think one of the cruelest parts of this disease lingers long after that loved one is gone.  It's there whenever a middle aged child of an Alzheimer's patient looses their train of thought or their car keys. "Is is starting for me? Will I one day put my family through that?" Will this be a cycle that continues through the generations? I hope not. I believe we can solve this and in doing so open the doors to understanding other forms of dementia and other neurological diseases like Parkinson's.

So I have to sit back and take a deep breath and realize that I am just a small part in the wheels that drive this event. It is the people who attend Unforgettable who dig deep in their pockets to give what they can to help fund the Alzheimer's Association. It is those people who make the event a success. I am merely entertainment, and only one of 50 at that. All the same, I want to do my best.

There is a part of the night that is truly wonderful. It's after you've finished your painting and talked to the guests, and sat through the auction and seen your piece sold. It's when the event is all over and you're ready to go home, tired. There's a few moments when you breath in a deep breath and realize that you did your part and you think, "Gee that was fun. Can't wait till next year."

So what shall I paint this year? Any suggestions? Leave a comment.

For more information and tickets click here.


1 comment:

  1. Sorry I didn't read this sooner. Your painting was beautiful. I could never do something so stressful. You are really appreciated. Alzheimer's is a member of my and my husband's family. Every time I'm with my 8 years older sister I also watch her thinking what will I be like in 8 years? My Mom has been gone 20 years, but not forgotten.