Archived Story

Cottage residents enjoy painting activities

Published 9:07am Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A group of residents at the Country Cottage assisted living in Russellville recently participated in an art class given by Lucy Swindle, owner of Lucy’s Artsy Place behind K-Mart in Muscle Shoals.

Country Cottage’s managing director, Betty Chesnut, said she is always on the lookout for new activities the residents can participate in, and she got the idea for the art class from a friend.

“A lady I know had gone to one of the classes at Lucy’s Artsy Place and had enjoyed it, and I thought it might be something fun the people here could enjoy,” Chesnut said. “I looked up some of her paintings on Facebook and decided to give her a call.”

Swindle, who has owned and operated her creative paint studio in the Shoals since last April, said she was excited about the idea once Chesnut contacted her.

“I have been wanting to start a branch of the business that would go in and teach a class to residents of assisted living facilities,” Swindle said.

“Painting can be helpful to these people because getting their arms up while they paint will help build strength and it can be good therapy.

“Painting is also a very relaxing and cheerful pastime. When they put their finished painting up in their room, they’ll be able to have the satisfaction of knowing they created that all by themselves.”

Swindle has many different templates for paintings, but for this particular class, the residents painted something that was significant to them – a red bird.

“We have many red birds that live near here,” Chesnut said.

“We see them from the windows and sitting on the porch, so I told Lucy that would be something good for the residents to paint because they could relate to that.

“In the wintertime when we can’t get outside, painting the birds gives our residents a way to bring a little of that color inside.”

Swindle is a kindergarten teacher during the day, so most of the classes she offers at her studio are at night, on the weekends and by appointment, but she hopes to continue with her assisted living painting classes both here in Franklin County and in the Shoals.

“I just love to paint and I love to be able to share that joy with other people,” Swindle said.

“The Country Cottage was my first assisted living class and it was such a joy. I hope I can do more like this in the future.”

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