Healing Colours

When my new nurse friend asked me if I would come and meet the patients at the dialysis hospital where she worked, I was stumped. We had met just a week ago at the local train station. I had told her that I was an artist and she told me that she once knew a painter who ran an art therapy program at one of the hospitals she had worked at. She asked me if I could do something similar for the old patients who came to her center for dialysis. I had just moved to Sydney with my family and although I had my apprehensions ( I have no medical background,) I was willing to put in some hours as a volunteer. I thought it would be a fantastic way to do some service in the new community I had decided to call home. My nurse friend introduced me to the patients the next week. Most of them were over 70 and would come to the hospital thrice a week for dialysis sessions. Her proposal was to get them to do some painting in the three hours that they spent in bed dialysing, rather than watching tv. Four patients signed up for the art therapy sessions. Three were first time painters and were convinced that they would fail miserably at it! One was in her 90s and had been a bit of a painter in her youth but has given up on it more than 20 years earlier. She wasn’t too sure about her current skills either. However, with some pep talk and the hospital funding the program by buying us the best art supplies, we were off to a flying start. As a rule. I never touched the patients’ paintings. Their work...