29 November

I Met A Wonderful Artist Today. Here Name Is Jane, And She lives In The Memory Care Wing Of The Mansion. Her Work Should Be Seen.

by Jon Katz

I met a wonderful artist today in an unlikely place; she lives in the Memory Care unit of the Mansion. The staff has told me about her for some time, and she has been a faithful attendee of my Meditation Class there.

Today is the first time I saw her art and her interpretations of the art she was asked to create. It is unique, unlike any other works there.

Tomorrow afternoon,  I’m going to see Jane in the Memory Care Unit (along with Zinnia), and I’ll see more of her art.

(Elephant’s Eye, by Jane)

I asked Maria about these paintings; she said they have a lot of depth and subtle variation in color and texture. “They are very expressive,” she said. There is a lot of movement in her paintings,” she said.

She added that they are very confident. I see what she means. Jame’s work is very personal. Everyone else’s paintings look similar. Hers is unique, very different.

Jane was a nurse for many years and had two children. I’m not sure, but I believe she has never painted before.

Maria wants to come with me one afternoon and talk to Jane and see her work.

The aides say they have a wall full of her paintings and are all deeply moved by it. They feel strongly it should be seen. Everyone was asked to paint an elephant. Jane chose to paint an elephant’s eye. It looks sad to me.

Starting next week, Zinnia and I will visit the Memory Care Unit at least once weekly. Zinnia has a lot of friends there, and we are planning an Amazon Wish List to buy the residents a bird feeder and some desperately needed art supplies.

At Meditation, we talked about my idea of trading judgment for mercy. They liked the idea very much, and said no matter how far I got, and it would be better than not trying. I was touched by their willingness to help me and inspired by their response.

Jane watched me closely as I talked, and she nodded and smiled every time I suggested learning to be merciful rather than judgemental.

They all said they would like to try it with me, and I agreed. Perhaps we can do it together.

Jane’s interpretation of a cat at Halloween.

Jane’s Owl

Jane has been coming to the meditation class every week. She is sweet and shy, and gentle.

Memory Care is a magical place. The people there are awash in feeling but struggle for words and memories. It’s a difficult place for people to be. They know so much more than I expected.

They all love to paint, but Jane’s work has stood out from the beginning. I’m looking forward to the arts and supplies Wish List. It will do a great deal of good.

How l lucky I am to know someone like Jane and see her art.


  1. Jane’s paintings are indeed expressive and very unique and beautiful. Interesting to hear you say she may not have ever painted before? The mind is an interesting thing, is it not………to be able to create such movement and expression, having not done it previously. I trust you and Maria will very much relish time spent with her…………. she has a beautiful mind, and a great talent
    Susan M

  2. Thank you for sharing Jane’s art. As good art does, it evokes many emotions as I look at the paintings. The owl has me mesmerized.

  3. I appreciate you sharing her work…can’t wait to see what you and Maria will uncover in the special wing of memory care. Blessings to you both.

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