23 Jun Meet Linda Patrick, Artist and Caregiver
Linda’s interest in working with elders grew from experiences in family caregiving first with her courageous, lonely, loving grandmother and later her parents. During the five years that she’s shared her skills through With A Little Help she says she most enjoys “being a support to families.” Her own experience caring for parents helps her interact with client families. “I am able to offer a calm, neutral, and supportive influence,” she explained. “It is very heart opening to see families connect and support each other in times of need. I believe our families are the main way we can work through our karma/life lessons and if we don’t heal our relationships with them, we have really missed a great opportunity. I encourage everyone to do this difficult work of healing relationships with their own families. How else can we have peace on earth?”
Linda’s meditation practice enhances her work and listening skills. “I love being a compassionate listener for seniors,” she explained. “I want them to know they are heard and respected in this life. That someone cares. There is a lot of loneliness in western society as families become more disconnected and spread out. Many people I care for,” Linda confided, “believe their lives were not very interesting, but when they begin to talk, amazing stories unfold. It is a gift to be able to hear them.”
Linda balances her life with meditation, chanting, hiking, Qi gong and, since childhood, painting. Her medium is watercolor, “because I find it very beautiful and so challenging. It requires patience and the willingness to make mistakes and not be too perfect,” she explained. Throughout her life she’s taken art classes and more recently had the experience of studying with Woodinville watercolorist Kay Barnes, “a wonderful teacher,” Linda remarked.
Linda began by painting her pets — many times. She branched out with commission work— painting other people’s pets. Painting animals has high rewards, “It’s a joy to see an owner’s expression when their loved one is captured in a piece,” she said. Soon Linda was donating paintings to fundraising auctions and, in January/February, she enjoyed her first public exhibit hosted by East West Bookshop. “I was not expecting anything so when I sold three paintings I felt very honored!” Boston Terriers are her current painting subjects but Linda plans to branch out into human portraits, “which are much harder to do,” she noted. Interested in a painting of your pets? Consider contacting Linda by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you haven’t guessed by now… Linda loves working with the pet families of clients. Pets provide special companionship. “Elders who share an animal connection feel less lonely,” she observed. In addition to caregiving Linda has volunteered for Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Academy where she confirmed that animals heal. Her painting William and Zorro depicts a “beautiful boy and his horse” at the Academy. “Children with various disabilities heal faster through riding,” she explained. “It was such a joy to watch them shine as they gained confidence, encouragement, and agility from riding and being with the gentle horses.”
Linda envisions spending her elder years living a calm slow life in the high desert, painting, enjoying nature and animals. Meanwhile she sees a strong connection between art and caregiving. “Heart, Hear + art = Hearing from the heart, she concluded. “They are both means of expressing love. And that’s all that really matters.”