Benjamin Franklin signed the Declaration of Independence when he was 70 years old. Laura Ingalls Wilder started writing “Little House in the Big Woods” about her pioneering childhood when she was 64. Her books are the basis for the long running TV series call “Little House on the Prairie.” Peter Mark Roget published the first edition of Roget’s Thesaurus when he was 73 and he oversaw every update until he died at the age of 90.
Many senior citizens use their retirement to take up new interests, new hobbies, and new sports. Each senior citizen has their own unique niche and some of the folks who live at a Continuing Care Retirement Community called Park Springs in Stone Mountain, Georgia have taken up painting during art workshops held there. Art of any kind is about self expression and sharing the heart of the artist but some of these retired painters were simply putting their work under their beds or in a closet until Les Scarborough came along.
When Les, himself a senior, discovered that some of the residents were simply storing their art work away and out of sight, he and his wife opened up a gallery in downtown Stone Mountain. He wanted to provide a place where their art could not only be displayed but sold to the public, also. Les is a photographic artist and he displays his own work there, too. The artists of Park Springs have helped Les to develop his eye for photographic composition so everyone is learning from this endeavor.
Another thing that Les decided to do was to provide Giclée prints of the work in the gallery which can be ordered in various sizes. These are not ordinary prints. Giclée is itself an artistic printing process which uses fine art pigments to produce remarkable reproductions that have the appearance of fine art canvases. A Giclée print looks like an original work on canvas but is actually a print on canvas.
One of the works on display in the gallery was done by Barbara Rives and is called “Cat on Alert.” Barbara is a retired teacher who had majored in art at SMU and also taught a few art classes during her career but did not have the time to devote to her art until she retired. She works mostly in pastels and has done a little experimenting with collage. She is a cat lover and it shows up in her art work. “Cat on Alert” is of a calico cat that appears to have been heading in one direction until she was distracted by something behind her. It is a moment in time and as you look at it you almost expect to see the cat suddenly run off the painting to pursue what she has noticed. Barbara has caught the movement, the look, and the moment of her beloved pet for all time in this pastel. If you are a cat lover, you might like “Cat on Alert,” too.
There are also two waterscapes painted by D.K. Woodard on the gallery web site. One of them is called “Cool Cove” which portrays the peace of blue gray clouds and bright air reflected in the still waters which open in the distance to a large body of water. Fall is beginning to dot the hillside on the right with a few orange leaves among the dark pines and a small boat is tied up snug near a green cabin. “Cool Cove” is peaceful and a little poignant and would be a welcome addition to a study or family
Take a trip over to the Clothesline Art and Fine Art Treasures Gallery at 963 Main Street in Stone Mountain, Georgia to see or purchase the work of these talented and enthusiastic senior citizens. They are open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and are closed on Sundays. Giclee prints may also be ordered online at: http://www.clotheslinegallery.com. For more information or directions call 770-557-1737 and talk to Les. You will find him a true joy to know, and you’ll be supporting the work, the talent, and the hearts of the seniors of Park Springs Retirement Community, too.