We have painting therapy for 12 sessions during the winter months. Our painting therapist is Melody Zahn Russell from Hancock, NH.

Melody has been coming to paint with us since 1997. Having continuity in any area of the work we do here helps our residents immensely, and we are very happy and fortunate that Melody makes herself available to us each year.

Therapeutic Aspects

In painting therapy at Four Winds, we lead our residents on a journey exploring colors and their relationships to achieve a balance of color, form, and movement.

This therapeutic group process brings harmony and rhythm to the activity of breathing, allows restlessness to subside into calm alertness, and improves fine 
motor skills.

Melody's Viewpoint

Since 1997 I have come to paint with everyone at Four Winds in the winter months, when we are inside more and the gift of colors is especially appreciated. When I search for words to describe this special time, Walt Whitman's poem Song of the Rolling Earth comes to me: "The gift is to the giver, and comes back most to him." Conventional thought might be, I go to teach, to give. Yet the experience tells me, I learn, I receive. My gift comes as we paint.

Every time, I am moved by the partnership of co-worker and resident. As the first group enters into the color story each painter is as independent as can be; each supporter is aware, there, guiding. As we create together, it is the pace that is my gift. There is no hurry. It is wonderful to see each other's way of being and doing as the story goes on and we all complete the task.

Now the next group has their chance, and it's not the same. The gift is newness. Glimmerings come, hard to articulate, about who we are, and these insights help me weave my stories. I am aware that while the busy world outside goes on, we are inside, in a cared-for space, performing an intentional activity that promotes wholeness and harmony.

More Information on Melody

Melody Zahn Russell is a freelance art educator. She also owns and runs Mrs. Russell's Potatoes in Wilton, NH, and her work has appeared in Yankee Magazine.

For further information, you can contact Melody Russell directly at:

Mrs. Russell's Potatoes
 525-4103 : E-mail: mrsrussellspotatoes@hotmail.com