“If we who have had a stroke stay home alone and worry about our aches and pains, we will shrivel and die!” says Barbie Watt, another member of the NSSRC (North Shore Stroke Recovery Centre) who was highlighted in a video for Art After Stroke 2020, a gala event put on by March of Dimes, Stroke Recovery Association of BC and other sponsors to celebrate creativity, talent, diversity and strength.
Barbie Watt says she is lucky to be here and believes attitude is everything! She has been an artist since she was 14 years old. After the stroke, she didn’t do any art for two years, but decided to start again and it’s been 10 1/2 years now.
She spends her days riding her scooter, breathing fresh air, checking out new areas and people. She draws and paints when she gets the notion.
She has no regimented time or place and she keeps her art supplies at hand so she can work whenever she wants to. Sometimes she can work for days and sometimes she will paint for hours! Any time is her own time that way.
Art after Stroke is not for everyone but it can be! Make it as stressless as possible. Even if you doodle and don’t think you can do any kind of more real art, it can occupy time, help you focus, and revive your mind and your brain cells just like music, cooking, reading, cleaning, tending a small garden, or calling a friend or relative. Involving yourself is a way of keeping everything important.
A couple of people at the Stroke Centre finally came and joined the really cool art therapy group and they have turned out to be really good! If you don’t try something you’ll never know what you can do (as long as it’s legal). This is not just for art but everything!
Here’s Barbie’s ‘Art After Stroke’ video:
(North Shore resident Barbie Watt is a stroke survivor and artist who uses various media to paint and draw nature. This article first appeared in Turtle Soup, the newsletter of North Shore Stroke Recovery Centre where Yasmine Bia is Speech Language Pathology Assistant.)