An Artist’s Serenity Garden
Sip and paint parties have become very popular. By following instructions, you create art and, well, there’s wine. That’s how I first met artist Nancy Reed-Jones. Nancy makes you feel like an accomplished artist plus she makes you feel good. On a visit to her studio and garden to pick up a painting, I discovered why.
Nancy and her husband Artie have created a garden oasis in the backyard of their home where Nancy’s studio is located in Walden.
Nancy explains, “After being blessed with the gift of painting after suffering a personal loss, I decided to use help others suffering with pain in their lives. Living on Long Island, having a mother and sister in the nursing profession, I began painting murals for cancer patients in the hospital where they worked.”
“I would ask the patients to tell me about a happy memory they had before they were diagnosed with cancer and paint it on their wall so they could view it from their beds. The therapists would use these murals for guided imagery. The patients became so engrossed in their happy memory; it would alleviate their pain. “Art for Relaxation” classes were also held for the nurses and healthcare workers who were under a lot of stress. These classes consisted of painting peaceful scenery while listening to relaxation music and flowing water from a fountain.”
The Jones’ moved to Hudson Valley in 2005 and Nancy began teaching fine art painting at the Wallkill River School in Montgomery as well as in her home studio.
The Serenity Garden
Nancy decided to create a beautiful outdoor living space surrounding her art studio to help her students, some of who were suffering from serious health problems such as cancer and addiction. With the help of her husband Artie, who can build and design just about anything, they began developing their “Serenity Garden” which evolves each year with new additions to the garden.
“Sitting in the garden, listening to and watching the birds, butterflies and other wildlife, helps the students get in touch with nature and helps them with their creative process. Every year we add another garden, greenhouse or pergola until we had created a serene and peaceful place. When my students come for their classes, during our break, we stroll the garden, allowing them to relax and talk if they feel the need”, says Nancy.
Sip and Paint parties are held under a tent in the garden. If you have ever wanted to learn to paint, just for relaxation or to help with stress in your life, this location is a wonderful place to start. She teaches both beginners and advanced painters.
The Orange County Arts council awarded Jones the Champion of The Arts in Healthcare award in 2013 for her work with cancer patients.
Nancy says, “I love what I do and helping people to discover their talents as well as making them more aware of the beauty that surrounds us here in the amazing Hudson Valley.”
Surrounding yourself with the things you love, whether within your home or outside your door can greatly improve your quality of life. Plus it looks so pretty.