Humanities in Medicine – Photo-Inspired Painting

12 05 2015

I’ve posted before about my involvement as a volunteer with the Humanities in Medicine department of a local hospital. This is a great program where volunteers work with patients at the bedside, family members in waiting rooms, and hospital visitors at “drop-by” table events (e.g. for Valentine’s Day) to encourage them to make art as a means of healing, positive distraction, and just plain fun!

We had a session recently led by the coordinator’s son, an independent artist in California, and an intern to try out a new project. Photos of campus scenery are glued (using something like Modge Podge) to a piece of watercolor paper. Then you can create whatever you like around the photo.


We had colored pencils, watercolor pencils, and watercolor crayons to work with. I like representational art, so naturally I did an extension based on the image. Others did abstract colors, shapes, or a motif based on the image.

This may be challenging to do at the bedside because of the set up (anything involving water is tricky, especially when patients only have a tiny table they can access usually with food/drinks on it), but for a drop-by table event, pre-glued images could work well. Most people who don’t think of themselves as artistic have a hard time creating work from scratch, so the image would provide inspiration and a starting point.

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