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Journaling with Joann at Fairwinds – Spokane

fairwinds - spokane art journaling

Alissa Sauer

Fairwinds – Spokane senior living in Spokane, WA, celebrates the unique skills and interests of residents. Here, older adults have every opportunity to reimagine retirement and reinvigorate lifelong hobbies through signature programming and concierge-level amenities. We listen to our residents and encourage them to pursue and share their passions – and Fairwinds – Spokane resident Joann Greene is doing just that! Starting on September 12, 2023, Joann is bringing her love for self-expression through art and journaling to our community with a weekly journaling class.

Meet Joann Greene, Artist

Joann Greene has been a cherished resident of Fairwinds – Spokane for just over two years. She’s a Spokane native, having graduated from Shadle High School. While her journey led her away from Spokane in her early twenties, with her husband and five children in tow, her heart always remained in the Lilac City.

Throughout her life, Joann carried a deep desire “to take the beauty in the little things that give me the most amount of joy and lock it in time on a page.” From an early age, she found solace and inspiration in the world of art. As a young girl, she would often paint and color on the back of her mom’s Nylon packages, discovering a budding talent and a love for creative expression.

In high school, she eagerly explored various art forms, trying her hand at pottery, but it “took too long,” and oils, which “took too long to dry and build dimension.” Her heart truly belonged to the art she created in her high school art class, where she won several awards for her exceptional work. Eventually, she found her creative haven in painting because, as she puts it, “I laugh when I paint.”

However, there was another form of art that always intrigued Joann – journaling with art. She vividly recalls her church Bible study group engaging in this practice when she was younger. The concept of using her artistic talents to record thoughts and stories based on weekly prompts deeply resonated with her. What fascinated her even more was witnessing how each individual interpreted these prompts uniquely. Some would pour their emotions onto the page through words, while others would express themselves with pen and ink doodles. It was an intimate exploration of self-expression through art and words, and she loved the stories that emerged from these journal entries.

Joann cherished this experience so much that she now wants to bring her own version of journaling with art to Fairwinds – Spokane. She’s inviting all residents to join her in a creative journey that combines the beauty of art with the power of storytelling. She believes that through this unique form of self-expression, we can capture the joys of life on the pages of our personal journals.

What is Art Journaling?

Art journaling is a creative and expressive practice that blends visual art and personal writing within the pages of a journal or diary. It’s a versatile and deeply personal activity where individuals use various artistic techniques like drawing, painting, collage, and mixed media alongside written reflections to convey their thoughts, emotions, experiences, and ideas. Art journaling is a unique fusion of creativity and introspection, allowing people to explore their inner world, document their lives, and tell their stories in a visually engaging way.

Over time, an art journal becomes a personal archive, chronicling an individual’s growth, memories, and reflections. It’s a means of self-discovery, healing, and storytelling, providing a tangible record of one’s unique journey through life. Art journaling is accessible to people of all skill levels and has gained popularity as a versatile and enriching practice for artistic and emotional expression.

Benefits of Art Journaling for Seniors

As a Leisure Care community, Fairwinds – Spokane offers PrimeFit Wellness, a signature program that takes wellness beyond the fitness center and puts it at the forefront of everyday living. PrimeFit Wellness focuses community life around activities that bring joy on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level. Art journaling balances all three of those as a combination of visual arts, personal reflection, and storytelling, making it an excellent choice for older adults looking to engage their minds and express themselves.

Here are some of the key benefits of art journaling for seniors:

Mental Stimulation

Engaging in art journaling requires cognitive skills. Choosing colors, deciding on themes, and planning layouts all stimulate the brain, promoting mental agility and problem-solving abilities.

Emotional Expression

Art journaling provides a safe and non-verbal outlet for expressing emotions. Seniors can use colors, shapes, and images to convey their feelings, which can be particularly valuable for those who find it challenging to articulate their emotions verbally.

Stress Reduction

Creating art can be a meditative and calming experience. Seniors can use art journaling as a stress-relief technique, helping them relax, reduce anxiety, and improve their overall sense of well-being.

Social Connection

Art journaling can be a group activity, fostering social interaction and a sense of community among seniors. Group sessions allow participants to share their work, exchange ideas, and form friendships based on common interests.

Sense of Purpose

Many seniors find that art journaling gives them a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Having a creative outlet can make each day feel more meaningful and productive.

Physical Benefits

Engaging in art journaling can have physical benefits as well. It can improve hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and dexterity, helping to maintain or even enhance these skills as seniors age.

Art journaling promotes holistic well-being by addressing the emotional, mental, and physical aspects of seniors’ lives. It offers a comprehensive approach to self-care and personal growth. Additionally, art journaling can be adapted to suit a wide range of abilities and preferences, making it accessible and enjoyable for seniors at various skill levels.

Art Journaling Workshop at Fairwinds – Spokane

Starting on September 12th, Joann will be hosting “Journaling with Joann” every Tuesday at 2:00 PM in our private dining room. It’s an opportunity for residents to not only learn something new through art but also to journal their own stories and thoughts.

As we celebrate Joann’s passion for art and journaling, we’re reminded of the importance of self-expression and creativity in enhancing the quality of life for our residents. At Fairwinds Spokane, we embrace opportunities that align with our mission of creating a community where every day is an opportunity for personal growth, connection, and joy.

In Joann’s own words, art journaling is “to take the beauty in the little things that give me the most amount of joy and lock it in time on a page.” Mark your calendars and join us on Tuesdays!

To learn more about Fairwinds – Spokane independent living and assisted living, contact us today.


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