In 2019, Concordia’s calendar featured amazing resident artists – some who studied art in college and made a career out of it, some who won awards for their paintings and even those who always enjoyed art but didn’t truly get to paint until coming to Concordia. The good news is that the first group only scratched the surface of the talent found at Concordia. For 2020, our calendar features gorgeous paintings from 11 new artists.
Titled “Brush Strokes 2,” the calendar features a different painting each month by a resident who lives at one of our locations. And each month, we’ll introduce you to the artist, here. August’s artist is Elizabeth Spohn of the Concordia Haven Apartments on the Concordia at Cabot campus.
The August painting that Elizabeth, a retired Butler Catholic teacher, created of a man riding a horse on a beach was based on a photo from a much warmer climate.
“Shortly after I started taking painting classes at Concordia, my neighbor Joe Lawson showed me some photos he had taken in Costa Rica in the winter,” Elizabeth said. “I really enjoyed painting it.”
Though she had painted occasionally while taking art classes in grade school, studying education at Slippery Rock University and getting her masters in teaching elementary science at Clarion University, Elizabeth only started painting with watercolors in earnest when she and her husband, Mike, moved to the Haven Apartments in August 2017. It was something she wanted to learn in her retirement, and she finds it a great way to connect to her faith and relax.
“Painting feels like you’re part of God’s creative power,” Elizabeth explained. “He speaks through the artist because he’s constantly creating us. That’s the biggest part of it – I’m in awe of what He does.”
Elizabeth credits much of her artistic learning to Haven Art Class Instructor Susan Beatty, and she has also found guidance through online tutorials (her favorite ones are from the artist Bob Burridge) while the class was temporarily put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Every time I paint it’s an adventure,” she said. “I’m so new at it still, and each time something comes out that works I’m a little surprised. It can be very relaxing, and that’s what makes it such an appealing therapy of sorts.”
In addition to painting, Elizabeth enjoys reading, crocheting, making prayer blankets for St. Joseph Catholic Church in Cabot, PA, and keeping up with her and Mike’s six children, 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
“My daughter in Virginia is amazed that I paint like I do,” Elizabeth said. “She said, ‘I was totally amazed. I had no idea you had this gift in you.’ So, the kids were all a little shocked.”
Elizabeth and Mike also stay busy within the Concordia community. Before the pandemic put a temporary hold on many group activities, they went to yoga class, sing-a-long nights and the individual men’s and women’s groups on campus. They are excited to get back to their group activities, but still find lots of comfort at Concordia.
“From the very beginning we’ve seen how welcoming everyone at Concordia is – that’s the thing that really tipped it for us to move in the first place,” Elizabeth said. “I felt that this is where we should be, and there was no major adjustment after we moved in as far as we were concerned. It was just home right away, and it still is.”
To learn more about the retirement living options offered at the Concordia Haven Apartments on our Cabot campus, visit www.ConcordiaHaven.org or schedule a personal, safe-distance tour today. Call Peggy at 724-352-5378 or message us through the contact form on our website. To request a free copy of the 2020 Concordia Calendar, “Brush Strokes 2,” call the Public Relations Department at 724-352-1571, ext. 8268.
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