Assisted Living Resident Nan Green Discovers Bigelow Arts Center

Nan Green moved to Holbrook Assisted Living in April 2019, and her decision was influenced by one unavoidable and striking feature. “My daughter Carrie suggested I take a look at Holbrook at Piper Shores. Once I saw the ocean, I was sold,” she laughs.

Nan grew up on Long Island, New York and discovered Maine while traveling with friends to Acadia National Park. She spent much of her childhood sailing and developed a great love of the ocean. Today, she is a resident in a new assisted living residence where she takes advantage of the 138-acre oceanfront setting that looks out over the Atlantic Ocean.

When she’s not busy taking her Cairn Terrier ‘Punkin’ for a walk on the expansive property, Nan can often be found in a meditation class or painting. As a new resident, Nan is gently transitioning into her new life at Holbrook. “It’s going very well, and I’ve met some wonderful people,” she says, “but it took time, and it’s an adjustment.” The transition was made easier by joining the weekly meditation group (which she relishes) and by fully engaging in her artwork.

“I love to paint,” says Nan, who started as a watercolor artist in the late 1960s. Today, her apartment is full of beautiful, vibrant watercolors and oil paintings from her many years as an artist. Every Saturday, Nan loads up a pushcart full of art supplies and makes her way to the Bigelow Arts Center for the 2-hour open studio. In the studio, she is able to paint and to meet other artists who reside at Piper Shores. “I’m starting to get to know people, even though I’m a bit of an introverted artist,” she smiles.

Teaching Art at Piper Shores

Nan is also offering her expertise as an art teacher. Working with Tara Konieczko in the Life Enrichment Office, Nan will be teaching a watercolor course to any resident wishing to participate. “Watercolor can be hard and people get discouraged,” says Nan. “I’d like to help get a few over the hump because painting is something that anyone can do, and it’s very rewarding.”

Teaching comes naturally to Nan who enjoyed a career as professor of anatomy and physiology at Colby Sawyer College in New Hampshire, and who also worked in the department of anesthesia at Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in Dartmouth, New Hampshire.

For Nan, the practice of painting is both intellectual and consuming. It allows her to tune out, to lose track of time, and to relax. But there can be frustrations, too. “Sometimes, the watercolor medium has a habit of going north instead of south,” she smirks. “You do learn to correct.”

Displaying Her Artwork

Nan recently displayed a lovely floral watercolor at a recent show in the Bigelow Arts Center and has many more paintings and art shows in the works. She’s also active in knitting and needlework. “I don’t see myself sitting around,” says Nan. “I need an involvement of some sort, and life at Holbrook and Piper Shores is full of opportunities to learn and grow!”