Lately, you've heard me speak about Roy Bedward quite often, here, then again here, and you can read his own words here. If you haven't been following along, those links are your chance to get caught up to date:) This past Saturday afternoon, we had the unique opportunity to spend some time with Roy and watch him paint. Thanks to a lot of cooperation and planning, Roy was brought up to The Flying Pig from Madison, enabling him to be able to see his own exhibit, which ended the following day.
From left to right, we have Susan of The Flying Pig, Ariel, (he & Roy share a house, he's such a gentle soul!), Tish (a staff member that drove both Roy & Ariel up), Jeremy (my son who has worked with Roy for about a year now), Roy, and Alli with her baby Penelope. Alli & Susan were the driving force behind making this all happen, and she's the one that sees to it that Roy gets time in his life to paint.
Jeremy kept Roy company, while Roy was taking in the atmosphere inside The Flying Pig. This is actually his second trip there, and although he can't speak, using a facilitating communication device he typed out "I love it here", and he certainly appeared to. But then we all love it there!
The easel was set up outside, underneath a cedar grove in the greenspace for Roy to paint. I learned a thing or 2 while watching him set up! He squirts whatever paints he wants to use in glass jars, a jar & a brush for each color-brilliant! No washing out brushes everytime there's a color change, an idea that I just might try myself.
In no time at all, 2 hours had passed and Roy had completed 2 paintings. For the most part you could have heard a pin drop within the crowd of us that were watching him, now that would have freaked me out if I had been the one painting in front of a crowd, but he just did his thing, and did it well!
I don't pretend to know a lot about autism, but I did learn a little more about it on that day with Ariel & Roy. There's a lot going on inside their heads, they just have a rough time communicating it. Never take advantage of the fact that you can speak, or type by yourself, or live on your own, or do any of the things that we all take for granted each & every day of our lives. And be grateful that there are folks out there like Jeremy & Alli, and all the families that live this life, that care enough to help them, to help make a difference, to be there to celebrate their successes and get them through the rough patches. I'm truly grateful that I met Roy & Ariel, and am so happy that Roy is willing to share his gift of art with the world.