“Pairing with Mary”
Mary was my pairing partner. Mary is one of so many suffering Alzheimer's patients. I have not met her.
I do not know if she would understand that the two of us are now forever connected through her water color sketch which I have chosen as my inspiration.
Mary’s painting followed me around for weeks. It was hanging on my living room and studio walls, and it’s image came up often in my mind. Her painting haunted me in my dreams.
Actually it was not her painting but her fate. When I discovered her small signature.....tears came to my eyes.
All I could think of was a single lonely figure on an endless beach with a very heavy and dark sky above. I could not find any hope for her and her dear ones.
When I turned Mary’s painting upside down I found my voice and inspiration in her most beautiful sky.
The challenge for me was expressing in color and technique loss of memory, the disaster of the Alzheimer's disease, and my belief in hope.
The fragmentation is my way of understanding Mary’s thinking. Some of her memories are still clear. Others are broken as if seen through a kaleidoscope.
The sinking boats are symbols of the catastrophic Alzheimer's disease.
My symbol of Mary’s life is the boat in the center of the painting. It is colorful but also shows signs of threat.
And then there is the sky. Her yellow and my airy light blue. HOPE.
The bridge will allow Mary to cross and enter her new being.
By Mary M. Burch
Sunrise Assisted Living La Costa
This beach scene, Untitled, was one of the last paintings created by Mary Burch. Before passing, she lived at Sunrise, La Costa. She was an accomplished painter.
Mary was born and raised in Oxnard/Ventura. Her father owned a Ventura Department store. Mary married Bill Burch and they enjoyed 51 years together, most of it in Redondo Beach, CA. They had five children and nine grandchildren. The family loved the ocean - most summers were spent at the beach and camping in the mountains.
Mary attended the Sawyer School of Business and began her work experience at Saks Fifth Avenue. She then worked for Wilson Oil Tool. After raising her five children, she returned to the workforce at Northrop Corp. as Executive Secretary and later Office Manager. She went on to co-own Web Vocational Consultants.
Along with art, Mary loved music. She sang in her church choir and was the church organist. She was very involved in their Catholic Church, attending church daily for many years. She also volunteered at her children's schools, as well as in the bereavement ministry at church
PAIRING WITH MARY
By Regine Hawkins
Perhaps Regine was attracted to Mary's image - sensing that this was created from the heart of a real painter. When Mary completed her painting, she was non-verbal and so her beach scene remained untitled. However Regine took weeks to look, listen to, and feel Mary's message.
Although Regine does not talk of having known someone with Alzheimer's, her compassionate heart and talented brush have chosen each icon in her painting with great care. Symbolic sinking boats illustrate the catastrophic Alzheimer's disease. A bridge is included for Mary to cross to the other side. Regine found an unconventional way of interpreting Mary's somewhat gloomy painting by turning it upside down. She then discovered new inspiration and transformed it into a vision of hope. As a Russian immigrant who escaped twice from the Communist regime with her family, Regine knows a lot about hope. Since leaving Germany in 1964, and settling in the US, Regine's art has blossomed. Please view her work and read more about her on her website at www.RegineHawkinsArtist.com