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Kreative Mum helping to spread holiday cheer during the pandemic

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WATCH: Visitor restrictions have been tough on the people living in long-term care homes, but one Saskatoon artist is doing her part to spread a little holiday cheer – Dec 9, 2020

Keshia Gamola spends a lot of time painting with her company Kreative Mum.

Although as a professional face painter she’s most often found painting people, rather than two-dimensional portraits.

However, during the COVID-19 pandemic she switched things up, jumping back to her two-dimensional roots, albeit in a unique way. It started with her painting outlines at home as a craft idea for her daughter.

Read more: Edmonton-raised artist Tim Okamura creates portrait series honouring health-care workers

“I turned our windows into a giant colouring book to occupy their time while being stuck inside,” Gamola said. “It looked really great from the outside.”

Although she says painting and crafts are a regular pastime at her house, it did take her a bit of “re-training” to get back the feeling of painting pictures rather than people.

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“Windows don’t move, small children don’t stop moving,” she laughed. “So, trying to learn to slow down has been the hardest part. When you’re painting a child’s face you have, like, three minutes. With the window I can slow down a bit and take my time.”

Read more: Upside-down Kelowna public art piece a metaphor for health-care system, says art studio

It didn’t take long for Gamola to get back into a rhythm, painting Yuletide pictures, when she decided to offer the service to businesses around Saskatoon.

That has lead to her latest venture, painting outlines on the exteriors of care home windows, leaving them blank for the residents to then colour in on the inside.

“Art is therapeutic for everybody, I think,” Gamola said. “It definitely makes me happy being able to do art, so I just want to be able to share that with other people.”

The care home painting jobs are all sponsored by local businesses who provide the residents with the window painting supplies.

“Since the start of COVID, I’ve been trying to stay creative, and share art with the community,” Gamola said.

Central Haven Special Care Home communications leader Eric Anderson said the home appreciates the support.

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“This is not a normal year, this is not a normal Christmas,” he said. “But when the community is willing to show their support in this way, it’s everything. It provides so much joy, so much meaning within our home.”