Teen artist spreading smiles to seniors: 'It is pure excitement'

Posted at 11:45 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-14 09:38:09-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Passing time during the pandemic takes many forms.

At Yvette Wolfe’s home off Church Road in Henrico painting is the hobby of choice.

"It is great being outside and paint together and create some cheers and brightness," says Yvette.

There is not an art major in sight, but each of these creations a masterpiece. Last summer Yvette’s daughter

Ellie started painting scenes for her grandfather living with cancer.

Ellie had a stroke of ingenuity. She wants to paint with a purpose on a large scale.

“(It has grown) very fast. I didn’t expect this at all,” says Ellie. “It is pure excitement. Their smiles made me smile.”

She founded Caring Canvases. Shas recruited the help of neighbors to paint almost anything.

Each canvas is given away. The paintings are donated to people isolated in their senior care centers.

“I think about these patients being in their room for months and not seeing any family,” says Yvette.

Yvette and Christy Hodges deliver the paintings to senior care facilities like Westminster Canterbury where staff welcome the artwork with open arms. Grateful residents choose which one of a kind creation will hang in their room. Each painting an escape from the mundane.

“It is a twinkle of hope what they can look forward to when all of this is over,” says Christy.

At Caring Canvases talent level doesn’t matter.

“I often say no skill required but that is often reserved for me,” says a smiling Yvette.

So far this group has turned out nearly 260 paintings. The group encourages would-be artists join their colorful cause.

“Because they don’t have that many people to see that much. So maybe they can get these paintings from us to make them happy,” says Anna 7-year-old Anna Reynolds.

Artwork will be collected at select drop-off points and delivered safely. For these artists it doesn’t matter they may never meet the people on the receiving end.

“I think it spreads that little bit of joy that everybody needs. That spark of brightness. That spark of hope knowing that there are people out there that care about you,” says Lynn O’Hara Mussatt.

They are the Claude Monets of kindness and Leonardo Da Vinci’s of love while canvassing central Virginia with compassion.

“We have sunsets, cherry trees, butterflies. Probably everything you want to find is here,” says Yvette.

“Makes me feel like I did something good. And I’m proud of what I did,” says Ellie.

If you would like to help Caring Canvases in their mission you can drop off your own paintings at the Sweet Frog in West Broad Village. Each canvas donated is good for one small yogurt.

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