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Maris Grove, my muse

Landscape painter finds inspiration, time for painting in Pennsylvania

Created date

November 26th, 2013

In 2002, Aberdeen, Md., residents Carol and John Kuhn joined the priority list at one of the Erickson Living communities in Maryland, Oak Crest, to save their place in line for an apartment home with a patio. Some five years later, when they wanted to move, no patio apartments were available. But because their priority list date was valid at all Erickson Living communities, Oak Crest s sales counselor encouraged them to investigate the company s newly opened community, Maris Grove, in Glen Mills, Pa. The Kuhns early priority list date put them high on Maris Grove s list for the home of their choice, and the community had a patio apartment available. They visited, and they liked Maris Grove immediately.

Ideal locale

It was a short, scenic, countryside drive to their sons in Maryland. And, says Carol, There were lots of trees, we could have a garden space, and I could plant around the patio. It was an idyllic location for a woman with artistic talent and an affinity for painting landscapes. Before the move, Carol was impressed by art she saw displayed in Maris Grove s creative arts studio, especially the realistic, detailed paintings by resident Alva Holcombe. After the move, she took classes from Alva because Alva s painting style reminded her of work by the oil painter she d studied under as a teenager in Flowertown, Pa. Carol stores her art supplies in the Kuhns second bedroom and paints at the kitchen table of their spacious Harrison apartment home. Examples of her basket-making skills perch atop her kitchen cabinets, and trees fill her kitchen window views.

The gift of time

Besides providing a patio, Maris Grove gives Carol time to do things she really cares about. She devours historical novels, crochets for the Blanket Circle group, and grows strawberries and tomatoes in her and John s garden space. She logs daily fitness walks regardless of weather because the campus s ten residence buildings and two clubhouses are all connected by enclosed, climate-controlled walkways. And she paints whenever the spirit moves her. An old Christmas card inspired her Village in Winter snow scene. A restaurant placemat spawned a painting of a stone bank barn. The first painting she sold at Maris Grove grew from her wintertime photo of the Ompompanoosuc River, in Vershire, Vt. I always said I d paint it someday, says Carol. When we moved here, I did. During spring and summer, the Kuhns make frequent extended trips to their place in Ocean View, on the Delaware Shore. But because homeowner responsibilities take priority there, Carol only has time for quick pastel studies. Conversely, living maintenance-free at Maris Grove lets her follow her heart. Between novels, she s now painting her interpretation of a Winslow Homer seascape.