The Captain Cook Birthplace Museum in Stewart Park has been playing host to the group of service users and volunteers from Volunteering Matters.
The budding artists took inspiration from contemporary images of the sites associated with Cook from around the world as part of the museum’s current Cook’s Sites exhibition displays
In response to these large and vibrant photographs in the main gallery, the group – who suffer from dementia - set about creating their own watercolours of places associated with Cook around Yorkshire and North East and Yorkshire.
Most of the participants who attended the series of five workshops had an interest in art, but many had never used watercolours before.
Under the expert guidance of watercolour tutor Andy Taylor, everyone quickly began to get a feel for the techniques that they were taught.
His easy-to-follow instructions created a relaxed and calming atmosphere where everyone could concentrate and draw upon their memories of what the places in the pictures meant to them.
Andy said: “This project has been a real pleasure from the very beginning. A very worthwhile and important issue and a great group of people to participate with.
“The work has been a very steep learning curve for the group but they really got stuck in and produced a great range of art.
“They have learned a range of techniques very quickly which they deserve a lot of credit for. I hope we will be able to work together in the future.
“Jenny Phillips at the Captain Cook Museum needs a special mention because it was her idea in the first place and she also worked very hard to put it together, I am very grateful to her for that.”
And visitors can now see their paintings in a special exhibition at the Birthplace Museum.
Jeff, one of the participants, commented that the only thing he had ever painted before was ceilings and walls!
Many of the group have now gone on to further watercolour workshops or even bought their own materials to continue painting at home.
Museums Access Officer Jenny Phillips said: “The enthusiasm of the group was infectious, and it was fantastic to see them progress from beginners to producing their own landscape images.
“The whole project has been a great success for dementia sufferers as well as their families and befrienders.
“Best of all, visitors to the museum’s main galleries can enjoy their amazing artwork for the rest of the summer.”