Alison’s Creative Meet Up!


CM Artist Alison, based in Warwickshire has been delivering art sessions to The Ashton Care Home in Hinkley and Aldersgate Retirement Flats in Nuneaton for over two years.

Since delivering sessions there, Alison encouraged The Ashton residents Dot, aged 97 and Cedric who has MS, to get back into their creative practice. Staff and residents have been amazed at the beauty of the work that they are now producing.  

Alison has also been blown away by the work of 96 year old Cecily, a resident at Aldersgate Retirement Flats. Cecily had a creative history and has been painting since the 1930s. She now produces stunning watercolour landscape paintings in Alison’s art sessions.

Alison and Janice, the Activity Coordinator at The Ashton decided it would be a lovely idea to organise a get-together with the residents from both settings. This would give them the opportunity to meet and share their passion for art while admiring each others work. So, on the 17th October, Alison organised a mini exhibition of Dot and Cedric’s work at The Ashton. She brought Cecily over from Nuneaton to enjoy a spot of lunch with fellow artists whilst viewing their work.

Left to right: Cecily, Alison, Dot & Cedric

“It was wonderful to listen to them share stories, and admire each others work. After lunch we visited Dot & Cedric’s bedrooms to enjoy some more of their artworks. It made for a lovely social occasion they shared ideas and techniques whilst we all chatted about our love for art!” – Alison.

Afterwards Dot said “I like meeting new people, especially people who share interests, so it was great to chat about our artwork.”

Cecily commented; “I thoroughly enjoyed the meet up. Dot and Cedric were so enthusiastic. I would be lovely to go and meet them again to discuss our latest paintings.”

Dot and Cecily
Dots Painting
Cecily’s Painting

Janice, the Activity Coordinator from The Ashton said: “After the meet up, the residents said how fabulous it was! It was a real clicking of minds and wonderful that Dot and Cedric got to meet others with the same interests and passions.”

The residents are all keen to meet up again, and have formed a lovely friendship, so Alison is looking to arrange another get together soon so that they can admire each other’s latest masterpieces.

A Day in the Life of Creative Minds Artist: Sarah Jane

creative minds artist
Sarah Jane on an Art Trip she’s organised for one of her care home clients

How long have you been a Creative Minds Artist?

I joined in February 2016, so approaching 4 years.

Tell us what you’ve been up to today.

Today has been really varied: this morning I delivered a session for the lovely MindforYou supported holidays (for people living with dementia and their relatives/carers), in Corfe Castle, East Dorset.

This afternoon I was at one of my regular homes near Dorchester, then did my third session of the day with two young chaps, in a local, supported living home.

In their art session they choose the music too, which can vary from Johnny Cash to Pink Floyd! Sometimes we theme it to the session: we painted peacocks, so the music was The Byrds!

creative minds artist
Sarah delivering her Mindforyou session
creative minds artist

What would a typical week look like to you?

I deliver 6 or 7 sessions a week, normally leaving the house about 9.45am – this gives me time to walk our dog by the river (invaluable contemplation time!).

I tend to stay local or travel West, towards Lyme Regis, on a Tuesday, then East (Dorchester, Weymouth) on Wednesdays and Thursdays. But there really isn’t a typical week, each one is different, which I love! I probably spend about half a day a week on admin – planning sessions, invoicing, sourcing supplies etc.

Organising my sessions like this also gives me at least one day a week to work in my studio on my own practice.

creative minds artist
Artwork created by participants in her sessions
creative minds artist

Tell us a little about your own personal creative practice as an artist.

I’m a mixed media artist and just taken part in our local, Bridport, Open Studios event, with a friend. My conservatory is transformed into a gallery space and the public can peek inside my garden studio! We had over 120 visitors and I sold quite a few pieces of work including mixed media, printmaking and jewellery.

My abstract work is playful and humorous, bold and experimental. Bright colours, industrial lines and texture are at the core of my sculptural and mixed media work. The nearby Jurassic coastline heavily influences my work.

What first attracted you to the franchise opportunity?

The flexibility and being able to use art in a fun, therapeutic way. Being able to manage my own diary – I’ve been self-employed for years now and enjoy the autonomy, but relish the fantastic support and community you gain as a Creative Minds Artist.

What do you like most about being a Creative Minds Artist?

The moment when folks smile at seeing their finished work! All the lovely feedback, that it’s “relaxing”, “takes me out of myself”, “I didn’t realize I could paint!” It really can change people in a positive way. I often say, even if I won the lottery, I’d still want to deliver the art sessions!

creative minds artist
The Art Gallery at Somerleigh Court Nursing Home in Dorchester

Read ‘A Day in the Life of Creative Minds Artist: Laura Novak’ here:

Creative Minds celebrates Arts in Care Homes Day!


On Tuesday 24th September we welcomed the first ever National Arts in Care Homes Day. We were thrilled to see the value of the Arts in Care being recognised across the country and many organisations got involved to celebrate. CM Artists ran sessions in care homes to mark the occasion, and for us, it was the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the amazing work our artists do in care settings across the country, empowering people through their sessions and spreading joy through creativity.

On the day, residents at Ardath Care Home in Bexhill (Sussex Housing) had fun with CM Artist Sarah working in wool to create bright and colourful Mexican-style wall hangings.

arts in care homes day
arts in care homes day
arts in care homes day

Up in Birmingham residents at Wilson Lodge had a messy but fabulous morning using printing inks with wooden blocks with CM Artist Deborah.

arts in care homes day
arts in care homes day

In High Wycombe, residents at Catherine Court Care Home had a relaxing morning with CM Artist Karen, creating aboriginal-style autumn leaves.

arts in care homes day
arts in care homes day
arts in care homes day

In Weston-super-Mare residents at Park House Residential Home created cocktails to decorate the home’s golden drinks cabinet with CM Artist Susannah.

arts in care homes day
arts in care homes day

Over in Derby, residents at The Laurels Nursing Home laughed and sang as they worked together to create a striking communal sunflower collage. It looks wonderful on display!

arts in care homes day
arts in care homes day
arts in care homes day

Sigita, the Manager at Ardath Care Home told us how she feels the art sessions are benefitting the residents at the home:

“The residents get so much from their art sessions – especially those living with dementia. Often relatives join in the sessions, as it gives them the chance to spend some quality time with loved ones. The social aspect really benefits the residents with lots of conversations, stories shared, plus fun and laughter.

“Many residents have never even painted before, but Sarah encourages them to give it a go, and not be too concerned with the outcome. They are always surprised and proud of what they have accomplished. We have one resident who is now blind, but Sarah kindly encouraged her to take part in a recent session and guided her along the way. She produced a truly beautiful painting and was delighted with what she had achieved!”

“The art sessions really lift the resident’s spirits and they look forward to them every week.”

To find out more about the Arts in Care Homes Day visit:

Franchise for Sale – North London & Hertforshire


Are you passionate about art and working with vulnerable people? Are you looking for a career change or something that’s flexible around family life? If the answer is YES! Then becoming a Creative Minds Artist could be the perfect opportunity for you!

Creative Minds is a social enterprise and community of over 40 artists who deliver fun and therapeutic art sessions to people of all ages in venues across the country. As a Creative Minds Artist you can manage your own time and deliver art sessions around your other commitments, making this an ideal lifestyle business.

After 3 years building a successful Creative Minds franchise in Enfield, North London, CM Artist Hanna is relocating and with regret she has had to put her business up for sale! She has 9 regular clients, operates her business on a part-time basis and generates £1,500+ in income per month.

Hanna with the residents of Chiswick Care

The clients are based in the following locations: Enfield, Knebworth, Ware and Hertford, therefore the interested buyer would likely have one of three franchise territories to choose from in North London or Hertfordshire based on their location.

This is a fantastic opportunity for any local artist to start earning from day one, inheriting all of Hanna’s clients and making a very quick ROI (Return on Investment)!

If this opportunity is of interest to you please complete a Franchise Application via our franchise page:

We look forward to hearing from you!

Creative Minds at the Tate Exchange!


In May 2018 a number of CM Artists worked on an exciting art project at the Tate Modern’s Tate Exchange led by MA students from Westminster University alongside residents from Snowdrop House, Enfield and Appleby House, Epsom. They had the opportunity to not only visit this iconic gallery, but also take part in a ‘Dreamweavers Workshop’ creating a striking installation that was on display at the gallery over Easter! This was a very moving and thought-provoking project for all involved and was a wonderful experience for all the residents who took part. Nicky, Lifestyle Lead at Snowdrop House commented: “Residents and staff made art work using fabrics and textiles to incorporate dreams they’ve had. This was such a fun exercise and it evoked different emotions in everybody involved. One gentleman use to dream about his wife whom had passed a few years previously, and he found it very cathartic. All I can say is what a fantastic day we had. And it’s not everyday you can say that you had work displayed at the Tate!”

tate exchange
tate exchange
tate exchange

We’re excited to announce that we’ll back again at the Tate Exchange in May, working in collaboration with Westminster University on another project! This three-day workshop will run from 15th – 17th May and is open for anyone to come and take part and add to an interactive installation.

tate exchange
Art by Jenny Holzer, Photo by Timeout London

The theme this year is “Movement” and is a response to the current exhibition at The Tate Modern by Jenny Holzer. This has inspired the project to explore ideas surrounding migration and flight, reflecting the way in which we all move through life. On the run up to the 15th of May, our artists will be working on the project and will be joined by students from Westminster University, creating art work with their clients at Care Homes to bring along to the Tate Exchange. This will be installed as a starting point to inspire the 3-day workshop.

We’ll be sharing lots of updates across our social media channels on the run up to the Tate Exchange project, so be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the behind-the-scenes action. All are welcome to join us for this exciting workshop!

We hope to see you there!

The CM Artists included in the project are:
Hanna, Cherry, Caroline, Sasha, Alice, George, Kirsteen, Karen, Sarah Jane and Laura.

Clients include:
Residents at Chiswick Care, Arnold House, Kew House, The Burroughs, Foxes Den, Mountbatten, Kingsley, Gable Court, Moor House, Clara Court, plus some clients who receive one-to-one art sessions with CM Artists.

The Opening of the Art Studio at Appleby House!


Our CM Artist Kim is now officially an ‘Artist-in-Residence’ at Appleby House Care Home in Epsom, Surrey. The opening of the Art Studio at the home means that residents can drop in and explore their creativity at any time. Kim offers a variety of different artistic materials including acrylics, watercolours, pastels, drawing and inks for residents to enjoy, in a fun and relaxed environment. They even now have a potter’s wheel, where they have been creating some beautiful ceramics.

The studio has been a huge hit with both staff and residents, and was officially opened back in December by the Mayor and Mayoress of Epsom & Ewell.

art studio
art studio
The opening of the Art Studio at Appleby House Care Home in Epsom, Surrey.
art studio
Kim, CM Artist showing a resident how to use the potters wheel.
art studio
Sarah Fenner- Creative Minds Community Development Manager – showing Mayor Neil Dallen and Mayoress Ann Dallen the artwork from Appleby House Residents that had been displayed at the Tate Art Gallery in London in 2018.

The work they produce in the studio goes on display in their in-house Gallery the “Appleby Tate” for all to enjoy. Kim has also secured the residents an exhibition at Bourne Hall in Epsom, which will be open to the public later this year. Residents are all working on their own unique pieces of art for this exciting show, which they are all looking forward to.

art studio
The Mayor of Epsom & Ewell with local pupils from Epsom Primary School.
art studio
Sarah Fenner, from Creative Minds, helping local pupils decorate their stockings inside the new Appleby House Art Studio.
art studio
Creative Minds Artist Karen Utting with residents and staff from Kingsleigh care home, visiting the the opening of Appleby House’s Art Studio.
art studio
James Cropper, Director of Creative Minds – standing next to one of the many care home murals created with the Appleby House residents.

Kim’s art sessions have had a remarkable impact on one particular resident, Judy. She lives with advanced dementia and for years has struggled with communication. As soon as she steps into the Art Studio, she becomes focused, and confidently talks about the colours and textures in her work. Judy is so happy to see Kim each week and looks forward to her art sessions. Before moving to Appleby House, she had never given art or craft a go!

The staff couldn’t believe the effect it has had on her. The work she has created is so vibrant and expressive. Look at her latest piece!…

art studio
Judy’s incredible cat!

CM Artist Kim says; “Art brings her clarity…it’s like she goes into a different place when she’s painting.” Kim couldn’t be more proud to see what Judy has achieved, as well as so many other residents at Appleby House!

Residents, staff, families and friends are all thrilled with the impact that the Art Studio is having on the home. Each week visitors enjoy seeing the latest work that the residents have created.

Kim says; “Each time I am here I am filled with joy and ideas of what we can do. The potential is so vast. I love them all!”

Photo credit: Care UK

Resident Amazes With Stunning Paintings!


After a 16-year break from art, Derrick Waller, resident at Saxonwood Care Home in Battle has re-ignited his creative flair since participating in the art sessions. The staff are delighted to see such beautiful artwork produced by a resident.

resident artist
resident artist

Derrick had a long career as an artist and illustrator and regularly exhibited work. Sadly, following the loss of his wife, he lost his creative passion and no longer felt inspired to continue his artistic practice. His daughter tried to encourage him to attend local art classes, but he was not interested. Then at the beginning of last year, he moved to Saxonwood Care Home where Creative Minds artist Sarah Bryant persuaded him to join her art session.  For the first time in 16 years he picked up a paintbrush again, and has once again become immersed in his creative practice. With a sparkle in his eyes, Derrick proudly shares the artwork he produces with residents at Saxonwood. All thoroughly enjoy viewing his diverse collection of work, which includes paintings, sketches and ceramics.

resident artist
resident artist

His daughter Susan has said; “My sister and I are thrilled to see him producing such beautiful artwork again.”

Creative Minds artist Sarah says; “It is a pleasure and privilege to work with Derrick and to see him creating stunning artwork again. To see the impact our sessions bring to clients, such as Derrick is so empowering. Knowing that you can make a difference gives me incredible job satisfaction,”

resident artist

Our first ‘Art Trip!’


art trip


Sarah F, Our Creative Minds (CM) Artist based in Woking organised a very successful art trip recently with one of her clients to the Lightbox Gallery in Woking. Sarah chose the Lightbox because it is a wonderful setting and very accessible for all with a fabulous selection of exhibitions throughout the year. The residents Edna, John, and Betty from Grey’s Residential home, along with their Carer Sophie had a superb afternoon and can’t wait to do it again!

art trip

art trip


The trip began with a visit to the Ingram Collection. Here the wide variety of works on display had something for everyone, and each resident had their own personal favourite piece. Discussion about realism, surrealism and abstraction was sparked, and Edna was particularly drawn to the abstract. She fell in love with this fantastic piece by William Gear (pictured below).

art trip


Edna commented on the experience: “Marvelous! What a wonderful afternoon and seeing this marvelous art, I hope we can come again.”

Betty’s favourite piece was ‘On the Table’ of the Ingram Collection. She also enjoyed the Ruth Borchard portrait collection, and liked how the individual artists portrayed themselves – their dark sides, and sadness – in their works.

art trip


For many of the residents, this was a new opportunity and ultimately a unique chance to experience art in a different way. Our art sessions aspire to encourage active participation and help clients to create beautiful work. This trip fostered a different kind of involvement in art – one of observation, thoughtfulness, reflection, and discussion. We are delighted to have discovered a new way for residents to enjoy art, and we aim to take the residents of Greys Residential Home on another art trip in the near future and encourage other CM Artists to organise similar art trips for their clients.

art trip

art trip


John also enjoyed the experience; he found that it brought back some happy personal memories. Though he previously preferred to watch his loved one draw, during the two years that Sarah has been delivering art sessions with Grey’s she has seen John experiment with every medium and shy away from nothing. One of his beautiful charcoal studies is now a permanent fixture on the lounge wall. At the Lightbox, Sarah and John were both intrigued by the variety of work created by Sidney Sime, and John was particularly taken with a painting of London taxis (pictured below).

art trip


CM artist Sarah said: “It was such a joy and privilege to bring about and organise this trip as an alternative art session, watching these wonderful folks absorbing the art on display, the intrigue, the questions, the pleasure.” The trip was a great afternoon, topped off by tea and cake in the café to end the day.

We hope that this is the beginning of many more art trips for care homes organised by CM Artists across the country. Art trips are yet another way for us to enhance our service and to ensure that art is truly accessible to everyone.

Thank you for reading.

Appleby House ‘Renaming Ceremony!’


What an exciting year its been for Appleby House Care Home in Epsom!

As you may know we’ve been delivering art sessions to Appleby House for over 2 years now, and the sessions have had a profound impact on the home, staff, residents and relatives. Early this year, Shona the manager announced that in honor of their commitment to the arts they would be renaming all of the suites in the home after famous artists!

The ‘Renaming Ceremony’ took place on May 9th, to officially rename the suites. James Cropper (our Founder and Director) and Sara Hurley were invited to the ceremony, along with Sylvie (Director of Napa) and Jacqui White (Marketing Director for Care UK) who helped cut the ribbon (pictured: credit to Care UK).

James was pleased to tour the house and visit each of the five newly named suites after famous artists, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh and Leonardo Da Vinci. The entrance to each now features a plaque in the shape of an artist’s palate with the printed surname. (pictures). After the tour James and everyone enjoyed a buffet lunch and glass of wine as a harpist played a beautiful melody at the other side of the room.

appleby houseappleby houseappleby house appleby house appleby house appleby house appleby house appleby house

The art sessions at Appleby House began with James over 2 years ago, before passing the sessions onto Sarah and Sara our Woking and Ascot based CM Artists. Since the beginning of the year CM Artist, Sarah has been delivering weekly inter-generational art sessions at the home, involving residents and children from the local Epsom Primary School. The sessions are widely praised and highly popular at the care home and the ‘Renaming Ceremony’ has been yet another example of the homes commitment to art and the belief that it can have a transformational effect on peoples lives. You can read more about Appleby House in our previous blog posts here:

The ceremony was a huge success, and a good time was had all round. We feel honored to have had this positive impact on our clients, and privileged to work with such an inspiring team.

Thanks for reading.

Creative Minds.

Beautiful acrylic paintings by a talented resident artist!


As CM Artists we’re always discovering talented artists among the many participants we deliver sessions to on a daily basis. We’re often surprised by the skill, the detail, the experimentation and the creativity we see from the participants in our sessions but the artwork that we have seen created by Ian, a resident artist at Sunrise of Weybridge left us stunned!

Since attending the art sessions Ian has created two beautiful acrylic paintings on mdf, one of Littlehampton and one of Burano, a Venetian lagoon in Italy.

Ian tells us:

“My interest in drawing and painting started when Sunrise Weybridge formed an art class/group, some five years ago. Although I have no formal art training I have found art enjoyable, satisfying and sometimes frustrating as I suffer from being colour blind and in a wheelchair.”

“With help from the Sunrise Activities team and Sara Hurley’s (Creative Minds) art classes over the past few years I have painted two acrylic paintings.

“The first of these paintings was based on a photograph that was chosen as the vibrant colours complimented the colours of two other paintings/pictures which are to be hung, along with my painting, on a wall in a recently purchased retirement flat by a member of the Sunrise Weybridge activities team who had asked me to paint the Littlehampton water front scene for her.”

Here is the first of Ian’s paintings of Littlehampton, with work in progress photo’s taken at each stage of painting…

resident artist resident artist resident artist resident artist resident artist

“The second painting, of Burano Island, in the Venetian Lagoon, Italy, was chosen by a member of the Sunrise Weybridge activities team, as the vibrant colours of the boats and houses in the scene, matched those used in the kitchen of her home.”

resident artist resident artist resident artist acrylic paintings resident artist

We feel so privileged to see such talent in the care homes and other venues we visit!

Many thanks to Ian, a truely talented resident artist, for sharing the progress of his paintings with us and thanks for reading.