An Artist Among Us


CULLMAN – Shirley Roy at USA Healthcare is quite the artist. She passes the time by drawing and coloring pictures of the workers on the second floor where she lives as well as other drawings including landscapes, animals and cartoon characters.

“I started about 10 years ago drawing for the public. I’ve always drawn something and thrown it away because I thought is wasn’t any good. When I went in the nursing home people saw my drawings and they really liked them.”

Sometimes Shirley looks at pictures that have already been drawn and then draws them herself. Other times, she looks at the nurses and CNAs that work on her floor and draws them from memory. She has drawn every employee on the second floor at USA Healthcare.

“If somebody wants their picture drawn, I just look at them, and as long as I have the color of their hair and the color of their eyes I can draw them.” When she is finished, the drawings get hung up in the hallways on the second floor. Typically when someone asks her to draw a picture, they give Shirley what she will need to complete it. “Most people that want my art have just gone and got me some art material. Then I give them the picture when I’m done.” She has also put a few drawings upstairs on the third floor and some folks take their pictures home.

Shirley likes drawing because it helps pass the time. When she is looking for something new to draw, she picks something pretty and then just goes for it. Among her current collections of drawings are Tinkerbell, Batman and some festive pictures like Rudolph and Christmas stockings. She said that if she were to draw a famous person she would choose Elvis Presley.

Shirley likes taking requests as well, but her favorite things to draw are butterflies, flowers, trees, ponds, lakes and people. “It takes about 20 minutes for me to sit down and draw a whole picture and color it.” Shirley is present in other activities at the nursing home and enjoys participating with other residents in games in the afternoons. “I like to go to activities. I can draw in the activity room at the tables.” She said there is usually something planned to do in the afternoons in the activity room and there she can visit with everyone and draw if she pleases. Shirley loves to talk about her art and is thankful to have a hobby to keep her busy.