Art imitating life

Full Life staffer’s watercolors capture our COVID reality


Top row: Kristi, Mt. Pleasant, MI; Debbie, Honor, MI; Christeen, Lake Ann, MI; Rebecca, Issaquah, WA; Bottom row: Gabe, Mt. Pleasant, MI; Isabella, Midland, MI; Roberta, Maynooth, Ireland; Kim, Mt. Pleasant, MI

Even in the midst of a pandemic, when every day carries some level of anxiety, there is room for art.

Rebecca Goulder-Greig is making some of that art, turning the generosity of others into personalized portraits that reflect our current COVID-19 reality.

Her watercolors are renderings of friends wearing the face masks they’ve been sewing to donate to various collection efforts. She paints them from photos they’ve sent, mostly Facebook friends and college friends from her days as an art student at Central Michigan University. One is from a high school friend who currently lives in Ireland.

“I’ve been making masks myself to help out and did my own portrait first,” Rebecca said. “Then I asked friends to send me photos of them in one of the masks they made.

“We’re encouraging people to help where they can. This is something I can do to try to brighten the day.”

Rebecca works for Full Life as a Lead Home Care Supervisor. She’s a former Home Care Aide herself, and when she talks every day to the Aides caring for clients in their homes, she knows what they’re going through. They’re our front line workers.

Rebecca Goulder-Greig and her watercolors

“I know some of them worry about the risk they’re taking,’ just being out in the community,” Rebecca said. “I have an immense amount of respect for what they’re doing. They’re very inspiring to me.”

Rebecca has more photos to render into portraits, and then she’s got a plan.

“My hope with this project is to get copies of paintings and send to the mask makers themselves, and eventually put them together and show them as a collection. I think it could be very powerful to see them all together in one place.”

The Irish poet Oscar Wilde said life imitates art far more than art imitates life. Rebecca seems to be proving that.

If you’re a volunteer mask maker and would like to donate a photo, contact Full Life Volunteer Programs Supervisor Jessica Chin at