Art Has Helped Andrea Harper Heal
For new Anderson Artists Guild member Andrea Harper, art has been intertwined with healing.
Though she’d made quilts from a young age, she felt frustrated when trying to draw. But in her mid-thirties, coming out of a terrible situation, she was encouraged by a counselor to make art as part of her therapy. She created abstract paintings in varied mediums: oils, acrylics, and watercolors.
More recently, when she was very sick for six weeks with COVID, she painted with watercolors, watching YouTube videos to guide her as she captured not only flowers and house plants but also nudes.
She continues to work with acrylics, as well, drawn to using texture paste to make dimensional pieces.
Healing is a part of her professional life, too. Harper has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from USC Upstate. During the bedside part of her career, she worked mostly with the elderly in hospice. But back problems and an assault by a patient forced her to change tracks.
For the past six years, she has worked from home for Medicare Advantage doing utilization review and case management. This involves reading medical records and spending a lot of time on the phone talking to patients, doctors, and facility providers. “When a 95-year-old breaks her hip and she has to go to rehab, I’m the person at the insurance company who looks at the situation and whether the treatment falls under government rules for Medicare,” she said.
In her down time, besides painting, Harper is remodeling the 100-year-old house she just purchased from her parents and transforming her yard into an English cottage garden with edible landscaping.