About the artist
I started "Art For Parkinson's" not for recognition nor as a way to sell more paintings, it is my personal mission to use my talent to donate a portion of the purchase of each painting to help fund Parkinson's research. I hope my story and artwork will be an inspiration to those living with debilitating diseases.
It has been fourteen years since I was diagnosed with Parkinson's and I remember my reaction when I was informed; I had to claw my way through anger and depression. As with several diseases there are three phases, anger, denial and finally acceptance. During my anger period I decided PD wouldn't define me and I would follow the golden rule, "If you don't use it, you lose it.".
Due to the stresses at work my symptoms interfered with my ability to perform my assignments, forcing me into an early retirement. After working for over forty years it was shock to be suddenly hurled into a life without purpose.
Art had always surfaced periodically throughout my life so I decided it was time to focus on my God given talent. In January of 2010 I enrolled in an oil painting class taught by the owner of a small art gallery in Southern Pines, NC. At 62 I had enough life experiences to understand to succeed one must put in the time, and so I promised myself I would try to paint on a daily basis.
Following my work regiment I realized that while painting several of my PD symptoms were reduced, or vanished altogether. After 14 years my medication hasn't changed, although bits and pieces of my body are succumbing to PD, my symptoms are still mild compared to others. Recently the medical community has realized the benefits experienced by patients that become artistically involved.
Some time this summer New York University (NYU) Medical School will be involved in a research project studying the effects of art therapy on those living with Parkinson's. They will be looking for volunteers in and around New York City who can dedicate 14 weeks of their time to attend classes.
I find myself energized by what is happening, so much so that I'm trying to figure out how I can help others to experience the benefits I discovered over ten years ago.
Usually an artist talks about himself and his art accomplishments to convince the art world his paintings are worth purchasing. My story is different, my art is what you see. I have had success along my art journey but PD is making it difficult to compete with my peers so my focus will be on helping others.