By redcurls November 28, 2011
When I was diagnosed with MS I had lost most of the vision in one eye with Optic Neuritis and the dizziness was frightening having to drive on a busy highway each day to work. There were times I couldn’t tell if my car had stopped or not and working with abused mothers and their children I was always afraid of running over a child coming or going from my office. I got my sight back but started a long relapsing and remitting, in and out of the hospital experience. I had been very active in writing and illustrating my stories for the children that I worked with. I taught art classes to encourage their creativity. I had begun getting ready for my own art showing but felt like I would never be able to paint or sketch again. I went to sleep with tears, I had closed the door to my art studio with paintings half finished. I couldn’t handle the small details of my painting anymore. I dreamed that I saw myself painting and I was painting to music …it was SO REAL. I awoke and went into my studio at midnight and took out a black canvas (for that is how i saw my life) and began a new kind of art, a way of showing feeling on canvas…I painted the music I had heard in my sleep and a new beauty came out of me a different way of painting and beauty began to come out of the darkness that I felt and the canvas came alive.
I started painting on black and used vibrant colors to paint feelings and emotions. The black canvas represented the MS and my life but the colors shouted out in the middle of the darkness I AM ALIVE…I MATTER… I STILL HAVE SOMETHING TO GIVE … THERE IS BEAUTY IN THIS DARKNESS I LIVE AND IT IS UP TO ME TO FIND AND SHARE THAT…I paint now and those who buy my art mention the emotions they feel when looking at the canvas. I MAY HAVE MS BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE ME… in every painting. I believe that MS set me free to paint in a new way. Living with MS is hard when your eyes and hands don’t always want to cooperate…but sometimes you have to find another way to do the things you love to do. I discovered new brush techniques that aren’t as trying on my grasp and on my fingers…My art has changed just as I have changed…don’t be afraid of having to change the way you may do something, in changing that’s when we discover our greatest triumphs .there is beauty in this darkness called MS and we can overshadow it with who we are and our spirit is vibrant and bright it beckons for others to see and find their way.