When I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I thought it was the end of my ability to live a normal life. MS simply opened a new chapter
in my life. Besides my wife Dorothy, art is the most important thing to me. When I paint, I am not disabled…I am an artist. Art gives me reason
and purpose. I am inspired to continue to paint when I see the reaction and emotion drawn from someone who has seen the beauty of life
through one of my paintings.
My path to becoming an artist was not originally part of my lifelong plan. Upon graduation from High School, my art teacher recognized my art
ability. Because of her encouragement and her recommendation; I was awarded a full scholarship to the School of Visual Arts in New York
City. I attended and graduated from the School of Visual Arts majoring in fine arts. I studied the masters, and I am still inspired by their works.
During the last five years, I adapted to physical changes due to Multiple Sclerosis. Unable to paint with my natural right hand, I retrained myself
to paint with my unnatural left hand. The transition from right handed painting to left handed painting creates looseness in my watercolor
paintings that appear impressionistic.
|My earlier paintings were more defined. In the past several years, I developed a tremor in
my hands that at times makes holding the brush difficult. I will often alternate from left-
handedness to right-handedness when fatigue is a factor. So in actuality, my artwork has
made a transformation of an impressionistic nature that I am quite satisfied with.
How has art transformed me? I really never thought about it until I received an invitation
to the “Transformation International Juried Exhibit for Artists with Disabilities” at the
John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center in Washington D.C.. Art has enabled me to see
with my heart. I paint not only with my brush, watercolors, and canvas but with what I
feel inside…that’s my most important instrument.
I would be a different person had I not become disabled. Perhaps I would have excelled in
something physical, pushing my body to its limits. But what makes me come alive is
challenging my creative ability, and thanks to art, I really like who I am today. Art has
transformed me into so much more than someone with a disability. Art has given me
wings to fly…. And I use these wings to soar through myimagination, to create a moment
in time on my canvas.
In July, 2002, an enabling garden for physically challenged gardeners was dedicated in my
name. The creation of the garden was made possible by a generous grant from the Berlex
Drug Company, and a program called "Champions of Courage". Volunteers of the Floyd
Bennett Garden Association in Brooklyn New York worked tirelessly to complete the
construction of the garden.
View the opening ceremony and dedication of the wheelchair accessible garden by clicking on the sign that adorns the entrance to the garden for gardeners with special