66 Lewis Street, #11
I was born in the small town of Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada, sixth of ten children, but different from my siblings. I have cerebral palsy. The fact that I was handicapped did not assure many hopes for my destiny in terms of my exposure to the outside world. I was a shut-in from the day I was born until I turned 32. During that time at home I discovered alternate ways to express myself in my thoughts and ideas of a sane atmosphere around me. Once my sister had a paint-by-numbers set on the floor close to where I passed most days lying on my back. I dipped my nose in the paint! At eight years old a bright light went on inside my head when the image of a bird appeared on the paper. It started a series of over 900 paintings that I have created over the past 40+ years. The bright colors of my paintings remind me of my rare visits to town at night with my parents and seeing the brilliant lights that excited me. This excitement of colors is still alive in my work today. The water and mountains that are in so many of my paintings express freedom and lack of confinement. The mountains represent the strength that I have in my life. The water is an ever-flowing rush of my dreams. Although my nose paintings seem to amaze people, to me it is just an everyday occurrence in my own unique way of living. My own amazement is seeing people walking around and going about their lives without assistance. In my early years I begged my sisters to write down my thoughts on paper. This happened for a month one time in a school notebook that would be my first written story. Years passed with that story in my mind until I moved to the J. Angus MacDonald Center in Moncton. I got my first typewriter as it was necessary to help me communicate with the staff. Not knowing how to spell, I put words down in letters to match my sounded thoughts, typing every letter with my nose. These thoughts eventually turned into poetry that my teacher at Moncton Community College read. She encouraged me to continue, and I took that encouragement and blended it into four published chapbooks; Deep in Thought, Adventures and Dreams, Island in One’s Heart, and The Matchbox. My objective now is to be a messenger of hope in dreams that can come true with the right attitude about life’s expectations. I want to touch people with my own expectations. I am a strong advocate for the comforts and freedom of disabled individuals with my printed ‘letters to the editor’ appearing in newspapers around New Brunswick.
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artist, 5 x 7 in.
Oil, 18 by 24 in.
digital art from oil, 18 by 24"