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Participant Information

Raymond Fleming

City:
Madison
State:
WI
Country:
USA
Essay:

I like to paint watercolor portraits of relatives and friends.

But, Parkinson's disease charges me a high price for trying to be too careful, for trying to make a photo-realistic portrait. After about 30 minutes of this kind of painting, I have a stomach ache (abdominal tension) from the stress.

As an experiment, I painted my granddaughter, Beth, without my usual perfectionism handcuffs on. I made no preliminary pencil sketch -- I just held long acrylic brushes at full length, squeezed out the blobs of color from just a few tubes (a limited color scheme), and painted her directly onto the canvas board. Perfection wasn't invited to this party. This kind of artwork is fun and loose.

It was completed pretty quickly and I've been told it looks more like her, the real her, than most of my more careful portraits. Parkinson's disease can't stop this kind of painting enjoyment.