February Artist of the Month

MSAA’s Artist of the Month features the work of many talented artists affected by multiple sclerosis as part of our annual MSAA Art Showcase. Each month we share these artists’ inspiring stories and beautiful artwork with you as our Artist of the Month. This month, we celebrate Carmella Certion as February’s Artist of the Month. Carmella is from Philadelphia, PA.

Reine du Carnaval by Carmella Certion
“Reine du Carnaval”

About the Artist – Carmella Certion

I am an artist, gerontologist, and marriage and family therapist currently living with MS. It all began with a simple painting of a cat for my granddaughter’s room, after I gave it a mini-makeover last summer during the pandemic. I mostly paint abstracts, land, and cityscapes and I’ve only taken one class. My studio is located in my Philadelphia, PA bedroom where I mostly paint in bed due to a plethora of health challenges. I find painting relaxing and it also helps ward off depression and anxiety, which I suffer from periodically. I love to use bright colors, geometric shapes and texture in my work and my philosophy is simple: Art should be fun!”

To see more about Carmella and the rest of our artists, please visit our Art Showcase. 

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Karen Bloom – October 2022 Artist of the Month

Karen Bloom artist with MS painting of deer entitled “Northwood Majesty”
Northwood Majesty
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Eileen Figueroa – September 2022 Artist of the Month

Each year, we feature the work of artists affected by multiple sclerosis in our annual MSAA Art Showcase. We receive many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share the work of these artists and their inspirational stories with you, including highlighting one artist each month as our Artist of the Month. This month, we are proud to feature artist Eileen Figueroa of Houston, TX:

Eileen Figueroa MS Artist's artwork of two people salsa dancing in front of a band in a painting
“Dancing Salsa”

About the Artist – Eileen Figueroa

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Hannah Garrison – August 2022 Artist of the Month

Each year, we feature the work of artists affected by multiple sclerosis in our annual MSAA Art Showcase. We receive many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share the work of these artists and their inspirational stories with you, including highlighting one artist each month as our Artist of the Month. This month, we are proud to feature artist and MSAA’s Improving Lives Benefit 2022 Mission Honoree Hannah Garrison of San Antonio, TX:

Hannah Garrison artwork in turquoise and orange entitled "Wonder what this is?" for MSAA's Artist of the Month
“Wonder what this is?”

About the Artist – Hannah Garrison

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Jeffrey McKeever – July 2022 Artist of the Month

Each year, we feature the work of artists affected by multiple sclerosis in our annual MSAA Art Showcase. We receive many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share the work of these artists and their inspirational stories with you, including highlighting one artist each month as our Artist of the Month. This month, we are proud to feature artist Jeffrey McKeever of Phillipsburg, NJ:

Jeffrey McKeever artwork entitled Love on the Savannah featuring two giraffes in the wild
“Love on the Savannah”

About the Artist – Jeffrey McKeever

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Midsummer Eve

Perhaps it’s the illuminating glow of light… or maybe even the circle of fairies, this ‘Midsummer Eve’ painting by Edward Robert Hughes has always fascinated me.  The scenery depicts a fairy tale world, a mythical goddess sprinkled with flowers, surrounded by little winged creatures. I like to believe she is singing a song of summer and the fairies are singing along. It reminds me of the bedtime lullabies my mother and grandmother sang to me as a little girl. Moreover, this painting has proven that even as an adult, my imagination is just as powerful.

Research shows this piece of artwork references the belief that barriers between the fairytale world and the world as we know it, were thinner at “midsummer”, allowing mythical spirits to enter our world. This created a phenomenon that if you entered the woods on a midsummer evening, then you would encounter fairies and mystical creatures.

This phenomenon was often viewed as sinister, but starting in the nineteenth century, fairies acquired a much more likeable reputation. The artist, Hughes, contributed to the shift in this attitude, redefining this folklore with his use of golden lights, warm tones, and soft pastels.  

Today, this painting is known as enchanting and charming, reminiscent of a more magical and distant life.

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An Ode To Mothers

A picture does indeed speak a thousand words. This artwork by Mary Jane Q. Cross is a powerful depiction of the relationship shared by an aging mother and her daughter. It portrays the content smile on the mother’s face and the daughter’s gentle embrace but what is more evident is a bond that is built on friendship and trust. Like old wine, this foundation between mothers and daughters gets stronger and the hearts grow fonder as the years pass by.

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Art perception

What is it about artwork that catches our attention? Is it the colors? Or maybe the artist’s story. As an art newbie, I don’t have knowledge of the proper technical skills or techniques. I don’t know what makes a piece of art great. I have minimal understanding of the intricacies of painting, but what I do know is how it makes me feel.

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David Desjardins – June 2022 Artist of the Month

Each year, we feature the work of artists affected by multiple sclerosis in our annual MSAA Art Showcase. We receive many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share the work of these artists and their inspirational stories with you, including highlighting one artist each month as our Artist of the Month. This month, we are proud to feature artist David Desjardins of Union, ME:

David Desjardins artwork entitled Summer Sail on the Lake as MSAA's June 2022 Artist of the Month
“Summer Sail on the Lake”

About the Artist – David Desjardins

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Color Your Way to Happiness

Investing in a hobby welcomes joy, happiness, and relaxation into our lives. Having a hobby allows you to take a break from your day-to-day routine and carve out time to devote to yourself. Hobbies keep you in the moment, drifting your mind away and focusing on an activity that you love. Not only do purposeful activities add joy to our lives, but they are known to improve mood, mental clarity, and our overall well-being.

Art is a wonderful outlet for self-expression and creativity. Sketching is a hobby I enjoy when I need to unwind and decompress. With soft, mellow music playing in the background, my brain enters a meditative state and I feel relaxed. Being hyper-focused on the drawing allows for creative and open-ended thinking.

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