October 2017 Artist of the Month: Celebrating the Work of Artists Affected by Multiple Sclerosis

MSAA is very proud to present our 2017-18 Art Showcase – celebrating the work of artists affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).

We have received many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share their work and their stories with you. Please visit our online gallery to view all of the new submissions.

Laura Patchen – Pittsford, NY
Hurd Orchards
Laura Patchen - Hurd Orchards

About the Artist:
“I have been diagnosed with MS since 1998, and stopped working because of it in 2005. I began painting around 2010, looking for something to do that would make me feel like I had accomplished something. I enjoy painting immensely. It gives me joy and reminds me of places I’ve visited.

One of the wonderful things about painting is that when I become tired, I can put it aside and go back to it another day when I have more energy. I know that eventually, I will finish what I’ve started – it just might take me a little bit longer than I’d like.”
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October 2017 Artist of the Month: Celebrating the Work of Artists Affected by Multiple Sclerosis

MSAA is very proud to present our 2017-18 Art Showcase – celebrating the work of artists affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).

We have received many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share their work and their stories with you. Please visit our online gallery to view all of the new submissions.

Karen Bloom – Kendallville, IN
Scarecrow in Cabbage Patch
Karen Bloom - Scarecrow in a Cabbage Patch

About the Artist:
“I was diagnosed with MS in 2008 and was a paraplegic within a year. Because my legs were affected so drastically, I expected the same of my arms/hands and sold my piano and gave away all of my oil painting supplies and most of the artwork I loved.

I received a service dog a year ago and began venturing back out into the world and taking risks, including trying painting again. It turns out I should not have given up on my artwork for over six years. My hands are still mine!”
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September 2017 Artist of the Month: Celebrating the Work of Artists Affected by Multiple Sclerosis

MSAA is very proud to present our 2017-18 Art Showcase – celebrating the work of artists affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).

We have received many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share their work and their stories with you. Please visit our online gallery to view all of the new submissions.

Jennifer Attwood – Parker, CO
Bears
Jennifer Atwood - Bears

About the Artist:
“My life really took a turn sideways in 2007 diagnosis with MS!

I have written and illustrated a children’s book and I enjoy creatures of the ocean SO much that I have a saltwater aquarium now too. I love to illustrate and paint watercolors because it’s not expensive and gives me a free spirit of letting ALL the pain go too. I am still the girl who had a passion for horses, hiking and fishing, even though I can’t do those things anymore.”
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Creating Relationships with MS

By Laura Kolaczkowski 

When we talk about relationships it’s easy to immediately think of partners, children, and other family members and how our time with them is impacted by our multiple sclerosis.  The twitter hashtag #WeHaveMS rings true because having MS affects everyone in our close family circle.

Then there are other relationships that develop because of our disease – that would include the ongoing contact we have with our care team. Our neurologists, nurses, medical assistances, billing clerks, and everyone else in the MS clinic are people we become familiar with and dependent upon in more than a passing basis, and we develop a long-term relationship with them as well.

As important as our family and our providers are in establishing and maintaining healthy relationships, there is one group that holds more importance than these others – that would be the people who make up the MS community.  People living with MS understand what it’s like to live with this disease, the struggle to make peace with this disease, and how to celebrate and live a full life in spite of this disease.

The relationships I have within the MS community are some of the strongest and most important in helping me to live in a positive way, despite having MS.  I’m fortunate to have made friends, thanks to my MS, who are usually available at any time to stop what they are doing to take my phone call or answer an email.

Many of these friends I have never met in person, but we have that common bond of living with MS that cement our relationships.  More than once my family has looked at me as if I’ve forgotten all the warnings of “stranger danger” and the internet safety while I’ve forged new friendships and comfortable relationships with total strangers.

Being alone with a chronic disease, and particularly with MS, can be bad for us psychologically and often even our physical health can suffer. Creating relationships with others who also happen to live with MS gives us strength in many ways that can’t be measured but is felt deeply. If you don’t already have a special relationship with another person who has MS, I strongly encourage you to join a local support group, an online forum, or even one of the many Facebook groups that focus on multiple sclerosis. Lasting relationships might not develop quickly because those have to be tested over time, but stick with it and I have no doubt you will connect with people of kindred spirit.

*Laura Kolaczkowski was diagnosed with MS in 2008.  She is the co-principal investigator for iConquerMS and the lead patient representative. Her interests have taken her into the world of patient centered research, which is meant to deliver answers that are meaningful to the MS community. She is medically retired from the University of Dayton thanks to her MS, and lives with her husband in Ohio.  She invites you all to join iConquerMS and help solve the mystery of MS.

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January 2017 Artist of the Month: Celebrating the Work of Artists Affected by Multiple Sclerosis

MSAA is very proud to present our 2016-17 Art Showcase – celebrating the work of artists affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).

We have received many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share their work and their stories with you. Please visit our online gallery to view all of the new submissions.

Marion Carney-Howard – Cleveland, OH
Winter Fun
Marion Carney - Winter Fun

About the Artist:
“I’m currently a house wife with three sons and three stepchildren for the past year since taken ill. I’m 48 years young and love art, music, dance as well swimming. I’m not a professional artist and sometimes surprise myself at my ability. I think I get my artistic flare from my dad who was a professional artist and photographer.

My art reflects my inner being. My submission is a memory I had of my sons playing outside with their friends and how much fun they were having. The medium I use is Paint Shop Pro and Polyvore as well acrylics and watercolor.”
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December 2016 Artist of the Month: Celebrating the Work of Artists Affected by Multiple Sclerosis

MSAA is very proud to present our 2016-17 Art Showcase – celebrating the work of artists affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).

We have received many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share their work and their stories with you. Please visit our online gallery to view all of the new submissions.

Paula Breiner – Tamaqua, PA
Snowy
Snowy - Paula Breiner

About the Artist:
“I started painting last August to help strengthen my hand, to better my thinking and concentration. I haven’t drawn or painted since high school back in the 80’s. I find painting to be very relaxing and stress free, which is what an MS’er needs in their life.

I was diagnosed in 2006. My husband is my rock, I don’t know where I’d be without him. I belong to an amazing support group and we have all become family, I love and cherish each of them. We have 2 beautiful daughters and 4 amazing grandkids. I do lots of crafts with my grandkids and we all reap the rewards. I have MS, it doesn’t have me. One day at a time.”
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November 2016 Artist of the Month: Celebrating the Work of Artists Affected by Multiple Sclerosis

MSAA is very proud to present our 2016-17 Art Showcase – celebrating the work of artists affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).

We have received many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share their work and their stories with you. Please visit our online gallery to view all of the new submissions.

Susan Russo – Pearland, TX
Honor and Sacrifice
Susan Russo - Honor and Sacrifice

About the Artist:
“I was diagnosed with RRMS in 2001. This disease has changed my life in an amazing way. Funny how diseases tend to do just that. You either give up or battle on. I choose to battle on.

I’m not perfect. I have rough days. I cry. I get angry. But then, I pick up a paint brush and I start to create whatever I am feeling. I get lost in a beautiful world of lines and shades and colors. The creation of something visually beautiful helps me to refocus on the fact that I am so much more than my MS.”
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October 2016 Artist of the Month: Celebrating the Work of Artists Affected by Multiple Sclerosis

MSAA is very proud to present our 2016-17 Art Showcase – celebrating the work of artists affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).

We have received many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share their work and their stories with you. Please visit our online gallery to view all of the new submissions.

Dani Red Hawk – Greenville, SC
Blood Moon
Dani Red Hawk - Blood Moon

About the Artist:
“My art production is a bit improved over last year. If I could just beat away the fatigue I might really churn some art work out. However, while not always satisfied with each piece, I am most grateful for the completion.

It is such a joy to participate in the MSAA Art Showcase! To my fellow artists: You have brought much inspiration and enjoyment to not only me, but friends who have perused the website. I hope this past year has been a good (or good as can be expected with MS) one for you all.”
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September 2016 Artist of the Month: Celebrating the Work of Artists Affected by Multiple Sclerosis

MSAA is very proud to present our 2016-17 Art Showcase – celebrating the work of artists affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).

We have received many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share their work and their stories with you. Please visit our online gallery to view all of the new submissions.

September Artist of the Month:
Karen Bloom – Kendallville, IN
Fall Leaves

Karen Bloom - Fall Leaves

About the Artist:
“I was diagnosed with MS in 2008 and was a paraplegic within a year. Because my legs were affected so drastically, I expected the same of my arms/hands and gave away all of my oil painting supplies and most of the artwork I loved.

I began venturing back out into the world and taking risks, including trying painting again. It turns out I should not have given up on my artwork for over six years. My hands are still mine!”
Read more

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August 2016 Artist of the Month: Celebrating the Work of Artists Affected by Multiple Sclerosis

MSAA is very proud to present our 2016-17 Art Showcase – celebrating the work of artists affected by MS.

We have received many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share their work and their stories with you. Please visit our online gallery to view all of the new submissions.

August Artist of the Month:
Carol Tomlin – Woodbine, NJ
Summer at Old Faithful Inn 1904

Carol Tomlin - Summer at Old Faithful Inn 1904

About the Artist:
“In 2003 I began stumbling while scouting for deer hunting areas with my husband Clarence. I was soon diagnosed with MS. Hands now shaky, I can no longer enjoy painting and even had to leave my job. With time on my hands I continued to exercise by working the family farm.

Determined to paint again, I had a cabin constructed on the place where my husband and I loved to sit together and watch the wild game in the back yard. There I found the peace I needed to steady my hand and paint again.”
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