Painting away the pain
My MS can’t silence my artistic voice.
by LaShonda Scott Robinson
When I was a teenager, I received a watercolor set. I didn’t know it at the time but that gift would become my saving grace.
To me, crying is considered a weakness. So, as a woman, I try never to show vulnerability.
One night I was just overwhelmed with emotion. I wanted to cry but the tears would not come.
I thought, “How can I get this pain out of me?” And my soul whispered, “Paint it.” So, I took that watercolor set out and began to paint. All the emotions I had suppressed came to the surface. The canvas cried the tears my eyes refused to shed.
My tears took the form of a female figure. Faceless yet full of raw, vulnerable emotion as well as dignity. I had found my artistic voice.
In 2002, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It affected my motor skills. Although I could not write, my ability to paint was not affected. I was amazed. How could I paint but not write legibly? Then it occurred to me that painting was my gift. And no disability could ever take that away from me.
Before I was diagnosed, I never shared my artwork. It was too personal. But my mom told me that when you receive a blessing, you should share it.
Now I am not ashamed of vulnerability. I paint it boldly on every canvas. Painting is my saving grace. It is a faithful, nonjudgmental confidant. Through art, I can openly cry without shedding a tear. Now, I no longer hide my heart from the world. I paint it boldly on every canvas.
By exhibiting my artwork, I am sharing my blessing.