Hi, I’m Marilyn!
I am an artist and blogger hoping to inspire and motivate with art and words. In 2013, after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease I began painting and creating art. My background is in business and finance but it became too difficult for me to do the stressful 9 to 5 grind. Art became therapy for me.
I grew up in Newfoundland, Canada, a small island jutting out into the North Atlantic. I was surrounded by beautifully dramatic landscapes and a laid back, simpler way of life that has been the inspiration for numerous artists over the years. Eventually I moved to Vancouver where I married and had the oldest three of my children. After six years on the other side of the country, we decided we wanted to be a little closer to home. We said good bye to the awe inspiring mountains and moved to Labrador. Even though Labrador has nine months of winter and frigid temperatures, it has become home. Our youngest three children were born here and we have made some amazing friends. I also discovered my love of art in this beautiful, frosty land.
What started as a form of therapy for me has become a passion and new direction for my life. Learning to paint and draw with a progressive disability hasn’t been easy. However, it has been fun, humbling, motivating and educational. I am learning so much, not just about art but also about life and how to dodge those lemons it throws your way.
If you are an aspiring artist looking for resources and tips or just someone needing a little motivation or humour to get you through the day, come join me on my journey. I hope to make the trip fun and interesting.
77 thoughts on “About”
I’m sorta kinda a self taught and half taught. artist/elementary school teacher. I’m with 3 auto immune diseases, and acquired Parkinsons and Essential tremors five years ago. God’s funny, on my left side I have Essential Tremors and on my right, I have Parkinsons, at least that’s how it was explained to me. I became depressed because I gradually gave up dancing (legs and balance problems) and drawing and painting because of the tremors.I discovered you and you inspired me to ask an art professor to let me audit his painting class and I did using your ideas. I found I could still paint but not with all the details i like to include. My niece, who is an animator, suggested I go large. I want to try drawing now. I thought digital drawing would be easier. Lol, you should seen me with a digital pen and my Intuo Pro. Reverted to using the mouse. Thank you for your inspiration and returning me to my first love. I’ll be looking for ideas on how to master drawing pencils. I don’t have a website.
I’m sorta kinda a self taught and half taught. artist/elementary school teacher. I’m with 3 auto immune diseases, and acquired Parkinsons and Essential tremors five years ago. God’s funny, on my left side I have Essential Tremors and on my right, I have Parkinsons, at least that’s how it was explained to me. I became depressed because I gradually gave up dancing (legs and balance problems) and drawing and painting because of the tremors.I discovered you and you inspired me to ask an art professor to let me audit his painting class and I did using your ideas. I found I could still paint but not with all the details i like to include. My niece, who is an animator, suggested I go large. I want to try drawing now. I thought digital drawing would be easier. Lol, you should seen me with a digital pen and my Intuo Pro. Reverted to using the mouse. Thank you for your inspiration and returning me to my first love. I’ll be looking for ideas on how to master drawing pencils.
Marilyn, your instruction pages are great! I too deal with physical challenges after having had 2 brain surgeries to help control seizures. I made the choice in 1970 that epilepsy would never stop me. I have been an Occupational Therapist since 1991 and continue to treat clients with developmental disorders. I started taking painting classes when I moved down to Florida and have really enjoyed it so much. I want to further develop my painting skills (to try to sell some of it). I also have a dream of opening up a clinic using art as the treatment modality to help clients with C.P. and those who have had strokes. Your presentation of the mixing of the colors to make “greens” is great. Thanks so much! Maire’
God’s Grace and Blessings over you.🙏
I have swans neck arthritis in both hands. I started painting .7 years ago after coming out of a 3 year coma. I’ve never had any classes but would like toooo. One day
This sounds like a lot more fun than the usual Parkinson’s related sites!. Most of them
are just so damn depressing, I always feel much worse after visiting them. I’d much
rather have some fun. It’s not true that laughter and Parkinson’s can’t coexist!
Just throw a little paint at it and brighten your world!
Love your attitude!! Laughter is definitely the best medicine. 😊
God’s Grace and Blessings over you.🙏
I have swans neck arthritis in both hands. I started painting .7 years ago after coming out of a 3 year coma. I’ve never had any classes but would like toooo. One day
I have a double wammie; a stroke at 67 two years ago and Parkinsons. Medication helps a bit with tremors but need two hands on everything. I was told to use art as therapy. So that’s what I try. However painting with one hand steadying the other is a mission. Straight lines are a no no.
Do you choose any particular subjects to cope?
Hi Steve; I’m so sorry for your double wammie. I find leaning against a table or easel while I paint helps since my upper body shakes too. Using a ruler helps to do semi straight lines although it is trial and error. I am moving away from detailed paintings and doing more abstract or painterly style since they don’t require such precise strokes. I have been experimenting with colored pencils lately and find I have more control while using them. There are many different types of art and the best thing to do is keep experimenting with different mediums and styles until you find what works for you. I hope this helps. 😊
We spoke via email several months back and like you, I have Parkinson’s. I started drawing with graphite about 10 months ago and now taking on colored pencil. Your website has been an inspiration to me. I never did any drawings in the past other than technical drafting. I am an engineer. I believe drawing is a gift from God to help us relax and forget Parkinson’s for awhile.
Thanks for your inspiration,
Hi Lonnie; I am so glad you are enjoying drawing and my site. Yes, drawing and art are a gift we have to help us cope with life. 😊
My Ancestors were from Newfoundland. Last name Mercer. I have been on your site since Covid came around. I am a Disabled Viet Nam Vet. I was a medic, I stepped a mine in 1967. I have PTSD and now cancer.
The reason I am writing is when many Doctor’s prescribed all different drugs, the one drug that keeps calm and not think about my pass, is your website. I have recommended people with the same symptoms to view your page. Please keep up the great work.
Hi Stephen; What a beautiful comment! It made me cry and I am so grateful that I can be of help to others. It is what keeps me going every day. It saddens me that you have to go through so much. I wish you peace, health and happiness and thank you so much for visiting my site and recommending it to others. Take care ❤️
Hi Marilyn , I really enjoyed reading everything that you have posted ,and I love your work ,I have survived Cancer three times, I started to learn to paint a few years ago ,I had a fantastic teacher for watercolor painting and now I am painting Acrylic and I love it ,but I have a lot to learn. You are giving me a positive outlook to keep going. THANK YOU
You are certainly a determined lady. I am so glad you are enjoying my website and it is encouraging to you. Thank you for your kind words. 😊
Hi Marilyn, I am honored that your invitation was on my email. You surely are an inspiration to us older folks who want to stretch our abilities with art. I am 80 years young and have been working in art since i went to Girl Scout camp. I really want the information the Tremblers Club offers. My husband is dying of Pancreatic cancer and so I have time on my hands that need to be filled with happy things.
I love drawing with pencil, charcoal, and pastels. Again many thanks for reaching out to me and giving me hope and happiness.
Hi Marilyn. I am very new to the club, just today I was accepted. I feel very honored to have found the invitation in my email. I am 80 years young and am taking care of my dear husband who has Pancreatic cancer and has had it for 17 months. I visit him daily but have spare time on my hands which I keep busy drawing various sketches. I love the texture I can get from just a simple pencil. Anyway I am honored to join with all the other artists and hope to do well. Oh yes I live in Montana USA. Many thanks, Jeanne
Dear Marilyn, thank you so much for sharing your experience. And your story. All the best.
Thanks for sharing your journey with us
As a young artist it’s truly inspiring to connect with others in this niche
Though for me it has been overwhelming making Art a career choice it’s definitely brought healing to my soul
Reading your article has given me renewed inspiration so thanks again!
Hi Alvina, Thank you! I am glad you have made a career from art. I am sure you will be very successful. Good luck and best wishes. 😊
I just finished reading notes to Marilyn. I am astounded how many people are finding art in our “senior years” I too am now 82 years old and found art! Although I was exposed to art earlier, I did not pursue it. Now I find it extremely interesting and there are so many resources available on the internet! The internet is a whole other subject! I have a love/hate
relationship with it, but that is the way of the world now.
I turned to the internet when we were quarantined, and found so many opportunities to
do something I find interesting,
These stories are amazing to me seeing what people can do with all of their health problems. It really makes me want to try harder to learn to paint. I am 80, but I am like some of the others that I have always wanted to learn. I am doing pretty good with my painting, but not trying to draw yet. I meet with a group of ladies that paint and they are teaching me. This is really helping me to relieve my stress one day a week. I have a sitter to stay with my husband, who has Parkinson’s and is in a wheelchair. He has had this since 2015 and now he is beginning to get Dementia so this helps me get out of the house. Enjoy and Admire you and all of these ladies.
I just found this site tonight and I have really enjoyed reading all of the notes people have sent to you. My husband has Parkinson and is in a wheelchair all of the time. I have always wanted to paint. Now that we can’t get out and go, I am taking painting lessons with a small group and I love it and the fellowship with others. This is therapy for me and has really helped me to relieve my stress. May God bless you with your health problems as you continue to inspire others through your art.
Thanks Kelly. 😊
Hey, this is really interesting – that so many turn to art to deal with or distract from something potentially debilitating. You won’t be surprised if I say, ‘me too’. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s around the same time as you, Marilyn. I was in my 40s (now 56). I live in country New South Wales in Australia and trained as an art teacher. Nothing like teaching something to drain the enthusiasm for it. To stay sane, I studied Biology and Law and am now doing a PhD in genetics and privacy law. However, with the Parkinson’s (or was it the drugs prescribed to control it?) I renewed my interest in art. In fact, I noticed that while I can’t write at all well, I can draw intricate, detailed stuff with the same left hand! Not only that, I’m starting to use my right hand to draw and paint. There’s a neurological study in there somewhere. I studied art therapy in my art education degree well over 35 years ago and now, I think I’m understanding it! I’ve also noticed that the two-dollar stores in my town have expanded their art supply range significantly since COVID. Art is not really an optional extra – it’s essential.
Hi Jennifer. What an interesting and inspiring story you have! I have read a few studies indicating that the Parkinson’s medication stimulates creativity. However, I haven’t taken any medication for a few years so maybe there is a residual effect. 😊 The meds did not work well for me so I took courses in neurology, biology and nutrition and tweaked my diet and exercise so that my symptoms are manageable. I am right handed but most of my symptoms are on my left side. You have inspired me to try using my left hand for drawing, right now I can’t even lift a coffee cup with it. You are right it would make an interesting study! Art is still the best therapy for me and I am glad you are finding renewed interest it it. I recently came across a web site in the UK that promotes the benefits of art for people with Parkinson’s and helps to raise funds for Parkinson’s research. They have wonderful displays of art and writing by people with Parkinson’s. Here is the link if you are interested. https://www.parkinsonsart.co.uk/ I hope you continue to enjoy art and congratulations on your PhD! 😊 Please keep in touch. email@example.com
I’m a huge fan of art ever since 4 and want to take it up as my future career. I have always found interest in the ideas I want to put on papet,only that I sometimes can’t figure out how. I love your tips, they help me so much in my art projects, also I love the way you are continuing with a goal, most people I know would just sink into depression. You are an amazing person. Keep inspiring everyone who comes across this page
Hi Sharu; Thank you and good luck with your art career. 😊
Hi Jennifer,I have adult ADHD and prescribed meds to increase my dopamine levels which really makes me creative and have read previously that this is a common theme with children who have had uncontrollable bad behaviour and when medicated are very creative and calm. Am I right to believe that parkinsons is also a lack of dopamine and it is the meds you are prescribed that may help with creativity, I always thought it was just that I could concentrate more but now I understand its an increase in dopamine that helps with my creativity. Sorry if I’m rambling 🙏 and I hope this made sense keep up the good work – Matt
Started painting (again after 65 yrs) two months after my 82nd birthday. That was two years ago and today i finished my 159th painting. Unfortunately, all but one show has been postponed till next year…looking forward to 2021.
That’s wonderful Bradley! You are such an inspiration. Hopefully the world will right itself soon and you can get back to doing shows. Happy painting! 😊
I am a 46-year-old young man with a learning disability. My mom inspires continue my education at Cambrian College In Sudbury. Am I too old to continue my career as an artist?
I thought at 47 that I was too old to go back to art. It was and still is my God given talent, but because I didn’t believe in me I went into another profession. Art continued as my therapy on especially trying days. I was given a note by my daughter who took my art to show to art consultant from the Chicago and asked the question I never had the courage to ask, “Does my mom have talent, could she make a living from her art” The note said Grandma Moses started painting at 75. So no it is never too late.
This is so great as I am late to this art thing and was intimidated to start. I am 77. I have wanted to paint all my life. As life goes we don’t always have the luxury of doing what we desire. This hits all my basic questions and are well explained. This is just what I needed to take the fear of what to do and jump start me. This will be fun! Many thanks and best to you.
Thank you for sharing and inspiring so many of us. I am 71 yrs old. I’ve done some type of drawing or painting since I was a young kid. I was recently diagnosed with a mild case of Lupus.
So to read how so many are persevering
it certainly encourages me. I want to use
my God-given talent to the utmost. Thanks so much .
I have Lupus, Chiari Malformation, and a form of seizures and often art is my therapy and it is my way of relaxing and finding calm within. Thank you for your input and honesty, not to mention your art expertise. I look forward to communicating with you.
I was reading in tears because I see myself in your story… Been suffered with depression and Art became a therapy for me at first. Then I figured out my love and passion for Art grow faster, I decided to do it professionally till now. Thank you for sharing with me and others your story and all helpful sources here.
Love and Blessings!!!
This is. The first time have joined anything like this. Enjoyed reading all the uplifting comments. Now 77 years, started teaching myself and opened a shop as a means to earn income to support my family after a terminal diagnosis for my husband. In 1976. He lived 35 years with multiple ops. And amputations. I have always just forged ahead to fulfil the plan for me. I painted in oils for 15 years and the rest in acrylics. Love both. Recently bought over $200.00 water mixable oils, (last year.) Just tried to use and highly allergic to them. Forgot I was to oils. Going to put them up for sale at a good price. I am happiest, if I can paint 1 1/2 hours a day. Two times if possible. (Health issues,) Just to give away for enjoyment. I have never had an opportunity for lessons. Wish i did. Always open to learning everyday. Thank you so much and best wishes to everyone with issues to deal with. Life is good.
I very much enjoy painting with acrylics, but am just getting back into it after two years away. I, too, now have some shaking issues, which have progressed in the last two years. We’ll see how it goes. I may have to modify my style. Whatever, I’ll be glad to paint.
Reading other comments on this website gives me hope and confidence to get back to it. Thanks!
Ii love your intro it has really made me want to get up right now and go paint i love painting i can draw a little but not to much i shakr to bad so i use a projector or tracing paper alot and honestly if I didn’t tell anyone they would never know some people call it cheating but I don’t look at it that way i mean after all just getting a outline on a canvas is just 1% of the painting i do all the rest of the work and i enjoy iti was reading some of your other techniques and I just want to say thank you so much
Hi Missy; Thank you so much for your kind comments! I am glad you were inspired. I hope you continue to use whatever means necessary to create. Don’t pay any attention to the so called “rules”. There are no rules in creating. Just do what makes you happy. 😊
Hi Marilyn, I have just learned way more from your lessons than I have in quite a while. Very grateful, just a beginner with health issues a well, Fibtomyalgia, as well as other ailments. I get bad muse & tendon ’spasms’ so do what I can day to day. I am enjoying learning how to paint very much 😍it has opened up a whole new world for me I am do delighted by it!
You are a wonderfully clear communicator, you have added a wonderful quality to my journey! I thank you so much 💐❣️🙏🙏🌈🌈
Thank you Karen 🙂 I am glad you found the information helpful. Happy painting! 🙂
I also have Parkinson’s so far it hasn’t stopped me from drawing and painting
.It is what keeps me sane. My kids are all grown up but my baby is an English Bulldog.
Hi, Marilyn. I am from South Africa. Like your ideas and info.
Love to paint. Keep me busy.
Hi Vicki: Thank you so much. I am glad you enjoy painting. 🙂
I love that, “there are no rules in creating.” I need to do something creative every day.
Thanks for sharing interesting insightful real experiences. Life is to learn from one,s own as well as others experiences.
I picked up my brush after 30odd years of working as an educationist. I’m 60plus and enjoy dabbling in colours on paper as well as on canvas.
I have 6 children as well (one who’s name is Marilyn as well) and have some struggles health wise. I’m only 32 and I have lupus, fibromyalgia, and with these two diseases the list goes on and on and on. I was wondering if you would like to maybe email me…
I could really use some of your positive energy right now in my life. You see part of the lupus is scleroderma which is has been such a painful process to go through… I’ve been using art to try to work through the pain… That way my children get to spend time with me as well as me trying to look “normal”. Anyway, I actually had opened an art center where I live for adults with special needs where I taught music(singing, acting, dancing, piano, cello), dance, art(watercolors, oils, acrilic, pouring, spash, window, etc), photography, etc….
We had a lot of fun.
Anyway let me know if you’d like to stay in touch. Thanks
I am an 88 year old retired RN midwife, and was widowed 7 years ago. Ten years earlier, faced with a terminal illness on my husbands part, we packed up and moved to Mexico where I began to teach English, crochet and knitting in the public school system. All went well until last year when the politicians decided they wanted no outsiders teaching in their schools. HOOKAY…
Went online and found that Panama was wide open, so went down and spent this February, and found to my delight that the government was most amenable to my teaching both English and needlework in the public schools, and furthermore was elated that I would open prenatal clinics on the Ngobe indian reservation.
All this, despite the ” essential tremors” which have reared their heads. So while I am preparing to emigrate once again, I am painting once again, which I hadn’t done since my college days when I used oils.
Just wanted to say congratulations and keep plugging along. God has given us all a given span of time, and my own conviction is that we are not using it well, if we don’t utilize it for the general benefit.
Thank you. I hope life is good to you from here on and the painting helps. 🙂
I am at 80-year-old grandma with 21 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren after taking care of my husband for 11 years I retired and have taken To painting starting with pastels oil and now recently have taken up acrylic fluid art and enjoy it tremendously I have an Amputee in assisted-living that that is my hobby at the present time do I have any and I think that I will really enjoy your side God bless you and thank you so much for your inspirationp amputee in assisted-living that that is my hobby at the present time so I have many and I think that I will really enjoy your site God bless you and thank you so much for your inspiration
Hi Marilyn, I am a brand new
Subscriber with Parkinson’s also. I have been diagnosed for 8 years or so. No tremors but I cannot walk without medication. I am 62 with 3 grandchildren who live far away. I sew, draw, make jewelry, and am taking every paint class I can afford as painting challenges me the most.
Looking forward to more useful info from you.
Hi Charlotte; Sorry that you have to join the Parkinson’s club but very glad you are keeping active. I have found that to be one of the keys to staying well. I walk with a cane for balance and have a left sided tremor. Painting is definitely a challenge but I think challenges keep us going. I hope you enjoy my site and feel free to ask questions and make suggestions. 🙂
I don’t have Parkinson’s but I have essential trembling on both hands I like to paint but somedays it gets really hard.How do you manage the sheikins?
What an amazing person you are. You sweat the happiness and love of your homeland which we had the pleasure to visit in 2011. From Gatineau (Qc) through Qc, NB, NS, Newfoundland, Labrador and St-Pierre et Miquelon (France), we have made one of the best road trips. We met extraordinary people there and discovered magical landscapes. Unfortunately, I did not paint at that time. Now retired, I started acrylic painting courses just over ten moths. Although everything in the art world appealed to me, I did not have enough confidence to get started.
One day I thought it’s now or never and then I registered for this acrylic painting courses on canvas and even if I learn slowly, it became one of my great passions. Your story touches me a lot and encourages me to pursue my dreams. A huge thank you for the generous sharing of your experience, your knowledge. I wish you health to enjoy more beautiful days.
Thank you so much Suzie. I am so glad you enjoyed your trip. I am sure it gave you lots of great memories and pictures to fuel your painting. You obviously love painting so I know you will make amazing artwork. I look forward to seeing it.
Hi Dee , You are a lovely person sharing your expriences, I appreciate a lot.
I ‘m 71 …..a Granny and enjoy painting.
Art is a real Therapy.
Wish you a Good Health.
Thank you so much Marie. You are right, art is excellent therapy. Happy painting. 🙂
I just came across your wonderful site and imagine my surprise when I read that you’re an artist with Parkinson’s (and a fellow Canadian!) I was diagnosed in 2016. Art has been my passion all my life but even more so since my diagnosis. The ‘gift’ of Parkinson’s has actually pushed me to paint and create like never before…to seize the moment and tap into my creativity…,every day. Thank you for inspiring us, sharing your art, your writing and your story.
Thank you for your kinds words. I am glad you are enjoying my website. Sorry you have been “gifted” with this disease as well but I am glad you are finding the positives in the experience. I have always done some type of art or craft but I had never actually painted on canvas before my Parkinson’s diagnosis. Isn’t it amazing how life can steer you to the things you didn’t know you would love doing? 🙂
I ran across your site by learning appropriate signature methods.
While I was scrolling through the informative information, I started reading your messages and noticed you do respond and the testimonies were so touching!
Also, I was inspired about your paint journey as well as others, just lifted me in such a way that I thought I would send you a lengthy note in appreciation and thanks.
I have been inspired even more by your article, since so many have found the love for painting later in life.
I, too, have had a love for some form of art for years, but I never pursuit it as a career or did much with it.
Now, after so many years, I am enjoying canvas painting and learning more about it at the same time.
It is enjoyable and therapeutic!
Thank you so much for your article.
Thank you so much for your beautiful words! I am so glad you found this website helpful. I started this site to encourage others like myself to find joy and peace in painting or any form of art. There is so much in life to explore even when we have limitations. I hope you continue your painting journey and enjoy it more every day. Thank you 😊
I,d love to learn trembling art.
Hi Marilyn, I have an essential tremor. I initially caught your studio name. I love it! I too struggle with many aspects of painting but I’ve learned to make it work. I was never into drawing or painting, I began just over a year ago. I am slowly learning so much and have a long list of commissioned pieces waiting to fulfill. Mostly commissioned by family and friends but I had no idea that I could do this…until I tried. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you Teresa. Painting with a tremor isn’t easy but the challenge is worth it. I am so glad you discovered a love for painting and I admire your determination. 🙂
I am a retired grandma, I enjoy painting and woodworking. Just learning both and have so much to learn. You have a lot of the information that i am interested in. shading, highlighting, color mixing. without mud.
Hi Dee. Thank you and I am glad you are enjoying my site. 🙂 I do woodworking as well although not so much now. Sharp saws and Parkinson’s are not a good match. lol
I loved your intro as I can identify with you.I am a retired doctor with early Parkinson’s,a grandma with three grandsons and love painting! Though a little trained ,art is great as therapy
Thank you Jayashri! Welcome to my website. I hope you find some useful information here. 🙂
Hi Marilyn. I was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s Fusease 16 years ago and started painting shortly afterwards. I just had a feeling that I wanted to paint. I remembered I had taken all of my sisters art supplies from her house after she died of cancer 8 yeats earlier. So I dug out her toll paints and Went to the dollar store and bought an 8×10 canvas and did a painting of a sailboat on a beach. Put it on facebook to show my other 3 sisters my big accomplishment. And someone on facebook offered me $50 for it. That was back in 2014. I have sold thousands of dollars worth of paintings since then and have my work in 5 craft stores and tourist places, wineries etc. And still selling from home and facebook. Who knew?
That’s awesome Sheri! 🙂
I have been painting for years and stopped after the death of my husband.
Having five back surgeries, Neuropothy in my hands makes it difficult to hold a brush but I manage.
Life is great!
Hi Bessie. Love your attitude! I have had to modify some of my techniques over time too and I guess I will continue to do so. Makes the artwork more interesting I guess. 🙂
I am 71 and still working part time. I have been taking acrylic painting lessons at the local Senior Center for about a year now … and want to get better at acrylics, also I make jewelry. I love your signature!
I,too, have Parkinson’s and a friend suggested I paint. Art was never a strong suit for me, but here I am a year or so later actually putting paint on canvas. Some of it isn’t half bad..the others I simply gesso and start over???