Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I always wanted to spend these years of my life in more concentrated painting opps. I didn't anticipate the possibility of crippling hands. A few years ago, my hands began to feel the affects of arthritis and now it is affecting my art.

I don’t have much to whine about I realize but… I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself. John Milton lost his sight and feared it would impair his poetic production. He expressed it this way in a poem entitled “On His Blindness.”
When I consider how my light is spent
E're half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide,
Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide

I am not so convinced that my art is my one talent that is critical to my pleasuring God but it saddens me to consider worst case scenarios, living a long time without such an outlet. I fully understand that my obedience to Him is the priority.

Arthritis ('arth' meaning joint, 'itis' denotes inflammation).
I get a kick out of some people's pronunication of the word as 'Arthur-ritis'.

Arthritis actually consists of more than 100 different conditions, from mild forms of tendinitis and bursitis to crippling systemic forms like rheumatoid arthritis. There are pain syndromes like fibromyalgia and arthritis-related disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, that involve every part of the body. There are forms of the disease, such as gout, that almost nobody connects with arthritis, and there are other conditions - like osteoarthritis, the 'wear and tear' arthritis which I have.

My thumb joints constantly ache. Garden and household tasks involve pain which I choose to disregard. Now it's also affecting my drawing and painting.

I don’t want to be regularly ingesting ibuprofens. I bought a fresh attempt at relief? It’s Voltaren. Voltaren is an nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (ointment). Voltaren reduces hormones that cause inflammation and pain. I am not pleased with all the side effects described on the fact sheet.

Milton resolved his issues this way.
Doth God exact day-labour, light denied,
I fondly ask; But patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts, who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best, his State
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o're Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.

I need to get a grip. (tsk,tsk) is a helpful site with tabs for types of arthritis, tips for living well and much more. Provides a description of the ointment called Voltaren.
Both scenes above were taken of me painting in France.


  1. You can stick your hands in heated parafan wax as my mother did which brought a cure or you can opt for the more modern solution - arthritec.Can't live without it.Or do nothing and your art will naturally turn abstract.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thank you for your words of encouragement. My blog has needed attention and has been on the back burner. Not being a writer by profession, i wondered how the writing was perceived. I thank you for your comments, they are precious. I was hoping to retire from teaching art this year and enter full time ministry and have time to paint. Because I would lose my health coverage if I did that and can't afford to buy it, I will continue teaching. In the meantime, I am dealing with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis too. I appreciate your most recent post as I become increasingly llimited in what I can and can't do without pain. Another friend of mine, artist/weaver, is losing her eye sight to macular degeneration. These are issues creative people must come to grips with, however I comfort myself with the thought that one of the great composers, Mozart? was deaf and still created beautiful music. God will make a way where there seems to be no way. (deleted the first comment, too many typos, this is the corrected version)

  4. Murray, thanks for the lead on arthritec. I will look into that.

    Pamela, thanks for writing and for the reminders of God's compensations.