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Henri Matisse and Pierre Auguste Renoir were great friends. The story goes that one day, while watching Renoir struggle in pain to apply paint to canvas, Matisse asked his friend, “Auguste, why do you continue to paint when you are in such agony?” Renoir replied, “The beauty remains; the pain passes.”

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis a few years ago and, naturally, this diagnosis would be devastating for an artist. Fortunately, very fortunately, it is very manageable for me right now, with only some stiffness and mild pain upon waking. Once I’ve flexed my fingers, I’m good to go. However, I’ve asked myself many times, “what if it becomes crippling, to the point I can’t paint anymore?”  But you know what? I refuse to allow that possibility to consume me. Others with disabilities far worse than my mild condition overcome great obstacles to continue sharing their beautiful, inspiring work with the world. They are my heroes, a light in dark times. Their beauty remains, and we are the more enriched because of it.

I think that we all have a light, some everyday magic that we can all cultivate to be heroes to someone, somewhere, if we just keep moving and sharing our gifts with the universe. It may be something seemingly insignificant to you, but to someone else, it could mean the world. I hope you’ll find that light or, if you’ve already found it, that you’ll keep pressing on, through adversity, roadblocks, and setbacks. I’ve learned that nothing worth having comes easily, so I continue to paint, paint, paint.

“Everyday Magic”
Abstract mixed media
12″ x 12″