Elegant Egret by Karen Bryson

white egret, fence, tall grass

Elegant Egret by Karen Bryson

“When the creative impulse sweeps over you, grab it. You grab it and honor it and use it, because momentum is a rare gift.” ― Justina Chen, North of Beautiful

“I don’t normally do birds,” Karen Bryson reveals. That is until she saw a photograph her daughter-in-law’s mom had taken of an egret on the back deck of the Bay Port Inn. She knew she had to paint this beautiful Florida Nature Coast scene. The undertaking was quite a challenge as she was learning throughout. She admits to raising the bar a little on this one! The awesome result is a 22” by 28” acrylic that required “patience and lots of arm exercise.”

To visit Karen’s interview featured on this blog July 31 go to https://www.parkinsonsmyway.com/2018/07/creative-life-of-artist-with-parkinsons/

Visit her FB page to enjoy or commission art

Dear Parkinson’s Membership Chair

Dear Parkinson’s Membership Chair,

You have done it again!
You have recruited
another new member.
I did not intend to join this group.
Isn’t one million people in the United States
with Parkinson’s enough?
On May 13, 2014,
you officially notified me.
Not you exactly.
But I suspect
you were lurking in the neurologist’s office.
I want to inform you that I will not be an active member.
Take me off all distribution and call lists.
I do not want to be an officer or committee chair.
I do not want any newsletters, emails, or phone calls.
Do not waste your time on wearing me down.
I have a life to live in semi-retirement
and that is what I intend to do.
I will not be defined
by this chronic degenerative disease.
I will invest
in my care today and not
worry about tomorrow.
I will assemble my personal board of stellar advisers:
movement disorder specialist,
physical therapist,
occupational therapist,
massage therapist,
speech therapist,
Tai Chi instructor,
yoga instructor, and
PD support group.
Together, we will heal my Parkinson’s disease day by day.
I will help other recruits.
I will be a beacon.
I will be grateful.
I will pray.
Living and loving life,

Linda A. Mohr

Photo Credit: David Travis

Paint Brush of Time

pastel stone, water

Paint Brush of Time

Its beautiful tints were beyond the reach of human art. ~ 19th Century Painter Thomas Moran

Grandiose, breathtaking, awe-inspiring! These words came to mind when I visited the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. I loved the juxtaposition of the Upper and Lower Falls and multi-colored stone walls. For thousands of years, the chemistry of the rocks has been altered, causing them to rust. The resulting palette is spectacular pastel colors of yellow, red, pink and white. I am grateful to be here for a mere instant to experience this geological natural painting.

Photo Credit:  Linda A. Mohr

Creative Life of Artist with Parkinson’s

palm trees, ocean, beach

Karen Bryson’s Painting on Wood with Left Hand

Woman smiling glasses

Karen Bryson


Karen Bryson discovered her talent for art when she was four years old. She loved to draw and color she recalls. “It took me to another place. Art always, and still is, my happy place.” She grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania. She and her husband raised three children in Upstate New York. Living on the Gulf Coast of Florida now, she is inspired by palm trees and beaches. Her three children and soon-to-be six grandchildren are occasional muses.


woman holding baby

Mother and Child Watercolor of daughter, Amy and granddaughter, Paige

She is also inspired by another unexpected force to continue to paint. When she was fifty-seven, she discovered she has Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative neurological disorder with no cure. “When I was first diagnosed, I thought about not being able to do art with my right hand which tremors. So I decided that day to start using my left hand.” Three years later Karen can paint with both hands. Although she still does fine detail work with her right hand when it cooperates, she is training her left hand to do fine detail as well. Still another proactive approach is learning to finger paint with both hands.

art studio desk art suppllies

Karen’s Studio–Her Happy Place, Her Safe Place

Because PD symptoms  often feel out of Karen’s control, art is still one thing that feels in her control. She describes her small studio in her house as “her happy place, her safe place.” One of her favorite paintings is a watercolor of her grandmother adorning her studio and making her feel good every time she looks at it.

She does not keep structured hours in her studio, just when the mood hits her. Since PD, the mood is often. “Having PD has been a blessing when it comes to my artwork. I don’t know why it’s happening, but my mind is filled with ideas. There has been a creativity explosion. I am driven to create. When I am in that zone, it’s hard to contain it. It’s hard to sit with hubby and watch television when I have ideas swirling around.”

bird cage, bottle

Flea Market Finds–Art Inspiration


One idea swirling around was to do something besides painting that incorporated using wire. As Pablo Picasso said, “The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.” Karen collects items from flea markets and yard sales that catch her eye and keeps them in her studio.

One day she was playing around with different pieces to see what would fit together. “When I placed the inverted wire cage on top of the glass bottle, ‘She’ popped into my mind. I have no other explanation. I had to determine how to secure all of it. I also wanted to use the framework for a  papier-mâché head, so that took more thought.”

Karen finds these kinds of little side projects quite fulfilling and great brain food. Her customers love them too.

ecccentric woman, wire hat with flowers blue bottle for body, wire frame glasses

Mrs. Doubtwire

Karen has a talent for connecting with others through her art. While motorcycling, Karen and her husband encountered by happenstance a man who had kayaked out to a remote island and spent the night. After sharing some photographs of the sunset he had taken from the island, Karen asked if she could use one as a reference for a painting. He later sent a photo, and she created a watercolor. In the meantime, she discovered he was a police officer with many years on the force. So she sent him the painting as her way to pay it forward in appreciation for his service. “The painting belonged on his wall, not mine.”

“The most awesome experience I can have as an artist is to see how my art touches someone’s heart,” she says. Recently she painted two dogs that perished in a tragic house fire. Their owner not only lost her two beloved pets, but she also lost her home and everything in it. After Karen heard her story, she asked for pictures of the dogs and the house. The owner also shared a picture of wispy rainbow clouds that appeared in the sky after the fire. The effect of Karen’s intuitive and compassionate work is illuminated by a family member’s comment. “You captured their eyes in this painting as Tuck and Bailey captured our hearts! Awesome talent!”

Two black dogs rainbow clouds house silhouette

King Tuck and Bailey

Parkinson’s and painting are inexplicably linked for Karen. But often her PD  is forced to the shadows. “The actual act of painting frees me from thinking about PD. I am able to get lost in my artwork and forget about even having Parkinson’s. It’s great therapy, so I make it part of my daily life,” she says. Enjoying Karen’s artwork is therapy for us as well! If you wish to see more of Karen Bryson’s art or commission work, please visit K Bryson Art As I See It on Facebook.

Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never give up.”  Karen has embraced her challenge with purpose while helping others. This profile will end where it started with the leaning palm trees painted totally with her left hand. Karen sent this painting to a woman in Arkansas who is in advanced stage of PD  “to inspire her when she feels like giving up.”

Question:  Of the art featured in Karen Bryson’s profile, which one is your favorite and why?