Artist with Arthritis Paints for a Cause

Adrienne has had rheumatoid arthritis since college. But she's not letting that stop her from painting. It's a childhood activity that has come back to her in the last year. Houston Public Radio's Capella Tucker reports Adrienne is lending her talents to an effort she hopes will help others with the same disease.

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Adrienne Purcell earliest memories of painting were when she was a child living in South America. Purcell's mother found an art teacher for her and her sister.

"It was kind of fun because she would come to the house and she would take us out and we would set our easels up out on the street and do paintings."

Painting was a past-time for Purcell.

"I took lessons from time to time, I painted a little bit when I was in college and then I didn't, I just stopped."

At the same time, Purcell's health changed when she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

"I just literally woke up with it and it was just an overnight thing. And my wrist was hurting me quite a bit."

It got worse throughout her body. About a dozen years ago Purcell underwent joint replacement in her knees. Purcell says it helped her to be able to get around better, but she still didn't give any thought to painting seriously. The inspiration didn't come until Purcell saw certain pictures of her grandchildren.

"I received an e-mail from my husband's oldest son and it was a photograph of his children sitting in a park and it was the most beautiful composition and I just thought this would make the most fabulous painting and I thought I need to do paintings of my grandchildren."

Purcell is studying again with an instructor.

"If you were to watch me paint you would wonder how I could do it... hands are bent down and I have difficulty holding a paint brush and I feel a little uncomfortable having anybody watch me including my teacher because she looks at me and says I don't know you can do that."

Purcell's not letting her physical limitations deprive her of a joy she finds in painting. She does get tired and can't always paint as long as she would like to.

"But it just appears to be something that I'm good at ... more astonished my teacher or me."

Purcell will take part in the first Annual Art for Arthritis event this Thursday evening. More information, along with pictures of Purcell and her portraits, can be found at K-U-H-F dot org. Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.

Date: Thursday, September 28, 2006
Time: 6:30 - 10:00 pm
Cost: $125 per person
The Plaza Club
One Shell Plaza
910 Louisiana, 49th Floor
Houston, TX 77002

Shiley Carter

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