My Battle With Parkinson: Balance 1

Parkinson

Parkinson’s disease has surfaced as the fastest-growing “movement disorder.” I am one of the nearly 1 million people in the United States who battle this disease. Among the many symptoms that I deal with is balance. Through medication and exercise, I can slightly reduce my balance problems, but they will stay with me until I die or a cure is found. More information can be found at the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

One of my art quilts, “My Battle with Parkinson: Balance 1,” is being featured in a publication and has been juried into a Surface Design Association (SDA) Washington regional exhibit. In addition, “Balance 1” will be featured in the seasonal mailing from the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation beginning in December. When I was notified, the editor made the following comment: “This is such a striking pattern; the colors and fragmentation actually unite our message as an organization for people with Parkinson’s.” If you would like more information, contact the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation.

“Balance 1” has also been juried into the “Surfacing” show. This online exhibition, which was open to all SDA members and the public, can be viewed on the SDA website.

Eight of us participating artists were joined by jurors Gail Harker and Francesca Piñol  in a conversation recorded on November 15. You can watch the hourlong conversation here. I’m the first slightly nervous artist to speak.

My Battle with Parkinson: Balance 1
My Battle with Parkinson: Balance 1

My Battle with Parkinson: Balance 1
Size: 22″w x 22″h
Materials and techniques: Cotton fabrics hand-dyed by Liz Axford and the artist, polyester quilting thread; machine pieced and quilted

Statement: When I inherited beautiful hand-dyed circles by my friend the late Liz Axford, it gave me the opportunity to combine them with some of my fabrics to portray “Balance.” Losing balance is one of many Parkinson symptoms as the disease progresses.

Join the Live Zoom Exhibit

Parkinson

Several pieces from my Parkinson Series, including the new ones I shared last month, have been included in the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation April Artists Gallery. NW Parkinson’s has been raising awareness all month by showcasing the work of artists with Parkinson’s disease.

Tomorrow, April 30, the gallery is presenting a free, live exhibition event via Zoom that starts at 4 pm PDT. During the online exhibition, NW Parkinson’s staff and artists will discuss their work and answer questions from the community. You can register for the Zoom presentation here. I hope to see you online.

My Battle with Parkinson: Hope
My Battle with Parkinson: Hope

My Battle with Parkinson

Parkinson

I know it’s not good taste to open a communication with an apology, but I’m known for not following the rules—plus my taste buds are diminishing as my Parkinson disease progresses. So I apologize for not keeping you up on the more important aspect of my life: working on my art.

Since my last post, I have completed three additional works for “My Battle with Parkinson” series.

My Battle with Parkinson: Balance 1

My Battle with Parkinson: Balance 1

My Battle with Parkinson: Balance 1
Size: 22″w x 22″h
Materials and techniques: Cotton fabrics hand-dyed by Liz Axford and the artist, polyester quilting thread; machine pieced and quilted

Statement: When I inherited beautiful hand-dyed circles by my friend the late Liz Axford, it gave me the opportunity to combine them with some of my fabrics to portray “Balance.” Losing balance is one of many Parkinson symptoms as the disease progresses.

 

 

My Battle with Parkinson: Balance 2

My Battle with Parkinson: Balance 2

My Battle with Parkinson: Balance 2
Size: 22″w x 28″h x 28″d (approximate depending on arrangement of the 4″ cubes)
Materials and techniques: Fabrics hand-dyed by the artist, Pellon fusible ultra-firm stabilizer, polyester and silk quilting thread, pearl cotton, X-Bet Ferrite magnets, permanent markers, Gorilla crystal clear mounting tape; machine pieced, quilted and couched, hand assembled

Statement: “Balance” problems have been an increasing concern as my Parkinson disease progresses. In this piece, I went three-dimensional to portray these concerns, which range from stable to very tippy.

 

My Battle with Parkinson: Singin’ the Blues

My Battle with Parkinson: Singin’ the Blues

My Battle with Parkinson: Singin’ the Blues
Size: 25″w x 23″h
Materials and techniques: Cotton and silk fabrics hand-dyed by the artist, polyester and silk quilting thread, wool thread, permanent markers; machine collaged, appliqued and couched, painted with markers

Statement: I’ve been a singer (alto) since my youth. I especially enjoyed singing with ensembles and choirs. I mourn (am Blue) that Parkinson has robbed me of my singing voice. But I still love music, everything from classical to jazz.

The past three days I’ve taken a break from quilting and have been experimenting with some resist dyeing. Yesterday’s work resulted in grades of 2 B+ and 6 C–, meaning they need re-dyeing. I was using the last bits of some old dyes. Like many of my experiments, if at first I don’t succeed, dye, dye again.