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Gloria Smith, 86-Year-Old Artist with Macular Degeneration, Continues to Paint


Barb: We are in the art studio of my mother, Gloria Smith. Gloria is 86 years old and she suffers from macular degeneration. She was diagnosed in 2002. At that time she was a realistic landscape artist. As her eyes progressively got worst she moved to abstract art. Mom, show us your painting.

Gloria: This is a painting I did two years ago, which I could no longer paint like this. And it's a painting of a cat, and I won first place in the Alamo Danville Women's State Art Contest.

Barb: So since, then her eyes have gotten even worst. So she moved into what she calls found object art.

Gloria: Well, I just take all my whole earrings and I made an earring tree out of them, and I used some old cord to make the branches of it. And on this one, it's a poem about my mother wrote about “Time” that she sent me about 60 years ago. So, I just put all my old watches on it. I thought that was very profound.

Barb: It's a famous poem written by Robert Smith, and the last line is “Place no faith in tomorrow, for the clock may then be still.”

Gloria: And this one, these are just little things that you put on the bottom of the chairs to keep them from scraping the floor. And I just sort of made an abstract out them and some tacks.

Barb: And do you have a new project planned?

Gloria: Yes, I have another whole bowl full of jewelry, and I'm just waiting for some kind of inspiration in my right brain as to what to do with it, and that's my future art. A couple of pearl necklaces.

Barb: Thank you Gloria.

Gloria: You're welcome.

Original Post Date: November 2011

Last Review: 08/23/13

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