I drew while my playmates ran around in the fields. I drew late into the evening by candlelight. I drew during study time. I drew on every scrap of paper. I drew on rocks. I drew on walls. I drew on tabletops. I drew on the floor. Beautiful scenes filled my head. All I could think of was to capture these images on paper. It filled my soul to do so. It filled every part of me.
When i got sick at 16 years old, they had to amputate my right leg due to a tumor. I was grief-stricken. It was like my whole reason for living had been taken from me. I was bitter, angry, feeling sorry for myself.
But I remembered that I can look at life as a glass half empty. I can look at life as a glass half full. And that saved me. I picked up my brushes and painted my anger, my frustration, my sadness, my loneliness, my laughter, my joy, my courage, my stalwartness, my stubborn hope.
I started with sketches, then paints, and today I have recreated and evolved as an artist. I do backdrops and graphic designs. Painting that once saved my life as a young boy now saves and serves my family. It continues to sustain me emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. It has awakened a deep hope that life is really as I make it.
AND I WILL ENGAGE LIFE. I WILL LIVE OUT LOUD. I AM FRANCIS, AND I AM A PAINTER. MY WORK MAKES THIS WORLD WORTHWHILE.