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Foundation Helps Rick Bring a Splash of Colour

04 October 2021

We’re proud to share the story of Rick and how one of our grants helped him to purchase a purpose-built computer to pursue his artistic career. Rick was once an academic and educator and is now an artist living with MND. He paints without brushes using a computer. Here’s Rick’s story, in his own words:

“I am incredibly grateful to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation for the grant which helped me to replace my poor old overheating laptop with a wonderful purpose-built graphic artist’s computer. Not only does it paint much faster so I can produce more paintings, but they are much higher quality, bigger and with greater colour depth. It is simply glorious; so I am beyond ecstatic; thank you so very much!

First, there is a painting called ‘Training At The Hospice’, based on a photo taken by Sue, my wife, during the inaugural training session at The Arthur Rank Hospice, to establish proof of concept of the idea of having art apps and a resource of photos on iPads for use particularly by inpatients in the latter stages of their lives. The training went brilliantly; the concept works; and a number of staff and volunteers are fired up and ready to get going as soon as the tech people have put the apps on the iPads. At that point I will run a much larger session for a mixture of staff, volunteers and patients. Once that is done the project becomes self-contained, with staff and volunteers empowering hundreds of patients to make their own artworks long into the future.

Second is a painting of my own experiences of having MND, called ‘My Shrinking World’, using artwork to put across to people who do not have experience of MND a sense of what it is like. You have me, active and lively, re-roofing a watermill in France, you have me, still mobile trying to put out the compost and subsiding slowly into the hedge in the garden, and you have me now, using the wonderful computer that the My Name’5 Doddie Trust helped pay for, to paint my pictures. Once an international trainer of teachers, I now get about only in the virtual world, posting my art online.

Third is a painting from my own sporting heritage. It is Jim Clark, the most naturally talented F1 driver of all time, winning the Dutch GP in 1965, when he went on to win the F1 driver’s championship for the second time. The car is the Lotus 33, the most beautiful F1 car ever made, so much so that there is one in the Stockholm Modern Art Museum. Jim is driving right at the edge of the possible, doing strange things with physics that few others have ever come close to, far ahead of the opposition, always dreaming of his Scottish Borders Farm near Duns, to which he would have happily retired to live in obscurity, had he lived long enough.

Finally, there is a painting from my other passion, which is plant biology. You are 300 feet up a rainforest tree, gazing out at the most beautiful, biodiverse and fragile of all ecosystems, a mass of orchids, cacti, air plants and ferns grow all along the branch, teeming with gorgeously coloured wildlife. This painting celebrates the delicate beauty of all that biodiversity. Humanity needs the rainforests and yet today over 3000 fires burn in tropical rainforests. The young biologists I taught have a passion for saving our planet, and this painting is for them, for they will save the planet, of that I am sure”

To see more of Rick's work, visit his Flickr Page

Credit to Rick for the photos: 'Painting by Rick Nelms, Public Domain CC0 license'

Foundation Helps Rick Bring a Splash of Colour

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