Bernie was in real estate. He was a dynamic, goal focused man who worked hard and played even harder. About 15 years ago he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. At that time he was determined not to let Parkinson’s Disease cramp his style. He continued to work like a mad man and have as much fun as a day would allow. He tried to ignore the disease for as long as he could, until it crept into every part of his life and slowly took over. Parkinson’s Disease forced him to quit work and made him think about what he really valued and what paths were now available.
He loved art but never imagined himself as an artist. That was until his wife bought him a blank canvas and encouraged him to start painting. Bernie had no formal training, didn’t even know how to hold a brush – with or without the shakes – so in frustration he picked up whatever was in arms reach and threw that at the canvas… paint, a burst of water from the garden hose or a blow torch, he even left a canvas out in the rain all night… but that was by mistake. Funnily enough most of these paintings worked artistically and soon he was producing paintings with meaning – the environmental impact of climate change, the bushfires in the Blue Mountains, dawn skies in the country – and people liked them and bought them as well.