Red Umbrella - Rain Bears by RD Riccoboni
It had happened before when my back against the wall, the loss came in with its scarring moments of emotional and physical pain followed by, when I could listen, my inner voice speaking up leading me to my calling.
In 1990 I was a banker, returned home from work, picked up the mail, walked in the house and received a call that good friend had died, the 20th friend in my close circle to pass from AIDS. We were all gone now, the circle of friends was no more. I looked down at the mail and they were all solicitations from various AIDS agencies asking for help. I felt very alone. What can I do? A voice in my head gently said “you can paint.”
During next month, intuitively I focused creating 30 paintings about my friends and the fun we had together. I entered two artworks in a show winning second place and honorable mention. Those 30 paintings became a show and book titled Rainbow Nation.
With art career blooming, my self-esteem was not. I became sidetracked by folks telling me “You'll never make a living as an artist” even though I was! So back to the corporate pathway at health care company in Human Resources after all anything but art, my passion.
First it started with a little tingling in my hands, then very painful. Diagnosed carpal tunnel, prescribed rest, contraptions for my wrists and addictive pain meds. Following doctor's advice, for seven years this
nightmare went on to the point couldn't drive my car. The job was physically killing me, yet I was grateful to have work and afraid to quit.
One day my arms went numb.
Sitting in the medical office, that eternal wait, I prayed for a miracle. The doctor, a glowing wonderful man came in, looked at my hands and he put his hand on my shoulder and said to me, “You're an artist, you can paint, and don’t you want to paint anymore?”
His words took me by surprise, as I had heard many times before but usually softly in my head. Now same voice coming from someone else!
“You’re not going back to this job.” he said thus ending a thankless career and starting many new blessings of my life. I learned of three torn discs in my neck causing this. Recovery included years of physical therapy and no surgery. The Doctor was my angel.
I consistently told myself I am a great artist, I paint, I am happy, loving, healthy and prosperous. I listened for things everyday in life that reflected this affirmation while applying my knowledge to my talent and desires and, as I still do every day, acted upon what was presented to me.
Today you can visit my studio and gallery Beacon Artworks inside Old Town San Diego State Historic Park where millions of people visit each year. As one of America's favorite artists share my cultural heritage paintings with the world.
I leave with this advice. Draw the art you want to see, make the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, choreograph the moves you want to dance and take care of yourself so that you can.
You have talent. The thing inside you that says "I want to do something" that is the beginning of talent. Have the courage to explore that.
RD "Randy" Riccoboni
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