Painting helps Riverside abstract artist with MS find inner peace – Press Enterprise

Out of devastation, abstract artist Atom St. George has found inspiration and motivation.

When St. George turned 21, he lost a good friend and he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 24. The 31-year-old has since found a way to exorcise his nightmares.

“What keeps me constantly motivated to paint is the fear of how my MS is going to progress and knowing it will get physically difficult in the future to do so,” he said. “When I am painting it’s as if I am healthy and I find it nearly impossible to let worries of my condition flood my mind.”

St. George began to take his art more seriously after his Marine friend, Jason Franco, died in Iraq.

“Jason loved my paintings which I didn’t take too serious at the time so when he passed away, I felt a compelling urge to pick up the pencil with a more serious mindset,” said St. George.

Then in 2010, St. George was diagnosed with MS.

“I was a dedicated colored pencil weekend artist before the MS came about,” he said, ” and that’s when I made the decision to take it to the next level by enrolling in painting classes.”

At the time, he was an inspector in the aerospace field – “basically searching for cracks in airplane parts before they get assembled on the plane,” he said.

“One day at work my right pointer finger and middle finger went numb and within the next two weeks there was a numbness that spread through my whole body, even my tongue,” he said. “It was terrifying.”

Many tests and a few months later, doctors determined it was MS.

“As soon as I found out, I quit my good-paying job, moved back to my parents’ (home) from Long Beach and signed up for art school at Otis,” he…

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