It all started in March 1996. I was diagnosed with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension and given two to five years to live, put on a portable IV pump to administer medication through a catheter in my chest, placed on a lung transplant list, and ordered to stop working.
Leaving virtually everything behind except my clothes and an old Dodge Caravan, I moved to Florida and stayed with my youngest daughter and her husband. In 2003, I decided to quit lying around and waiting to die. A carpenter for over 15 years, I was used to working hard and long hours. I couldn’t do so any longer, but I had to do something. I experimented with several ideas in woodcrafts and came into what now is the most enjoyable thing I’ve ever done! I am able to work when I have OK days and rest the other ones. But, the OK days are the most rewarding.
I really had no idea I could paint, but when combined with my wood skills, a cool thing happened; I found great satisfaction in creating island-style living on a piece of MDF (medium-density fiberboard). I have also been influenced by Jimmy Buffett music, as you can see in my art. The fun part is creating things from materials that were designed for something entirely different. I find a challenge in making objects such as barstools from old fashion thread spools and wooden toy wheels. I use several types of wood molding in my work, as you will see if you look close. Placemats make great island hut roofs. Always trying to make lemonade from lemons has been a challenge to me.
My prognosis is excellent now. It seems God has more for me to do here, so he gave me a second chance at life. I’m still unable to do a lot of things, but it sure beats lying around waiting for the Grim Reaper!
My 3-dimensional art has been featured in the Sun Sentinel newspaper, The Palm Beach Post, and on HGTV’s “Carol Duval Show.” I have no idea what my future holds, but I do know it sure looks better than it did 12 years ago. My work is sold at art shows, stores throughout the U.S., and on the Internet.
If you are interested in carrying my work in your business or you just want one of these unique works for yourself, contact me and I’ll make arrangements to meet with you by phone or in person at your convenience.
I hope my creations make you smile as much as I do when I make them. “Laugh, it keeps you from going insane.”
— Gary Farmer