Suzanne Gardner Biography
Claim to Fame: Artist
Diabetes Type: 1
Suzanne Gardner shares her biography with the dLife community.
In 1998 I began to lose my vision due to complications from Juvenile Diabetes, however thanks to wonderful surgeons I have regained partial vision in one of my eyes. My limited vision not only contributes greatly to my appreciation for the use of vivid and expressive colours, but has also given me the freedom to use my imagination rather than my eyes to create a piece of work which focuses more on emotion than on detail.
With every brushstroke I try to capture the joyful expressions of life and I attempt to create magnificent masses of luscious and sumptuous colour. A vivid colour palette, coupled with my desire to create movement makes my flowers an exuberant explosion of emotion which allows my paintings to dance and come to life.
Art is a very personal journey for me as it is an extension of the self. In my work I try to express my soul on canvas taking my inspiration from the beauty and sensuality of nature. "I try to create an emotional dialogue with the viewer through the use of vivid energy and flowing colour."
At present my paintings hang prominently in private collections across Canada, America, Britain, and Mexico.
I became type 1 diabetic at the age of 7 years. I had no family members with the disease, so really no one to mentor me. I attended Camp Carowanis, a diabetic camp, for many years to help me learn the intricacies of diabetes.
I attended the University of Toronto and graduated with a BA in 1987. I never had any complications with my diabetes until my vision started to go. From there, there was no going back from the long-term complications of diabetes.
In 1999 I had to leave everything I knew and start a new chapter in my life with a new career...and so began my journey into the world of art.
Suzanne's message to the dLife Community:
It's hard to believe when you're young that complications can and do happen. Take really good care of yourself because you are your most important priority. Most importantly though is to find what you love. Even though I have lost most of my sight every day is a wonderful day because I paint and painting brings me a challenge and a joy that nothing else has ever done. So keep moving forward until you find what you love to do and then you won't see diabetes as something that can hold you back from attaining any goal in life.
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