"I can imagine the way it would feel to stand in this meadow and have the tall grass brush against my skin. Can't you feel the tall grass brush on your legs as you look at this picture?"
- Harry Shields
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ACRYLIC ON CAMVAS
20" x 16"
Atkinson, New Hampshire
“I love making people smile, they usually do that when they see my art work.”
Having the challenge of autism makes it very difficult for Harry to keep up with conversations and the quick pace of everyday life. Learning a new skill can take longer, and often others lack the patience to give him an opportunity to succeed. This can be very frustrating and defeating, especially when he’s trying so hard. “I never give up, sometimes it’s hard, but that’s what I do.” Harry’s perseverance helps him overcome many of the challenges life presents. When Harry is creating art, he has a space to work on his own terms. Painting gives Harry a place to feel calm, relaxed and happy. “When I’m painting it’s just happening and I don’t have to think really hard or pay attention to anything.”
After seeing an artist paint in person, Harry was inspired to engage with his creative side through painting. After one session with a local artist, he continued his art education by enrolling in classes and has now been painting for over 8 years. Harry paints what makes him happy. Initially focusing on animal’s, he has evolved into painting subjects he’s connected too. “Usually I paint something that reminds me of a good memory.” Harry comments.
Through his participation in ArtLifting Harry hopes to earn income to live independently and to support his other passion, animal rights. Harry has earned his Veterinary Assistant Certificate and hopes to someday travel to Thailand to work with the elephants there. When thinking about ArtLifting Harry shares, “I like how ArtLifting will give me the chance to make so many people happy.”
ArtLifting empowers artists impacted by homelessness or disabilities through the celebration and sale of their artwork. Learn more here.