Many of Ingrid’s paintings stand apart from her medical issues. Her “Wimmelbilder” paintings have an intricate beauty and stand on their own terms. Her landscapes are beautiful as well, albeit with a hint of foreboding. But her “Soul pics”, of which “Parkinson’s bear” is one, are remarkable meditations on Parkinson’s and on Wegners Granulomatosis, an autoimmune disorder from which she also suffers. Parkinson’s bear, in particular, has a very special significance for her. When she first painted the bear, with its buttoned collar and tie, represented. Then, as she peered into the bear’s blank face, it dawned on her: this is Parkinson’s bear. Ingrid has said that “the bear came to visit me in 2014 and decided to stay.”
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If ever there were a story of blessings flowing from setbacks; of finding treasure in the unlikeliest of places, surely Ingrid’s story is one of them. When Ingrid was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014, she fell into a deep depression. Her depression was so profound that she checked herself into a psychosomatic hospital. As part of her therapy, she was provided art supplies and began to paint. To her and her husband’s great surprise, she quickly began to produce some remarkable paintings.
For Ingrid, art is meditative, empowering, and an indispensable means of self-expression. When asked, she says that she believes that her artistic ability was always inside her and was not produced by her Parkinson’s diagnosis or by her medication, as some have speculated. She remembers being in museums, staring deeply into paintings and asking herself why the artist used this color or that. To this day, Ingrid has never taken an art or painting class; her technique are all based trial-and-error.
Ingrid is transported when she paints. During those brief intervals, she is “completely with [herself] and forget[s] all [her] sorrow.” She finds it beautiful that she is able to communicate and even transmit her feelings to others through her artwork. Not surprisingly, Ingrid has mixed feelings about her Parkinson’s diagnosis: both sorrow but also great joy that comes from meeting very special people, making new friends and discovering her artistic ability.