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Loyde McillwainBiography: Paralyzed Vet Mobilizes New Career in Painting HOUSTON, April 11, 2006 – A Marine Gulf War veteran and National Guard member who was permanently paralyzed after suffering a crushed spinal cord in a 2001 accident has found a new life through painting – so much so that his original fear of having too much idle time has been transformed into a non-stop effort to meet new commissions. Loyde Mcillwain, a Marine Corporal in the Gulf War and a 1985 Graduate of Hull-Daisetta High School, is being treated in the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, after his injury left him confined to a wheelchair. Mcillwain came upon his new career by chance while looking for something to help him pass the hours. Acting upon a suggestion by a hospital staffer Mcillwain decided to build and paint model ships and cars. But he was given acrylic paints instead of model paint, so being a Marine he adapted and took up landscape painting instead. Mcillwain had no formal training but he regularly watched a painting show on the Public Broadcasting System and applied the lessons he learned there. His first attempts had their share of setbacks. There was neither canvas nor other suitable materials to paint on so Mcillwain completed about 30 of his first projects on copier paper. Eventually, however, Mcillwain accumulated all he needed in supplies and he hasn’t looked back since. “The sense of learning motivates me to paint,” Mcillwain said. “I have always enjoyed learning new things, and with painting I can see the progression in each painting.” His new profession also eliminated the threat of having too much time on his hands. “I have a lot of free time, which would become stale if I did not have my paintings,” he says. “Stale time is not good for the mind.” Mcillwain’s painting might have remained a form of personal therapy if it were not for his membership on a Marine internet website TogetherWeServed.com. He regularly posts comments on the site’s forums and one day included a picture of his latest painting to share with the other members. The results were immediate and positive. Some members offered support and encouragement, others offered to buy his paintings, while others commissioned new paintings. Cassandra Bieber, a former Marine Lance Corporal from Ohio who saw his posts on the web was impressed with his abilities and was one of the first to buy a painting from Mcillwain. “He has a gift and I want to support him in bringing his talent to light,” she sa... to see complete biography, click on artist's name Country: usa Birthyear: 1967 Media: acrylic Style: impressionistic Subjects: landscapes and nature
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