It's amazing how having RA makes you look at the world through a different lens. Just watched programme on Edward Burra, an artist whose work I've always liked without knowing much about the man. Now I discover he had RA from early age - just seeing his deformed hands holding a paint brush makes me want to weep. Apparently he always wore very thick socks and big shoes - well we know why don't we! And when war broke out he scoured his town buying up aspirin. Can you imagine not just being without all the modern medicine, but not even having painkillers? And he produced incredible work, which I now look at again thinking about how he must have really been a strong person to be that creative, and I understand more about the hint of bitterness/anger that weaves through some of his work and the sense of him being a watcher of life not a participant.
When I went to the Watercolours exhibition in the summer there was a comment in the catalogue about several artists turning to watercolour because of arthritis making it difficult to work in oils. So RA has all sorts of potential effects.
I just wonder whether there can be a small and hard won reward from RA, in that it slows you down and makes you think more as you can't move as well, and focuses your perception as have no energy for things that don't mean much to you. I'm about as artistic as a bean, but even I now make rather ugly felt as helps my hands to massage wool in warm water.
Any artists out there who think RA has changed their art?
(ps - if you like his work there's an exhib in Chicester till next Feb)