Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Chronic Disease and Creativity

Creativity is what saves me as a person who lives with chronic disease. When I say "creativity", I mean painting and writing. When I was initially diagnosed in 1979, at the tender age of 19, with  End Stage Renal Failure, it changed my creative path forever. Suddenly, I was painfully aware of my mortality. Indeed, this spelled a harrowing "Near Death Experience".

As soon as I was feeling marginally better, thanks to the powerful "dialysis" therapy that I was soon to undergo, I decided that I must paint a mural called "Recovery". This was my "visual prayer" for my own recuperation from the insidious disease that I was battling at the time.

The seminal mural "Recovery" was a "visual prayer".
Fast forward to 2017... by this time I have designed and painted over 60 large murals in a swath across Canada. But I am getting ahead of myself! Only 7 months after I started on dialysis, my loving brother Steven stepped up to donate a kidney to me. This miraculous Gift of Life saved and sustained me for over 34 years!

In mid-May of 2014, my kidney function had once again deteriorated, which meant, I was forced to return to thrice weekly dialysis treatments. Over the years, I had been working methodically on hand-written notes... the story of my life and the fascinating people I have met over time. I thought, if I fail to write down these stories, they will be lost forever.

My first act upon returning to dialysis (4 hours per session, so 12 hours every week) was to run out to purchase a laptop. I would make the most of a shitty situation! Within about a year, I had published my first book, called "Dancing with Rejection: A Beginner's Guide to Immortality". Follow this link to acquire your copy now...you will be joining a worldwide community of hundreds of readers.

Now, I am combining my writing and painting to live a full, rich life... and in fact I am just about ready to publish my second book, called "A Work in Progress: The Life my Brother Saved".

Cover art for my 2nd book...

On top of this, I have just been commissioned to paint another "monumental" mural in Tisdale, Saskatchewan. This is early days and I have not yet started the design...however as soon as I fire it up, I will be sharing the process. Please stay tuned, I am not going anywhere! 

This wall is the site of my next mural. Might not look like much now, but just wait!

Chronic disease and creativity might seem at first blush to be unlikely bed partners, but let me tell you... they feed off of each other. There's nothing like the specter of ones own mortality to light a fire in the heart and soul. Put simply, realizing the precarious nature of life and death on a weekly basis is a helluva powerful way to stimulate a driving creativity!

Till next time,

To read more and to purchase a copy of "Dancing..." please visit www.mrgaudet.com


  1. Nothing can stop a talented and kind person like you . God blessed you by 2 gifts "writing and painting" as well as love of thousands and millions of your fans... May God be with you all the time.

    1. Thank you Bouchra! I don't know about "millions"...maybe someday :)