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  • Noel Smith


This blog is dedicated to QASA Quadriplegic Association South Africa and all incomplete quadriplegics out there in the hopes of encouraging one or more of you, whether you are a budding artist or, like me, an artist before your accident.

In 2016 I had a surfing accident and broke my neck at C3, C4 and C5 resulting in spinal cord injuries which left me as an incomplete quadriplegic. It’s been a long, hard and slow period of rehab and partial recovery, very frustrating as any quad would know. I won’t go into the details as everyone has been through their own individual journey however I found that the most important part of mine was finding hope and a sense of purpose.

For me these have both come from God, firstly in faith and secondly in my God given artistic talent. The resulting feeling after each session is such a great sense of achievement that it sometimes helps me to fight past the desperate times of not wanting to do anything and force myself to get on my chairlift and up into my studio.

My injury resulted in very little use of my right side and limited use of my left side. I initially tried to use my right hand to draw again, using a splint to hold pastels, but found this very difficult. I then started using my left hand, which at first wasn’t great either, however with time it has developed to what you see today. I have had to change from oil pants to pastels due to the difficulty of using liquids and cleaning solvents, but I think it’s been a good change and I’m pleased with the progress so far.

My art may not be the same standard as before my accident and may be much slower and require more effort, but I'm still improving and the progression I have made over the past few years can be seen throughout my blog.

I hope this inspires someone else to find hope on their daunting road ahead and I am happy to share and answer any questions, please just email me via the link on the blog or pm me on Facebook.

Happy painting.

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