Fate tapped me on the shoulder in a room at the National Gallery in London’s Trafalgar Square.
It was the room where the Titians are, and, even if it sounds like Pseuds Corner in Private Eye, I was analyzing Titian’s late masterpiece “Diana and Actaon”.
Symbolic, perhaps, because in the myth Actaon is an innocent man struck down by Fate.
In my case, the shoulder-tapper was my 32-year-old son. Which came as a surprise, as he lived and worked in Manchester at the time.
“I’ve got something to tell you, Dad,” he said. “Can we go somewhere quieter?”
There was an underground wine bar I knew just across the road. We had a drink, and then my son told me he had been diagnosed with MS.
That was in 1992. Although I was working full time in my own business then, I had also started a two-day-a week course at art school. Six years later, when I was 69, it would lead to an Honours Degree in Fine Art, and I became a working artist. Hence Titian.
As my artistic training began, so also did my association with MS it was only natural, then, that when an artist friend in Yorkshire told me about the Secret Art Show that I would want to be a part of it.
At the time that my son was diagnosed, there was no successful treatment and little hope. Now there are both.
Though he now uses a wheelchair, my son holds down good jobs, travels widely, has fun, and is in trials with a new drug at London’s Hospital for Nervous Diseases in Queens Square. I can’t think of a better cause to support than the MS Trust.
Here is some of my work. Can you guess my picture in the Secret Art Show?