It’s Day 199 and it’s Day 2 of 2 in honoring the artists of the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists of the USA. Today was even more difficult than yesterday! Join me in my second day tribute! Today I’m focusing on the FOOT painters!
Formed in 1956, the MFPA is an international, for-profit association wholly owned and run by disabled artists to help them meet their financial needs. Members paint with brushes held in their mouths or feet as a result of a disability sustained at birth or through an accident or illness that prohibits them from using their hands.
The roots of the MFPA go back to 1956, when Erich Stegmann, a polio-stricken mouth painter
, gathered a small band of disabled artists from eight European countries. Their ultimate goal was to make their living through their artistic efforts, and to obtain a sense of work security that until then had eluded them.
Coupling his creative abilities with business acumen, Stegmann established the MFPA as a co-operative organization that reproduces its artists work mainly in the form of cards, calendars and books.
From the small group he gathered for the inaugural meeting of the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, the group has now grown to represent approximately 800 members, from over 75 countries around the world.
One of the main themes of Stegmann’s credo was that the MFPA must never be regarded as a charity simply because its members are disabled.
To Stegmann, the word “charity” was as abhorrent as the word “pity.” The Association maintains that it is not a charity and does not qualify for charitable assistance.
To this day, the MFPA’s motto in the United States remains: “Self Help – Not Charity.”
“So many opportunities have come from being involved with the Mouth & Foot Painting Artists Association”
– Cindi Bernhardt
The Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA) is an international organization, controlled by its artist members, whose purpose is to:
Make contact with artists who have lost the use of their hands through birth defect, accident or illness, and now paint with their mouths or feet.
Make contact with disabled people who would like to learn to paint and support themselves in this capacity.
Offer moral and financial assistance to the disabled that are interested in becoming students, and offer students financial, practical and creative support to become fully developed artists and members of the Association.
Establish publishing houses.
Tend to the interests of the artists by facilitating the sale of their work, primarily in the form of reproductions as greeting cards, calendars, etc.
Publish material that communicates and supports the purpose of the organization.
Assist disabled artists in the attainment of self-respect, creative fulfillment and financial security.
“MFPA has been the key to unlocking my potential.” – Dennis Francesconi
“I get into the work so deeply that the painting seems to talk to me.”
– Jeff LaDow
“I didn’t know how I would satisfy my independent streak, but MFPA has helped me remain
confident in my ability to take care of myself and to honor my art.”
– Dana Wolf
I took all the information above from their website. Please visit their site and read about all the artists. You will be amazed at the art you find there!
I hope you enjoy my piece today. I created it with a mixture of using my own toes to do the background and then I attempted to to trees and detailing while holding a paintbrush between my toes. My respect factor was already high, but after attempting this just once it’s gone through the roof.
Here’s a small video of me doing some detailing with my foot. Whew! I hope you enjoy my piece and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 200!!! Best, Linda