Beauty stylist, decorator and fashionista, Hyacinth Bell was blessed with a sharp eye for design. It wasn’t until the fall of 2015, however, that she applied her artistic gifts to the canvas. At just 39 years young and in peak physical, emotional and financial health, she was struck by a life-changing spinal injury, forcing her to endure several months of testing and ineffective treatments in hospital care. Losing functional mobility in nearly half her body caused a chain reaction of disillusionment.

“I lost my home, my business and several friends, as a result,” says Hyacinth. “I was feeling chronic pain and uncertainty, with no relief from the hospitals’ medications.”

Little did she know her salvation would be found in the art class of Runnymede Rehab Centre. Encouraged to paint inside the lines of sketched images, she discovered an escape from her pain when focusing her energy on creating works of beauty. She continued to hone her skills at home, sketching butterflies—“a symbol of renewed life,” she explains—and gradually working her way to visually expressing conceptualized images.

Click to enlarge

Today, some of her most breathtaking works are created when she experiences her most tremendous bouts of pain. “The vibrant colours in my paintings raise my spirits,” she says. “They reflect the vitality in my soul.”

Though she has lost a great deal of physical mobility, she has gained an extraordinary new gift, one she hopes will bring a renewed sense of vigor to all who experience it.

View and follow Hyacinth’s virtual gallery on Facebook or stroll into Beaux-Arts Brampton for its Members Anniversary Show featuring some of her work until July 2, 2016.


By Trisha Richards