Pain Art


Scott Sibbald

I use art therapy for my chronic pain. It’s a result of a combination of multiple Failed Back Surgery, Disc Degeneration Disease and Permanent Surgical Complication & Nerve Damage and it is only with painting and family that keeps me going.

I paint to escape pain. Even for a moment or two.

2018 means its 10 years of chronic suffering from my lower spinal area L4-5-S then in my left hip down to my angry left foot screeching pain that never abates. The way to try explaining my pain is that I have toothache in my left foot, a red-hot metal pole being driven up through my foot up through inside my ankle into my shin and up where that pain is met with radiating from my hip downwards until the two meets. The Foot pain is the worst imaginable. Then there is the direct spinal pain that gets worse with movement and the longer the walk the pain increases very quickly and that cocktail means that the only thing to do is stop and get into bed with a heat pads and stay there and hopefully fall asleep. Then after a short nap its back to the start of the toothache again. It’s a circle of pain in the ass but it is what it is like for my leg and that I simply must accept and live with this pain for the rest of my life. Unless medical science progresses in my lifetime. I already have a Spinal Cord Stimulator and have been fused but the nerve damage has not repaired and without the SCS spinal cord stimulator my pain scores it 9 out of 10. Life there is very grey, and I hope to never be back there.

Health and chronic pain changed my life course however I have the steering wheel again. I don’t have all the answers, healthcare is a daily balance and some days I win others I don’t.

I paint in primarily in Oils, Watercolour and Acrylic and I love to create large canvases with amazing landscapes and medium sized still life but with no less interest. Painting reflects the colour in my mind, from the calm cool to the warm, transparent to the opaque mixing in ways that I never thought possible until I started painting.

Soon thereafter I was able to see the varied details in nature that make painting a joy or a addiction, just waiting for a paintbrush. I like to create my paintings and through that I hope that I offer people in a similar situation who suffer from chronic but not life-threatening illness that still alters a person’s destiny.  

Painting give a chance to see that the worlds reflection is not just pain and muted grey world, but life comes with a multiple variety of shapes, colours, moods and emotions regardless of physical and mental pain. 

Enjoy, Scott

If you don’t know about Chronic Pain or any Chronic condition have a look at “the spoon Theory” written by Christine Miserandino, it’s a simple but powerful explanation of how daily life changes with a chronic condition. click the link below.



The Spoon Theory written by Christine Miserandino







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