In December of 2011, Iris Grace Halmshaw was diagnosed with Autism. Iris’ parents say she rarely speaks and that interacting with others can be challenging, but is able to expresses herself through movement and art. Iris lives with her parents and cat, Thula, in Leicestershire, England.
Her parents say painting is one of Iris’ favourite activities and that it relaxes her. She is able to spend hours at a time on her extraordinary watercolour paintings and Thula, her Maine Coon cat, can be found right alongside her. Iris’ parents say Thula has helper her in ways they could have never imagined.
In an interview with Live Action News, Iris’ mother Arabella Carter-Johnson explains:
All of her kit, the table she paints on and the equipment is left in the kitchen so she is free to come and go, painting when she wants to. Iris indicates she would like to paint by walking up to the sink and pointing at her brush and the mug she uses. I go to the cupboard and take out the paint bottles, and she indicates which color she would like to be made up. If the color isn’t there, like purple, she will find an item that is that color to show me what she wants to be mixed. She has also started to make up her own colors, dipping brushes from mug to mug, watching the color change, then using it on the paper.
Iris paints with high flicks, dots, dabs, uses rollers (textured rollers, straight lines are created by those), stamps, and a range of brushes and sponges. When she is finished for that session, she puts her tools down in the mug and leaves the table. She waits for the painting to dry and then goes back to it to do some more in the afternoon. [source]
You can keep up with Iris’ latest developments on her website irisgracepainting.com. On the website you can find live auctions of Iris’ paintings for sale along with greetings cards and postcards. Iris also has a rapidly growing Facebook page here and on online gift store on Zazzle. All proceeds from the paintings and prints go towards more art materials and her ongoing therapies and treatments.