Moses Hamilton didn’t always plan to be a painter. When he was in his early 20s he was just like any other Hawaiian: surfing, working in hospitality and living an active lifestyle. That all changed when a car accident left him paralysed from the chest down.
While many of the things he previously loved were impossible for Hamilton after the accident, during the rehabilitation process he rediscovered his interest in art.
“After a year spending time in the hospital and recovering, I did a little rehab,” he recalls in this video for the Kauai Visitor Channel.
“I saw a couple of mouth painters there, tackled one painting there [and] after being home for a while, getting a little more of my physical health back I started painting by mouth.”
That was around 2003, and in the 12 years since then, Moses Hamilton has become a celebrated Kauai artist with over 200 paintings to his name. He sells many of them on his website, as well as at local shopping centres and malls in Kauai.
“Since my car accident I have found that the creative spirit flows nearly as easily by mouth as by hand,” he says on his website.
“I enjoy all mediums, acrylics, oils, watercolors, and digital. I’m inspired by the cultural diversity of Hawaii and the beauty of our world, which I find a rich limitless source.”
According to a recent profile piece on HuffPost, it takes Hamilton around 25 hours to complete an 11-by-14 inch (27.4cm by 35.5cm) painting. Still, prices for his artwork start from a modest US$25 (AUD$32) for laser prints, and from $80 (AUD$104) for canvas.
Hamilton is mostly self-taught and says that he finds painting to be a “wonderful and expressive medium, increasingly exciting and fulfilling”.
“I think art gives you an artists eye, where you’re really taking things apart in life. You become really delighted by what’s going on in your world. It awakens the eyes,” he says in the video above.
Check out Moses Hamilton’s website or Facebook page for more information and pictures of his beautiful artwork.