After battle with cancer, William Parker artwork featured at Donna Burgess Gallery

William Parker

The latest work of William Parker.

Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 04:22 PM.

William Parker fought off cancer with a paint brush.

"There's no question it helped," said the artist, who is a part-time South Walton resident. “I fully believe that creative work has tremendous health and psychological benefits."

The story of how Parker began to paint and how it led him onto the walls of the Donna Burgess Gallery is a fascinating one.

More than 15 years ago, Parker was diagnosed with lung cancer. He did not expect to survive, as the survival rate for this form of cancer was rather low.

However, Parker began the arduous steps of taking radiation and chemotherapy treatments. He took the treatments every day for 30 days and remembers being so sick that he didn't care whether he lived or died. So, he basically quit taking the treatments and picked up a paint brush.

"They said I was going to die and needed something to take my mind off it," said the man who had only doodled in the past.

In the haunting shadow of death, he turned to watercolors. He said he chose watercolors because the medium fascinates him, mainly because there is an element of risk at every turn.

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