While suffering from a rare form of brain cancer, 48-year old local artist Dale Grasela decided to use painting as a medium of therapy.
Dale Grasela was diagnosed with brain cancer in August 2019. He and his wife, Vickey Grasela, were initially caught off guard when they heard the news.
“It turned everything around for us,” Vickey Grasela said.
Due to Dale Grasela’s immune system being weakened by the cancer, he wasn’t able to leave his house for months. This isolation sent him into a depression, and his days quickly became monotonous.
“You can only watch so much TV,” he said.
During his time inside, his sister asked him to paint her something for her home. According to Dale Grasela, this “lit the fire” under him, and inspired him to create more abstract paintings.
Dale Grasela said that his favorite part of painting is seeing people’s reactions to his work and hearing their interpretations.
“It’s all about your interpretation of it,” he said. “And it all depends on the person looking at it.”
During high school, Dale Grasela took some art classes and picked up drawing, but fell out of it shortly after.
Angela Woosley, a friend of Vickey Grasela’s, considers Dale Grasela an inspiration.
Woosley was diagnosed with leukemia at around the same time of Dale Grasela’s diagnosis.
She said that this greatly affected their group of friends due to having two severe diagnoses so close to one another.
According to Woosley, Dale Grasela noticed that after he began chemotherapy treatment, he began to see colors more vividly.
“He said that colors started to sort of explode to him,” Woosley said.
Woosley was inspired by Dale Grasela finding a creative outlet to cope with his cancer.
“His art is healing to him,” Woosley said. “It really allowed him to find a new dimension of himself.”
Along with painting, Dale Grasela has a passion for welding.
He said that he has noticed connections between welding and painting.
“That’s your hands that do that, and that’s your eyes that see it,” he said.
Dale Grasela’s artwork will be displayed at a pop-up art show Friday at Studio Slant. This will be the first time his art is displayed at an event.
He currently posts his artwork on his Instagram, @artworkorange72, and his Facebook, Dale Grasela.