Painting became her lifeline and the paintbrush became a powerful communication tool for her experiences that were too hard to explain in words.

After several years of facing hardship and mistreatment, now 53-year-old Tracie Flenon, suffers from epilepsy, a disorder of brain function that often manifests as increased, abnormal, electrical activity known as seizures.

Flenon, a local Pine Bluff artist who loves to paint, didn’t always have these stress-precipitated seizures.

She started her college career as an art major at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Her future looked promising until she became disabled. Just a minor setback, Flenon finished what she started and graduated from UAPB in 2000.

She became a substitute teacher in the Pine Bluff School District for over 12 years with her final steps in a classroom setting in 2012.

After that Flenon faced destitution and was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2013.

“I was having a lot of seizures due to stress,” said Flenon, a patient at the Arkansas Epilepsy Clinic in Little Rock.

A love for art became Flenon’s road to healing.

Painting became her lifeline and the paintbrush became a powerful communication tool for her experiences that were too hard to explain in words.

Flenon began to channel her epilepsy through creating incredible artwork.

“Painting helps me keep calm,” said Flenon.

With the nation in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Flenon wanted others to discover the joy that painting can bring.

“This virus is making people stay at home and I know how stressful that can be,” said Flenon. “I want to give back to the community that is staying home right now during the pandemic. I want to give them creative options.”

With the help of friends, Flenon will be hosting an Art Event on June 27 at 10 a.m.

The Art Event will be held at 4701 Dollarway Rd in Pine Bluff right across the street from Walgreens.

“There may be an inspiring artist out there,” said Flenon. “I want to be give back. I want to do something out of my heart.”

From blank canvases, coloring books, crayons, construction paper, paint boards, paint supplies and paint tutorial books, Flenon said her goal is to give the supplies to 150 people for art therapy.

Wanting to engage the community in the creation of art to assist with emotional and physical healing and growth during the pandemic, Flenon expresses how art can offer a safe and nurturing therapeutic environment.

To add to it, Flenon said she doesn’t keep her artistic creations to herself, instead she shares them throughout the community.

Flenon said she is known for painting rocks which can be found all over the community from churches, doctor’s offices, banks and many other businesses throughout the community.

“The rocks make people feel good,” said Flenon. “I’m known for spreading the kindness rocks.”

Flenon says it’s more about the connection made when someone receives one of her creations and she hopes that same connection is felt during her event, which will be first come, first served.

“I want to give everyone something I know will help relieve stress,” said Flenon. “I want to give them something to take their minds off of COVID-19”