Miguel ÁLVAREZ DEL CASTILLO
Birthplace: Irapuato, Guanajuato, México
Date of decease: 13.07.2011
Painting Method: Mouth painter
I was born on August 19, 1934 in Irapuato, Guanajuato.
To be an active member of this marvelous Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists founded by Mr. Arnulf E. Stegmann, has meant a lot to me. Every single day I feel stimulated to function mental and physically. It allows me to have financial security and gives me personal dignity.
I had the desire to paint since I was a child when I started drawing in grade school. During high school, as well as prep school, I continued the practice with a lot of pleasure. After a while, I stopped sketching and drawing.
In 1968, the first symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis appeared in my body. It is a degenerative sickness which made me totally paralytic. With a wife and 5 kids, it became imperative for me to continue working. My wife suggested that I take painting classes and I started painting with my right hand which I could still move. A few years later, my hand could no longer move so I stopped painting. But since I felt restless about not painting, I tried holding the paint brush with my mouth. At the beginning I found it to be difficult, so I stopped.
One day I thought of getting a mouth piece that would allow me to place it in my mouth and hold a pencil or brush firmly, enough to draw. Learning was slow, and many times I lost hope.
In my case, I was extremely fortunate to have the support, strength, happy attitude and care of my wife Susana who, even though I don’t know how, pretended not to see the harsh reality that I was experiencing. With her company I visited neurologists, specialists and received diverse treatments that did not work.
However, with time I accepted my new condition. Now I have peace, accepting each day that comes, always showing my best smile to all that is around me and to my family and my friends - and I shape and mold on every picture the colors of all that love that I have received.