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'You can do it. Don’t ever doubt yourself': Denver artist doesn't let rheumatoid arthritis hinder her passion

Rose Gale
Posted at 11:48 AM, Jan 13, 2023

DENVER — Rose Gale of southeast Denver started working on one of her drawings in 2020, but then put it aside until recently.

“This one I was going to keep and come back because sometimes you have to walk away from your art when you feel it's not working,” she said.

Gale fell in love with art at 8 years old. That love has continued throughout her life.

Her passion is using pastels. She draws portraits of people, pets, and even landscapes, and does a lot of commissioned work for people who've reached out over the years.

“This is my happiness now, especially since I’ve retired,” said Gale.

She retired a few years ago, but that happiness was part of her life long before, even when she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2009. Gale didn't let the disease get in the way of her love of art — then and now.

“You have to learn to deal with what you have. Whatever the diagnosis is, you've got doctors helping you, a lot of people helping you, and you make the adjustments,” said Gale.

That’s what Gale did.

“I use my thumb. I can't use my fingers anymore,” she explained. “And yes, I can hold a small piece... I can hold it right there, no problem.”

To those who feel like they have to give up their passion, Gale offers these words of advice.

“You’ve got to try it. If the first attempt doesn't work, try something else. Because I want to let others know you can do it. Don’t ever doubt yourself. Keep moving forward," she said.

Gale says she plans to enter some competitions, get her work back into art galleries and eventually teach art to people in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

This article was written by Amy Wadas for KMGH.