NEW BRITAIN – For most successful artists, it takes a steady hand to create their works but Gabe Felix doesn’t have that luxury.
Thirteen years ago, after numerous run-ins with the law, a life in a street gang, five years in prison, Felix was shot in the neck during a street altercation.
The bullet wound left Felix a quadriplegic, a ventilator now keeps him breathing, and, unable to use his arms or legs, Felix has lived at the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain.
Eleven years ago Felix turned his life around and he attributes that to painting.
“I have a mouth stick and we tape a paintbrush to it,” Felix said. “I have and easel that goes back and forth so I can paint, and I just go at it.”
For someone who uses only his mouth to paint, Gabe has been getting accolades from all over. His works are on the walls at the Hospital for Special Care and some paintings have made their way to local art shows.
“I amaze myself sometimes,” Felix said. “I sit back and I say wow, I made that!”
Deanna Scolsky, a therapeutic recreation aide at the Hospital for Special Care said, “I don’t know how he does it, the lines are so smooth, he’s so patient...I’ve never seen a piece that’s anything less than amazing.”
Felix says he is hoping to one day earn a college degree, he speaks to school kids and warns them not to follow his path. “I keep it real and don’t sugar coat it because they need reality,” Felix added. He has also started a GoFundMe page.
In hopes of raising the thousands of dollars, Felix will need to buy a specialized van so he can be driven to speak to school kids.
Felix does sell his artworks and says he will continue to paint.
“My body is paralyzed but my mind and my spirit is still the same,” Felix said. “Don’t let anything hold you back.”
To see more of Gabe’s paintings click the Gabe’s Vision Facebook page here.