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OCD Therapy leads to Job

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Tuesday, 30 December 2008

PROVIDENCE  —  How Pawtucket resident Jeffrey Sparr became a successful artist, one who has sold dozens of acrylic paintings at prices ranging into thousands of dollars, stuns even himself.

What’s more intriguing is that an affliction called Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder helped him find that hobby-turned-part-time professional job.
During the day, Sparr — a 45-year-old husband to Jennifer and father of three — acts as president/CEO to Textiles2, Inc., a solid sales, marketing and management corporation on the verge of its ninth birthday. However, when he feels his OCD getting the better of him, he retreats to the basement/art studio located under his 1 Charles St. business, for a bit of “brush-stroke” therapy.

“I’ve never taken lessons, but — yeah — I’ve looked at a couple of books,” Sparr, who founded Peace Love Organization with Jennifer this year — proudly stated Thursday afternoon. “I know a long time ago, some people involved with art would show me how to paint a certain way, but that wasn’t me. I’ve always done my own thing. I guess you say I do abstract stuff, but I have an abstract disease.

“If you notice my images, there are no faces,” he added. “You know why? I can’t draw faces.”
Fact is, Sparr now has been deemed so talented in his work, Butler Hospital (on Providence’s East Side) — where he has sought treatment for years now — chose to hang six of his original creations on its walls during a Nov. 19 press conference.

The collection includes works from his popular “Mind” and “Peace Love” series, and also a “quadruplet” entitled “Getting Better,” not to mentioned his famed “The Peace Man,” which he composed on campus that very day.

In addition, every two weeks, Sparr instructs youngsters ages 6-15 (with similar afflictions) as to the nuances of painting while explaining how this particular hobby has made him more whole.

“I’ve waited to do this for years now,” Sparr grinned. “I wanted to put my artwork up at Butler, though one of my stipulations was to place them on blank walls that I myself have stared at so often … OCD is a daily struggle. In fact, I told somebody just (Thursday) that the daunting task of trying to accomplish what we do here in the textiles business is ‘small-fry’ stuff to battling what I have to experience every day.

“On the outside, it all looks good, I look fine,” he added. “On the inside, I’m experiencing a real-world problem, and I have to deal with it all the time. Trust me, it’s not easy

Read the rest of the article here: http://www.pawtuckettimes.com/content/view/62578/27/

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