Granite City man picks up painting after developing Parkinson’s

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GRANITE CITY, IL (KTVI) – He’s a little bit bob Ross with a touch of Thomas Kincaid. Granite City resident Mark Carroll is discovering his own style and learning a new skill he picked up just a few years ago.

“When I paint it just takes my mind off of everything and I really don't notice it,” Carroll said. “Makes me feel good with my Parkinson's.”

In 2004, the electrician by trade was told he had Parkinson’s, a long-term disorder of the central nervous system. After having to leave his chosen field, he picked up a paint brush about four years ago.

“Sometimes when my medicine hasn't kicked in, you have to walk away,” he said. “The shake is too bad that you have to just give it up for a little while.”

The cause of Parkinson’s is unknown, but the muscle degenerative disease is bringing Carroll’s creations to life. With no formal training, he has improved upon his craft and hopes to hone his skills well enough to enter his work in an area art fair.

“My brother said, ‘Why you don’t start doing your own stuff?’” Carroll said. “So I start dabbling in my own stuff and this is what has come out of my own stuff.”

After copying other artists, he credits his faith with helping him find inspiration. And as he develops his own style and this unexpected new chapter in his life, it might be a story that could inspire others.

And that's okay with Carroll.

“Painting is my life,” he said. “I'm a painter.”

If you'd like to contact Mark Carroll about his work, you can email his wife at