Mouth Stick Painting in Acrylics
Lori Schmidt
Pretty Pair
"I love painting, and it's one thing that will always come from my heart." 
—Lori Schmidt
Lori grew up in Hemlock, Michigan, a farming community near Saginaw, MI. Like many disabled artists, Lori discovered her talents surreptitiously. Born with arthrogryposis, and due to an unfortunate surgery, Lori had no movement in any of her limbs. And so at age 10, while looking for a way to occupy her time, Lori began painting with her mouth, with an art kit her mom bought her for Christmas. Soon Lori discovered her happiness and special talent as a painter.
Lori became a professional artist, accepting commissions for her brilliantly colored paintings,done in acrylics. Lori incorporated Pointillism into parts of her paintings—a style she executed well and a medium particularly well suited to mouth artists. Lori also sold licenses to her paintings to greeting card companies and she made a career for herself in her chosen field.
In college, Lori pursued the more practical business major of accounting and then pre-law, but she wasn't happy because she really wanted to paint instead.
Lori's adaptive tool was a 99-cent back-scratcher! Lori picked up paper with it, turned on water, and carried her pet birds on it—once she picked them up, they didn't want to get down!
Lori also served as the president of her building's management board. She and her husband, Joe handled rentals and other management of their building, which housed seniors and people with disabilities.
Another big part of Lori's life was her bird sanctuary of stranded and disabled birds. She had up to seven birds: a parrot with a bad leg, Ruby-Lori's cockatiel with a bad attitude (didn't get along with her mate!), a finch, a canary, 2 parakeets, and a parrolette (miniature parrot) with clubbed feet. Lori adored her birds and took special care of them.
In summer, Lori made up for being a winter shut-in by spending as much time out in nature as she could. An especially nice paved path nearby took Lori and Joe through the woods and by a waterfall. Lori drew her inspiration from nature and passed it on to us through her paintings.
Lori was a remarkable woman who passed away in 2011.  Read her dedication here and see more of her paintings. 
Thorp House