In those days, he would crawl from the hut into the dusty compound, clear a bit of space, and create various images in his inner mind with charcoal on the ground. "My entire world was the people around me, animals and the forest. I’d seen vehicles before, but they were no longer part of my daily experience. Once in a while an aircraft would fly overheard. There wasn’t enough strength in my arms to wave at them. In an environment such as I found myself, you can guess what I was sketching in my imagination with charcoal-- mostly animals.
“One day, my mother brought good news. She’d met a gentleman in Kumasi who was going to take us to meet a specialist to help me walk. We went to settle in my mother’s hometown Nyankyerenease, near Kumasi. A few weeks later, I was taken to the orthopedic specialist. He resided in Nsawam, but visited Kumasi on occasion to train the disabled to use various aids. On my first visit for training, he tried me on crutches. It didn’t work. However, I was able to use a four -wheeled walker. I managed to use it for three years. The walker improved my movements significantly. The village had a school, and as I could now move around I made friends very quickly among the pupils. Interestingly enough, every pupil who couldn't draw came to me for help.
“One day I got a visit from a gentleman who introduced himself as an artist. He had seen some of the things I’d painted for the other pupils and was impressed. He said I had talent. He brought me an art book and colored pencils for me to practice. He made friends with me and started convincing me to go to school. It was a very difficult decision to make. Firstly, I was old--in fact I was nearing twenty-four. Secondly, the thought of traveling slowly everyday on my walker to and from school scared me. It took me quite some time to brave it. I felt too old to join the primary school pupils, so I negotiated to start in Junior High School. The Headteacher was supportive. She took me through various tests, and recommended that I make a start in class six. I accepted and started schooling.
“In the beginning it was not easy at all; I used to write with both arms, which was difficult and slow. One day I just decided to try using my mouth instead, and that was how I started. I have painted a number of scenes which I sell. My aim is to help other people with disabilities to establish themselves. My main inspiration for painting is nature, and I make use of canvas, acrylic paints and water.”
Joel is now married to his beautiful wife, Ruth. They met at church and fell for each other. They have two lovely kids. Joel aims to show the international world not just his painting, but the beauty of art.
7 items by Joel Acheampong
The Destiny of a Woman
Signed Acrylic on Canvas Figure Painting
The Destiny of a Woman, Signed Acrylic on Canvas Figure Painting
Joel AcheampongWest Africa's Joel Acheampong depicts the dedication of women to their families in this striking acrylic painting. The artist paints a group of women in colorful clothes who balance baskets on their...$289.99
Together as One
Signed Acrylic on Canvas Bird Painting
Together as One, Signed Acrylic on Canvas Bird Painting
Joel AcheampongTwo birds stand side by side in solidarity against a glowing orange sunset in this acrylic painting by West Africa's Joel Acheampong. The artist paints the birds in silhouette, backlit by the sinking...$469.99
Unity is Strength
Signed Realist Painting of Two African Deer from Ghana
Unity is Strength, Signed Realist Painting of Two African Deer from Ghana
Joel AcheampongDipping their heads together to drink from a stream, two majestic African deer are framed against lush green grasses. Ghanaian artist Joel Acheampong paints this nature-inspired scene in a realist...$579.99
The Still Water
Signed Impressionist River Scene Painting from Ghana
The Still Water, Signed Impressionist River Scene Painting from Ghana
Joel AcheampongGhanaian artist Joel Acheampong exercises his masterful control over his medium as he paints this composition. Local villagers bathe and play in the shimmering green waters of a river, captured in an...$579.99
No Food for Lazy Woman
Impressionist Painting of a Woman Cycling Home from Ghana
No Food for Lazy Woman, Impressionist Painting of a Woman Cycling Home from Ghana
Joel AcheampongSays Ghanaian artist Joel Acheampong, "Every woman goes the extra mile to fend for his family." He paints this scene in an impressionist style, depicting an African mother with her child as...$289.99
Offer the Same Support You...
Signed Realist Still Life Painting of Plantains from Ghana
Offer the Same Support You..., Signed Realist Still Life Painting of Plantains from Ghana
Joel AcheampongSays Ghanaian artist Joel Acheampong, "You should give respect to anybody you come across." Inspired by this belief, he paints this realist still life composition, depicting green and yellow...$469.99
The Struggle of a Woman
Expressionist Painting of an African Woman in Yellow
The Struggle of a Woman, Expressionist Painting of an African Woman in Yellow
Joel AcheampongAgainst a subdued yellow background with colorful splashes, an African woman travels with a basket balanced atop her head. Ghanaian artist Joel Acheampong paints this expressionist composition...$289.99