After a coma wipes her memories, this mom and entrepreneur finds healing in art.
Written by Ayn-Monique Klahre
Born in east Texas, Marcy Gregg had an early interest in art. She studied it in college, then put it aside as she married and her family began to grow. But in 1990, her life changed: A medical complication left her in a coma, but she miraculously gained consciousness—though many of her memories from her life were gone. As Gregg rebuilt her identity, even finding success in the corporate world, she found art to be the outlet for expressing her gratitude to God for her second chance at life. Gregg now works as an artist full-time, with pieces displayed in private and corporate collections across the U.S. and overseas. Her work will be on display at Art Source Fine Art through February 11.
What’s your first memory of practicing art as a child?
I don’t know my exact age…probably early elementary school. I would sit with my large box of crayons and color, covering the paper in designs—colorful designs—maybe these were my first abstracts! I loved color even then.
What was the health issue that changed the course of your life?
In 1990 at the age of 30, I contracted pneumococcal bacterial spinal meningitis during the delivery of our third child. I went into a coma. I miraculously woke up, but learned that my memory had been affected. I lost a lot of my memory. There were several hard years that followed the coma until I came to a turning point in my life. Although my memories still haven’t returned, I find myself grateful God has given me a second chance at life.
How did you find yourself creating artwork again?
I majored in art at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. I put my art on hold to raise my family. After the coma, with no memory of my days in the art school at SMU, I had a clean slate to begin painting. When I picked up the paintbrush after all those years, the love of art…that emotion came flooding back.
What are you favorite sorts of pieces to create?
I’m an abstract painter, and I love to paint large paintings…layers of paint…with color and line work that play throughout. A perfect day in the studio is me in front of a large canvas, with big mounds of oil paint, music playing—Christian praise music or a good James Taylor or Carly Simon—brushes in hand and nothing but time to create.
What do you hope to communicate through your artwork?
My goal in each painting is to leave something to the imagination; lines lost or an unexpected perspective found. I want my viewers excited and energized when they see my work.