Rochester Couple Finds Healing in Art

January 01, 2018 10:18 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Mixing vibrant hues of color can calm the soul.

For one Rochester couple, art is more than just a hobby. It’s a coping mechanism that helps them deal with grief and depression.


“It takes 15 minutes to learn and a lifetime to perfect,” said Bob Trebble.

Bob is most at peace in his basement art studio, getting lost in painting. Whether spray paint, oil paint or watercolor, he says he loses track of all his problems.

It wasn't something he went to school for or even something he does for money.

His hobby began as a way to cope with the death of his mother in 2001.  “I had a lot of grief and depression,” said Bob.

Painting was his go-to therapy after the passing of his father in 2006, and again in 2008 when he was shot in the back of the head with a nail gun. “Two nails went into back of head, into my skullcap,” he said, “and embedded in my skullcap.”

Bob suffered a stroke that left him with a weak left arm and nerve damage in his left leg. “I was falling deeper into a depression.”

Something his wife, Margaret Nelson, can relate to. On Christmas day in 2006, she lost her mother to a heart attack.

“Christmas is really hard for me to get through,” said Margaret.

She is also disabled.  “I have scoliosis, I have two blown discs, I have vertebras that are deteriorating, I have diabetes and I also have neuropathy in my feet,” said Margaret.

However, when she picks up her colored pencils … “The coloring sometimes takes the pain away”.

Bob - with his paintings - and Margaret - with her intricate coloring designs - hope to inspire a positive coping mechanism for those struggling with depression.

“Instead of picking up the bottle, or a bottle of pills,” said Margaret, “easiest way is to pick up a colored pencil or crayon.’

Letting their imaginations roam to separate worlds under the same roof.


Hannah Tiede

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