Linda Parker has witnessed a miracle. After she and her husband, Dennis, a Navy veteran, moved to South Carolina in 2001, he became so sick with pancreatic cancer that chemotherapy was not an option. They moved back to be near family in Indiana, where Dennis was in hospice with only weeks to live. Linda did some research on herbs and started giving him Essiac tea three times a day. “He started getting better and better,” she said. “The hospice nurse called me a year later and said, ‘Are you sitting down? He’s cancer free.’ No one seemed to take it seriously, but I feel the tea is what cured him.” She continues to grow herbs and hopes to restore her commercial-size greenhouse soon.
Linda and her husband returned to South Carolina about a year ago. She is now retired from the medical field, in which she worked as an emergency room technician and in doctors’ offices. “It was a living,” she said. “As time went on, it became more paperwork than patient care.”
Always artistic and crafty, Linda found her medium through colored pencils. “I went crazy when I saw colored pencils,” she said. “That led me into scratchboard art, which is my main thing now. I never had anything hit me so hard and that was so beautiful as that. It shows the light, and I love art with light.” Artists she admires include Cathy Sheeter and Lorna Wagner Hannett.
Scratchboard is an illustrative technique using sharp knives and tools for engraving into a thin layer of white China clay that is coated with dark, often black India ink. Linda uses an Ampersand board and an exacto knife. “Those are the only things you need,” she said. “It allows you to create incredible detail.”