Jeff LaDow was 18 years old when a diving accident rendered him a quadriplegic. Shortly after the accident, Jeff taught himself to paint using his mouth. Jeff was accepted into the Milwaukee Art Museum’s German masters program, where he maintained his studies for 13 years. He joined the MFPA in 1992, after a professor recommended he become involved.
“Before losing my arms, I might not have made the time to paint. Now I paint five to seven hours a day, five days a week. The financial independence garnered from MFPA is very gratifying,” he said.
Jeff’s family inspires many of his pieces. His brother and niece, who are avid scuba divers, share vivid stories about their adventures, which Jeff visualizes and depicts in his paintings.
In his spare time, Jeff enjoys tandem skydiving, which he first attempted about five years ago. “Falling through the sky at 100 miles an hour is quite a rush. It gives you a fix of energy, and after it is over, a peaceful moment overcomes you.”
Jeff also recruits new MFPA members because he claims, “It is important to inspire others. One never knows if he or she can do something without trying.”
Jeff lives in Hales Corners, Milwaukee. Jeff is a Full Member of the Association.