SUNSET -- His paintings of old barns and country landscapes reveal that Ned Shelley once could hold a paintbrush with no difficulty.
Now the 73-year-old Sunset retired art teacher plans to sell more than 300 oil paintings -- almost his life's work -- to raise funds for the disease that has robbed him of speech and mobility.
Shelley, who taught art at Sunset Junior High School from 1965 to 1997, has painted since his mother died when he was 14 years old. A sketch he did of his parents shortly after his mother's death hangs in his small kitchen.
"The day a seventh-grader came to his desk and asked him to show her how to draw a simple thing and he couldn't do it, was the day he knew he had to retire," said Sandra Shelley, his wife of almost 50 years.
Shortly after that Shelley was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
Although their home is packed with paintings -- some framed, some not -- he has also given many of his paintings away over the years to family and friends.
Even though Parkinson's disease stole his speech and mobility, Shelley has refused to allow it to rob him of painting. He still goes into his small studio almost every day to either sketch or paint.
"Painting is an attempt to fight back against a terrible disease," Shelley wrote in a note for this story.
His daughter, Angie Keyes, said the disease at first affected Shelley's use of his right arm.
"So he taught himself to paint with his left hand," Keyes said.
Then he had brain surgery and was able to paint again with his right hand.
Keyes said her father tried to teach her to paint, "but I never caught on."
Shelley now communicates by using an iPad. The disease has taken away his ability to drive, go hunting, go out for a walk or do yard work, he wrote.
"He was always very active," said his friend, Sunset Fire Chief Neal Coker.
When asked how often he paints now, Shelley wrote, "Whenever I think of an idea."
Numerous three-ring binders, stacked on a desk and in bookcases, contain sketches he has done during the past 60 years. He also has copies of poems he wrote for his children and grandchildren.
Recently he had an operation on one of his legs. Jerry Bailey, a neighbor, said he had gone to visit Shelley in the care center and found him painting a landscape, using pictures from magazines for his inspiration.
Bailey said he met Shelley about four years ago. Since then, he has helped Shelley either make frames for his artwork or find inexpensive frames at secondhand stores, like Deseret Industries.
Bailey said he enjoys looking through Shelley's work, which includes more than paintings. Shelley had illustrated three books, one of which has been published. He also drew a comic strip, "Mooford," about a Holstein cow, in the Spanish Fork Press and received an award from the Society of Professional Journalists.