Appomattox artist uses gift of painting to share joy at LifeWorks Rehab | News

Coleman Harlow, known to his community friends as Sonny Harlow, is currently at the Appomattox Health & Rehabilitation Center receiving qualified therapy services while recovering from a broken hip.

During Harlow’s stay, he talked about his passion for drawing and painting and his goal to paint professionally again.

The therapist worked with him along with other staff to achieve his goal by taking into account what he liked to do with his therapy.

Harlow was approached about the ability to paint the Lifeworks Rehab logo on the wall right outside the gym. He ordered the paint, picked up his brush, and was ready to begin. While painting, you could see him smiling and expressing how much he enjoyed what he was doing and with such ease.

Harlow told Appomattox Health & Rehab the story of how he first became interested in drawing and art as a child. He said he was four when his family first bought a TV. There was a show called “Sailor Bob” from Richmond, Virginia. The show featured two cartoon characters, and during the show a man took out a piece of paper and started drawing the cartoon characters.

Harlow was so intrigued that he started drawing “Popeye,” which was the first drawing he completed. His interest continued and he began to draw trucks. He took art classes while at Albemarle County High School.

Harlow never thought that he would end up working professionally as an artist and decorative painter to make a living.

He worked in Charlottesville and moved to Lynchburg in 1980. It was around this time that he was introduced to some interior designers in Lynchburg who gave him the first opportunity to faux-paint a house in Rivermont to make columns look like marble. The work went wonderfully, and word of mouth made people pick up his phones to do other tasks. Harlow never had to advertise his business.

In 1990 he met a woman named Elizabeth, who was an accountant for one of the interior designers he worked for. The couple married in 1993.

Harlow’s artwork can be seen in Lynchburg in Amazement Square, a couple of old churches downtown – the roof of the sanctuary and scrolls in the dome area. In Appomattox, his artwork can be seen downtown as he completed the historic mural on the wall at the Coleman Feed Store and a painting at Country Charm. Some restaurants like Pinos and Mama T’s also have Harlow painted walls.

Harlow has achieved his therapy goals at Appomattox Health & Rehab and will return home to continue his work.

If you are interested in Harlow’s artwork or any project, contact him at Decorative Faux Paint Finishes by Sonny Harlow at 434-352-5204 or 434-660-6073.

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