PLAINVILLE - It was upon a hospital stay two years ago that Scott Widak began to color his world.
The 44-year-old, who has Down syndrome, has since turned out about 50 Rose Art "Fuzzy" brand drawings, said his mother, Statia.
Sometimes he copies the box top, other times he chooses his own vivid color scheme.
He's meticulous, and has developed his own technique in his approach to each patterned drawing.
"It's something that gives him great pleasure," his mother said while giving a tour of her son's "studio," which includes an easel and art supplies, in a lower level room of their Plainville home.
Widak wanted to share Scott's art as encouragement to other parents or caregivers of adults with Down syndrome, based on the enjoyment and sense of accomplishment her son has found through painting and drawing.
The brightly colored stencil patterns of wildlife, dinosaurs and dragons are displayed around the room as Scott shows a visitor the boxes they came in, comparing the pictures on the boxes to those he has colored. He's added sequins and glitter to others.
Scott is a social man, but his speech is a little unclear to the untrained ear.
He lost his hearing when he was young, but later had surgery to help restore it. He also has other medical problems that affect his breathing and speech.
His mother helps to translate when he speaks.
Scott graduated from the regional special education program in North Attleboro at age 20 and has taken literacy classes on and off over the years.
They shoot to accomplish a bit more with each of those classes, Statia Widak said.
Her son has his own residence, but spends most of his time with her.
His care has involved a lot of family support and devotion over the years, Widak said.
Scott was the fifth of six children and the only one to be born with a developmental disability.
As is often said, "art is a universal language," said Petite Konstantin, executive director of L.A. GOAL, a non-profit program founded about 40 years ago in Los Angeles by parents whose teenagers with developmental disabilities were graduating from high school with no clear plans for the future.
The program, which initially taught the essentials of daily life, has broadened to include offerings such as art.
Its artists' work, titled "Disabled Fables," was featured on the Today Show.
"It's amazing what he's doing," Konstantin said of Scott's venture into art, "because somehow, somewhere, he figured out he was going to do this and he recognized his abilities."
"He's sharing it with his family. He's socializing, he's changed their world in some way," she said.
Konstantin said many people with developmental disabilities have talents that can be encouraged.
"Now, people are starting to listen more to what they want," she said.
Scott's work might not ever hang in an art gallery, Konstantin said, but his family and friends, "are acknowledging him through his art."