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Canyon Lake resident’s diagnoses leads to discovery of hidden talent

Photo provided by Bree De Beaulieu.

Bree De Beaulieu was living in Canyon Lake for 15 years and was making a living as an assistant manager for two oral surgery offices. Life was good for the mom of four. Then came the diagnosis.

In early 2020, De Beaulieu began falling, fainting, shaking, and experiencing rapid eye movement. Around July 2020, De Beaulieu visited several neurologists and was eventually diagnosed with functional neurological disorder (FND), a complex condition that causes neurological symptoms without an apparent structural problem in the nervous system.

By the end of 2020, De Beaulieu began experiencing vocal and movement tics. Near the end of 2021, she began having PNES seizures and suffering from PTSD, which she said is part of her FND diagnosis.

Photo provided by Bree De Beaulieu.

To ease the depression associated with her disability and the heartache she was suffering from her dog passing away, De Beaulieu picked up a paintbrush in September 2022 and started painting on rocks. With no formal art or painting experience, De Beaulieu soon discovered she had a talent for painting. “It just came naturally,” she said.

Once De Beaulieu started featuring her artwork on her Facebook page, Brees Rocks, custom orders started rolling in for pet memorials, paintings of the Canyon Lake Lighthouse, and address rocks.

De Beaulieu has filled about 40 custom orders in the six months she has been painting rocks. She also paints on coasters and plans to start painting on canvas.

Photo provided by Bree De Beaulieu.

De Beaulieu sells her custom-painted rocks from $10 to $50, depending on the request.

De Beaulieu said painting and the companionship her rescue Doberman provides has helped her to cope with her disorder and fill the void of not being able to work anymore. 

“Painting rocks helps me to relax and take my mind off of my condition and the things I am no longer able to do,” Bree said. “Some days I’m not even able to get out of bed or make myself a meal.”

To view more of De Beaulieu’s painted rocks, click here. To donate rocks for Bree to paint, email [email protected].

Photo provided by Bree De Beaulieu.
Photo provided by Bree De Beaulieu.
Photo provided by Bree De Beaulieu.
Photo provided by Bree De Beaulieu.
Photo provided by Bree De Beaulieu.
Photo provided by Bree De Beaulieu.
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