What makes an ordinary man become an extraordinary artist? This is a memoir of a surgical resident in New Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina discover a hidden talent in oil painting. The author's message is clear: everyone has hidden talents and it is never too late to pursue them. Every artist has a beginning, but Mark's was extraordinary. New Orleans produced many great artists from Louis Armstrong, Edgar Degas, to George Rodrigue. Their stories were written years later, often distorted by time and fame. What is it about New Orleans that drives such creative powers into the artist generation after generation? This book answers the question beautifully for one artist. The memoir recounts the stories behind Mark's first fourteen paintings. It is divided into three periods: the years before Hurricane Katrina, the events during the storm, and the aftermath of the storm. It balances his medical profession with his artistic passion. Mark struggles with his own demons after parting ways with his girlfriend, Isabelle. In an attempt to numb the pain while facing the rigors of general surgery training, Mark turns to the life of debauchery. At the brink of self destruction, a gift of painting is given to him for an unknown reason. The redemption from the decadence takes time and pain. Mark meets his muse, Cheyenne, and develops a unique relationship as he struggles to win her heart. Two strong characters balance the intensity of the journey: Daniel, the comic relief, and Rich Livingston, the loyal friend. This memoir balances heroism, love, humor, and tragedy-all the things required to inspire an artist on the rise.