Painter with autism & epilepsy wows art enthusiasts

Dane Capo is an extraordinary artist. But perhaps equally extraordinary is the story of how he became one.

From the time Dane was little, his mother Krista Capo knew he was different.

Dane's first seizure occurred at 10 months old. He was hospitalized and put on intense medication.

Krista said those medications masked his autism behaviors.

"When he had seizures and they lasted for 11 days, he was more autistic," Krista told "Good Day L.A." anchor Elex Michaelson. (See pic 2)

"He has a huge language deficit even today," she said.

At age 5, Dane was officially diagnosed with autism.

His mom said he struggled in regular school, so Krista pulled him out and began home schooling in Hermosa Beach.

Krista took her kids on a road trip to visit state capitals and to spend time with her ailing mother. Krista's mom was a painter and gifted her paint supplies to her daughter and grandkids as her health failed.

Krista hired tutors to help teach Dane. One day, the tutor asked Dane to try art.

The result was a remarkable painting of Henri Matisse.

Krista couldn't believe it was Dane's work.

"I was like, oh my God. Now what are we going to do? I didn't see the art coming and he continued painting and painting."

Dane told Elex painting was "easier" than other things he'd tried before.

The work was so strong, a local artist offered to show it in a gallery.

Krista said Dane was filled with joy. "Dane for the very first time, I saw this kid that he was born to be. He worked the room and he greeted everyone and he had so much pride in what he did!"

She continued, "He watched the door and every time someone came in, he ran to them and was like, 'I'm the artist!"

Dane said it made him very "happy" to have so many people see his art.

What made him perhaps most happy was when Ringo Starr liked his work, especially because Dane is a bit obsessed with the Beatles.

A friend introduced Ringo to Dane's pieces and Ringo invited Dane backstage at a concert to talk art. (See pic 3)

"He must have been in there talking to Dane about art for twenty minutes. It was incredible. It was the most incredible moment!" said Krista.

Dane is now selling his artwork on:

His largest pieces sell for $6,000 each. He's also selling prints and art on socks and bags.

Capo also recently started a job doing data entry. His mom said the job helps him feel more fulfilled and gives him reason to paint.

She said that art has changed her son's life. "It's given him purpose, whether he sees that or not."

Krista hopes that Dane's story will inspire others to look at the disabled in a different light.

"Everybody is capable of something. I truly, truly, truly believe that!" she said. "All the years that Dane was told he couldn't and then this magic, its magic that came out of him!"

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