I had to let them go and find new things. One of those was the rediscovery of my gift of painting.
I had two art teachers at school and they both put me off. In junior school I accidentally tipped over my water pot and the teacher caned me in front of the whole class. In the next school the art master was a tyrant and intimidated us rather than encouraged. This left me believing I just could not do art.
It was years later when a colleague and I attended an evening class for portraiture in oils, that my eyes were opened. Our tutor was not just a good artist, he tuned in with us and was very encouraging. He told me that I had taken to painting “like a duck to water!”
Painting was put on hold for a few years because of family, work pressures and general busyness, until I looked in at a local art gallery. I was fascinated by the landscapes on show and thought to myself “I could do that!” I had a go and I did. Eventually I even exhibited at the same gallery.
The painting above was a first for several reasons. The first time I’d done inland water or boats or architecture. It was too big for our home – it’s four feet long – so it’s now hanging in our local hospital.
This probably wouldn’t have happened without the encouragement or without the illness.