If you've been following my blog posts you'll know that I have scoliosis. I discovered it a while ago and I wrote about it here. I have all sorts of degenerative back problems and the pain associated with them. I've been active all my life but now, after fifteen minutes of walking, I have to sit down for a while to reduce the pain from spinal stenosis.
I went through a period of adjustment when I first found out about it. Even though I knew plenty of people deal with health issues far worse than mine, I would cry myself to sleep some nights, feeling sorry for myself. Now however, 2 years on, I've accepted my illness. I have joined a gym and I'm taking 4 classes a week. Burpees and jumping squats are beyond my capabilities, but I can do alternative exercises when all the younger gym junkies remind me of what it's like to have a flexible spine.
The one thing that keeps me going every day, and it brings tears to my eyes to talk about it, are my watercolours. Being able to paint with watercolour every day is an absolute joy. Whenever my brush is in my hand, my paints are beside me and that velvety textured watercolour paper is in front of me I am in my happy place. When I paint, I forget about my problems and I forget about the way the world is now. I escape into a beautiful world of water, colour and shapes.
I recently dipped my toes into the world of online teaching and I'm revelling in the discovery. Now I can combine my love of painting with my experience as a teacher and I can share the joy of painting in watercolor with students all around the world. The feedback I have received on my classes has been wonderful. It is so satisfying to know that people are learning to conquer watercolour......well maybe not conquer......but certainly improve their skills. When I paint with watercolour I tend to walk the twisted road between proficiency and complete lack of control so 'conquering watercolour' is something I don't think I'll ever achieve. But that's what makes it such a joy to work with and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my passion with so many people.
In my latest class on Skillshare I walk my students step by step through this painting of a Giraffe.
This is one of the giraffes from Taronga Zoo in Sydney. I took some photos of them last time I was there.
Giraffes are an excellent subject to paint in watercolour because their coats are smooth and you don't have to worry about trying to capture all that hair. They have big beautiful eyes and long eyelashes and their spots form interesting patterns. Even if you are not interested in painting Giraffes I have lots of tips and techniques to share with you and I'm sure you will enjoy looking over my shoulder as I paint. The link to the class is here.
I am also working on putting some classes here on my website for those people who don't want to sign up for subscriptions on other sites. Students will be able to access each class here after paying a small fee. I have to iron out all of the technical problems first so bear with me.
So here's to life-long learning and always working on conquering those things that challenge us.
Love to all!