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Find a way to paint while you are able (or partially able!)

Isn’t it weird when a lyric from a song jumps out at you and you really hear the line for the first time, despite having heard it play a hundred times before?

This happened to me last week. 

I’d been writing a blog post about how important it is to prioritise doing things you really enjoy. The focus was on neuroscience research that shows doing enjoyable activities helps you to grow your inner strengths and actually enjoy your life more over the long term.

Of course as a mummy to two toddlers, my blog post writing was interspersed with time watching cartoons with them. And for a long while the favourite has been The Tiger That Came to Tea. It’s a beautifully animated 2019 adaptation of a children’s book classic. 

In it there’s a joyful song performed by Robbie Williams which I’d heard SO many times. But this time a line from the chorus line jumped out at me:

“Do the things you love while you are able”

The poignancy of this really touched me. 

It brought to mind the HUNDREDS of emails my team and I have received from people, mostly in later life, now struggling to paint due to health conditions affecting their eyes or hands, or both. 

So I wanted to share this as a rallying cry to those of you still in good enough health to paint and draw in the ways you want to.  

Your time is NOW. 

If you LOVE painting, or believe you will, please don’t put off doing it until some future date when you think it’ll be more convenient to do it. Make the most of your health now. It can’t be taken for granted (something I learned in my late 20s).

But what about if you’ve already got health issues affecting you? 

Is it too late to enjoy painting? 

The thing about the messages I receive from people with compromised health is that, although I really feel for what they’ve lost, their courage and ingenuity shines through too.  

They’ve adapted. 

They’ve found ways they can paint, styles that suit the way they are now. Perhaps they can still enjoy the feel of the paint, the play of colour. Detailed work might now be much harder, but other styles bring them equal joy. 

And they’re not the only ones, artists throughout history have adapted. Here are just a couple of examples:

Grandma Moses (1860 – 1961)

At the age of 76, when her arthritis became so bad that she could no longer hold a needle to embroider with, Grandma Moses picked up a paintbrush instead. 

That small act of picking up a paintbrush led to Grandma Moses producing over 1,500 paintings in 3 decades, winning awards, being featured on the cover of TIME magazine, and her being awarded two honorary doctorate degrees. When she died at the age of 101, President John F. Kennedy said “The death of Grandma Moses removed a beloved figure from American life.”

Grandma Moses achieved all of this with painful, arthritic hands. In fact, when her right hand became too painful to paint with, she switched to her left!  She’s an artist who has inspired me profoundly. You can read more about her, and see her work, in a blog post I wrote about her here.

Henri Matisse (1869-1954)

For the last 14 years of his life, Matisse needed to use a wheelchair, and had to adapt his artistic practices. He took to working with torn pieces of paper and worked with assistants, using chalk on the end of a long stick to sketch out where the pieces of paper should be placed.

Rather than allowing his reduced mobility to lower his spirits, Matisse felt more able to do and say as he wanted, and described these years as “une second vie”, or his second life. 

Paul Klee (1897-1940)

In the last 5 years of his life, prolific artist Paul Klee started to suffer from a mystery illness which affected his skin and his internal organs, causing him great pain and fatigue. Ten years after his death, his condition was diagnosed as “scleroderma”, an extremely rare disease.

Though the joints in his hands were causing him extreme pain, he continued to paint. His style became simpler, less colourful, and dominated by black lines. Whilst his productivity was affected, Klee painted through his pain right up until the end of his life.

So the message here is: focus on the things you ARE able to do. And make sure you DO them. You deserve to enjoy yourself!

It’s a happy message, especially when you take it from Tiger (and have a little boogie):

Have health issues affected your ability to paint? Have you had to move away from painting detail? Have you had to change medium or style? 

Or has Tiger inspired you to pick up your brushes TODAY? 

I’d love to hear in the comments below. Your story may well inspire someone else who needs to hear it.

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75 Comments

  1. Julia Doran on April 13, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    Hello Anna,
    I love reading your blog, always so kind and supportive. The one you wrote which has had a huge impact on me where you said it was ok to paint even before I have done all my jobs (paraphrasing). I never prioritised enjoying myself over jobs and now I am sometimes sitting painting in my dressing gown with first cup of tea, heaven. It has meant I had time to paint Constance Spry and enjoy the weeks it took me. The jobs get done but I really seem to have more time to paint. So thank you Anna for all your lovely words and generous heart. With love from Julia Doran

    • Aileen Espinosa Cura on April 15, 2021 at 4:06 pm

      Hello Anna! The lockdown here in the Philippines (considered the longest lockdown in the world during this pandemic) has actually benefitted me. Being a senior at 62 yrs old, we are mandated to stay home. I welcomed it because now I have more time to paint! I do understand that for some people, being on lockdown has caused their mental health to suffer. I advised them to take up a hobby like painting, cross stitching, cooking or baking, reading (all these I do because I’m passionate about them.) But what really gives me the most satisfaction now is sketching and painting in watercolor. Thank you so much for your encouragement to take up the brush and paint, even for just 15-30 minutes a day. More power to you and your team!😊

  2. Anne on April 13, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    Hi Anna, just what I needed to hear today, a little motivation. Suffering with lockdown fatigue here in Ireland. Thank you.

    • Debra Shumate on April 15, 2021 at 3:27 pm

      Same. In Virginia!

  3. G. Gail Robb on April 13, 2021 at 3:49 pm

    Love your message – it’s so true! Thank you for inspiring us to grab the opportunities.

  4. Diane on April 13, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    You are amazing-2 small toddlers- definitely full time absorbent! And you still take time to encourage ‘your art world’ Thank you for sharing your indomitable spirit with us. So True!

  5. Barbara Bernard on April 13, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Most inspiring. Thank you.

  6. Anna Maria on April 13, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    Dear Anna, your wonderful message has reached me in a moment of uncertainty.
    I really liked the video which is very beautiful. It makes me think a lot.
    Thank you for sharing it!

  7. Pamela on April 13, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Thank you thank you. I am so much older and still need reminding. Today is all we have. You are both wise and engaged.

  8. Janet Copeland on April 13, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    How absolutely adorable! And, so true.
    Thank you for sharing this cute fun-filled cartoon. I enjoyed it and it has inspired me. I’m sharing it with a friend also who nearly died last year from an aortic problem. She told me just the other day that she knew she had been given a 2nd chance. She and I are dear friends and have been for a very, very long time (our 20’s). She will love it and she is definitely an artist. We just need to get started back. Thanks Anna, I love your attitude and diligence.

  9. Jana on April 13, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    I needed that today! Looking after a very sick Great Dane(love of my life) for the last five days , but need to remember to celebrate even in the tough times. Thanks Anna

  10. Catherine on April 13, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    Thank you for your inspiring words!

  11. Michelle Mees on April 13, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    Thanks so much Anna! I’ve first picked up a paint brush at 55 and sometimes think of where I might be if I had started earlier. Such silly thoughts that run through our heads! So I’m pushing back on those thoughts and happily contemplate what I’ll learn next!

  12. Ricki Jean on April 13, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    This is so inspiring Anna, thank you. I’ll be seventy this year and am having some shaking issues together with arthritis and am determined to enjoy ‘the now’ of painting. This though has encouraged me to love today and work with the tomorrow’s.
    Take care and enjoy your toddlers too
    Ricki X

    • Susan McNair on April 13, 2021 at 4:53 pm

      Ricki Jean I also have arthritis and a shake in my right hand. I can no longer paint with watercoloues or pen and ink. I now paint in pastels, which I find much easier to control.

  13. Lumina on April 13, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    Dear Anna, thank you for your Blog and thank you for pointing out that there are ways to adapt to our capacities, then I think to try to surpass the limitations while praying for help, from GOD Our Holy FATHER! Time is in HIS HANDS!

  14. Sue Woffinden on April 13, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    Hi Anna, Thank you for all your inspiring messages. I loved watching the Tiger song and his message. I also realised that it is ok to give myself time to paint before doing the household jobs, it makes it all the more special to give time to painting earlier in the day. Happy painting everyone.

  15. Heather J Gregory on April 13, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    Really inspiring. I loved reading The Tiger Who Cam to Tea with my Grandson when he was younger. I am fitting my painting in within the cracks and crannies of my Forever Living Aloe Vera Business and my Beauty Business. My clients love to see my water colours thanks to you for all the inspiration you give mem

  16. Kathy Howard on April 13, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    I don’t always do something creative everyday, though I often let the creative activities over shadow the housework. I do feel a little guilty sometimes, because I am part of a family where everyone else seems to put work first. It is sad when someone says I though I would do such and such when I was older, but when they were older, they could no longer do it. I do a little painting, digital art for Print-on-demand and I make quilts (mostly for charity). Sometimes my activity is posting on FB to help others.

    • Kathy Howard on April 13, 2021 at 4:51 pm

      I need to be a better proofreader. ‘I thought’ it should read.

  17. Terese on April 13, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    Thank you Anna, what a beautiful, thoughtful and caring post! My world got knocked off it’s axis with the sudden death of my husband but I love the message with words like “while you are able”.
    Today I am able so I am inspired to gratefully accept the gift to be able to pick up the brushes. Results will not be perfect and that’s ok; the true and most important result is that my spirit is lighter and I found a moment of JOY.

  18. Brenda Gromling on April 13, 2021 at 5:01 pm

    ” No excuses”! Thanks for reminding us.

  19. nancy s paquin on April 13, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    Oh dear Anna…….
    Thank you so much for today’s post. I’m down temporarily with a pinched nerve in my spine. I was starting to feel helpless. Your message reminded me that there are plenty of things that I CAN do. And to appreciate the time when I can move about as normal. Thank you Thank you!!!!

    • Jamie on April 15, 2021 at 6:47 pm

      Hi Nancy, I had that injury as well. Actually I tore a disc in my lower back. It took about 6 months to heal. It hurt too much to walk , so instead I sat a lot during that time and tried to instead paint and draw which unfortunately resulted in a secondary injury a bulging disc and pinched nerve in my neck. This was twice as painful as the back. It took 3 months to start to get better. Just as it did it was reinjured after s visit to the neurologist and that took an additional 4 months of agonizing pain. My point here is not to tell you about my injuries so much as to provide proof that they will SLOWLY resolve with a lot of time and patience and to not get discouraged. It took all I had to not get demoralized, but if you know it will eventually go away it takes a lot of stress out of it. Not all, but some. Today I am cautious but feel great. Hope this helps.

  20. Renay on April 13, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    You have such a gift of encouragement and inspiration Anna, thank you for sharing it with the rest of us. Just reading these comments on my way down the page to place my own comment here puts tears in my eyes as I see how many people have already been lifted up and reminded that now is what we have. It’s so, so true. The tiger video is one of the best videos/songs I’ve seen – how wonderful! xx

  21. Karen Morningstar on April 13, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    Hi Anna, what an inspiring blog post. I also really like the one about Grandma Moses. I am 59 years old and retired from Nursing 4 years ago. This is when I began to take my art seriously and began to draw, paint and make watercolor journals. I do some sort of art daily whether it be making watercolor journals for my play, practicing drawing figures and faces, painting with acrylics and watercolors on paper and canvas, sewing fabric covers for my journals, etc. I feel like something is missing if I don’t do something creative.
    My son is 35 years old and I don’t have any grandchildren, so, I didn’t know about the Tiger movie. I really like the song you put in your post. It does give you an uplifting feeling, like you can do anything. And the fact that you won’t get this day again really hits home. Thank you for all that you do, and for the inspiration. I am inspired by the lovely painting you do.

  22. Gerri Suggett on April 13, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    The Tiger Who Came To Tea is an all time favourite in our house. Both of my children adored the story and now my baby granddaughter loves it too. She is 10 months old and sleeps with her tiger at bedtime after her bedtime story. Your message today really resonated with me. For many years I wanted to be a ‘real’ artist but work commitments got in the way. When I retired and had time to do botanical painting I developed a problem with my retina and can no longer do detailed work. I have embraced collage as a way forward and have found it very enjoyable and expressive. If you are creative the creativity will always find a way.

  23. Judith Brown on April 13, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    I’m in my 70’s and am relatively new to watercolour painting. I have quite severe arthritis in my hands and especially in my thumbs, one is locked in a permanent position. However, I am thankful that the position is in a perfect for holding a brush! Today is the day I have to do the thing I love doing——painting! One of my favourite quotes is from the Bible, “don’t trouble yourself about tomorrow for today has enough trouble of it’s own.” My dad had a saying.. “never say whoa in a mud hole”.. keep going everyone, such a blessing to be part of this wonderful community of artists!

  24. Rohan on April 13, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    Hi! Anna, Thank you so much for sharing these valuable thoughts with us. I love painting from my childhood. But with my job in the financial sector I found less time to create new things. I think that has drawn me back a lot.
    However I accidently saw one of your YouTube videos and inspired and started doing watercolor paintings again. These days I am finding my time to do the painting. Your story gave me a boost of energy and will be a great moral help.
    I am from Sri Lanka and wish you the very best in your creative endeavor.

  25. Deedle Whitcher on April 13, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    Very true.
    Very wise.
    Very encouraging.
    Thanks,

  26. Mandy on April 13, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    Dear Anna and anyone struggling with physical limitations — I was very inspired by your blog post and wanted to share how I manage to still paint in hopes it might help someone else. I had a spinal hemorrhage 12 years ago that left me with a chronic pain condition that makes sitting at a desk very difficult. So I paint in my recliner! I use two small (2 oz) screwtop bottles to hold my water (one dirty, one clean). I pop a magnet INSIDE each bottle. I use a plastic board as my small work surface and put a strong magnet on the backside, and I put the water bottles on the top. The magnets inside the water bottles bind to the magnet on the back side of the board, holding the water bottles in place so I can tip my board and the water won’t move. I also use a magnet to hold my metal palette in place. And binder clips hold my towel and my paper. I prop all this on the arm of my recliner with a pillow. I am careful to cover my recliner with some towels to protect it from joyfully flipped paint. And here I am, comfy and able to paint. Such a joy! I send my love and good thoughts to everyone who struggles with pain or any such difficulty. Thank you so much, Anna, for your kind words and spirit.

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2021 at 11:52 am

      Mandy thank you so much for sharing this – your ingenuity is fantastic and I’ve no doubt sharing this may help others. I am delighted for you that you have managed to paint despite what you’ve been through.

  27. Catherine on April 13, 2021 at 6:19 pm

    Thank you for posting this cute cartoon. The song is in my head and keeps playing over and over. That’s motivation!

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2021 at 11:51 am

      It’s so catchy!

  28. Tricia Gura on April 13, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    I love this! People think I’m crazy because I don’t watch TV anymore. I tell them I’ll watch again when I can’t do anything else. For now, I’m busy creating and I love it!

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2021 at 11:51 am

      Great attitude tricia!

  29. Carol Kelly on April 13, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    Anna, I so needed this especially today. My husband is gravely I’ll and I’m his primary caregiver and every day I say that I’m going to carve out time to paint. So far, I haven’t picked up a brush for two months.
    Whenever I do paint, I experience a lightness of spirit , so today may be the day I needed to read your blog and take action.
    Thank you for your inspirations along the way. You never know who you are going to touch.

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2021 at 11:51 am

      Carol it can be so hard to prioritise yourself in a situation like yours, but doing so usually means you are feeling better able to care for your loved one. I hope you are able to find a little space to look after yourself.

  30. Andrea B on April 13, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    Thanks for your blog post. I think most of us take our good health for granted. I did too until I lost a significant percentage of my vision due to a brain tumor. But my story had a very happy ending; I regained all of sight immediately after successful surgery and radiation treat,ents. That was some years ago now, but still first thought every morning is how fortunate I am. Taking up painting has been my way of expressing my gratitude for that gift. Even on days when I don’t get around to painting, I am always looking at pictures or my classmates’ paintings posted on the school site.

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2021 at 11:50 am

      WHat an incredible story Andrea! Wow. I am thrilled for you that your vision returned. It must have been very scary. I love that you are expressing your gratitude through painting, that’s beautiful! And how great that the school site is proving so enjoyable for you. Makes my day to hear it!

  31. Judy Oberto on April 13, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    That was a very encouraging message Anna, thank you! And I needed it right about NOW! My hands finally stopped shaking a week ago or so (from the prednisone withdrawal symptoms from the pneumonia I have been dealing with for most of a year, but still I have not picked up my brush again! I love your story as to how you got “discovered” for your talent. Almost the same story as mine. I worked at a school when my kids were young and the opportunity came around to help an artist with a very large mural in the lunchroom/auditorium there. Not far into it I made some contributions to her original “design” that made it a much better mural. Then later I proposed painting one down the wing of the school that was for special-education grade school children, physically and/or mentally handicapped in some way. The mural depicted them with the kids from the regular wing of the school having fun on the playground that could be seen just outside the windows and doors about 25′ to the right of the mural. Not long after that our school opened up the basement space for ESL classes (English as a Second Language) and I was approached by a Chinese teacher there to paint a large red dragon on the long wall of that space. I drew it out and had many of the foreign born students help me with filling in the colors. That mural was featured in the local community newspaper! I saved that article. The dragon was 46′ long and to the left of it was an elevator that opened in the middle. To add a little whimsy to the mural, I painted the traditionally “teaser ball” on the elevator door so that when it opened the decorative ball opened. At the other end, there was a small section of wall and a door adjacent to that long wall. I continued the tail around that inside corner, ending it in a spiral! The Dragon was bright red trimmed with shiny metallic gold scales and fins etc. I am going to get back to my painting TODAY!!! Thank you!

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2021 at 11:48 am

      Oh Judy, I am pleased to hear that the shaking has stopped and you’re finally able to paint again. Lovely to hear the story of your getting into art! Wonderful. Keep painting!!

  32. Yvonne Marie Angel on April 13, 2021 at 8:12 pm

    Thank you, Anna, for this reminder. I have let other things get in the way of my painting. “I will do some art as soon as I……….fill in the blank. I’m 78 years old next month, with most of my faculties, thanks be to God, but who knows for how long? I’m starting this week, every Friday is designated Art Day, and hope to add more days as I go. Visited a lovely venue this week, Descanso Gardens, near me in So. California, and there were some Canada Geese walking calmly around among the tourists. Will start something from my photos. You always inspire me!

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2021 at 11:47 am

      What a coincidence Yvonne – my artwork is used on a number of signposts in Descanso Gardens! I’ve yet to visit them but would love to one day with the children. I’m glad you found inspiration there!

  33. Lourdes May Punto on April 13, 2021 at 9:18 pm

    Thank you!

    • Diane Ruggles on April 16, 2021 at 2:28 am

      THANK YOU ANNA!! THIS BLOG POST WAS JUST WHAT MY HUSBAND AND I NEEDED TO HEAR!!
      ❤ Diane Ruggles

  34. Norma Bradley on April 13, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    Thank you Anna for your message. Creating art has helped me through several challenges. I too created when my children were young. Enjoy this time although frustrating at times. They get older fast and life moves us quickly.. Thank you for continuing to guide and inspire others and for sharing your life with us.

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2021 at 11:46 am

      Thank you Norma!

  35. Rhonda Cunningham on April 13, 2021 at 10:42 pm

    Hi Anna,
    I am so looking forward to getting back to my painting. I haven’t had the time or energy to pick up my paintbrush since before Christmas last year. After my husband past away last year in July, I have gone back to work as a aged care carer, while applying for re-entry as a registered Enrolled Nurse, which took months to finally be given a provisional registration. During this time my rental went on the market which then after months of potential buyers coming through the house, it was sold. A sigh of relief, thinking all my worry and having the house prepared for viewing by potential buyers, the knowledge the new owner wanted me to stay on as a tenant, I thought now I can finally relax and get back to painting and taking my time to go through my husband’s things when I was ready. Not to be!!!! My rental is on a large block, with the house and double garage spread along the width of the block. As soon as the sale was finalised, I was informed the land was to be subdivided, I would loose my double garage and no replacement on what would still be my piece of land. The garage being full of mine and my husband’s things we hadn’t completely unpacked from our move all had to be vacated by this coming May with no where to put them and not wanting the extra expense of renting storage, well between work, sorting through Ian’s belonging etc, and apologies for a long winded comment……May is looking good for my chance to finally pick up my brush again.
    Sometimes life demands we put the things we love to do aside in order to accomplish pressing situations, but I will not allow this to stop me getting back to my loves. I have my first grandchild due this July, a few weeks short of Ian’s 1st year anniversary of his death, a bitter sweet experience coming but, painting, returning to my role as an EN, and crocheting a cot throw for my grandchild means finally being able to put my feet up knowing the hard work is done for hopefully a good while. I can’t wait to get back to the tutorials and seeing your new ones Anna.

    Rhonda

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2021 at 11:45 am

      What a year Rhonda. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and then the further stresses you’ve had. It sounds like, with the birth of your grandchild coming, things are changing for the better and I hope you can get back to painting and having some fun.

      • Rhonda Cunningham on April 16, 2021 at 4:39 am

        Thank you Anna,
        I had started the poinsettia last year so hope to complete that first.
        Kindest regards
        Rhonda

  36. Jan Tischler on April 13, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    Hello Anna, I love your work! I just had a stroke 7 weeks ago, and am unable to use my right arm and leg. I am currently in rehab and slowly learning to walk and do things again. Yesterday, during an art activity session I thought I would try doing a little painting with my left hand. I wish I could send it but I have no cell phone with me to upload it, but I just drew a little bird house and used some children’s watercolors to paint it. I couldn’t believe that I was able to do it, but where there is will there is a way! This was such a timely post for me. Thank you so much for sharing with us! It gave me encouragement to never lose hope, we don’t have to give up, maybe just modify a little.. Thanks again Anna

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2021 at 11:44 am

      Wow Jan, thank you for your comment. I’m so sorry to hear of your stroke. Wishing you a full and speedy recovery. But I hope the post reassures you that you will find a way- as you already have been!

  37. Dave Morente on April 14, 2021 at 1:36 am

    Thank you so much for this inspiration especially during lockdown in the Philippines. Time is a gift worth more than tons of gold. Carpe diem!

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2021 at 11:43 am

      Very true! Hang in there Dave and enjoy what you can.

  38. Lady Cinnamon on April 14, 2021 at 1:44 am

    How delightful that this fun little cartoon can carry such a major and serious message. Thanks so much for sharing it, Anna. I am definitely motivC

  39. Lady Cinnamon on April 14, 2021 at 1:47 am

    Part of my comment got chopped off! What I said was I am definitely motivated to continue with tutorials and follow them with something similar of my own.

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2021 at 11:42 am

      So please to hear that!

  40. anita nutbeen on April 14, 2021 at 8:49 am

    Thanks for this lovely blog Anna. Tiger is so right. I love this course, have been doing it for 2 years. Over the 2 years I’ve had operations on my hand, shoulder ,knee and also have cateracts, so a lot going on trying to stop my painting efforts but I refuse to stop! I might have trouble with detail and also sitting at my easel and even holding the brush but I’m damned if I’ll give it up now that I’ve found it again after so many years of inactivity! In November last year I had an accident and hurt my other knee, due to Covid I’m still waiting to see a surgeon to fix it, so sitting is very painful. Painting is my saviour, I love it, especially when I see the picture getting its life! I love that part, it’s like it’s hiding and then suddenly pops out at me! This is what keeps me going, I would be in such a bad place without it. So a big thank you Anna! You are amazing, even with 2 babies in tow, you gives us all hope! Love it! Xx

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2021 at 11:42 am

      Anita, thanks for your comment! Gosh you’ve really been through it but I am so happy to hear it hasn’t stoped you and you are loving painting!

  41. Dina on April 14, 2021 at 9:29 am

    Thank you so much for this reminder of the wise tiger 🙂 I am exactly the person who is always “when – then” (when the children are grown up then I am going to do… and so on). So this was very good to hear and I am trying to get better in creating today.

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2021 at 11:41 am

      Go for it Dina!

  42. Karen Jackson on April 14, 2021 at 11:59 am

    Thank you for this I love the Tiger cartoon and the song i keep singing it in my head!! Love it! You are so right about doing while we are able.. I’m waiting for surgeons to fix my eyes then i can be let out!! LOL
    Thank you

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2021 at 11:41 am

      I hope your eyes are much improved after surgery Karen.

  43. Cindy Mitchell on April 14, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    2 months ago I started having pains in my right arm, sometimes the shoulder, sometimes the elbow, sometimes down the outside of the arm. No clue as to what caused it, went to a PA she gave me muscle relaxant, didn’t work, only made me very hard to live with 😁. Then I went to a doctor and he told me he had no clue what it was, gave me steroids and truthfully they helped and the pain has lessened but not gone away. Now, it comes and goes but sometimes when I’m painting the pain goes down my arm and my hand shakes and I have to stop. I”ve gotten behind on my tutorials, my personal projects, and paintings friends have asked me to do. There are times I go up to the studio and just sit. I’ve learned to take advantage of the times I have no pain, rearranged my studio so I can brace my arm while I paint. I just know I HAVE TO PAINT it took too many years for me to get back into it and I’ve only been doing it again for about 5 years. What I’m saying is, paint when you can and how you can, find a way….but don’t give up!

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2021 at 11:40 am

      Thank you for sharing your inspiring experience Cindy and I’m pleased you’re still painting.

  44. Jan Smith on April 14, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    Anna, thank you so much for your inspiration. I will be turning 75 in 2 days and I also have arthritis in both my hands, but my motivation is my problem & not my condition. I loved the cartoon & the song has inspired me. Thanks so much for sharing it. It has inspired me to get those paints out and start painting again.

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2021 at 11:40 am

      Go for it Jan!

  45. Kat on April 14, 2021 at 11:18 pm

    I am so gratified that I found you and your wonderful painting technique Anna! Finding out how caring you are to your community makes it even better! Thank you.

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2021 at 11:39 am

      Thanks for your lovely comment Kat!

  46. Sandra Satomi on April 15, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    Hi Anna! It seems this message was addressed to me! I got a serious COVID last November and I still recovering.. your words were very motivating. I will restart to paint again thru your classes. Love from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

  47. Dorothy on April 16, 2021 at 2:15 am

    Such a wonderful post Anna and a wonderful space for people to share their stories:) It was inspiring to read all that people shared and how they are overcoming. I listened to an incredible story on my way to work today, told by Canada’s beloved story teller, Stuart MacLean (Vinyl Cafe) A story of overcoming about an 80 year old man with Parkinson’s who rode his bike across Canada. Listen here if you’d like to hear more in great detail, https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-71-vinyl-cafe/clip/8571319-the-bike-ride-february-27th-2016 Your tiger song that you shared was indeed catchy and inspiring- love it!! Will have to bookmark that one. One I always would sing has a line that goes Seize the day! Seize whatever you can… time slips away just like hour glass sand… Anyway, thanks for the motivating post Anna:) I haven’t yet been limited by physical ability with regards to painting but I do have r.arthritis so it is a future potential, for now I will keep on keepin’ on: One brush stroke in front of the other!!

  48. Marie Moffet on April 16, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    Hello Anna, This morning I took the time to read the Weekly Member News and I am glad I did! We have been working a lot on small renos in the house and also “closing” the winter season and preparing for the spring.. No more snow in Quebec, which is quite unusual for April. I did not paint for quite a while and I felt something was missing for my mental balance and my creative soul.. So when I read your inspirational and motivating articles, especially the story of Grandma Moses who started to paint at 76 years old, and also Klee and Matisse who still painted with a difficult medical condition, I was inspired and greateful for being alive and healthy. We forget sometimes that we are not eternal. There is no time to waste … So many people died of Covid 19. The video of the Tiger really made me smile. That’s what I needed this morning, because we are in our third wave here in Quebec and socially it’s not easy. My daughter is living in Australia and she’s having her first child this month and I cannot be with her. But fortunately we have social medias to relate to each other. Also, being able to paint is a blessing. I sent her for her child’s room a few watercolors and she was quite happy. So thank you Anna for everything you do for our artistic community. You are inspirational ….

  49. Joyce Love on April 17, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    Thank you so much for your blog post. That was just what I needed to read on a rainy day. The lack of social contact has been so hard during the pandemic and signing up for your online school has replaced so many ‘in person ‘ activities. When the art workshop I had signed up for was cancelled. With the refund, I thought why not spend it on art lessons in a painting style I had never tried. The worst that could happen would be that I’d love it or if I didn’t like it I could cancel it and get a partial refund. It has kept me so busy. I have glaucoma that’s being monitored & so far the deterioration has been so minor that wearing glasses seems to have it under control. Plus my optometrist and I joked that the glasses are just one more shield to prevent COVID germs from entering through my eyes. I don’t know how true that is, but it makes me feel good about having to wear glass and put up with the fogging up that the mask causes. So I’m sort of worried that some day my eyesight will deteriorate. However, I know of several well known local artists who have had glaucoma or other eye problem and continued to paint into old age. One of them must be in her late 80s or early 90s and the media and techniques she uses have changed her style over the years but her artwork is still outstanding. Even though her failing eyesight has challenged her, she keeps on painting and still sells and posts her new paintings to Facebook. She’s what I want to be when I grow up (I’m in my 60’s). The Tiger cartoon was lovely. You’re so lucky to have toddlers around the house because I’m sure their innocent views of the world around them inspires you too. Thanks for posting. I notice there’s a sign up for the blog posts, just incase they’re not a part of the school curriculum I’m signing up.

  50. Karina Green on June 6, 2021 at 9:08 am

    Thank you so much for this, I usually do not like reading about other people struggles, they always end the same with being victorious over their obsticeles. I am 66 have constant pain and have propbelms with my hans and eyes. At the moment, I only have one working eye and that is not my good eye. I stopped trying to paint this way months ago but I cannot give up, I love it so much, so I have gone back to the first pear tutorial and I know it not as good as the first time I painted it but I do not care, this is what I can do now. Thank you Anna.xxx

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