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|Art despite pain
While many other artists have been looking back and sharing their best or favourite paintings of 2023, I decided to share my favourite painting moments or memories of the year.
I quickly noticed that my "Top 5" painting memories are all from plein-air (outdoor) painting, usually off the back of my bicycle and near the water.
These are definitely not my best watercolours of the year, as they're usually studies for eventual larger pieces, but they're the ones I had the most fun painting.
Given that my doctors told me in 2016 that I'd probably never bike again, I view each ride s a gift; instead of bemoaning the fact that I have to stop to rest every 15 or 20 km, I view these pauses as opportunities to appreciate the gorgeous waterfronts, nature parks, and farms within riding distance of my home.
Yet when I began learning to watercolour paint, and to pencil sketch, in 2021 I couldn't even draw a stick-figure. I'd never have imagined that within a couple of years I'd already have won several art awards, nor that my Art Despite Pain initiative - using my paintings and art practice to raise awareness of chronic pain - would have taken off.
It's been a "wild ride", and I've realized recently that so much of it has been because of my actual "wild rides"... on 2 wheels into forests, along streams, through nature parks, and more.
On that note, I'll wish you a year of creating your own happy memories throughout 2024!