Monday, October 13, 2014

Humbled and Inspired by a Watercolor Student

This beautiful watercolor sketch was done by a beautiful lady I met in my watercolor class today. I have never been so inspired and touched by the courage and determination of a person walking in those doors. 

Kathy (I don't even know if I'm spelling her name correctly) came in with a friend. They sat down together to work on the exercises I showed the students in my class and it was apparent that Kathy had trouble handling brushes and difficulty speaking. I thought that perhaps she had had a stroke and was very moved by her determination to mix washes and put brush to paper. But when her friend started Kathy's story from this difficult year - and Kathy finished it in her halting voice, I was blown away that this strong woman was sitting in front of me. Debbie  (the friend) told me that Kathy started out the spring of 2014 with the loss of her mother, and then in the summer began to have symptoms and was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). In the space of three months Kathy lost it all. She lost her ability to drive, work, hold objects, walk easily, speak, care for herself and her home. She had to move in to an assisted living home. It was like hearing a modern day Job story.

And what did she do with a friend? She decided to do something she's always wanted to do: learn to paint in watercolor. 

If you lost it all, would you get out of bed in the morning? Would you try to speak and be understood? Would you take up painting? 

I'm feeling very very humbled and very inspired by the woman of courage and honesty I met today. And I think her painting is breathtaking. Thank you for letting me post this, Kathy. Do let me know if I'm spelling your name right.