Woman inspires others by taking up painting after breast cancer diagnosis
A woman has inspired the internet with her first paintings, a hobby she took up after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Annette Foulstone, from Melbourne, Australia, only started painting in September 2018, and has never had an art lesson.
Posting photos of her first five paintings to Reddit, she said: “I was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and decided to start painting to keep me distracted. I’ve never painted before and I’m 43 years old, this shows it’s never too late to learn something new!”
Ms Foulstone, who works in marketing, said her husband Dwayne bought her some art materials with the intention of creating decorations for their new house.
She told the Press Association: “My first painting was the abstract one with all the colours. I didn’t know what I was doing and so I thought abstract was the way to go…
“I didn’t paint again for a while after that as I thought that’s all I could do, but then I had a very rough start to 2019.
“During my recovery from the first surgery I decided to paint again to keep my mind occupied.
“I have always been interested in painting as one of my best friends is a painter and she inspired me and gave me the confidence to try it out.
“I have definitely found a hobby for life. I can’t wait to paint again.
“At the moment I am still recovering from my second surgery and can’t move that much, so will have to wait most likely until my radiation is complete.”
Ms Foulstone was diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2019, and was told she would need surgery and radiation to remove it.
She said: “Finding out I had breast cancer at my age was such a shock for me and my husband. I was very upset at the start, trying to process everything, but I knew I had to stay positive and get through it. The painting has been such blessing for me to get through this.
“I also felt better knowing I was in good hands – my doctor referred me to one of the best breast surgeons. She is one of the nicest people I have ever met and is an amazing surgeon.
“I decided to share my paintings on Reddit and how it helped me through breast cancer, because I wanted to inspire people, even at my age, that anything is possible and it’s never too late to learn something.”
Her Reddit post has reached almost 2,000 upvotes on the website, and attracted plenty of complimentary comments from users.
She said: “I wasn’t expecting the response I got. I know my paintings are OK but I know I they aren’t professional, so I was so humbled and shocked to get so much positive feedback and support.
“I can’t believe I’ve never had classes either, but it also makes me think that if I can do it anyone can … Until you try it, you won’t know, and if you make mistakes it doesn’t matter, just paint over it!
“I hope I can inspire others and remind people at my age to have regular check-ups for breast cancer.”