When artist Lorna Lancaster sustained a brain injury in 2003 she questioned whether she’d ever paint again.
60-year-old Lorna, from Clacton-On-Sea, suddenly lost the use of her right side and was diagnosed with a cerebral bleed.
“I was completely hemiplegic on the right side but amazingly I walked out of hospital with a walking stick after just 10 days! Everything came back quite quickly,” said Lorna.
Lorna believes her love of painting has helped in her recovery.
She said: “I have always painted as a hobby on and off over the years until it eventually became a career when people started asking me to paint their horses, dogs and cats.
When I was in hospital all I could think was ‘will I paint again'?
“I was told to start picking up my right arm with my left arm to brush my hair, write, try to feed myself, etc. Doctors said this would help re-wire new routes in my motor cortex. So I thought that painting should also help this process.
The first drawing I attempted when I got home was very wobbly! But I just kept at it.
Even to this day, the effects of her brain injury present some challenges. She explained: “I can’t draw freehand straight lines quite so easily as before and have to use a maulstick (a stick with a padded head used by painters to support the hand) for fine details. Before the stroke I had a very steady hand.”
Despite this, Lorna now runs her own business drawing commissioned pet portraits. She is also a musician in a band and a music teacher.
“I particularly love painting moving horses, especially dressage horses as they are so graceful and form such great shapes in their movement,” she said. “Painting is just so therapeutic, and I always listen to music when I paint.”
You can find out more about Lorna’s work by visiting her website - www.lornalancasterpetportraits.co.uk
Friends of Headway Individual membership Join/Renew