Painting in Bed

My watercolor set-up for painting in bed.

As an art therapist I have helped children and adults in different hospital settings use art as a part of their healing and to help them get through difficult times.  I've turned this experience to good use for myself recently.  Being diagnosed with Mononucleosis for the fourth time, I was well familiar with how horrible it can make one feel and how long it lingers.  The long hours of bed-rest are difficult for me because there are so many things I want to be doing - painting and gardening being the top two.  With mono, the body may be sick but the mind isn't.  I decided to use what little energy I had to paint.  I put my Sennelier watercolor box,  a watercolor basin for washing my brushes as well as clean water (not too much water to prevent spills),  a small bit of paper towel, and brushes onto a small tray.  I set this beside me in bed and put the painting in my lap.  Watercolor is a great medium for those who aren't feeling well because it requires little physical energy.  Propped up with lots of soft pillows, I painted away until I was too tired to lift my arm anymore.  I would then set the tray and painting aside until I had enough energy again.  Not only did the act of painting bring me joy, as it always does, but it also helped me pass many hours distracted from how miserable I was actually feeling.  The painting you see in the photo above was painted almost entirely in bed.  I'll post an image of the completed painting soon.  If you know someone that has a prolonged illness or is bed-ridden, a small box of watercolors and paper might be a welcome gift.

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