AVERIL REES (nee CLIFFORD)

After a paralysing stroke, Averil  Rees rebuilt her career by painting with her 'wrong' hand.  

 

Even as a small child I was fascinated by drawing & painting,  & my parents kept me supplied with paper & crayons. As I wouldn't sleep until I was exhausted, it was their only chance of peace.

One of my paintings was among those chosen to represent my secondary school in an inter-schools competition  at the age of 13, so fired with added enthusiasm,  I entered 3 paintings into an Open Exhibition in Northampton. My parents had a surprise when I sold them all.

That reinforced my love of painting, but in the sixth-form I had to drop art to do science subjects. My parents & teachers thought art was a good subject to study only if you couldn't do anything more academic.

I gained a first-class honours in Biochemistry at Aberystwyth,got  married & had children, but continued painting as often as I could. When the children were older I went back to work in the university, & established more contacts for selling work. I found time to do a part-time foundation course, & when my short-term contract at work was not  able to be renewed in 1993  it was just the push I needed. I had a little bit of money saved up & I prepared to start a degree in Fine Art.

Just two weeks before the start of term, my world came apart. As I was walking home, I had a brain haemorrhage.   A post- operative severe stroke  left my right-side paralysed. I was in hospital for 13 months, whilst trying  to walk & talk again, & waited to be re-housed in a ground floor flat.

Being right-handed, my world was even more of a mess than ever. My whole right arm was paralysed & it was so frustrating re-learning to draw & paint with my left hand. There were times when I almost gave up. However,  I persevered &  now I draw & paint with my left-hand. 

I was featured as a "Success Story" by the magazine "Artists & Illustrators" in February 1998. I have paintings in private collections in Gt. Britain & Ireland, Norway, Sweden, U.S.A & South Africa.  Over the last few years   I have won prizes & commendations for my work including the Royal Cambrian Academy's Open Exhibition in Conwy, MOMA Wales Tabernacle Art Competion & Theatr Hafren Open Art Competition.

I am a member of:

Celf Canolbarth Cymru -  Celf Canolbarth Cymru/Mid-Wales Arts

 All artwork shown on this website is the exclusive copyright of Averil Clifford Rees.

I can be contacted:      mailto:paintingsforall@yahoo.co.uk     

 

 

 © Copyright Averil Clifford Rees