Meet Christine Hebiton
This week I’d like you to meet one of the many artists just like you who make up our special community of creative people! I believe her story will inspire you and remind you that anything is possible when you follow your creative joy and have faith in your passion.
Meet Christine Hebiton! She is 74 years old and didn’t pick up painting until age 70, but is currently painting almost every day and turning out some beautiful original paintings.
Christine DM’ed me with some simple questions on Facebook, but I quickly realized she had a fascinating artistic journey and asked her if I could share it with the rest of the community to inspire them as much as it inspired me.
Christine Hebiton; full of creativity and passion at age 74.
Christine is a retired nurse, born in the UK but living in Australia for the past 35 years. She married a farmer and lives far from any big cities or art teachers, so when she got curious about art, she had to figure it out on her own. After some initial experimenting, Christine realized she could benefit from a teacher and started browsing YouTube, where she ran into my acrylic painting tutorials. I’m extremely glad she found me! 😊
After using my tutorials to sharpen her layering and blending techniques, she now paints mostly original acrylic paintings, including two commissions that she recently sold!
Christine told me, “My experience with art is to do it every day even if only for an hour, but now I don't feel my day is complete unless I have done something arty in it . I have a passion now that eats at my soul.”
I love that! I constantly get messages from beginning artists stuck in a creative rut and wondering when inspiration will strike, but what I always tell them is to just keep creating! Don’t sit around judging yourself or worrying about how it will turn out.
The more you create, the more inspiration will come to you; it’s a weird paradox but it’s so true! Like Christine, you’ll get to a point where the passion and ideas just come rushing to you and where creating something feels as natural and essential as breathing!
Christine’s “first painting, which I keep to remind me of how far I've traveled.”
Now that Christine has developed her own art skills, she’s paying it forward and sharing her overflowing passion by helping others.
“I am so pleased to help anyone with their artistic journey, I belong to a couple of acrylic painting FB pages but my favorite is, Older Artists, which covers all genres and we support each other and we are kind to each other in very positive ways. I have uploaded quite a few of your videos because of your ways of teaching, you are a great tutor I'm constantly putting links to your YouTube channel if people are struggling with blending.”
Christine feels self-doubt just like the rest of us, but doesn’t allow it to keep her from courageously trying new things.
As she puts it, “That's what made me unafraid to attempt some subjects and constantly say on, Older Artists FB page, put it away look at it another day, week, month or year as there are no mistakes, yes happy accidents, but even the mistakes are lessons in art.”
I love that philosophy too! When things don’t turn out how you expected on your canvas (and this happens all the time for me too), don’t consider it a mistake, but rather a lesson that is making you better and helping you develop your own style. That is why it’s crucial to just keep painting despite the doubt, because you’ll learn even more “lessons”!
A recent paid commission that Christine did on a massive 3-foot canvas for a happy customer. She tried some new techniques she was unfamiliar with here, reminding me that, “Every painting has its lessons.”
Christine also had some excellent advice about painting at any age.
“Never ever is it too late to pick up a pencil or brush and start to discover another skill. Even if you doubt your abilities constantly, it doesn't matter because now I know that's totally normal.”
Most beginning artists don’t realize just how many amazing works of art they have inside their soul just waiting to come out, because they are too afraid to be a beginner. If Christine can humbly become a beginner again at age 70, then I am confident that anyone reading this can do the same.
Even if you’re in the middle of a painting and feel the inspiration disappearing, that’s natural and it doesn’t mean the painting is bad. As Christine told me, “Too many people give up on a painting when all they need to do is hang it up and wait for the next part to form in their minds.”
Being retired and living way out in the countryside, Christine takes inspiration from the tranquil quiet and solitude of her natural surroundings when making beautiful paintings of nature. She usually just relishes the silence while doing nature paintings, but will put on some music to create a specific mood when doing abstract acrylic paintings.
Christine painted this abstract piece after a trip to Australia’s Kimberley region, which left her really inspired. “It's called "Midjaliny," meaning rain or weeping in Nyungar aboriginal language, which is spoken here in Western Australia. The colours are amazing there; you would love it.”
Christine let me know a little about her history too. “One of the discouraging things I was told when young was, that I had too much imagination, now that I am a sort of artist I consider that an asset.”
This resonated with me because even though I had some friends and family supporting me in my early years, I also had a lot of people who doubted that painting was a good use of my time. Many of us will have people in our lives who don’t understand our vision or, God forbid, actively try to discourage us from pursuing it.
Please don’t let that stop you! It’s all part of the journey. Do what Christine did and find like-minded people who will encourage and support you, and also just be kind to yourself and remind yourself each day that your passion is important and is a part of your soul.
My pages on Facebook or Instagram are a great place to meet fellow artists! Go to @colorbyfeliks.community on Instagram and view the pages of the artists whose work I share. Leave them a follow and some nice comments and start a beautiful artistic friendship! That will do so much towards keeping you encouraged.
Christine made this gorgeous painted denim jacket, inspired by her love of Van Gogh.
As you’ve probably noticed, Christine has tried all kinds of styles, which I fully support as someone who takes the same approach! As she told me, “I don't limit myself to a certain art style. I want to try as many of them as possible.” I agree! Life’s too short to put yourself in an artistic box. Have fun and explore!
I think this quote from Christine sums up her approach to life and art beautifully: “Live laughing and enjoy every day that you can as time is fleeting.”
I was so inspired after having a conversation with Christine and getting to see her open, joyful, optimistic approach to art. I think we can all learn a lot from her, particularly when it comes to being kind to ourselves and also encouraging one another. Life is too short to get caught up in competition, counting social media followers, or negative self-talk. Art is a joyful pursuit that nourishes your soul.
And don’t worry if you’ve been too afraid to fully commit to your art until now. As Christine’s story proves, it’s never too late to start down a new and exciting road! You never know what incredible artistic discoveries lie waiting for you right around the corner.
Thank you so much for allowing me to write about you, Christine. I hope you all got as much from her story as I did ❤️.
Christine and her husband, longtime fans of the Steampunk subculture, all dressed up for her daughter’s wedding. Looking good!