An art teacher who turned to her passion to help deal with being diagnosed with cancer is seeing her business continuing to expand.
Emily Ward had been teaching people how art could be used as a therapeutic tool to deal with anxiety and stress.
But after her world was rocked in 2010 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she put into practice her own words and began to paint after a 20-year break due to teaching.
Emily, of North Shields, said: “It was a really scary time, I was wondering what would happen to me and my three young children – Evie, Gracie and Louis – so I took up painting.
“One day a mother who did the school run for me when I was ill saw one of my paintings, loved it and ordered it. Then other people started buying up my work.”
After making a return to teaching, Emily found her passion lay in painting and she set up Emily Ward Art selling paintings, prints, cards and a gift range – all available at www.ewardart.co.uk
Now she is auctioning a one-off special painting at this year’s Positively Pink Ball to help raise funds for the North Tyneside Breast Cancer Support Group based at North Tyneside Hospital.
Emily, who has been given the all-clear, ran an online competition to name the painting ahead of the ball at the Gosforth Marriott Hotel on Saturday with the winning name ‘Going Forward’ suggested by Jane Lamont.
Emily said: “The name reflects the positive journey ahead with both optimism and hope and I am delighted to be able to help the Positively Pink charity as I received excellent care through North Tyneside Hospital breast care services.”
Emily specialises in original paintings from landscapes to seascapes, portraits to pets, with her aim to capture a moment in time or portray a natural areas true beauty.
She has produced hundreds of paintings, some of which is on display in the oncology unit at North Tyneside General Hospital, Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, and the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital at Cramlington.
Emily, who still has to take medication for the next five years, said: “I was having my chemotherapy at North Tyneside General when the lead nurse on the oncology unit commissioned me to do a big painting for the new facilities.
“I then had some breast screening at the RVI and they asked me to auction a painting for their unit, and then had a print commissioned at the Cramlington hospital.”
Speaking of her support for the Positively Pink sell-out ball she added: “They are a good charity who helped me, so it is nice to give something back.”
And business is continuing to boom for Emily.
She said: “I have a three-month waiting list for commissions, which is brilliant for a new local artist.
“I’m continuing to sell my gift range and am trying to get it into shops.”
People can view Emily’s work at her North Shields studio by appointment only.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org