When Warrnambool's Joan Petering suffered a stroke at work about eight years ago, her life changed in an instant but it also led to the creation of a new passion - painting.
One of her paintings was awarded the encouragement, and a $200 prize, at the Easter Arts show.
The former King's College primary teacher was in the school when without warning she became unwell. "It was scary," she said. "It just hit me.
"I was in hospital for a while. They said I had to move on into a home."
Since then Mrs Petering has been living at Mercy Place where one day she picked up the paints and a brush her daughter had bought for her and started recreating memories of her life on the Wimmera farm she had lived on at Murtoa. But it was her Easter-themed painting of a cross with a happy face which got the attention of the art show judges.
"I believe the promises of the one who died on the cross," she said. "I know my body will be restored. I will be able to use my arm and leg and I will be reunited with my loved ones."
With the stroke affecting her left arm and leg, Mrs Petering said she now used her right arm to "do everything".
The award came as a surprise, she said.
"I told my daughter I received $200 for it and she bought me some new paints and brushes from the art shop," she said.
"I can sit here and get involved in the painting all day and the day flies by fast.
"While I'm painting I'm thinking and working out what's important to me. I do a lot of deep thinking."
While she paints mostly landscapes she has also recently started painting seascapes. "I painted Jesus walking on water," she said.
As well as painting she also loves to read a good book, and last year wrote to the library to thank them for the books they choose for her.
"It's just amazing how they pick out books that I'd never pick off the bookshelf myself. I've read so many different kind of books that I've loved or learnt something from them," she said.
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