Member Spotlight

Ann Helton

My daughter is an artist and worked at an art supply company. About 4 1/2 years ago I was driving to the North Carolina mountains to visit her. As I was driving, the sky and Appalachian Mountains were beautiful. I thought, ‘I have always loved watercolor paintings. I wonder if I could buy paints that were a little better quality than say…Target.’ Well, I came down the mountain with really good quality supplies! And what do you do when you have nice things? You honor that privilege. So my watercolor journey began. I floundered until I found Susan and Paint With Me in April 2020. Something Susan said about water itself intrigued me…how water flows and how it does its own thing. So lead by her wonderful lessons, I was off and running!

I had been a stay-at-home mom of three, a volunteer, then a preschool teacher. But retiring at Covid opened up time to learn something new.

I have absolutely loved Susan’s lessons each month. It feels like a gift the first day of the month! And the exciting thing about art is that you can always be learning and pushing yourself.

What does painting do for you?

Two and a half years ago I while on vacation in Utah, I almost died from complications from ovarian cancer. (FYI-I didn’t leave home knowing I had cancer. We wouldn’t have gone!) But the marvelous thing was, I wasn’t scared of dying. I had a wonderful life and I knew I was going on to glorious heaven. But there was one thing…I felt like I wasn’t done watercoloring just yet!

Well, I lived and I have recovered cancer free. I am right back to a full life, which includes watercolor! But more importantly, I have been given more sweet time with my wonderful family and friends!


“Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.”

 – Rabindranath Tagore

How does community play a role in your creative practice?

Susan’s lessons and creative ideas each month are enhanced by so many wonderful talented people I have met through the PWM website and Zoom calls. Being new at visual art, I have learned from others that making art can be frustrating all the way to euphoric and that those emotions are all normal. So keep creating!


Supply Recommendation

  • Kilimanjaro watercolor paper is a staple for me. It’s great quality for a good price. I like the 11×15 sheets so I can cut them to any size. (My paper cutter that my husband gave me years ago is essential for straight cuts.)
  • I also love small sketchbooks for traveling. I’ve have been pleased with Hahnemuhle, Etchr, Kilimanjaro, Pentalic brands.
  • I send a lot of cards so the Goof Proof Greeting Card Set by Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff and postcards by Hahnemuhle are always on hand.

Geographic location:

Greensboro, North Carolina


Other (Creative) Outlets:

I love to create! Cooking, baking, sewing, gardening, decorating, hosting, thinking of ways to teach our children about their heritage, and making ‘something out of nothing’ (repurposing) consume my mind and time (in a good way!). I love people, so incorporating people with creating is true joy for me.

Want to start painting?