I put aside my work as a painter over six years ago after a successful 12-year career. The GFC had struck & seriously wounded most industries. The demand for art was practically non-existent, so I studied & became a florist, thinking that the desire for smaller ‘works of art’ would be more vibrant. I loved it but the way I packed those flowers into each bouquet I was never going to make a living!

Added to which the toll it took on my body was mighty & not something I had even considered. Bumping in & out of functions & weddings lifting heavy equipment, giant buckets of water to keep the flowers alive & truckloads of foliage, vases, bottles, etc. not to mention the crazily long days…it was super tough!

I decided to get my Personal Training Certification and over the past 2 years, I have worked as a personal trainer. I was lead there by my search for the relief of constant back, neck & shoulder pain…both the painting & the floristry had aggravated the discomfort & I couldn’t remember a day in 20 years that I hadn’t taken some form of pain-killer. Myofascial release (MFR) combined with strength training had finally enabled me to overcome & manage the muscular-skeletal problems that had plagued me since teenage.

In a rather circuitous route, the strength & flexibility training has to lead me back to painting. I now have the strength to withstand the long holding positions of an artist & the flexibility to recover after a long day…I even found myself painting in a single-leg dead-lift position the other day; a great way to protect the lower back!

The knowledge I’ve gained from learning about & training my body & others’ from my Personal Training Certification from PT Academy has given me a far greater quality of life & the ability to manage any problems that naturally occur as you age. I will always be committed to some form of training as it makes a difference on so many levels…psychologically too; you can always ‘work out’ an emotionally exhausting day or a much longer period. However, it doesn’t have to be complicated…going for a walk will make you feel better.

Perhaps the best addition to my training program has been an extended mobility/flexibility component. I use all or part of this program six days a week either by itself or before weight or HIIT training. The routine consists of part of the Elements program from the excellent guys at GMB (Gold Medal Bodies) + a sequence of shoulder movements which resemble swimming strokes. Having greater mobility through the joints & flexibility through the muscles continues to be a game-changer for me.

So, here I am, back painting in my new inner-city ‘bunker’! Yeah well, it’s our garage but a pretty cool garage & perfect for now. Living in the city has re-inspired me to brighter colours & I’m in awe of the diversity of architecture & commercial/industrial shapes & textures to draw from. It’s also an eye-opener as to remembering my gratitudes; every day on my way to the gym, I pass a large group of homeless men & women having breakfast, showering in an adapted van or, once a week, doing their laundry thanks to the wonderful humans who facilitate these services. I also pass the shrine of the young woman who was murdered in Albert Park a few years ago & I feel truly humbled & grateful that I have the tremendously lucky life I have.

The bunker studio will be open as soon as I have enough work to cover the walls! In the meantime, visitors are most welcome to drop by just give me a call on 0414 579 314. My husband & I are also working on bringing out a range of t-shirts in the New Year & hope to develop the range into other items of clothing & homewares, prints & books.

Please contact me at [email protected] or connect on Instagram @elizabethbloomfield

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