Taking a Break... Back Surgery

It's been a few months since I've posted any new work.  In fact, I think I've had only 1 or 2 posts in the past year.  This has been due to a heavy schedule and also chronic back problems that have plagued me for the past several years.

This reduction in posts is going to continue for awhile and perhaps will drastically change my ability to enjoy this hobby.  A few weeks ago, I underwent back surgery as these chronic issues escalated and I began to lose feeling and muscle function in my leg and foot.  Surgery went well and I'll be spending the next few months trying to become a new man.

If any of you have experienced something similar and have found a way to enjoy this hobby AFTER something like back surgery, let me know...  I'm interested in hearing how you did it.  I read and watch many of your blogs and websites, I'll be continuing to do that as I find it very enjoyable!

Take Care!


  1. Best wishes Tanner, hope you get well soon

  2. All the best and hopefully it's onwards and upwards from here for you. I recently had a tooth removed and painting helps take my mind off the pain.

    1. Thanks for the motivation :) I'm toying with the idea of a standing workstation, so perhaps I can find a way to make painting theraputic again.

  3. Ahh the dreaded back! Seems as if it's the first thing the warranty runs out on! Tanner, good luck and speedy recovery. Hope it isn't too painful. Get good drugs!

    I went through knee surgery a few years back. I found that by changing my chair so that I could put my leg up on the table while still reaching paints, (I have an L-shaped desk) I was able to go at it for an hour or two without too much discomfort. I don't know if it will help but with my S.I. joint in my lower back giving me lifetime probs, I now use a heating pad on the lower back while sitting in the fall. Helps me a bunch.



    1. Thanks Troy! I appreciate the encouragement. The heating pad is something that I keep hearing and it's simple enough... gonna order me one off Amazon.

  4. Hi Tanner, I had major back surgery after herniating a disk in April 2014, but it does get better. The surgery was performed in Feb 2015 and since then I’ve been feeling really great. No problems with my legs like I did have, and the limp caused from the disc herniation has gone. In saying that the surgery had complications with my spinal cord. The herniation was so bad that the surgeon had to scrape the waste disc from my leg nerves and in doing so, torn a hole in the outer lining of my spinal cord. The spinal cord lining was fixed at time of the discectomy, but I was treated like a spinal injured patient for the three days after surgery. Had to lie flat for three days, couldn’t sit, couldn’t get up to go to the toilet, and couldn’t lie in another position. All food had to go into me intravenously, and I had a tube in me to pass urine. It was scary but necessary, and it made me think more about life. I have been fine since and the recovery time from surgery to going back to work was 10 weeks. It should have been 6 weeks but for the complications with the spinal cord. My hobby work hasn’t been affected by the surgery, I’m just not doing as much now through time restrictions. I hope your surgery goes well, and you’re welcome to get in touch if you need any support.
    All the best, Chris

  5. Hi,
    In 2012 I underwent fusion of my spine from L2 down to S1. For a month or more after the operation I was flat on my back for the most part, and spent my time reading Nathan Philbrick's history of the Battle of Little Bighorn, (time very well spent!) I began painting a couple of months later, for only brief periods at first, but gradually built my endurance back up, especially after I retired in 2014. I now paint while in a recliner, with the figures, paints, a small light, etc., on a tray in my lap. I've never been so productive (hobby-wise) in my life, but this is of course more because I'm retired than being post-op! If my back does begin to complain because I've been in 1 position too long, which is really not very often, I walk the dog, read, do the dishes, etc.--anything to change positions for awhile. And I avoid heavy medication like the plague; I'm already addicted to toy soldiers; I don't need another obsession!

    Take care.

    Chris Johnson


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