I don't think healthy people realize how much of an effort and how much energy it takes to just get in the shower, brush, your hair, or get dressed. I know I used to take those things for granted. Sorry you have had trouble painting lately - it's miserable when you can't do the things you love. I used to be a long distance runner and now there are days I can barely walk. I haven't found anyway to get more energy except to really listen to your body and rest when you need to. I just wanted to let you know that I can relate.
There is a great website to go to - it is called: butyoudontlooksick.com. A woman with lupus came up with something called The Spoon Theory, but she said it can be used to describe any chronic illness that drains your energy. CLick on the story of The Spoon Theory and I think you'll find that she does an amazing job of describing what a lot of us go through each day. I have shared it with some friends and family and it has helped them understand what I am going through.
Diagnosis: Suspected Lupus 2004; Raynauds 2006; CFS 1991
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4xdaily; Amitriptyline 10mg
Neurontin 200mg; Steroid Cream and Mouth Rinse for mouth
and tongue ulcers