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Painter, 95, wins prizes
A 95-YEAR-OLD grandmother is proving it’s never too late to take up a new hobby.
Peggy Jones has been recognised in national competitions for her artwork and seen her pictures displayed in galleries around the country.
But the Benson pensioner did not pick up a paintbrush until the age of 75.
She said: “I moved to Benson in 1990 when my husband William passed away. And then I just started painting by accident.
“One day I was getting very frustrated with some builders who were working on my flat. I literally got myself a paintbrush and some oils and started painting a country scene at the bottom of my garden.”
Despite having never painted before, the walls of Mrs Jones’s flat are now adorned with dozens of colourful works.
Each picture can take up to six months to complete – which the mother-of-one, who was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago – said keeps her going.
“They take a lot of concentration so the sessions can make me very tired,” she said. “But I just keep going. That’s all you can do really.”
Five years ago, Mrs Jones was persuaded to enter some of her artwork in a national art competition run by the Elderly Accommodation Council.
She said: “I was very reluctant to do it at first. I was shy about people seeing my paintings.”
Despite her initial doubts, the work went to win various categories at the annual competition and pieces submitted in subsequent competitions have all been highly commended.
Many of the paintings have also been displayed at places including The Society of Birmingham Artists’ Gallery in Birmingham and Mall Galleries in London.
Back at home with her dog Teazle, Mrs Jones is currently working on a painting of the ship Tenacious.
She said: “I just love it. I sit and I work and it keeps my mind active.”
Mrs Jones also hopes to donate some of the artwork to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, where she has received treatment.
“I think my husband would have been pleasantly surprised to see my paintings. He didn’t know I could do it but I’m sure he’d have been proud.”