May 24th, 2024

Elderly artist still painting at 96


By Steffanie Costigan - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on April 26, 2024.

Herald photo by Steffanie Costigan 96-year-old Cynthia Wilson has spent her golden years developing her skills as a jewelry maker and painter, making her art available at a local market.

A 96-year-old Lethbridge woman doesn’t hold back on her passion for painting and sharing it with the community.

Cynthia Wilson is a local artist who rediscovered her passion for painting at the age of 91 and has continued painting since.

Wilson, in an interview at Age Care Columbia where she lives, said her passion for painting was renewed after attending a class.

“There (were) pictures for us to choose to paint. And I thought well, I could do that. And I chose Picasso, and they were really pleased with (it) but that got me started and then I’ve just been painting up a storm ever since,” she said.

Wilson was born in London England in October 1927. Later when she was in her 20s Wilson moved to Canada to be with her then husband who was a war veteran. Wilson said she found it hard after having seven kids to continue her passion of painting.

“After I got married, I had seven children. Four boys and three girls. And I didn’t have time. So after I left my husband, I was 43. I was working at real estate. And I stayed in that until I was 85,” said Wilson.

Wilson said during her early school years she won several awards for her artworks. She has painted approximately around 50 pieces of paintings ranging from mountain scenery, angels, flowers, and even some Indigenous inspired works.

Wilson not only has a passion for painting but also participates in local home-made markets where she sells her handmade jewellery.

She expressed encouragement for those who enjoy painting,

“I would say, don’t stop. Keep it up.”

Wilson said despite arthritis in her shoulders she feels “blessed” not to have it in her hands.

“When I paint, I don’t think about pain. It keeps me busy, and I listen to easy listening the channels… And I like to listen to the music because I don’t like to be distracted,” she said.

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