St Albans pensioners realise you’re never too old to pick up a paintbrush

PUBLISHED: 12:01 08 March 2015

Verulam House residents Eileen Knott, Jean Norton and Jean Lewis show off their artwork after learning to paint

Verulam House residents Eileen Knott, Jean Norton and Jean Lewis show off their artwork after learning to paint


They are an art-smart bunch at a local nursing home where age has proved no barrier to wielding a paintbrush for octo- and nonagenarian residents.

And to look at 83-year-old Eileen Knott’s framed painting of a boat, it is hard to believe she has never held a brush before.

Ninety-one-year-old Jean Norton, Jean Lewis, 86, and Eileen, who all live at Verulam House, Verulam Road, St Albans, have been encouraged to paint by a local teacher who visits weekly to give lessons.

Social welfare officer Erica Holmes, who coordinates activities, said the women enjoyed their new hobby, as they got to sit and chat while creating works of art – which they are very “modest” about.

She added: “It’s like therapy.”

Eileen credits her art teacher for such an impressive result.

She told the Herts Advertiser: “It is the first time I have held a paint brush in my hand before. I told the teacher I can’t draw either, but she was very patient.

“I painted a boat – it took a school term to complete. The best part was how fascinating it was to see it change over time.

“I felt very elated when it was finished, I was so pleased with my picture. I recommend to anybody who hasn’t tried it before to just give it a go!”

Erica said Verulam House also has a knitting group which meets at 2.30pm on a Friday afternoon which non-residents are welcome to join, for a cup of tea and a chat. Phone 01727 853991 for more details.

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