At 91, Helen Middleton, a resident of Elmcroft Senior Living, in Dillsburg, has been drawing and painting most of her life.
A resident of Lebanon, Pa., prior to moving to Elmcroft, Middleton said she has been painting for the past two years, while living at the assisted living facility. At an art show and open house, Thursday, September 13, Middleton had three of her oil paintings – scenery and character study works.
“I make them up from my memories,” Middleton said. “The painting of the girl and the geese were inspired by a neighbor who used to walk through the fields around my house.”
For the past 11-12 years, Barbara “Bobby” Nace of Mechanicsburg, has applied brush to canvas to create watercolor, pastel and poster paint works inspired by photographs or through observational drawing and painting. Primarily, landscapes and still life are the subjects of her work.
“I retired around 2000 and decided to take some classes at the Mechanicsburg Art Center,” Nace said. “I try to work from photographs of buildings and scenery that interest me. To paint a still life, I work from arrangements of flowers or fruit or a combination of items. Some were done in class.”
A manufacturing representative for Wilkins Rogers, Ellicott City, Md., Nace said she is interested in working with light and shadows. Recently, she has tried her hands at portraiture, but said she is finding painting people difficult to do.
Nace moved to the Mechanicsburg area in 1968 from the Allentown area, with her husband, Vernon. Vernon, who worked for AMP, died in 1979. A grandmother of five, her two sons and a daughter live in the area.
“I’ve sold three of my paintings, but I don’t advertise the fact that they are for sale,” Nace said. “I primarily exhibit at shows, such as those sponsored by the art center or the library, schools, even doctor’s offices.”
Bob Banks, Mountain Road, Dillsburg, prefers working in pastels. Banks, along with his wife, Sandy, have lived in the area for about 45 years and have three grandchildren.
In addition to originals, he sells prints of his work. Landscapes, buildings and farming scenes inspired by area locales, are his primary subjects. The Beavertown one room school house, near Dillsburg, is the subject of one of his paintings. Another features Dill’s Tavern before it was renovated; one featured a typical German-style bank barn with Mail Pouch Tobacco advertising painted on its side; and several renderings of Amish farmers bringing in hay.
“I like to do old buildings and still life,” said Banks, who is retired from the Book of the Month Club, Mechanicsburg. “I started drawing in my teens and I have been painting for 60 years or more. I usually work from photographs.”
Leona Voglesong, resident services coordinator for Elmcroft, and organizer of the event, said the show and open house was sponsored to celebrate the National Center for Assisted Living observation of National Assisted Living Week. The purpose of the Art for the Ages event is bring together residents of assisted living facilities together with families, staff, volunteers and residents of the area to celebrate art, the community and the contributions of senior citizens.
Art inspires and brings pride and beauty to those who create it and enjoy it, a spokesperson for NCAL said. Music, painting, knitting, carving, model building, cooking are some of the many outlets residents have to express their creative side.
For more information on Elmcroft, visit www.elmcroftal.com/Dillsburg; for more information on NCAL, visit www.ahcancal.org/ncal/Pages/default.aspx.