Letchworth resident wins national art award

Anna Paxton, a resident at one of Howard Cottage's sheltered schemes, who at the age of 86 runs a we

Anna Paxton, a resident at one of Howard Cottage's sheltered schemes, who at the age of 86 runs a weekly creativity group for her fellow residents has scooped a national art award - Credit: Archant

A WOMAN’S stroke of genius has seen her scoop a national art award.

Anna Paxton, a Howard Cottage sheltered housing resident in Letchworth GC, impressed judges in the Elderly Accommodation Counsel’s annual Over-60s Art Awards to clinch a prize in the illustration category.

She will be presented with her prize at the House of Lords at the end of February.

Anna, who is 68, said: “I’ve known since primary school that I can draw, and when I did my teacher training, I chose art and history as my main subjects. It was very handy to have an art ability with the children.

“But it wasn’t until I retired in 1995 that I really began to do a bit of painting, and I haven’t stopped since. I’m confident now that I can see and feel more how to paint really well – it’s the years of practice, that’s all it takes.

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“It came as a lovely surprise to learn that I had won.”

Mrs Paxton’s scheme manager, Rosie Jeffrey, encouraged her to enter the competition.

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Howard Cottage chief executive John Welch said: “Standards are tremendously high for this competition, which has attracted more than 28,000 amateur artists aged between 60 and 104 in the last 18 years.

“We are delighted that Anna has won this national art award – she clearly enjoys encouraging her fellow residents to share her passion for art, evidenced by the beautiful displays in the communal lounge, created by her weekly arts and crafts group.”

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