Show is Jean's 90th birthday gift to herself
THE founder of the Lostwithiel Art Group will be celebrating two special occasions later this month.
It will be Jean Smith's 90th birthday on October 30 and she will be staging her own exhibition in the town's library that week, featuring up to 60 of her paintings.
Lancashire-born Mrs Smith moved to the town 13 years ago after many years living in Newquay, where she and her late husband Stan became keen surfers, riding the waves into their seventies.
She said it was living in Newquay that first inspired her to begin painting Cornish seascapes.
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"I started painting 40 years ago when I went to night school," she said. "It was just painting for pleasure, really, and I fell in love with it.
"When we moved to Newquay, Stan and I used to go to Lusty Glaze almost every day to surf and it was there that I learned to paint the sea, but I also love woodland scenes," said Mrs Smith.
After moving to Lostwithiel, it didn't take her long to help form the local art group after placing an advert in the church magazine.
"Myself, Heather Turner and Elizabeth Parmenter put something in The Bridge to see if there was any interest in forming the art group, and 13 people replied, which is about the same number of members that we have today," she said.
Mrs Smith has sold many of her paintings over the years, and some of the purchasers are returning them for the exhibition. Others will be on sale, with all proceeds going to the Mission Aviation Fellowship, which provides flights and logistical support for church missions in developing nations.
Mrs Smith added: "I'm a bit scared really putting on my own exhibition, but at the same time I'm really looking forward to it."
The exhibition above the library in Taprell House is open on Tuesday, October 29, and the following Thursday and Friday.