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For the love of painting

Care Services Connectedness Community Positive Ageing

Joyce Francis enjoys nothing more than picking up a paint brush and creating a piece of art. She shares her story with The Good Life.

10 December 2021
IRT St Georges Basin resident Joyce Francis is a painter and loves nothing more than sharing her love of painting.
“When my children were little I used to paint when they had gone to bed and then when I retired, that’s when I could do my thing.”
Joyce Francis
IRT St Georges Basin resident

The art of painting has always been a passion of IRT St Georges Basin Aged Care Centre resident Joyce Francis.

The 89-year-old has been teaching painting for 40 years and obtained a diploma in art some 30 years ago.

“When you are an art teacher you never stop learning,” says Joyce. “You learn from your students. I will teach until I die.”

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic Joyce was teaching weekly painting lessons to a group of 15 older students at the local St Georges Basin Community Centre.

“They are all bloody good painters, their work is gorgeous,” she says.

Joyce with her fiancé Fred Gardner – the couple met at IRT St Georges Basin and enjoy painting together.

She also teaches residents at the aged care centre how to paint and met her fiancé Fred at one of her classes. “We do a lot of painting together,” she says.

“For the aged care centre I draw pictures and cartoons and the residents paint or colour them in,” Joyce says. “It’s a good activity and a chance to get everybody together.”

Joyce still paints for herself and has a set-up in her room. “I paint with water colours, pastels and acrylic paints now,” she explains.

She likes to paint all sorts of subjects, objects and landscapes and has done her own family portraits. She has painted, sketched and drawn all her life. “When it’s born in you it comes out,” she explains. “When my children were little I used to paint when they had gone to bed and then when I retired, that’s when I could do my thing.”

Joyce is also keen to share her knowledge of painting and tells her students everything she knows.

Joyce gives her artworks as gifts and they are also hung up around IRT St Georges Basin Aged Care Centre.

When she’s painting Joyce says she feels relaxed. “I often don’t know what time it is and I don’t care,” she says with a laugh.

It takes her about two hours to paint a picture and says she’s much quicker at sketching now than she ever was. Unfortunately Joyce’s eyesight is failing and she often paints from memory. “I’ve never charged for my paintings and the class I teach is voluntary. I simply enjoy teaching and painting.”

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