Ron Smith Care Centre (RSCC) Woodlands’ resident Ethelwynne van Eck celebrated her 85th birthday on 3 August, enjoying refreshments, cake and gifts sent to the care centre by her family.
The care centre’s staff did some beautiful decorations for her birthday and celebrated it in style with her.
Ethelwynne had a stroke in July 2015, which left her right side paralysed. Prior to her stroke, she was a passionate painter and art lover, and sold many oil paintings, mainly still life and flowers.
Ethelwynne says she was very sad after her stroke, as she thought she would never paint again.
“The situation changed when I was invited to join the Elphin Lodge art group, as an art tutor or advisor. I was at first a little hesitant to join the group, but with Debbie’s [Debbie Christen, Rand Aid’s Recreation Manager] encouragement, I agreed to go and meet the people.
“I am so glad that I went, because they all welcomed me so graciously and I started attending the group every Tuesday. I didn’t want to just advise other people, however; I wanted to belong to the group as an artist and be one of them. And when I saw the others drawing and painting, I was inspired to try again,” says Ethelwynne.
She started taking pencils and a sketch book with her, and trained herself to draw with her left hand.
“I began sketching simple shapes and soon found that I could draw again! After my success with the drawing, I decided to try painting in acrylics and watercolours and eventually oils, which is my favourite medium.
“I absolutely love painting again and set up my room as my art studio two years after I moved to RSCC. I am sharing my talent for, and love of art, and realised my dream of re-connecting with the art world and pursuing my passion for painting,” she says.