The Dorset coastline has always been a rich source of inspiration for artists to reach for their brushes and paints.
And now residents at Queen Charlotte Care Home, in Chickerell, near Weymouth, have even more reason to develop their passion for art.
For newly arrived at the Kingsley Healthcare run home is 83-year-old Bill Lowe whose talent as an artist has shone brightly over the years in colourful murals adorning the walls of such places as Westhaven and Portland hospitals and the former Underhill school in Portland.
The retired painter and decorator ran successful art classes and outdoor sketch groups for many years and now he is keen to share that passion with fellow residents.
Home manager Moira Stevens said: “Several of our other residents enjoy painting and I am sure Bill is going to be a huge inspiration to everyone.
“When we get to Spring it would be lovely to organise painting trips so residents can capture some of our stunning coastal scenery.”
Mr Lowe, who grew up in Wyke Regis, said: “My love for art started roughly at the age five. Art kept me feeling positive growing up during the Second World War.
“I still do my art so people feel more confident that they can too. If I can, anyone can!”
He joined his father’s painter’s and decorator’s business but alongside commercial work around the country he still found time for his art, painting a number of striking murals including one at the London Dolphinarium in the capital’s Oxford Street.
“While painting it I had to get across the pool to paint the opposite wall; as I paddled the boat it tipped up and I was a part of the display floating in the water,” he recalled.
“I also did some work on the Olympia buildings, this was an achievement for me as it was the tallest building I worked on.
“Coming back to my achievements in Weymouth and Portland, I have always enjoyed creating custom designs for customers, each piece of work is unique.”
He said his art classes were more about sharing his love for painting than teaching.
“I wouldn’t say I taught people because everyone can draw or paint, it’s just finding what style suits you,” he said.
He said his work spanned widely varying styles and dimensions from charcoal quarry scenes, to sea murals in local hospitals.
“I like to use different media from oils and acrylic to pastels and charcoal,” he said.
“I have always been the kind of person who wanted to learn; I am always trying new styles and techniques, I enjoy learning new ways to do things.
“My top tip is to keep on learning and always accept the extra help to improve your skills, you never know everything! That applies to a lot in life.”
Find out more about Queen Charlotte nursing home
Author: Stephen Pullinger