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Honour for life-long painter

PUBLISHED: 13:10 18 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:00 03 March 2010

AFTER a lifetime at his easel, Felixstowe painter John Jacobs' enthusiasm has still not faded - and he has just been honoured for his art.

Mr Jacobs, 84, has been presented with an award as the Oldest Active Artist in East Anglia, and for the artistic merit of his work.

AFTER a lifetime at his easel, Felixstowe painter John Jacobs' enthusiasm has still not faded – and he has just been honoured for his art.

Mr Jacobs, 84, has been presented with an award as the Oldest Active Artist in East Anglia, and for the artistic merit of his work.

A cabinet maker, carver and turner during his working life, he has had a lifelong interest in art and specialises in portraits and nudes.

"I have enjoyed painting ever since I was a boy, and working with wood meant I needed a great deal of artistic ability," he said.

"I became very interested in photography as well and used this in harmony with my painting work."

Mr Jacobs, of Sea Road, Felixstowe, enjoys working in watercolours and oils, but his main media is pastels.

"I used to do a lot but these days I just do portraits of family and friends, just for pleasure and to pass the time."

He went to the Museum of London in the capital to be presented with his award by Davina Hodson, chairman of the national charity Counsel and Care for the Elderly, which helps more than 20,000 older people each year through its help line and the work it does in residential care homes.

An exhibition of his work was also staged at the museum.

"It was a lovely day out – my son took me as a father's day present! It is nice to be honoured but it would have been nice to have had the award just for artistic achievement as it is dangerous to say I am the oldest active artist," he said.

This proved true. For no sooner had the award been announced than another Felixstowe artist, 90-year-old Arthur Dullage, contacted the award organisers.

Mr Dullage, of Colneis Road, had missed the deadline for entering the competition but has been sent an award as well.

"I have been painting for more than 40 years and work in oils, painting landscapes. I give away the pictures when they are finished to charities and clubs so they can use them to boost their finances," he said.

The title of Oldest Active Artist was awarded by the charity as part of a national campaign to encourage older people to continue pursuing their artistic pursuits or even to take them up for the first time.

"We believe an over-powering interest helps older people to live healthier and longer lives. Hearing from people who are still enjoying producing art in their older years will help support the campaign," said Martin Green, chief executive for Counsel and Care for the Elderly.

WEBLINK: www.counselandcare.org.uk

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