In her book The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron describes meeting people who are concerned about being too old to start learning an artistic pursuit. Her answer to the question, ‘But do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to really write or play an instrument or act?’ is ‘The same age you’ll be if you don’t learn to play at all.’
Hal Lasko is one artist who sees age as no barrier. Having just turned 98, and diagnosed as legally blind, he spends ten hours a day painting with Windows 95’s Microsoft Paint program.
Affectionately nicknamed Grandpa, Lasko was born in Taledo, Ohio, on July 28, 1915. After commencing work as a graphic designer, he was called to draft directional and weather maps for bombing raids during the Second World War.
Once the bombing stopped, he returned to design, working for the likes of General Tire, The Cleveland Browns, Goodyear and American Greetings. Evenings would be spent painting.
However, it wasn’t until retirement that Lasko could find enough time to focus entirely on art. And he was in his late 80s before he learnt how to use Microsoft Paint. Vision loss came in 2005, with the onset of wet macular degeneration.
In the video below, documentary maker Josh Bogdan takes a journey through Lasko’s creative world.
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July 29, 2013 by Jasmine Crittenden