Stawell Eventide Homes resident Elaine McCracken delights family by taking up watercolour painting in her 90s

Stawell Eventide Homes resident Elaine McCracken has made the most of activities on offer to her, including delighting her family by taking up watercolour painting aged well into her 90s.

“My son said he can’t get over it,” Mrs McCracken said.

“He said ‘Mum, you’re nearly 100 and you’re taking up watercolours?’”

“I was drawn to it as they have a class here and there was no cost attached to it.”

“They supply the paint and the people to help you.”

Mrs McCracken has spent nearly two years working on her painting, with the classes helping her to copy landscape works.

She painted 25 watercolours in the first year she took up the hobby.

“I don’t know what inspired me,” she said.

“I just thought ‘I wouldn’t mind doing that’ You know how something comes to mind.It attracts me.”

“I think landscapes have been better than people for me,” she said.

“I like to paint trees and that sort of thing.

“They bring in a finished painting on an easel and we’ve got to copy it. I think I have improved.

“You have got to improve otherwise you are going backwards.”

Mrs McCracken, a former Stawell Town Council mayoress and councillor, greets most other residents in the morning by delivering their newspapers.

“We don’t get any wages,” she said.

“I’m thinking of asking for a raise.”

She is known for taking part in a lot of activities and rarely missing a session in the activities hall.

“I try to be active across the whole place,” she said. 

Mrs McCracken’s daughter-in-law, Heather, said Elaine was a Lady Mayoress of Stawell four times and became a Councilor in her own right after the death of her husband Arthur McCracken.

“She’s still getting around on her walker, albeit some days better than others,” Heather said.

“She is still trying to be of value to others.

“We've all received a watercolour each for Christmas this year and last, which we appreciate.

“We are so very appreciative of the staff at Eventide for the wonderful care they give her.”

Elaine’s grandson, Joe McCracken, was recently elected as mayor of the Colac Otway Shire Council.

“He just got in this year. He’s only 30,” Elaine said.