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Articles

Ojai Artist Closing In On 100

By Mary M/ Long

“It’s still a thrill to walk into the fair and see a ribbon hanging on my picture,” said Ruth Torrance. Her walls are covered with the l watercolors she has painted and the ribbons they have won still hang on them. At 99 years old Torrance is proud of being “almost a century old.”
She got her start in painting when art classes were offered at her mobile home park in Ojai about 30 years ago. “I went to see what it was all about and I decided I liked it,” she said. Watercolors are her specialty, with landscapes, flowers and animals being her favorite subjects. She jokes that she might have to retire from painting as she has all of her children supplied with her artwork. With three children, 11 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and 8 great-great-grandchildren, this is one busy woman. When she is not painting, she is recycling greeting cards and crocheting afghans for veterans.
When someone told her she ought to be exhibiting her paintings in the fair she asked her art teacher Lois Powers for help. It’s been about three years now that she has been hanging her paintings at the Ventura Fair and she is looking forward to this year’s competition with three  paintings entered. After the fair she is looking forward to visiting her grandson in Baja where she hopes to try her hand at painting a seascape. A few years ago she had tried living in an environment where she was “waited on” and she said, “I couldn’t take it.”
She proudly shows a photograph of her 99th birthday party where her family made a 99-candle display on a 13-foot plank. “My great-great-grandson Brandon drilled the holes and my great-great-granddaughter Tayler put the candles in them.” Next March they will have to drill another hole and add another candle.

“It’s still a thrill to walk into the fair and see a ribbon hanging on my picture,” said Ruth Torrance. Her walls are covered with the l watercolors she has painted and the ribbons they have won still hang on them. At 99 years old Torrance is proud of being “almost a century old.” She got her start in painting when art classes were offered at her mobile home park in Ojai about 30 years ago. “I went to see what it was all about and I decided I liked it,” she said. Watercolors are her specialty, with landscapes, flowers and animals being

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