Margaret Macaboy, a 77-year-old native Washingtonian, admitted recently that a few persons have likened her to Grandma Moses.
"It's kind of amazing I can do anything, because I'm almost blind," said Macaboy.
Once a week since October, Macaboy has taken art class at the Roosevelt Hotel for Senior Citizens, where she lives. Jeanettte Patrick, who teaches the class for hotel residents, held a showing last week of 20 pictures done by students in the class, including four small acrylic landscpaes by Macaboy.
She likes to paint snowscapes best and copies them from Christmas cards. Macaboy, who has had no other art training, said, "It's just a gift I was born with. My ancestors painted."
"I like to put light into a painting," said Bessie Godomich, who has two acrylic paintings in brights reds, blues and yellows in the exhibit. "Some paintings you just pass by," she said," "and some catch the eye."
Goodmich said the paintings were copies of painting she had seen somewhere and remembered. "I have two more in mind to do," said Godomich, who will be 82 on her next birthday.
Three colleges, made up mainly of pictures cut out of National Goegraphic, were created by Esthere Karpoff, 77.
"When Mrs. Karpoff joined the class, she wasn't much on drawing," explained the teacher. "But when I showed her a collage I had done, she really got into it."
"I'm an old farmer from New Jersey," said Karpoff, explaing the inspiration for a collage of farm scenes. "This one is for my 8-year-old great-granddaughter who plays the piano very well," she said, pointing to a collage with a musical theme. "And this is for another great-grandchild who is going to be six and loves animals."
Jeannette Partrick presented certificates of participation to all her students in the class, which is run by the University of the District of Columbia and partially funded by a government grant Patrick, a graduate student in gerontology at Federal City, studied art in Vienna and in Washington.
"I was raised by my gradnparents," said Patrick, "and I really enjoy working with older people. They have so much to offer. With just a little inspiration from me they were able to do good work - even those with no art background."
"I didn't paint since childhood," said Olena Olkhovakol, a native of the Ukraine. She showed her certificate to friends and pointed out here pictures - a still life of fruits and a copy of a Renaissance portrait. Those werre the only pictures she completed, Olkhovakoi explained. She had had to drop out of the art class because it conflicted with her exercise class.
"My hands shake all the time," said Mary Mylecraine, who suffers from ataxia and attended the opening in a wheelchair. Mylecraine contributed a pencil sketch of an elecphant to the exhibit.
J. N. Johnson, a retired naval officer - "You may ask my age, but I won't tell you," he said - pointed out an acrylic still life he had done.
"Is anyone else interested in signing up for the class?" asked Patrick of the 20 residents who had gathered to look at the pictures.
"I'd like to," said one woman, "but I can only see with one eye." Patrick signed here up anyway.
"We also work with self-hardening clay, which is very good for people who have arthritis," she said." The pictures will remain on exhibit until June 18.