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8 Months + $150 in House Paint = Stunning Mural by 94-Year-Old Artist

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Photo by ~db~ via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

Photo by ~db~ via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
94-year-old Mid-City artist Erma Winfield has finally completed a 40-foot mural that depicts the many "seasons" of her life. It took eight months of daily work, $150 worth of exterior house paint, some good-natured ribbing from friends and willing neighbors, but the mural is now a welcome addition to Spalding Avenue, according to the LA Times.Winfield's initial Los Angeles experiences weren't exactly the stuff of dreams. The great-granddaughter of a slave, Winfield has light skin and feels certain that's what helped her land a job at a title company in the 60's. An injury required her husband to pick up her check one fateful day in 1962 and that's when her employer fired her. "They claimed it was for medical issues, but it was because they found out I'm black," said Winfield.

Without a job, Winfield began dabbling in oil painting and over time taught herself a meticulous style of painting that caught the attention of artist Sylvia Bennett, who encouraged Winfield to paint the large mural.

Neighbors kept close tabs on Winfield's progress over the eight-month long creation of the vivid mural and even LAPD got in on the surveillance act, circling a helicopter overhead to watch.

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The mural depicts many scenes from Winfield's life including winter in Chicago, a Mississippi Indian burial mound, many of the houses she's lived in and her favorite church. Neighbor Hazel McClenon is pleased. "I knew she would finish it, and it turned out great."

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