IN PICTURES: Artwork exhibition by stroke survivor and ‘observational artist’ is displayed in Long Buckby

People can view Anna's art exhibition until the end of this week

An artwork exhibition by a stroke survivor and “observational artist” is currently displayed in Long Buckby until the end of the month.

The mother has been painting scenes from Northamptonshire and beyond over the last few years.

Anna Langton, 54, from Long Buckby, presents an exhibition of her artwork at the Long Buckby Library and Hub for the third year in a row.

Anna said: “It’s lovely to see a selection of the paintings all hung up, and it's lovely to go into the library and hear that people are really enjoying looking at them.”

Anna has been painting and drawing since she was a child. Born in Derby, she relocated to Long Buckby 30 years ago as a young woman, where she raised her family.

“It’s something I’ve always enjoyed. When I was a younger adult, bringing up my children and working for a living, I just didn’t have the time to devote to the hobby. But since I'm retired, it’s part of my campaign to be a successful retired person,” said Anna.

Anna suffered a stroke in October 2011 that had an impact on the left side of her body.

“It made me quite poorly; it was a bleeding in the brain; it was called a cerebral vascular accident, and it's left me with left-sided weakness,” said Anna.

She had to learn how to walk, sit up, and perform all her daily tasks again. After years of occupational therapy and exercises, she was able to regain partial use of her left arm and left side of her body.

“It’s really strange. It's like living in two body halves, which don't quite match because the right-hand side is perfectly healthy and does everything just as you would expect it to do, but my left-hand side is slow; it just doesn't move at the speed that my right-hand side can, and it's just not as coordinated,” said Anna.

Anna is “no longer strong enough” or “well enough" to work for a living due to the stroke. She retired on ill health grounds “much sooner” than she expected 13 years ago.

“To be a successful retired person, you actually have to really make plans and be quite determined.

One of the things that retirement gives you is lots and lots of time. I’ve got lots of time to really develop my art, my skills, and my observation,” said Anna.

Anna started off with acrylics and painting landscapes, but over the last three years, she has been drawing more urban scenes and “fascinating” and “interesting” buildings.

“Long Buckby, for instance, has a real mix of sort of mediaeval cottages and Victorian terraces; it’s even got Art Deco architecture, believe it or not. You wouldn’t believe how fancy some of the chimney pots are in Northamptonshire in general.

“Somebody at the community lunch described me as an observation artist, which I think is really nice,” said Anna.

Over the past year, Anna has been painting scenes in Daventry, Liverpool, and Long Buckby. She is frequently spotted out on her mobility scooter, rendering Long Buckby in pencil.

Since 2014, her artwork has been on display annually at the St. Lawrence's Church art exhibition in Long Buckby.

“I was the first person they asked to do an art exhibition in the library, which was really nice; that was quite an honour. The reason I've been able to do these exhibitions over the last few years is because I have been quite prolific in my painting.

“I love painting, drawing, and sharing my artwork, but there are so many really talented artists in the area. That's been another good way the community in the village brings together artists and tries to raise their profile in their area,” said Anna.

Her art exhibition can currently be viewed at Long Buckby Library and Hub until the end of the week (March 31).

In June 2023, Anna spent a few days in Liverpool painting the Albert Dock. She participated as a wildcard artist in Landscape Artist of the Year, a British television competition for landscape painters with eight artists and 50 ‘wildcards’, which earned the winners a commission and art supplies.

“It was a lovely, hot, sunny day. It was fantastic. A really fun experience,” said Anna.

Anna, a member of the Northampton Concert Band, has been learning to play the euphonium for the past few years.

“One of the things I used to do before the stroke was play clarinet and saxophone. I can't play those anymore. Learning to play a brass instrument has been excellent for facial physiotherapy. My tongue can't always keep up because the left-hand side is a bit slow,” said Anna.

She has been having "great fun" practising with the Daventry Brass Band for the past year.

“Thank you to family and friends for your support over the last few years,” said Anna.

Anna shares various pencil drawings and paintings on her Instagram and Facebook pages.

“If people are prepared to part with their hard-earned cash for something that you've created, that's really gratifying.

“That's a nice feeling, plus it means I can afford to buy more paint canvasses and things like that,” said Anna.

Take a look below at some of Anna’s colourful and lively artwork: