Neath artist still drawing on his talents – aged 102
IT was just two years ago when artist James Mills held his first ever exhibition to mark his 100th birthday.
Now his family are raising a toast to him once again for his 102nd birthday.
Mr Mills, who has been painting for more than 80 years, still lives independently at Heol Isaf in Cimla, although his granddaughter Nicola Lewis, said he had not been able to enjoy his hobby as much in the last year.
"He has not been painting as much as he has not been as well this year," she said.
"But he has done the odd portrait.
"I am sure he would love to do another exhibition again, it is just the practicalities."
She said he loved celebrating his landmark birthday yesterday.
"He really enjoyed getting lots of cards and some presents," she said.
"We are also going out for a family meal so he is looking forward to that."
Mrs Lewis added that as well as painting, he loved to tell a few stories.
"His long term memory is absolutely fantastic," she said.
"He can still remember the airships being shot down in London in 1916.
"He can remember it all.
"He can remember all the names of who he went to school with. He can give you hundreds of stories."
Mr Mills, who has one son, two granddaughters and five great-grandchildren, started painting in his teens.
Since then he has not looked back.
It was in 2011 when Mr Mills was finally able to display his artwork at Neath Afan Gymnastics Centre.
The successful event was the first part of his 100th birthday celebrations, and was followed by parties with family and friends.
Mrs Lewis organised for the exhibition to take place at her gymnastic club at the Milland Road Estate centre.
"He was absolutely thrilled with it all and for quite some time after," she said.
Mr Mills moved to Neath around 10 years ago.
Before then he lived in Barry and was a member of Baruc Art Society.
On being asked how did he feel turning 102, Mr Mills said: "I have gone back now to 101. I'm going back!"