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3 years later, Bonnie Bowen continues to bring smiles with watercolor paintings

Bonnie Bowen began painting in 2020 as a way to honor first responders during COVID-19. Fast forward three years later, her paintings inspire happiness to others.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — 1077… and counting.

That is how many watercolor paintings Bonnie Bowen painted since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic three years ago.

“I want people to feel the happiness because I feel it,” she says.  “It's very enlightening to draw something and have someone comment on that they've enjoyed it and gave them an inspiration or gave them a thought for the day.”

The first painting Bonnie drew was on April 1, 2020, as a way to honor first responders when COVID-19 first came on the scene.  

Then she painted wine girls.  Then memories of her childhood.  She’s painted nearly every day since minus the time she had COVID-19 herself.

“There's sunshine someplace. So, we just have to search and find it,” she said.

Bonnie's paintings mark a moment in time we won't soon forget.  But also the faces of friends and famous people who helped her thrive through the pandemic.  Bonnie says her favorite painting is called “Light at the end of the tunnel.”

“Even in the dark, I think there's always a light at the end of every tunnel,” she said.

Bowen’s art has been turned into everything from t-shirts to calendars, raising money for a variety or local nonprofits.

Now at 93 years of age and watching how the hashtag #belikebonnie is inspiring so many people around the world with hope, Bonnie says she doesn’t plan to stop painting anytime soon.

“So long as I can hold a paintbrush. I'll keep on painting,” she said with a smile.

You can follow Bonnie's journey on Facebook by clicking here

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