An example of Nancy Ziegler water color paintings. Submitted photo.

An example of Nancy Ziegler water color paintings. Submitted photo.

Age is just a number

A local Covington artist started painting after she retired at 55 years old.

A local artist has proved you’re never too old to start doing something you love.

Nancy Ziegler, a Covington resident, didn’t start painting until she retired 23 years ago at the age of 55. Now she is 78 and is still painting and even selling her art at local art shows.

Nancy started her journey as an artist when she went to Arizona with her husband in around 1996, according to Tessa Asato, a Maple Valley Creative Arts Council member.

She said they were “snowbirds,” a term for people who travel to warmer areas when it’s cold outside.

“So just after we retired we started to go to Arizona for ‘snowbirds’ and I wanted to do something there. Some ladies in the neighborhood were meeting and getting together (to paint) and I said, ‘Maybe I’ll come,’ so I went and that’s what started it,” Nancy said.

She said the person who owned the place where the group was painting, acted as their “teacher,” but gave her and everyone else the freedom to paint however and whatever they wanted.

“It wasn’t really teaching, it was just, ‘OK lets paint,’ ” Nancy described.

After that experience, Nancy never turned back and has been painting ever since. She also joined the Maple Valley Creative Arts Council.

Nancy said she mostly likes to paint with watercolors, but will “dabble” with other forms of painting as well.

She describes her paintings as realistic.

“It’s just relaxing and fun, it’s just something I enjoy doing. I wish I had more time, it seems like I’m busy all the time. I volunteer for different things, so it keeps me busy,” Nancy said.

On top of painting, Nancy’s time is taken up by her yard work.

She owns an acre of land in Covington that used to be her great-grandfathers, she said.

“I’m from an old pioneer family from here in Kent/Covington. I live on the same property that my great-grandfather homesteaded in 1883. So my roots run deep. I’m the last one that has (land), we have one acre left, and I have that. We had about 160 acres there,” she said.

Although Nancy does a lot in what little spare time she has, she was able to have her own art show on Sept. 8.

It was called the “Nancy Ziegler Art Reception.” She said she sold 12 of her paintings there.

Looking back on her life, Nancy said she does wish she had started painting earlier.

“It would have been nice to because I really enjoy (it), but then I wouldn’t have had time because I was working,” she said.

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Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in a neighborhood near you. You can read more of her writing on her website To see her columns come to life, follow her on Facebook at Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh.
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