ARTIST Jan Tyson has spent all her life creating masterpieces with a paintbrush.

But when she developed arthritis in her hands she found it difficult to hold the crucial tool for her art.

And instead of calling it a day she turned to the power of plastic — and now uses a credit card to create her impressionist paintings.

The artist, who works under her maiden name Jan Peaurt, said: “It became really painful to hold a brush so I had to start thinking of other things I could use “One day I just tried a credit card and it worked really well because it’s much easier to hold.

“Now I’ve got a whole collection of them.”

She added: “Unfortunately I can’t wipe them down and use them when I go shopping, as the acrylic paint ruins them.”

Mrs Tyson, aged 64, of Oldfield Close, Westhoughton, started painting as a child and studied Graphic Design and Fine Art at Salford Technical College, and more recently, at New Bury Community Learning Centre.

She regularly exhibits her work at Rivington Creative Art Centre.

Mrs Tyson, who is retired, has recently donated one of her paintings — Ancient Pine Trees — to the Mayor of Westhoughton’s charity, the Royal Bolton Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department.

Her husband, Ernest, aged 67, fell down the stairs, injuring his spine.

He was treated at the Royal Bolton Hospital and the pair were so impressed with the care he received Mrs Tyson decided to donate a painting for Cllr Chadwick to auction.

Cllr Chadwick said: “I am overwhelmed by the generosity of this gift.

“The Accident and Emergency Department will certainly benefit from Jan’s hard work and I’m delighted that she has given it to me to auction.”