For people who grew up with desktop PCs, MS Paint evokes fond memories. The graphics program has been a Windows mainstay since the very first version of Windows all the way back in 1985, and it’s been responsible for millions of hours wasted by bored elementary school students. But people’s fondness probably comes more from nostalgia than it does from the program itself. Your typical MS Paint drawing looks like Pokemon masterpiece:
MS Paint is like Photoshop with training wheels. Hell, even saying “That looks like it was made in MS Paint” is a succinct way to crap on someone’s artwork.
Which is why it’s quite surprising to learn that MS Paint can be used to make artwork like this:
You might think that painting was made by someone with decades of experience with MS Paint, and you’d be wrong. It’s the work of Concha García Zaera, an 87-year-old grandma from Valencia, Spain who began using MS Paint only a couple years ago. And she’s already better than pretty much everyone on the planet.
In years past, García Zaera took classes in oil painting, but had to give it up when the paints’ strong smell bothered her. Then, about 12 years ago, her husband fell sick. Around that time her daughter also bought her a computer, and while spending so much time at home caring for her spouse, García Zaera tried painting digitally. Since then it’s become her main hobby.
García Zaera is humble about her artistic ability, describing herself as someone without much imagination. (We beg to differ.) Her artwork is inspired by postcards her husband used to send her. Each painting takes about two weeks start to finish–she spends a lot of time on the details, as you can see:
And we might not know who Concha García Zaera even is were it not for her granddaughter. Until recently, García Zaera was content to show the paintings to friends and family only, but then her granddaughter convinced her to post them on Instagram. On March 9th, García Zaera had only a couple hundred followers, but that changed when Twitter user @femilmom showcased some of her work. García Zaera’s paintings went viral, and now she has over 100,000 followers.
All of this success comes as a surprise to the grandmother. “I do not understand very well why my drawings draw so much attention, I think they are very simple things,” she told the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia.
But it’s pretty easy to see why. Not only are her paintings impressive for how they were made–seriously, if you still aren’t convinced, open up MS Paint right now and try drawing a circle with your mouse–they’re also just nice scenes to look at.
In recent years, MS Paint has been in a state of limbo over at Microsoft. Here’s hoping it sticks around so that Concha García Zaera can keep painting for years to come.
Here’s a few more of her paintings, because they’re just that good: