97-Year-Old Artist Uses Window 95 Microsoft Paint to Create Masterpiece

Mia Fitzharris
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We're a day early, but I'd rather see stories like this on "Throwback Thursday" than what normally pops up on my Twitter timeline the day before Friday. Hal Lasko is 97 years young, legally blind and deaf, and he creates his art using Paint on Microsoft Windows 95.

The man affectionately known as "Grandpa" was one of eight children in his family; his parents came to the U.S. from Austria. Lasko's birthplace is Toledo, Ohio, and his first job after serving in World War II was in Cleveland as a graphic designer with companies like General Tire and the Cleveland Browns.

He retired in the '70s and began working more on the type of creative art he was most interested in. In the '90s, Lasko's grandson Ryan turned him on to Windows 95 after buying him a new computer 15 years ago. He would later lose some of his vision, but his mastery of the simple software program MS Paint afforded him the opportunity to continue pursuing his passion.

While Lasko has painted digitally for quite some time, his work is gaining publicity after the release of a new documentary about him, directed by Josh Bogdan. Entitled "The Pixel Painter," the piece interviews the artist and his family about his remarkable story.

"I'm using [the computer] because it gives me the benefit of magnifying enough so that my eyesight is good enough that I can still [paint]," Lasko explains in the documentary. "I jumped up out of bed and went to the computer to see if I could do what I could dream I could do."

Lasko sells his prints online, and they're currently on sale for $98 to celebrate his birthday on July 28. The painter is donating 10% of each purchase to Veterans of Foreign Wars programs.