Patsy Smullin interviews Cynthia Mish Part 1

ASHLAND, Ore. – KOBI-TV / KOTI-TV Owner and President Patsy Smullin recently sat down with a longtime friend, Ashland artist Cynthia Mish, for an exclusive interview.

Patsy Smullin: Recently, I sat down with a very special lady to discuss her art and her outlook on life. Born of an Italian immigrant who was inducted into John Philip Sousa marching band during World War One. She was raised in Brooklyn and began working as an artist and museum lecturer by the time she was 16. She has painted Russian icons, and had her work showcased in books as a calligrapher, and painter. 95-years-old and still going strong. I give you 30-year Ashland resident, Cynthia Mish.

Cynthia Mish: Hi Patsy.

Smullin: I see on your refrigerator it says “I’m the happiest person I know.” Are you talking about yourself?

Mish: I think so. Nobody else was in the room. So had to be me.

Smullin: Why do you feel that way?

Mish: Well, my three kids are responsible for that. And a lot of good friends. This neighborhood is wonderful. A lot of good people. There’s a lot of good people everywhere. Really. You just have to find them and respond in kind.

Smullin: What are you enjoying most now?

Mish: The freedom of old age, I don’t take care of anyone. I don’t cook for anyone. I do exactly what I want to do. If I wake up at three o’clock in the morning, I go into the studio and pick up on my work. My work is wonderful. If you have something you love to do, and I tell this to all the young people, if you love something, and you can’t wait to get up in the morning to do it, you’re going to live to be 100. It’s your attitude that works for you. That’s all it is. I mean, and without your failures, you would never have something that you really accomplish. You have to have that comparison to be able to evaluate this. I find that when I get it, I can fill up a wastepaper basket. You know, if I’m getting a show ready or something, I throw it all the way, and then I look at it. I go back and I say, I got it right. And then I’m happy. It’s the best feeling in the world.

Smullin: And what do you say to people who love art but oh, I could never be an artist?

Mish: I say everybody’s got talent. (Perhaps) with a hammer and nails. Or you can have talent working with mud, sand, clay, anything you wish. Everything is available to you. I knew what I wanted to do so I went with it. If you love dirt, go play in it.

The second part of this interview will be broadcast on Tuesday, December 26, on NBC5 News at 6pm.

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