VIDEO: Talented Hemel Hempstead OAP spends 40 years painting her own Sistine chapel in council flat

A talented OAP from Hemel Hempstead has spent 40 years hand-painting her own version of the Sistine chapel - in her council flat.

Diana Keys has coated her home in Hemel with masterpieces inspired by the Italian Renaissance.

Inside Diana Keys' spectacularly decorated house in Hemel Hempstead

Inside Diana Keys' spectacularly decorated house in Hemel Hempstead

From stallions roaming the forest to cherubs floating in the heavens, the 70-year-old has covered magnolia walls with fairy-tale scenes - with her bare hands.

She said: “I want to share my work because I’m 70 and I have put a lot of work into it and I don’t know how much longer I will be alive.

“It’s taken me 40 years to do what I have done and the council will just cover it up when I go to heaven.

“I just want to share some love and peace with the world.

Diana has coated her home in Hemel Hempstead, Herts, with masterpieces inspired by the Italian Renaissance.

Diana has coated her home in Hemel Hempstead, Herts, with masterpieces inspired by the Italian Renaissance.

“It’s not finished but now I’m 70, I’ve stopped. If I kept going it would take me another 30 or 40 years to complete.”

Applying paint to her hands with Classical music resonating in the background, Diana has decorated four rooms from the ceiling to the floor with intricate designs inspired by heaven and mother nature.

She said: “There’s a story behind my painting. It’s really lots of little pieces that form one big picture all together.

“There is some religious meaning, I am a very spiritual person.

The outside of Diana's council flat in Hemel gives no clue to the wonder inside

The outside of Diana's council flat in Hemel gives no clue to the wonder inside

“I’ve never been to the Sistine Chapel but it amazes me.”

Like the masterpiece in Vatican City, Diana’s work has covered the ceiling and walls with intricate designs inspired by heaven and wildlife.

She said: “I want to share my work because I’m 70 and I have put a lot of work into it and I don’t know how much longer I will be alive.

“It’s taken me 40 years to do what I have done and the council will just cover it up when I go to heaven and I just want people to see it.

“It’s not finished but now I’m 70 so I’ve stopped. If I kept going it would take me another 30 or 40 years to complete.”

Diana began painting as a form of therapy and she says it helped her when she was suffering with mental health problems.

She said: “I had a lot of mental health issues and I spent a long time in hospitals and special care homes.

“I have suffered and art helped me through it. I just wanted to bring a bit of love to the world through my paintings.

“When one of the institutions I was in closed down they gave me a lot of paint and one of the local art shop gives me paints for my birthday and Christmas.”