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Embracing Creativity in Your 60s: Unleashing the Artist Within


Turning 60 isn't just a milestone; it's a gateway to new beginnings, including embracing your creativity. As we age, we accumulate wisdom, experiences, and stories waiting to be expressed. And what better way to do so than through the transformative power of art?


In my art courses, I've had the privilege of teaching many individuals who embark on their artistic journey in their sixties. It's not uncommon to hear doubts about starting something new at this stage of life. Some may feel overwhelmed by the idea that it's too late to learn or that they lack the talent to create something meaningful. However, I've witnessed firsthand the incredible transformations that occur when one embraces creativity regardless of age. Art knows no bounds and has no expiration date. It's a journey of self-discovery, growth, and endless possibilities. So, to anyone hesitant about starting their artistic adventure later in life, I say this: seize the opportunity, embrace the journey, and let your creativity shine. You're never too old to discover the artist within you.


Embracing Creativity in Your 60s
Me, next to paintings I recently made


My grandmother painted lots and lots and well into her 90's. I know she still attended classes and kept learning throughout her life. and that's the thing, it doesn't matter when you start, your learning journey is never completed. Not a single artist ever said "done, I mastered everything"




Embracing Creativity in Your 60s


These are some thoughts I wanted to share about starting art in your 60's based on what I have learned from the people I teach:


  1. Rediscovering Yourself: In our 60s, we often find ourselves reflecting on life's journey. Embracing creativity means reconnecting with parts of ourselves we may have neglected. Whether it's painting, writing, or sculpting, creative expression offers a pathway to rediscovery.

  2. Breaking Free from Expectations: Retirement doesn't mean slowing down. It's an opportunity to break free from societal expectations and explore passions we've longed to pursue. Creativity knows no age limit, and in our 60s, we have the freedom to create without inhibition.

  3. Embracing Imperfection: One of the beauties of ageing is embracing imperfection. In art, there are no mistakes, only opportunities for growth. Embrace the beauty of imperfection and allow it to guide your creative journey.

  4. Finding Joy in the Process: In a fast-paced world, creating art allows us to slow down and savour the moment. Whether it's sketching in a notebook or painting a canvas, finding joy in the process is just as important as the finished product.

  5. Connecting with Others: Creativity has the power to connect people across generations. Joining art classes or online communities can provide a sense of belonging and support as you embark on your creative journey.

  6. Exploring New Mediums: Retirement is the perfect time to explore new mediums and techniques. From watercolours to digital art, there's a whole world of creativity waiting to be explored.

  7. Embracing Creativity in Everyday Life: Creativity isn't limited to the canvas. It's infused in everyday life, from gardening to cooking to decorating. Embrace the creative possibilities that surround you and infuse every moment with your unique flair.

  8. Honouring Your Story: Each brushstroke tells a story, and in our 60s, we have a lifetime of stories to share. Whether it's capturing memories through art or journaling about life's adventures, honour your story through creative expression.

  9. Nurturing Your Well-being: Engaging in creative activities isn't just about making art; it's about nurturing your overall well-being. Studies have shown that creativity can reduce stress, improve cognitive function, and enhance emotional resilience.

  10. Leaving a Legacy: Embracing creativity in your 60s isn't just about personal fulfilment; it's about leaving a legacy for future generations. Your art is a reflection of your journey, your passions, and your unique perspective on the world. After all, the best masterpiece is yet to come.


Starting Late, Shining Bright: Many renowned artists began their careers later in life. Take Grandma Moses, who didn't start painting until her late 70s, yet went on to become a celebrated folk artist. Anna Mary Robertson Moses, as she's formally known, who captured the essence of rural life with her vibrant paintings. Her story reminds us that it's never too late to start pursuing our artistic passions and leaving a mark on the world.

Louise Bourgeois: This renowned French-American artist didn't achieve international recognition until her 70s. She is celebrated for her sculpture and installations exploring themes of feminism, identity, and the human condition.

Other artists that started their craft later in life are:

  1. Carmen Herrera: Herrera gained widespread acclaim as a painter in her late 80s. Her minimalist and geometric style has earned her recognition as one of the foremost abstract artists of her generation.

  2. Leonora Carrington: Carrington was a British-born Mexican artist and writer known for her surrealist works. While she had been creating art for much of her life, her career saw a resurgence in her later years, with her paintings gaining significant attention in her 70s and beyond.

  3. Frank Bowling: Bowling, a British painter, gained prominence in the art world later in life. His abstract and colourful canvases have earned him critical acclaim, with his work now exhibited in prestigious museums around the world.


Naturally, making art is about so much more than fame. Engaging in art doesn't have to revolve around seeking fame or recognition. Art offers myriad benefits beyond external validation. It provides a unique outlet for personal expression and reflection, allowing individuals to communicate their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in ways that words often cannot.


Art is also incredibly therapeutic, offering stress relief and promoting relaxation and mindfulness. Each milestone reached in the artistic journey brings a sense of accomplishment and pride, fostering a deeper connection with oneself. This is true at any age!


Moreover, art has the power to bring people together, fostering a sense of community and belonging. Whether it's joining a local art class or participating in online communities, engaging in art can create meaningful connections with like-minded individuals. It can feel difficult to make new friends as adults and being part of an art community can help you meet people and engage in fun activities together.


Art encourages experimentation and exploration, allowing us to push boundaries, try new things, and discover hidden talents you may not have known you possessed. It also offers cognitive benefits such as improved memory, problem-solving skills, and enhanced creativity.


Emotionally, art serves as a powerful outlet for processing emotions and promoting emotional well-being. It evokes a wide range of emotions, from joy and excitement to introspection and catharsis, providing a healthy means of expression.


Embracing Creativity in Your 60s
a piece of art I am currently working on

Furthermore, art allows individuals to capture and preserve memories in a tangible and meaningful way. Whether it's through painting landscapes of cherished places or creating collages of family photographs, art serves as a timeless record of personal history.


Ultimately, the true value of art lies not in external recognition but in the intrinsic joy, fulfilment, and enrichment it brings to our lives. Whether it's for personal growth, self-discovery, or simply the sheer love of creating, art is a gift that keeps on giving.


Embracing creativity in your 60s is a journey of self-discovery, joy, and fulfilment. It's about letting go of expectations, embracing imperfection, and honouring the stories that make you who you are. So pick up that paintbrush, unleash your imagination, and let your creativity soar. After all, the best masterpiece is yet to come.


if you are not sure if making art is for you, just reach out to me and tell me why you are unsure. I have taught people who struggle for many different reasons and I am happy to help!


Irene






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