Written by Steven Verrier

Painting for Seniors—Why Not?

If you’re looking for a new activity to keep you busy, focused, and young, it may well be time to explore the wonders of painting.

paintbrushesThough not everyone can be a Rembrandt or Monet, plenty of evidence suggests everyone can benefit from taking up an artistic endeavor such as painting at any stage in life. While some people catch the painting bug earlier in life, David Delaney of Toronto50Plus.com suggests that when it comes to your artistic side, “There is no better time to explore this than in retirement with so much perspective to offer in paint.”

Delaney continues, “Even at an advanced age, seniors can learn to paint, to ‘grow of themselves’ and learn to create art. Even if it took this long, some seniors may discover a talent that they never knew they had.”

Such was the case for Jayne Schroeder of Toledo, Ohio, who took up painting just over 12 years ago at the age of 80.

Over 15 years after retiring as head of the Social Work department at an Ohio college, Schroeder, widowed while still working, was given some art supplies by her daughter. By Schroeder’s own account, she “fiddled around” with the supplies for a year before deciding to take art lessons.

Schroeder, who likes to paint with acrylics, favors painting landscapes and buildings, and especially barns. Quoted in the Toledo Free Press, she says, “I like building scenes. I don’t care to do people. I just like the scenery. I’m pretty good at trees.”

Schroeder has sold some paintings, donated others to fundraisers, and given many to family and friends. To other seniors who may or may not be considering painting as a new activity, she has this to offer: “Everyone can do something to keep their mind occupied. Don’t just sit there and say, ‘Well, I’m old. I guess I can sit in this chair and do nothing.’ Or ‘I’ve worked hard all my life.’ I’ve heard that before. Baloney. So did I.”

Schroeder developed her painting skills by enrolling in classes offered by Toledo art supplies shop owner and art teacher Bob Schira, who offers classes for students of all ages. According to the Free Press, even after 12 years Schroeder continues to attend her Wednesday art class with Schira.


One thought on “Painting for Seniors—Why Not?

  1. Been painting off and on for years and work in watercolor. Also do stained paper collage. Painting requires concentration, you can’t worry about much else and the time flies by.

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About The Author

Steven Verrier

Steven Verrier

Steven Verrier, born in the United States and raised in Canada, has spent much of his life living and traveling abroad. He is the author of Raising a Child to be Bilingual and Bicultural, a prizewinning book published bilingually in Japan, and several short student-market dramatic works performed at a variety of locations. His novels, Tough Love, Tender Heart and Plan B, were published in 2008 and 2010, and his nonfiction book, Class Struggle: Journal of a Teacher In Up to His Ears, raised a few eyebrows following its publication in 2011. Currently Steve is living primarily in San Antonio, Texas, though he still likes to get around. Steve has always had a lot of interests. With graduate degrees from Columbia and the University of Iowa, he’s worked as a high school teacher and a college instructor, an editor and a musician, a laborer and group home attendant, and plenty more. Among his interests are issues relating to health care and healthy living. For more information about Steven Verrier, please visit his website. | Google+