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.
Though 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.