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Never too old to return to art

Author: Michele Webber Published: 5th September 2014 08:50

Art Palette Art Palette

Sudbury and Suffolk News

Never too old to return to art

You could say ‘Never too old to take up art’ but the truth is we all used to be artists. Even the least artistic adult was once a small child who found joy in splashing about with a paintbrush. Picasso said ‘Every child is an artist; the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up’. Because every child believes that the art they create is fantastic! Of course the confidence starts to take small knocks, beginning when mum puts the ‘beautiful picture’ on the fridge – sideways, because she can’t tell what it is. Then there are classmates who ridicule, art teachers who drop a scathing remark and simply the inner critic, who wants so much to be good at art and is simply disappointed when what the eye sees doesn’t seem to translate to the paper.

So many people give up the pleasure of creating all sorts of art, but later in life the desire resurfaces, and they start to wonder: ‘could I do that?’ As a freelance artist and tutor one of the best things about my job is seeing beginners of all ages take their first tentative steps back into art. There is usually a trigger, a reason to try again. For many women giving up the 9 to 5 to have a baby makes them re-assess their lives and look for something more meaningful. For men it may be early retirement or redundancy. Others are recovering from illness, trying to find themselves again after divorce or the kids leaving home. Perhaps disability has forced them to consider a gentler past-time. I have seen everyone from young mums to people in their late 80’s take up art again with enthusiasm.

It is impossible to say how ‘good’ someone will become with a pencil or paintbrush but I do know that with practice, encouragement and a little guidance they will steadily improve. And returning to art is about much more than just painting a good picture. It is about finding a quiet time to look a little closer at the everyday colours and shapes around you. It’s relaxing, enjoyable and I truly believe, life enhancing.

Visit www.michelewebber.com for classes, courses and free tuition articles.

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