If you are reading this in the first flush of youth, (20/30’s), please bear with me for you too will, unbelievably and believe me, one day awake to the fact that you are not exactly old but no longer exactly young.
Unless successful in our early years and savvy on how to maintain said success it is often the case that as the years pass and the confidence of youth fades – as life deals blows that slowly chip away at our confidence, it is easy to mistakenly believe that we may have missed our particular boat.
Recently I became not so nifty 50 and as we all live longer I want to shout loud from atop my wee soapbox that there is still plenty of time to succeed in whatever it is we wish to succeed in as our youth evaporates.
In my late 20’s and very early 30’s, following a career as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator, I was on the cusp of recognition as a fine artist but a commitment to my son and messy divorce rudely curtailed my progress.
Whilst I have always kept my art practice live it is only recently that I find myself able to fully commit to my lofty art aspirations which have plagued me throughout the ensuing years.
Today I consider that the knocks and chips I have had throughout the years provide me with a lush and fertile plain of thoughts and ideas to nourish my art. To be an older artist is not all bad as life experience provides a plethora of experiences to explore and share. I, for one, certainly have a lot more material to inform my work now rather than 20 years ago…
The 21st Century is a great time to be old and even better to be old and a woman.
The role of nurturer fulfilled I along with many other folks find I now have time to indulge my obsessions and passion.
Personally I hold dear to heart the story of Alfred Wallace which inspires and encourages me to believe and continue to strive.
…Alfred Wallis moved to St Ives in 1890 at the age of 35, where he set up a business as a marine stores dealer. From about 1912, after the business closed, he worked for the next ten years or so as an odd job man for a local antiques dealer. When his wife, Susan died in 1922, he found himself alone, and so took up painting “for company”… (Source)
That means that he was 67 when he started to paint! Too poor for traditional materials he often painted on cardboard and used household paints to create his sophisticatedly naïve compositions which feature the town, boats and ships of St Ives.
The best bit of this story is that he was appreciated by established artists, notably Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood, and today his work is highly prized and in significant collections throughout the world including the Tate.