Art After Fifty

 Sheltered © Beth Cole | Oil on Canvas | 11 x 14

Sheltered © Beth Cole | Oil on Canvas | 11 x 14

This is a new series on the blog for those over fifty who have always wanted to create ART. Is that you? I'm glad you're here. Truly. 

Art After Fifty

I was 54 when I picked up a paintbrush. It was something I have always wanted to do, but never made time for because of life – raising kids, business responsibilities, etc. You, too?  If so, I want to encourage you. It’s not too late! You are in the prime years of your life. You may still be working full or part time but chances are your nest is empty and you have a little more time to explore art.

I want to write about the journey I have taken to this landing spot of oil painting in hopes that you will not be afraid to experiment with all kinds of media in order to find your landing spot.

Experimenting With Supplies

I found one of the easiest ways to begin painting was to buy some inexpensive canvases, acrylic paint and brushes. In fact, when I first started, I didn’t know anything about color mixing and that sounded too time consuming for me, so I bought craft paint in the colors I liked and just began painting. This was a great way to start! I remember seeing things I liked on Pinterest and then trying to get a similar result with my tools.

My earliest paintings were something else, whoowee. In fact, I remember throwing my brush down and tossing the canvas in the trash and telling my husband, I can’t do this. I was so frustrated! He didn’t let me quit though and supported me by buying a whole bunch of paint and supplies for my birthday that year. It was such a beautiful expression of love and support.

Regardless of whether you have a supportive family, you can still paint – please give yourself permission and time to give it a try. Painting is such a release and a joy, I think it is can be a beautiful expression of worship and gratefulness to our Creator. If you have curiosity about painting and the urge to try, please follow through on it.

What Shall I Paint?

This is the question every artist asks no matter how long you have been painting! I began creating art with mixed media pieces because I would see things I liked in Hobby Lobby or wherever and just wonder if I could create something like that. So I would give it a try. My pieces never looked like those in Hobby Lobby, eeeeeek, they were….well let’s just stay, quite interesting. I remember painting birds on a telephone wire, some abstract shape pieces, a few figurative pieces like rainy day girls, etc, things like that. I would just follow my heart and paint the things I liked. It was a lot of fun and I felt freedom to just create.

 One of My First Pieces -- Rain Girl © Beth Cole | Mixed Media

One of My First Pieces -- Rain Girl © Beth Cole | Mixed Media

 

I didn’t have a dedicated art room when I first started, I just used a corner of my laundry room. In fact, my clothes dryer still has remnants of that craft paint spattered here and there. I remember moving the folded piles of clothes to one side of the counter and spreading out newspaper and my little canvases and a paper plate for a paint palette. I would turn my music on and just go to town. I didn’t use many reference images in the beginning, I experimented with mixed media, found objects, layers of papers and more abstract concepts. It was great fun and I was constantly learning. But I knew I would need to soak up lots more learning so I began looking for classes.

In the next post I will talk about how I found classes to take online and what happened when I became part of an online art community.

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and please know your comments and questions are always welcome. Take good care now.

--Beth
Soli Deo Gloria