Finding the Fountain of Life in Retirement Through Creativity and Art
It is usually about this time of year when I start to lose momentum. I start off in January with a plan and get stuck during February. Come March and I am running on empty. This is a familiar pattern for me. Perhaps you can relate?
The desire for a holiday is huge for me right now. So, I plan the next thing to get my creative juices flowing. This time a series of art workshops in April and May will force me to get my focus back. I am not complaining. Far from it. This process is necessary and builds the grit I need to push through the year with new projects.
But What About Life in Retirement?
Now I know that retirement today is different to what I thought it would be twenty years ago. You know the picture: Holidays, relaxing and taking naps whenever you want.
You can still do this, but all the retired people I know that love their days and are very productive. It seems that hobbies are now passion projects or side-line businesses. Many retirees are contributing to the economy, giving back to their community in some way and having a blast doing it. Artists fit perfectly into this picture.
Artists Thrive on Work
The retired artist. Sounds like a contradiction in terms to me. If the thought of retirement seems like a dead end to you, then diving into your art is the solution. Let us explore this idea a bit more. Why is art so important?
Art Stimulates the Mind
An active mind remains younger for longer. Most of us have spent our lives on left-brain work. Office work of some sort or other. Confined and logical stuff. But art frees the right-brain to release the creative power of the mind. I believe creativity to be our strongest quality. The result is a balanced view of life and a reinvigorated mind is a young mind.
Artists See Every Day as a Gift
Because each day has the potential for creative thought or action you can look forward to each new day. It all depends on you. The direction you follow is up to you. This wonderful reality of independence is liberating to the soul. When artists appreciate this freedom then every day is a gift to be unwrapped. Life in retirement is a gift.
Time is Used Fully
Our greatest asset is time. We cannot replace it and no amount of money can acquire more. Surely artists appreciate this more than most? That painting will not paint itself. And the next painting awaits.
Each painting is a stepping stone to the next insight. The next epiphany. Personally, I know that persistence in the studio brings me closer to the mastery I seek. I also know that there is no ending and the journey is all that matters. Still, I cannot wait to see what the next painting reveals.
The Fountain of Life
We have all heard about the mythical fountain of youth. But I think the fountain of life is more important. Creativity springs from the life within us. This is fuelled by a passion that comes from love. My apologies if this sounds too sappy, but there is no avoiding it. Artists create their best work out of love. To be connected to this font of life; this life force is the way to remain ageless in spirit.
Examples of Ageless Artists at Work
I am sure that you can think of a few artists that seemed to keep working with vigour despite their age or circumstances. A few famous artists that inspire me are Claude Monet, Henri Matisse and Andrew Wyeth. Then there is Picasso. What about living artists like Annie Liebowitz and even fashion designers like Calvin Klein?
Perhaps the artists who inspire me the most are Monet and Matisse. Claude Monet kept working until the end despite the onset of blindness. His final series of giant waterlily paintings were gifted to France to heal the country after the First World War. I have seen this exposition on video and it never fails to move me.
Then there is Matisse who kept creating despite severe illness in his final years. His concluding project was to design the Chapel of the Rosary in France. I have watched documentaries on this project and been moved to tears. I am not the only one who feels this way. One can sense the profound love Matisse poured into this project.
Art Gives Us Perspective
Simply thinking about other artists who have sacrificed so much is inspirational. How can I squander my time and energy on complaining? Or waste time on the celebrity nonsense that is thrown our way by the media? No thanks! As you develop your art you can see the importance of persisting with your art even though there are moments of frustration.
Let us keep it real and use our precious time creating art. Whether you do this as a business or for simple enjoyment, persist and you will discover that age is irrelevant. The creative journey is what matters the most.
Looking for a fresh start to painting? I have a series of painting course for beginners and more advanced artists. Start with a free course and move on to more challenging topics. Discover more.
How are you planning on spending life in retirement? Are you discovering a creative urge in your 60s? Is painting something that you are interested in learning? What other expressive hobbies do you enjoy? Please join the conversation.
Malcolm Dewey is a professional artist and writer. He is passionate about painting in oils and watercolor. Malcolm loves landscape painting. He teaches painting to artists of all levels. Working online on his website and in personal lessons Malcolm helps other artists paint better with structured painting lessons. His Facebook page can be found here.