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Young, old or in-between, I can’t imagine a better hobby to have than drawing and painting. Children absolutely love drawing and painting – and the best thing to do is give them large, blank sheets of paper to be creative with. Also provide crayons, pencils, colorful markers and if you can handle the mess, give them some watercolors or tempera paint to experiment with. If you want to develop creativity in a child, the worst thing you can do is use coloring books. Any artist will tell you that coloring “within the lines” is the opposite of creativity. “Real” creativity means you don’t just copy other people’s work – you try to break the rules and try new things in order to develop and grow. Let kids push the limits of their art by allowing them to create freely.
Now, let me tell you a cool story about someone who is young at heart and likes to paint. This is a story about my mom. She’s 88 years young and only started to love painting later in life. She has had an interesting life, but her earlier years were not focused on creating her own artwork.
She worked as a scientist after studying bacteriology and microbiology. At the time she got married she was managing a laboratory at a pharmaceutical company where they were working on developing vaccines. After she had three children, she took a break from that job in order to raise me and my two brothers. The cool thing is that she let us be creative, as she provided lots of arts and crafts activities. She encouraged us, she and Dad enrolled us in art classes. I never realized how much she helped us establish our artistic abilities until I was grown. Now, 2 out of her 3 children make their living in some form of the arts.
She was always interested in art, though. After being a full-time mom and then going back to work - she later made a career change (she got into teaching and became a reading specialist). Still, her involvement in the arts was only as an admirer of beauty and creative things. That all changed when she was in her seventies.
Somehow Mom got involved with some people who went to watercolor painting classes. She started attending lessons and found that she really liked painting. She got pretty good and started entering her work in art shows. Now she is in her late 80s and is still painting and entering shows. She wins ribbons, too! I can’t express to you how proud of her I am.
This story is just to let you know that painting is a hobby that you can start at any age. You don’t even have to be great at drawing to enjoy it. But, I bet if you get started at it, your drawing skills will improve, too. You can be a research scientist, a homemaker, a plumber, an accountant, a teacher, a corporate executive – it doesn’t matter where you come from or what you have or have not studied in the past. The best time to start to learn how to paint (or to continue learning) is right now. So, if you think you are too old or too young (or too busy being some age in between) – think again!