Monday, March 10, 2008

Older artists

Office interior
Graphite, Canson sketchbook
copyright Jeanette Jobson

"Age gives you the freedom to do some things you've never done before. Great work can come at any stage of your life." (Will Barnet)

There are a number of individuals who have discovered or rediscovered art at 50 plus - including myself. The benefits of aging upon creation are interesting. Having lived longer means that you have been exposed to more life experiences, both visual and emotional and this can impact how you translate concepts into visual form.

How does your work change as your get older? Or does it? Do physical frailties affect artistic practices? Is your style recognizable over time?

Photoshop Recreates Aging Impressionists' Eye on the World

There are also some interesting articles and projects specifically for and about older artists which give a greater insight into the joys and challenges of being an older artist and can be translated into any population anywhere in the world I believe.

The Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York released a 210-page report on December 3, 2007 titled Above Ground: Information on Artists III: Special Focus New York City Aging Artists.
Claiming to be the first-ever study to examine the lives of elderly artists in New York, the report is based on information gathered from 213 New York-area artists, ages 62-97 (146 of these were professional artists), on everything ranging from health insurance and legacy planning to identity, satisfaction and professionalism.
Dale Copeland is creating a 2009 calendar created from 12 images selected from artists aged 65 and older worldwide. Offer up your work and your bio and your image may be chosen.

Robert Genn's article in The Painter's Keys: The Aging Artist

Sue Smith's blog - The Ancient Artist

Random Thoughts of an Aging Artist

The National Center for Creative Aging

Aging through the Eyes of an Artist

Visual Artists Research Unit - Artists are ill-prepared for getting old

Aging, Creativity and Art: A Positive Perspective on Late-Life Development (The Springer Series in Adult Development and Aging) by Martin Lindauer explores the relationship between aging and creativity among artists .

Aging Artfully by Amy Gorman.
The book challenges stereotypical perceptions and expectations, and documents that old age can be gratifying and filled with creative expression


Katherine Tyrrell said...

Excellent! You are so being included in my aging blog next Sunday!

Jeanette said...

Wonderful! This topic is so HUGE, I've just scratched the surface. Its going to take another few posts to do it justice I think as there are so many aspects to it.

Jan said...

I don't know how age affects my art but I'm one of those who got away from it in the effort of raising my daughter and, after my divorce, just trying to scrape by financially!

Now I have time to pursue it again & I'm trying to find my art "voice" at an older age when maybe I might have found it much sooner.

Tracy said...

How intersting!

Maybe my myopia can work for me!

Laurel Neustadter said...

You might also want to check out "The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain" and "The Creative Age: Awakening Human Potential in the Second Half of Life", both by Gene D. Cohen. The latter book in particular has many inspiring examples of individuals making creative contributions in the second half of life.

Sue Smith said...

You are putting Ancient Artist to shame here...but isn't it an exciting topic, the whole artist aging thing and now starting to be quite respectable...I even have "younger" people wanting to identify with being an ancient artist! Who would have thought they'd see that day?