Can You Be Too Old To Learn To Draw?
If you have a reasonable short term memory and you can still right your name legibly, then you are not too old to learn to draw. Everyone forgets things, especially when you’re learning something new, but you generally know if your memory is still reasonably intact.
My mum is 87 and she forgets things, sometimes repeats herself (so do I), her hand is a little shaky at times but she is still drawing beautifully. She was self taught and a great source of encouragement for me and my siblings, she and dad really wanted us to experience art. They gave us paper and pencils, crayons and paint and we were allowed to make a mess because we had a room called ‘the down below’, where we were able to create to our heart’s content. I think she sometimes got overwhelmed by the amount of paper all over the floor and so would initiate a massive clean up. We learned about art and tidying!!
She’s currently drawing beautiful coloured pencil portraits for her friends of their grand children and takes enormous pleasure in it. She loves giving them away and they are wonderfully appreciated. Her friends reward her efforts with pots of flowers or a voucher but as she says, she does it for love.
Many of my students are in their sixties and seventies, they are people who have retired and enjoy the stimulation of learning to draw and paint. They enjoy the camaraderie and support of the face to face classes and many say how relaxing they find it ,in spite of the odd bout of frustration; very normal in the learning process when things don’t quite fit your expectations. I teach simple mindfulness techniques to help people support themselves during these moments. Drawing is in fact very healthy for the aging brain and for motor co ordination. I have seen dramatic shifts in people - some arriving unable to draw a line and then learning not only to draw a line but create intricate and flowing, beautiful drawings.
I have also taught people in their eighties; one 89 year old I recall did very well. She was most inspiring. If you are looking for a rewarding, stimulating and at times challenging (it’s important for brain health to positively challenge the grey matter!) activity, I recommend drawing at any age, as long as your short term memory is OK. I have face to face classes in Kapiti and a range of online drawing and painting courses to get you started. Simple mindfulness techniques help you to relax and optimise the process.