The short answer is of course you can! Having a creative hobby or interest later in life has many benefits, surveys show that those who engage in art live longer as it enhances both mental and physical health.
Many of my learners are picking up a paintbrush or pencil after years and years of not having any creative hobby in their lives. The idea that these learners can suddenly learn and know everything is unfair on themselves. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to make ‘mistakes’ there are really no mistakes in art, only learning. The main thing is not to think about all those younger learners who started earlier but to enjoy the process now.
I think there are some advantages of starting art later in life. I notice that many of my older learners have more time and patience than that younger ones. The older learners seem to be more prepared to do the work for enjoyments sake rather than ‘results’. Many of them get a lot of peace and contentment from sitting for hours painting when the younger students can’t sit still for five minutes to concentrate.
Why is it so hard for some of us? The biggest barrier for some of my older learners is themselves and the idea that they have about needing to be ‘perfect’, but what is perfect? Art is subjective just like a dish you might like and someone else hates, sometimes art is a matter of taste.
As children we were all happy to express ourselves freely and we all enjoyed drawing and painting. Then we lost confidence in our mid teens when we gained ideas of what was ‘good’ from school and started comparing our art with others.
School is not always the easiest of environments in which to develop creative talents and it is not always valued as a subject to spend time on. It is therefore not surprising that many of us abandon art in our teenage years.
The good news is that it is never too late, of course there is much to learn but as long as you enjoy it and are willing to have a go there really is nothing stopping any one of us.
Having art in your life can really enrich it and it is never too late to explore your creativity. Maybe you will never have your work in an exhibition, but does that really matter if you enjoy it? Think of the many contented hours spent sitting by your drawing board completely in the moment, what a wonderful way to spend your golden years.