I always felt I had no artistic talent. I loved doing crafts and was always doodling on paper. In my years as an elementary school teacher, I enjoyed designing bulletin boards and creating a welcoming classroom. I also enjoyed writing and have kept a journal since I was in 5th grade. As an elementary school literacy specialist, I created a monthly reading newsletter that was shared with the other literacy specialists throughout the county. I had articles published here and there in various newspapers and magazines. I self-published books for my grandchildren - and edited my mother's books. I was fairly confident in my writing but totally unsure of any artistic ability.
Once, when I took a children's literature class, I had to write and illustrate a children's book. I loved the story I wrote that was based on a true story from my father's childhood. However, I felt my illustrations were awful. The river I sketched looked like it was coming out of the sky. That only reinforced my feeling that I was devoid of artistic ability. Still, I loved art and often wished I could draw and paint. I enjoyed going to museums and was in awe of the artistic talent of others.
In 2010, I retired after over 30 years of teaching elementary school. I had the time to pursue something purely for the enjoyment of it. For the first few years I did things in my comfort range - like take several series of cooking classes. I joined some community service clubs and became more active in our church. Finally in 2016, I gathered my courage and began taking art lessons and joined a local art group. I continue to take lessons - both in person and online. I started out using acrylic paints and then moved to oils. Now I prefer oils, although I still use acrylics occasionally - especially when I paint with my granddaughters.
I was visiting my then 94-year old mother one day and remarked about starting an entirely new interest at the age of 66. Her comment was that Grandma Moses started painting "in earnest" at the age of 78. So this "Grandma Carol" is starting younger than that!
You will notice that this website is NOT "Mary Carol's FINE Art." It's simply "Mary Carol Art." Someday it may be fine. For now it is okay - and I like it that way. For now, I have no interest in selling my art or being in galleries or anything like that. My art is purely for my own enjoyment.
Once, in a group of ladies, one woman said she'd never wear a swimsuit because of how her body looked. An older lady in the group (late 80s) replied, "Why on earth not? It's just a body; we all have one. Nobody cares what you look like. The important thing is to do what you want to do." I've thought of that remark many times since. Why do we get so self-conscious - about our bodies - about our art - about anything? We ALL are doing the best we can. And life is a process of continual growth in every aspect of our lives.
Here's to NEVER being too old to try something new - to doing what makes us happy and what feels right to us. And here's to the satisfaction we gain by sharing ourselves and our vulnerabilities with others.
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