10 Inspiring Messages from Artists Over 60

It’s Never Too Late to Become an Artist

Of the countless reasons we love our Over 60 Competition, the inspiring stories we receive from the artists themselves tops the list. Many of the winners from The Artist’s Magazine‘s Over 60 Competition are beginners or new to the art world, offering us the necessary perspective to never give up on your dreams.

Below are 10 inspiring messages from past winners. Whether they’re returning to art after a life away from it or going through personal battles, these artists will get you running to your easel. Enjoy!

Bill McEnroe

Over 60 Competition | Inspiring Bill McEnroe | Artists Network

Check Mate by Bill McEnroe (pastel, 24×30)


“I don’t have a hard theory on what I try to communicate with my work, nor a message. I just love to paint, to tell myself a story, and if others want to come along for the ride, they’re welcome.”


Karlene Koch Voepel

Over 60 Competition | Inspiring | Artists Network

Two Flutes by Karlene Koch Voepel (acrylic, 30×24)


“If you’re older, don’t be shy about going back to school. And don’t give up! This year I’ve been fighting breast cancer and it hasn’t been easy. But I knew the reward at the end of the tunnel would be painting, painting, painting!


Don Thompson

Over 60 Competition | Inspiring | Don Thompson | Artists Network

Choo-Choo From Queenscliff by Don Thompson (acrylic, 30×40)


“I’ve often thought about entering one of The Artist’s Magazine’s competitions, but this time I thought, I’m over 60—that means me! Since my hand it still pretty steady and I’d recently finished this piece, I gave this competition a try. The rest is history.”


Bernie Hubert

Over 60 Competition | Inspiring | Bernie Hubert | Artists Network

Route 66–Blue Swallow Motel by Bernie Hubert (acrylic, 24×30)


“After winning the Best Artist award at my sixth-grade graduation, my folks, to the dismay of my art teacher, thought it best that I focus on math and science. It would be 45 years before I picked up a brush again! When I retired from a computer consulting company, I set out to reacquaint myself with my boyhood love.”


Maxine Davidowitz

Over 60 Competition | Inspiring | Maxine Davidowitz | Artists Network

Seeing the Light by Maxine Davidowitz (oil, 40×40)


“I was a creative director for more than 35 years. While working and raising my son, my only painting consisted of weekend and vacation watercolors In 2009, I took up oil painting again and combine it with freelance design. Painting has taken over my design work, and I’ve started answering the question “What do you do?” with “I’m an artist!”


Robert Talbart

Over 60 Competition | Inspiring | Robert Talbart | Artists Network

South Texas by Robert Talbart (oil, 15×30)


“I studied art at Brigham Young University but pursued a career in business. Several years ago while visiting my father, who’s also an artist, I asked him to help me paint. That rekindled a dormant passions, and I’ve been on an intense program ever since to learn as much as I can about painting.”


Marilyn Schutzky

Over 60 Competition | Inspiring | Marilyn Schutzky| Artists Network

What’s a Five-Letter Word … by Marilyn Schutzky (watercolor, 22×30)


“In 1998 I found out I had breast cancer, which required a year of treatment. I’ve tested cancer-free ever since, but during the next 12 years, I became my husband’s caregiver. I didn’t quit painting. Painting became my lifeline: a way to keep centered and sane.”


Marla Smith

Over 60 Competition | Inspiring | Marla Smith | Artists Network

Maynard Dixon Country by Marla Smith (oil, 15×30)


“Despite a lifelong love for art, I’ve had no formal art education. Just a few workshops and painting en plein air have been my teachers. Although my art journey began late in life, the time lost has been made up for in the emotional and visceral impact it has had on me.”


Deborah Elmquist

Over 60 Competition | Inspiring | Deborah Elmquist | Artists Network

Sunday Sacrifice by Deborah Elmquist (oil, 40×30)


“When you teach, you learn what you believe about creating art. I believe those words with all my heart. When I retired from teaching in a public school, teaching workshops was a natural course for me, and I’ve been painting and teaching ever since.”


Patricia A. Walsh

Over 60 Competition | Inspiring | Patricia A. Walsh | Artists Network

We Built This by Patricia A. Walsh (oil, 12×16)


“As a corrections officer, I had to find ways to stay creative—from making quilts to studying graffiti. By the time I retired, I was fully committed to painting. Love of learning seems to be endangered, and I do think that as we age we become more aware that our lives are made up of moments and it’s important to enjoy each one of them.

Always remember, it is never too early or too late to start following your dreams. How old were you when you decided to start making art? Tell us in the comments below!

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3 thoughts on “10 Inspiring Messages from Artists Over 60

  1. Marty Miner

    I was an advertising art and design major in college then switched to architecture for two years. But I landed in the medical field as an echocardiographer utilizing my imagination for the three dimensional anatomy of the heart and my abilities in mathematics. But I always felt guilty that I wasn’t doing any art at all.
    Now that I am retired I am taking art and painting classes. It is beginning to all come back. My left hand needs a little more retraining, but I love the calming of my mind and spirit as I do my art. I was afraid of not knowing the changes aviable in the new media, but luckily the art store here, Flax, often has three hour demonstrations from different companies on Saturday afternoons so I’m getting loads of info from the vendor’s artists about new products. I love it!

  2. bylawrence

    I had done some craft painting and painted cartoonish animals on my kids walls, but otherwise, nothing since high school. I retired 2 years ago and started painting with a watercolor workshop. Now I take acrylic and watercolor classes and I paint at least every other day. I can see improvement with every picture. I am obsessed!