Never too Old to Pick up a New Hobby

Ash Kat Brooke painting class 120415
Ash, Kat and me displaying our paintings

I’ve always been accused of being creative … but I’m not. Not at all. I cannot come up with anything on my own. I’ve tried. When assigned a project in school that required me to be creative – science project, English essay, music composition – I would become paralyzed with fear and fall apart.

Creative [kree-ey-tiv] adjective —resulting from originality of thought, expression, etc.; imaginative: creative writing.

I am, however, artistic. I love to fix problems by making boring things attractive, confusing things understandable, and to inspire with wit, inspiration, exhortation and encouragement.

Artistic [ahr-tis-tik] adjective – satisfying aesthetic requirements: artistic productionsshowing skill or excellence in execution:artistic workmanshipexhibiting taste, discriminating judgment, or sensitivity: an artistic arrangement of flowers; artistic handling of a delicate diplomatic situation.

When I was little, I loved to watch my dad sketch objects with his stubby square sketching pencil that he would sharpen with a knife. He made my brother, Brad, and me amazing Halloween and school play costumes out of fabric, paper-mache, foil, cardboard… I used to beg him to carve a young man’s face, with pronounced brow bones and nose, out of an apple. He’d set the finished project on the window sill to dry and everyday for weeks we would watch as the young apple face aged into a grumpy old man’s face.

Added a deer and plants

In junior high I took journalism class and learned how to write and layout articles and ads for our monthly school newsletter. I learned about white space, consistency with color, font, balance and theme.

In high school I was the yearbook editor and had several of my articles published in the local paper where I got a job my senior year.

My major at Bethany University was Communication Arts, focusing on journalism, creative writing, public speaking, public relations and marketing. Through the years, I’ve been able to use my talent, education and passion for artistic communication throughout my career as well as for my church and various non-profit organizations.

“Where are you going with this?” one may ask.

I’m going to be 50 this year and I need a new creative outlet. After a move and a time of unemployment, I had to accept a job that gives me no opportunity to use my creative side, the very thing that keeps me going, that gives me joy and purpose, that makes me shine.

I think my daughter sensed this so on Dec 4, the day before my 49th birthday, she treated me and her best friend Katrina to Sipping N’ Painting, a two hour class where an instructor guides you through all of the steps of a featured painting on 16 x 20 canvas. I was so excited. The painting was a wintery evergreen scene, my favorite. I was in heaven.

There were around 30 of us in the class and as it came to a close, we walked around and admired the variety of interpretations taken from the class instructions. From the photo above, you can see how different our three paintings are.

Practicing tree bark and lighting

I’m a beginner, at 49, but I caught the bug. Since then I have been watching YouTube videos by a variety of gifted painters to get tips on style, technique and proper tools. I’ve been investing in Liquitex acrylic paint, paint brushes and pallet knives. And my son bought me a portable French easel. I’m too scared to do another 16 x 20 canvas painting yet so I’ve been practicing on 9 x 12 canvas paper.

My new hobby is on hold until I recover from shoulder surgery but I’m excited to use this artistic outlet to study, practice and create paintings that will hopefully improve over time and maybe one of my finished products will enjoy a place on someone’s wall someday.

Update: My son just reminded me that he has one of my paintings on his wall as well as my mom (who has my first painting of the wintry scene on her wall) and my husband who has a misty forest scene. But they were all just being encouraging…

I would love to get to know you. Please COMMENT below, SHARE with a friend and check out MY STORE to find all of the sale items I purchased for my new hobby.

Thanks for sharing...


13 thoughts on “Never too Old to Pick up a New Hobby

  1. I believe age is just a number. Of course if there’s something that’s physically preventing you from picking up certain hobbies then that’s understandable, but it shouldn’t be an age thing. I love artistic and creative thing too. As a kid I enjoyed painting and drawing and I still believe I have a pretty good potential. However I got other pursuits at the moment which itself is also artistic as well. But like you, I can’t stand mundane mechanic job with no purpose. I majored in theater for that reason. I’ve been thinking about getting back on it in the future as well. Just expressing my whole self. And being free..

    • Hi Joon. I agree that age is just a number. I guess that is why I don’t care about people knowing my age. In fact, I don’t plan to grow up any time soon. It has been pretty disillusioning to have so many things go wrong the past few years when I’m ONLY in my 40’s. But my goal is to help people CHOOSE to have a great outlook instead of getting negative or depressed. I’ve had pretty solid reasons to be depressed but it’s so NOT worth it. I love theatre. We’d hit it off…

    • I am pretty consumed with figuring out this whole on-line “business” thing. :) But I do have to make myself stop to enjoy other things. I’m itching to get back to painting once my shoulder heals a bit more. Thank you for sharing Joan.

  2. Awesome post! I’m only 20, but I still believe that you should not stop living life just because you have passed a certain age.

    Your hobby looks pretty cool, and I wish you the best of luck with it in the future. Painting looks like one of those things that you can improve on forever. Figuring out the lightning, gradients, and different styles sounds like a lot of fun. :)

    • Thank you “only 20” Alec. I really don’t care what age we are. We all need to age gracefully which means choosing to love people and life. Sounds like you know a bit about art???

  3. Hey Brooke,
    I totally agree with you on that one, I have friends who never wanted to start a business because they are mostly around 30-ish in ages already.

    But my grandfather who is 78 years old started a restaurant and is doing so fine. Age is not a barrier, you will is and he’s an inspiration to me to continue chasing my dream no matter how long it will take. Loving this article, keep up the good work!

    • That is incredible. I would love to meet your grandfather. I don’t plan to roll over and die just because I’ve faced a string of physical challenges. I love people and life and look forward to enjoying every minute of it. Thank you for the encouragement.


    • I love it. I want to meet him. What an inspiration. I am committing to embracing each day as a new challenge. I plan to be more vibrant and fun as the years progress, encouraging those who follow me. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. You are totally right, you never are too old to pick a new hobby or embark on a new project. I was pretty old when I created my own online business. Many people my age think I am quite mad and none of my friends understand why I even bother. The truth is I am driven to do new things. To be creative or artistic are gifts from God ;and what you do with your talent is your gift to God. I this how you view your talent?

    • I’m totally with you Margaret. I love change and thrive on newness. God’s Word states that He is doing a NEW THING. I always want to be part of that. What new things are you driven to do?


  5. Brooke, i couldnt help but laugh at the beginning. i totally fall apart when i’m told to be creative. i’m 30 and have a science background, so everything i do is very by the book. i started a fitness blog, but now realize i need to be creative to actually be interesting lol. basically, i’ve written 2 blogs and have sat infront of my computer for hours trying to think of anything that could be remotely interesting. i’m trying to read blogs that have nothing to do with fitness and health just so i can get a new take on writing. i really like your style and felt like you were talking to me and thats awesome! blogging is my new hobby. i am struggling with it, but i hope i get better soon!

    • Hey Ryan.

      I get it. My friends and family have been bugging me to “blog” or whatever for years because I am known for my witty stories. I love to point out the funny side of challenges in our lives. But sometimes it takes awhile before the “sting” leaves the memory. I have had a block for years so I’m obviously writing about whatever to get the creative/artistic juices flowing. I suggest you write about anything. Start on our WA blogs. Can’t go wrong there. What is your website so I can take a look?


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