Thoughts About Art After My Exhibition Ends

NOT in the slow lane, YET 

The blog is about living life after 70 with joy, resilience, and purpose. NOT in the slow lane, YET is a source of positive, helpful advice encouraging people to set and achieve goals  and find joy in life. The blog will cover personal experiences and thoughts and concerns. Topics of blogs will include health, retirement, fashion, travel, and  living in continuing care retirement communities. The blogs will be short and appear at least once a month on my website or by email if you choose.

Thoughts About Art After My Exhibition Ends

A few days ago, I took down an exhibition of my art at our continuing care retirement community.  My oil painting collection had been up for two months, and another artist patiently waited for my paintings to come down so she could hang her treasures.  I began musing over the show and what I had learned from the experience.

The art committee chair asked me to share my paintings about three months ago. I had given away or sold my paintings when I moved to my continuing care retirement community.   I have since  produced only eight new paintings.   The rest would come from previous work.  I decided I would learn how to frame them.  It costs $200-400 to get midsize paintings professionally framed. I could do it for less than half of the cost.   A fellow art committee member helped me with  drilling and screw placement. It was a new skill for these octogenarians.  

I had thirteen paintings in the show.  Three sold, four were not for sale, two were donated, and four remained unsold.  It was fun to do the paintings, fun to relive my memories though painting, and fun to make people happy.  The  money raised was given to a Foundation which supports our community residents  whose money has run out, so they do not have to  leave. 

The gallery is on both  sides of  a long hallway on the way to the Health Care Center from Independent Living facilities.  Many people, visitors,  staff, residents, some in wheelchairs and walkers, go by the paintings every day.   I enjoyed watching them looking at my paintings.  They told me they found the paintings  fun,  colorful and joyful.  

I do not expect everyone to love my work.  What one person finds beautiful, another might find boring, or ugly.  We bring individual experiences, knowledge of art and individual tastes to observing visual art.  People are  entitled to their own opinions and artists learn to live with that.  Those who persist in producing art often do it for personal reasons.  I must paint.  It makes me happy.  It stirs up my creativity. It makes me feel productive and worthwhile. You could throw rotten  tomatoes at my art.  I would persist.

I painted from  photos of family, and photos of sights and people on my trips.  I love painting photos of trips. Memories of three weeks in many Turkish destinations, lush foliage in the south of India, and ten days of sights in Havana, Cuba flooded my mind as I painted. 

I give names to my paintings.  Some artists do not do that.  They want you to figure them out and give them your special names.   I can understand why they do that for abstract paintings but otherwise it seems pretentious. Names of paintings in my show included  “The Way Home,” “Istanbul Market,” “Blooming Fantasy,” “Remembering Rosie,” “Fall Blooms,” “Hopes and Dreams,” and “Sassy Sisters.” I sign and name my paintings and write a brief paragraph describing the subject to post next to the painting. I hope the story will bring paintings to life for people who viewed them.  The stories  I wrote about the paintings included:

“SASSY SISTERS”                    

An oil painting, cartoon style, of my sisters and me.  They both hate the painting. The sister who  draws the short straw will get it.

Sassy Sisters


Poof and away they go, hopes and dreams  floating away.  A multi-media painting.

Hopes and Dreams

 “ISTANBUL MARKET”    The Kadıköy market district, on the Asian shore of the Bosporus, has bright fruits and vegetables, lots of fish, and good restaurants. 

I did several oil paintings from photos of this Istanbul, Turkey market.

Istanbul Market


Oil painting, semi-abstract, from a photo of my sister and me on our Wisconsin farm.

Little Farm Girls in 1940



On a Columbus Jazz Orchestra tour of  Cuba  8 years ago, I took of photo of a lovely young  woman in a ballet school for children.  I was so intrigued by her intensity.   I tried to capture that  in this oil painting.  

Havana Ballerina


On this semi abstract oil painting, a gravel road leads into the distance.  I was remembering the Wisconsin rural community where I grew up.

The Way Home


This oil painting was chosen in a juried contest to be one of ten public art installations in Upper Arlington, Ohio.  It is copied on a utility box at Ridgeview and Tremont, the Northeast corner of Tremont Elementary School. 

Fall Blooms


This oil painting is full of colorful summer blooms. I love vibrant colors and am usually happiest with work I have done that is bold and colorful.

Blooming Fantasy


I sold an earth-toned painting of this subject to a man who came to my first exhibition in 2016.  His wife called me to tell me a couple of years ago that he died.  He loved the painting so much he had it brought to his care facility room when he was dying.  I wept.  

I did this oil painting with some of the same foliage I had photographed in Southern India, but in blue. It still brings a tear to my eye.

Southern India Foliage in Blue

I hope you have enjoyed a tour of some of my paintings.  

My art show is over.  I hope I will be able to produce more art and to learn new skills for a future exhibition.  I go away with the memory of a man in a wheelchair who was looking at a painting of a country road, “The Way Home.”  His aide pointed me out and told him I was the artist.  He smiled and said, “That brings back such wonderful memories of my childhood.”  A tear came to his eye.  And to mine.


I hope you enjoyed a tour of some of my exhibits.  

See more of my paintings at my website