Painting by Lois, Drawing Academy student

Artwork by Lois

I am a ballet teacher that wants to be a fine artist.

I have studied drawing, painting and sculpture (a little at a time) over the years and am hoping to make painting and sculpture of dancers my main vocation. At 58, teaching ballet on a daily basis is beginning to take it’s toll! Is it too late for me to learn art?

This painting is of one of my ballet students.

ballet dancer painting


Feedback from Vladimir London, Drawing Academy Tutor

Hi Lois,

Thank you very much for your wonderful painting.

I like this portrait very much. Your painting style reminds me John Singer Sargent and the Russian artist Valentin Serov.

In regard to your question, you’re never too old to pursue your passion. If you can hold a pencil, you are qualified to be an artist. In the Drawing Academy, we have a student who is 75.

You still have a full life ahead of you to do what you love, inspire others, and leave something people will remember you by.

I will share a quotation from a letter sent to me few months ago that I think you might find inspirational. To me, it says “take action,” and shows that it’s never too late!

“I am 68 years old and my greatest ambition was always to come back to my art which I indulged in as a teenager, always being told what a beautiful artist I was. On getting married and having several children, and my husband moving around with work a lot, I got frustrated with trying to have the peace of mind and quality time available to concentrate on my art. So I promised myself that I would work on my art when my family was gone and my time was available fully. Due to the way of the world, and my husband out of work most of the time, I am still in the workforce, my earnings going towards my art materials. I was especially taken with your Silverpoint lesson, often wandering what the likes of Leonardo da Vinci used for his drawings. I love to work in oils, but the more I use this beautiful medium, I know that there is so much more I need to know and practice to be the best that I can be, in the shorter time I have left on planet Earth, although I have every intention of living well and vigilant to well over one hundred years. There is so much exciting stuff to do and live for to leave the planet!”

I think you have found your ikigai. In Japanese, this word means the reason for being, the discovery of which brings satisfaction and meaning to life; a reason to get up in the morning, a reason to enjoy life.

Have you heard of Wayne Dyer? I love his talks on the topic you are wondering about. Just YouTube him, I think you will like his vision and the advice he offers on following your passion.

To your creative success,

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Categorized: Critique My Artworks

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Ronnie Rayner Larter says:

    I like the colour theme of this painting with soft grey-green complimenting the red seat. Red and green should never be seen together – they say; but this works nicely for me. I also like the painterly effect too.

  2. Collayne Mills says:

    Lois, this is a lovely painting. Not unlike the beauty found in the rhythm of dance, the paint brush too can dance across your canvas, expressing your heart’s rhythm (intention). Here follow your values (light & shade); mood (temperature – cool & warm paint) and the natural rhythm of your subject matter, (direction of paint stroke in the flow of anatomy, drapery (dress etc). I’m sure with your dance/ creative skills your ability to pay attention to these details will flourish. Most important as I say to myself, “believe in yourself, for it is your self who accomplishes these works. I look forward to seeing more of your work – welcome to the drawing academy community. Best wishes.

  3. tometeacher says:

    Love the painting. Keep that up and you will become a master if not already. Simply fantastic.

  4. Lois says:

    HI Vladimir,

    Thank you for this critique, and the quote from the lovely 68yr old Lady. I wish her the best! I am aware of Wayne Dyer, and have listened to his recordings for years. I do know that I need to stay in the present moment and not worry about about the future (or the past) or how much time I have left to do whatever I need/want to do. Mostly, I am learning how to find joy in the processes. The journey I’m on. I am excited to be living my life. I feel so blessed every day that I have been exposed to so many marvelous things. Art is my most recent passion and I am so excited to be going to NYC this summer to study at The Art Students League for a month! It’s why I subscribed to the Correspondence course to help push me a bit towards the being prepared part. But either way. It’s going to be a great time.

    I’m away from home now visiting family but I am so looking forward to getting home and completing my first assignment! I am working on the first toned still life.
    Thanks so much for the email. Even though I sent this painting in to The Drawing Academy back in 2014. You helped me remember where I was coming from then and where it seems I still am! Sort of, but not really. LOL
    Dec. 16, 21’

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