Standing at the dawn of your youth, a bandana covering the forehead, staring at the sunset with a paint brush in your hand, an easel in front of you, and the canvas stretched out neatly, making that first stroke, watching the colour spread out one thick stroke at a time. We have all had this lush imagery in our daydreams at least once in our lives.
What stopped us half the time were thoughts such as 'Me and painting, oh come on!' and 'I have never even tried doodling!' or the '... maybe later, when I am away from all the stress' ones. Well, what's keeping you now? You have retired from your life of stress and deadlines, your days and nights are filled with time and lots of free time. This is the perfect time to pursue that hobby you have wished to try on since forever, or brush up that old pastime you kept away for fear it might eat into your work schedule. It is important to have a creative hobby as you age for it will rejuvenate your brain and in the course, freshen up your thought process.
Start simple, no need to get expensive paints or fancy easel in the beginning. Get yourself a sketch book, some HB pencils, a beginner's kit of watercolours. Now start with something simple, draw those tiny houses with hills in the background, a rising sun, a flock of 'r' shaped birds. Remember how it felt when you were a kid, drawing them on the back of your notebooks and along the borders of your textbooks. It is the same, creativity has no age limit. Free your mind from prejudices, nobody is expecting you to be a Van Gogh or Picasso. Make every stroke to feed your creative inner child. Now mix up those watercolours, forget getting the precise shades for now, just have fun. Paint as much as you can, fill the frame, make it vibrant.
As you start feeling like you are getting a hang of the strokes, start looking up references. Famous paintings and portraits, trace over them or give it a freehand try. They might not look similar, but hey it will be something unique that you create. The happiness that sprouts from watching a handmade work of yours; that is the best feeling you can get at any age in your life. Show them to your grandchildren, for they will relate to it much better. As them for suggestions and themes and draw them the picture of that 'leopard eating grapes on a paddy field'. Gift them the neatly framed painting on their next birthday and watch them go "WOAH!". The art of painting dates back to the stone-ages, but don't feel like it is out dated or out of fashion, for all that creativity impulses inside you has to come out in one way or other. Painting is a good mental exercise as well as one for your wrists as it puts every single nerve in your hands to good use to make sure that you get that perfect stroke. Wait no longer, get out there, and go paint the city red!