Beautiful Old People.

“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art. ” Elenore Rooseveldt

I am fascinated with the way people’s faces evolve over the course of their life…Elderly people are way more fun to draw than so called “beautiful”, flawless, young women with perfect skin and inches of make-up on their pouting faces! The idea of being human and perfection are two concepts that seem diametrically opposed, better that the face of an individual reflect the story of a long and eventful life than be the shallow, unnatural, idea of perfection that is as substantial as a person who was generated on a computer screen.

It bothers me how our modern society is so negative towards the elderly and aging in general.  Old age should be celebrated and admired,sympathised with and accommodated, and we should love every line and wrinkle on those who have lived long and eventful lives.  I know an old lady who tells me that she is so shocked, every time she looks in the mirror, because she does not feel ‘that old’.  Her spirit is young and vibrant, but the vessel that contains it is wearing out.  Winston Churchill was horrifed at the crumbling relic his official portrait portrayed and plainly didn’t see himself the way the artist did

Over the years, the work that I have done to do with older people has often been after they have passed away as I feel trepidation about approaching them, knowing that the world has told them again and again that there is nothing beautiful in their lines and wrinkles, lop-sided features and often pronounced eyebrows, ears and noses. Winston Churchill was horrifed at the crumbling relic his official portrait portrayed and plainly didn’t see himself the way the artist did – I wouldn’t want to cause that kind of reaction!    I am not out to cause offense, but to celebrate them! Blunt realism can be hurtful, but, bright eyes, surrounded by the visage of antiquity, show the eternal youth of the spirit within.

(Perhaps an older person will read this and invite me to do their portrait?!)

This picture is a quick exploration in pastel on pastel paper that was handmade in India – my reference is from Pixabay, so, I didn’t have to ask this guy’s permission!!! 🙂

 

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11 thoughts on “Beautiful Old People.

  1. My mother who died at 83 had told me once that her inner self was still young. I am pushing towards 58 and am shocked everyday at the changes in my body. I am reminded of how it doesn’t matter because it is the spirit of a person that is enduring. I hope to see more of your portraits of the elderly because there is something beautiful their faces.

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    1. Yes, the person I was referring to is my own mother, Margaret, she’s 84 and lives in the UK….the really strange thing (or maybe not so strange) is that every time I go and visit, at first she seems SO OLD, but, after a day or two, all that age seems to just become a minor inconvenience and she is just the same to me as always. I do have a couple of past portraits I did and I hope to do more…maybe even my mother, though I am unsure if I will show it to her!!! I like the way you put that, there IS “something beautiful in their faces”.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Debi, I hope to do some more like this in the near future…I’ve really been loving experimenting with this Handmade, Deckle edge paper, it seems especially well suited to THIS subject!

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      1. my pleasure Hilda, and it is so wonderful to see someone else who is a “paper” fan too! even when I was just doing wc, I explored any paper I could find – printmaking paper etc. I probably bore my class to death when I get on a roll about papers!! LOL ps, which one were you using here?

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      2. This stuff is called “Handmade Deckle Edge Pastel Paper” by Shizen Design. It comes in a pack of 25 different colors and is 100% Cotton Rag – very soft paper, better for the softer end of soft pastels and the softest pastel pencils I can find. Gives a really nice effect of skin tone with a bit of blending with a finger or blending stump. I got it to try, rather randomly, from the Dick Blick catalog….and yes, I hear you about loving paper, I like to wander through the art store and stroke the paper with my fingers!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This stuff is called “Handmade Deckle Edge Pastel Paper” by Shizen Design. It comes in a pack of 25 different colors and is 100% Cotton Rag – very soft paper, better for the softer end of soft pastels and the softest pastel pencils I can find. Gives a really nice effect of skin tone with a bit of blending with a finger or blending stump. I got it to try, rather randomly, from the Dick Blick catalog….and yes, I hear you about loving paper, I like to wander through the art store and stroke the paper with my fingers!

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