“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!!! 🙂