Page 3Share your experiences as a late-blooming artist and we'll post them on our website.  

We are committed to the exploration of new learning and expression through the arts that enhance daily life, especially during the Vintage Years.

We know you are out there—men and women who found an art form in the years past sixty. Taking classes? Teaching yourself? Living in a community dedicated to expressing the fine arts? 

Tell us what you've been up to and how you made it happen. Send your stories by email to: or to 

2085 East Bayshore Road, #50398

Palo Alto, CA 94303


Mike’s story:

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I would like to encourage everyone to try any form of art that they would like. I am now 76 years old, but at the age of 60 after I retired from industry, I decided that the retirement years were mine. I picked up the painted brush and canvas to see what I could do.

My story goes back to 1957 and my interest in going to college to learn 'commercial art'. Unfortunately, back in those days only a small percentage of graduating high school students were able to continue their education. And if they did, Business Administration was the practical course not something as frivolous as commercial art. I never got to college.

After 40 years of working in a technical field, I pursued my life dream after I retired. I took two art courses at a local university: Drawing 1 and Painting 1. There were no more hands-on art courses, so I ventured out with my limited knowledge and started oil painting in 1999. I hadn’t painted in 50 years so this would be an adventure.

I affiliated myself with a local art gallery and got to know the curator who enjoyed my stopping by, having coffee with her, and talking art. She pointed me to local art activities in my town of Milford Ct. After a bit of hesitation I submitted my painting of a tugboat going under the Brooklyn Bridge.

I had my first of three minor heart attacks on a Monday, and on Friday I got a phone call that I had won first place out of 46 paintings submitted. Not only that, but I also sold the painting. I thought, "Gee, that was easy! First competition, and I got first place." This stimulated me to thinking this was going to be my method for retirement income. Wrong!

Despite getting an award, the selling part didn't sit well with me. I lost a child. Yes, I didn't realize how much I loved each of my paintings and now one was gone. There was a hole in my art heart. But, I was interested in seeing if this first experience was a fluke. I submitted more paintings to more shows and sold two more paintings. Two more children gone!

In 2012 the art gallery asked me if I wanted to have a one-month long one-man show. I was honored and gathered 19 of my paintings. I sold one more and was now getting used to my children leaving home, hopefully to appreciative people, but the money was nice too.

By 2013 I had sold five paintings but I was also open to new horizons. I taught oil painting for two and a half years to our local senior center members and later at my hometown adult education program. It was rewarding to watch people who never picked up a paint brush produce such impressive works of art.

So in summary, since I first started painting in 1999, I painted 47 paintings, gave 15 away to my children and friends, sold 5 and still have 27 hanging in my home—which is getting crowded.

Currently, I'm still painting and enjoying it as much as ever. I’ve always chosen complex pictures to attempt. I need a challenge and something colorful. At my age I am physically unable to do much, but I can sit and use my brain. I find that even five minutes of painting makes me happy.

Take the time to try your hand at painting. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish!

Mike Voytek: 

February, 2016