The phrase, ‘fine arts’ comprises a wide range of artistic activities: painting, poetry, prose, sculpture, architecture, various crafts, etc. We are taking only the first three for our discussion. These three are readily amenable to enjoyment and creation during one’s golden years.
This article takes the fifth place in the series on advanced age and the various pastimes suited to it, the links to the first four being www.associatedcontent.com/article/5760308/, ww.associatedcontent.com/article/5790164/, ww.associatedcontent.com/article/5809278/ and http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5859402/
The fine art of drawing has a wide spectrum of types: paintings on various surfaces, drawing with diverse materials, making pictures with small objects pinned on a background etc. In the evolution of man, painting must have begun when man was living in caves. He must have started painting the inner surfaces of his caves to make his dwellings more attractive. The famous painting in the caves of Ajanta in Maharashtra, India dating back to the 2nd century BC is highly evolved and sophisticated versions of these cave paintings. The history of the art of painting is long and complex. It need not concern us here, though those interested may find its study rewarding.
What matters here is that painting and drawing can be adopted as hobbies by the aged, who have cultivated their tastes for these during their past lives. The materials required for it are readily affordable. The other infrastructure necessary is minimal and can normally be well within the reach of senior people. Any elderly person in reasonably good health has the physical ability to put in the effort for this hobby. So, those who can adopt painting and drawing as a hobby will find it a pleasurable activity making the golden years fulfilling. Depending on one’s circumstances and fortune, one can make the products of this hobby paying. With art gaining a position of importance in modern economic activity such a proposition need not be dismissed as improbable.
Enjoying paintings constitutes a mentally and spiritually elevating experience. Painting and its variants have a long history. It has been a medium by which man has tried to preserve for continual viewing scenes of aesthetic excellence in nature, which often tend to be transient. Man has also used it as means of expression from antique times. Though the term, ‘modern art’ is applied to a branch of this art after it has undergone some structured studies, the essence of modern art existed from very olden days in several regions of our globe. With technological developments producing results more efficiently and easier than drawing and painting to depict object s of nature, paintings tended to be more and more a medium of expression such as poetry and prose. This branch of this fine art can now be called modern art. The other classifications and descriptions of paintings and drawings are not our purpose here. Suffice to say that this branch of art can be enjoyed readily in old age by those who have cultivated a taste for it and it has a powerful potential in making the golden years mentally and spiritually rewarding.
Prose and poetry are our next category of fine arts. If one has developed the reading habit during the past life, it will come in as an enjoyable and useful pastime in old age. Prose comes in a variety of genres: essays, short stories, novels, biographies, dissertations, the classical literature, the scriptures, and various other narratives. Each of these classes has subclasses. So, one can choose whatever is to one’s taste and pass the time agreeably in reading it. Libraries provide a cheap and affordable source of the reading material. Those more affluent may like to buy some publications both for future ready reference and as collections.
Those who have the flair for writing can do so readily in old age. This will keep one’s brain and mind sharp and enable them to serve one efficiently till the end. Those fortunate enough can also make writing a paying hobby. With the advances in the information and communication technology, more avenues have opened up for publishing.
As for poetry, those who can readily appreciate it will find this activity an extremely gratifying one in the elderly years, as at this stage of life, with the scholarship and capacity for understanding the printed word acquired over decades as the background, the enjoyment of poetry becomes poetry itself. Those who have been writing poems can continue to do so with greater skill. Again, cheap sources are available in libraries of all kinds, including digital ones.
Both prose and poetry can be enjoyed in the senior years more intensely, as the experience and knowledge gained during the younger days will have naturally enhanced our power of comprehension and new meanings and nuances will come forth when we try to appreciate the same pieces a second time in the elderly years.
The fine arts of drawing and painting, prose and poetry, can enrich, fulfill and spiritualize the golden years.
Sources: 1. Own experience 2. Barbara Stoler Miller, Ed, The Power of Art, Oxford University Press, Delhi (1992) 3. William Harman and Hugh Holman: Handbook to Literature, Darling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd. Delhi, India (2009)