Let Me Paint a Picture for You

Helen paints

I’m quite the advocate for trying new things—no matter your age. For me, one of those new things has been painting.

I didn’t get started until my fifties. A friend of mine offered to give a few of us ladies a painting class. After just a few lessons, I was hooked. It didn’t take long for me to stop taking classes and start painting on my own. My husband, a cabinet maker, would make me beautiful frames for every piece I made; I even did a little painting on some of the extra wood he had. It became a fun little activity for us to collaborate on.

I remember the first painting I gave away as a gift. It was a lovely (if I do say so myself). Imagine two kids in a tall field of green grass flying kites. Their faces full of pure joy. In the background resides a cozy-looking farmhouse just waiting for them to come home to. It seemed the perfect mix of childish delight and homey paradise, and the perfect gift for my first grandchild.

These days, I don’t paint nearly as much as I’d like to (I keep myself too busy!), but whenever the spirit moves me, I’ll get out my paints and have at it. With 40 years of painting under my belt, I couldn’t tell you how many Helen Miller originals are out there. I used to have a houseful, but I’ve given a majority of them away to friends and family. My apartment still has a few of my favorite pieces on the walls, though.

To me, painting is the most relaxing thing in the world. It has become a getaway from the world. And when you’re 90, and your health doesn’t always agree with you, it’s nice to have an activity that can take your mind to another place. If you haven’t tried your hand at it, I highly recommend it. And if you have, keep an eye out for your next passion project. There’s always something new to try out.

Thanks for visiting my corner of the world!

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