Young at Art

The classmates of Natalie d’Arbeloff.

Narcissus was the son of the river god Cephissus and nymph Liriope. He was proud, in that he disdained those who loved him. Nemesis noticed this behaviour and attracted Narcissus to a pool, where he saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, not realising it was merely an image.

In the era of selfies Narcissus is very alive and well. Instead of taking boring selfies 89-year-old Kimiko Nishimoto loves taking amusing self-portraits. Nishimoto is inspirational! Her passion is contagious. Visit her website and you will see that she never stops challenging herself to do new things, never stops learning.

Self Portraiture by Natalie d’Arbeloff

Back in the day, when I was running Soul Food, I met Natalie d’Arbeloff and featured her work in the Artists Loft. She introduced me to the work of her elderly mother, Blanche d’Arbeloff, who, like Kimiko Nishimoto, took up art late in life. Blanche began painting at the age of 94 when people might be excused for staring trance-like at flickering images on their TV sets. Her first exhibition was held in May 2000 at the Mary Ward Adult Education Centre in London where she enrolled in painting classes after her husband died in 1996, aged 101.

I vividly remember the work of Fran Sbrocchi, a member of the Soul Food Community who took up digital painting in her early eighties and became the Secretary for the donkeys who trekked and carried us through the virtual world of Lemuria. Young at Art, Fran was prolific, publishing her paintings and poetry.

The Donkey Secretary! Young at Art!

While I patiently ‘Wait for Godot’ I have contemplated many options. Soul Food residents will remember Riversleigh, the virtual manor house where we stayed, after clambering through the portal and arriving in Lemuria. I would like to keep young at art by buying an old hotel, or a sprawling homestead, and providing an almshouse for artists, old donkeys and a menagerie of other animal companions.

How are you keeping ‘Young at Art’? Tell us about projects you are undertaking! What skills would you like to learn? Lynda is a great place to explore possibilities.

Consider writing to your future seventy-year-old self, making suggestions about what you could be doing to keep the creative fires burning. If you are already there write to us and share your passion.

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