View Full Version : Painters starting after age 40

07-01-2005, 11:08 PM
I am working on an article for writing class and need some help with info.

I am looking for information about well-known artists who started painting after age 40. Any painting media or any historical period is OK. A list or suggestion of names of a few such painters would suffice. If I have a name, I can get more information via a variety of sources. Names suggested so far are Grandma Moses, Henri Rousseau, and Winston Churchill.

If YOU began painting after age 40, or know someone who did, I would also like to ask you a few questions. Please post here or PM me. Thanks!

PS If I lke the way the article turns out, I might try submitting it to a mag.

07-01-2005, 11:41 PM
I think half the people HERE started later in life! Sounds like an interesting paper!!

07-02-2005, 10:55 AM
You'll have to be clear about what you mean by "started painting." I believe Rousseau painted before the age of 40; that's the age he gave up his job as a customs official to devote himself to painting full-time. If you use that as your definition of starting to paint you will have a much longer list than if you mean first picked up a paint brush after the age of 40.

07-03-2005, 11:48 AM
Dave, Thanks for the heads up about Rosseau. I will be sure to look for those details as I check him out, as my original intent was artists who first picked up a brush after age 40.

07-04-2005, 04:17 PM
I'm sure there are many amateur artists who didn't start painting (apart from sessions while at school ) until they were 40 or even older. Painting's a popular retirement hobby for those who've never tried it earlier in life.

I can't think of any famous artists who didn't start painting until they were 40 or older. I believe their urge to paint and express themselves compelled them to paint from when they were young.

You may have more to write about if you find artists who didn't start painting professionally until they were 40. Plenty of artists start off working in normal jobs, paint part time and then if their work sells, abandon the routine job and paint full time. I guess that most of these painters will have a regional or national reputation, rather than an internation reputation.

07-06-2005, 05:54 PM
Beatrice Wood didn't start her art career until age 40. But she wasn't known for her paintings, but for her pottery. She painted a little before age 40, but didn't take her first ceramics class until she was 40. Not sure if that would work for you.

Kandinsky was 30 before he started painting. Jean Tabaud started later in life. He was a dancer before an injury forced him to give it up. I think he was in his 30's also before he started doing portraits.

I'm 41 and started back to school just 2 years ago to get my Bachelor's in Fine Art. I haven't yet done any real paintings, just class projects and things. I wouldn't call it a retirement hobby for me. It's a life long dream that is only just now becoming realized. PM me if you would like!!

07-06-2005, 08:06 PM
Bill Traylor started drawing in his eighties.

07-07-2005, 10:35 AM
Hi lpb, what an interesting project. I started painting at the age of 40. While it was a life long dream of mine, I was discouraged by "loved ones" throughout the years. The silly thing is, I remember when I was about 12, I told my father I wanted to be a painter, and he told me to pick something that made money. So in a bit of a snit I answered him with, "Well then, I'll be like Grandma Moses and start after I'm 40". I've been painting 10 years now, and am glad not only that I started to paint, but also that I waited until I was 40. And I never did pick a career that "made money". :wink2:


07-07-2005, 07:04 PM
Thank you for your feedback. I have also received information from a number of art libraries and museums about painters who meet my criteria. I need to do a bit of research on them to be sure of the facts, then I will share my findings on WC. If anyone else occurs to you, or you are a painter who started after 40 & would like to participate in my survey, please post here or PM me. Thanks! :wave:

07-11-2005, 02:15 PM
Chuck Homan began painting late in life
Alice Latimer Moseley, Folk Artist started at age 63
Edie Wells Bristol began painting, at age 50
Minnie Pwerle began painting late in life at around the age of 89
Mose Tolliver Folk Artist started painting late in life
James C. Pratt started painting late in life
Bill Traylor, who was born as a slave, began painting at age 83
Kacey Carneal, a folk artist started painting late in life
Rover Thomas, began painting late in life
Nealie O'Sullivan began painting late in life
Nan Rumpf began painting late in life
Margaret Roberts began painting late in life
Yehudith - Israeli artist began painting late in life
Francia (15th century painter) began painting after 40
Dorris Curtis began painting at the age of 65
Matt Lamb began painting at age 49
Joseph Crépin (1875-1948) began painting at age 63
Hattie Brunner (1889-1982) began painting at age 67
Lynn Hoehn watercolorist began painting at age 60
Elmira Wade began painting at age 60
Joseph Pickett (1848–1918) began painting at age 65
Ellis Ruley (1882–1959) began painting at age 57
Joseph Garlock (1884-1979) began painting at age 65
Howard Finster began painting at age 60
Alyce Frank, began painting at age 43


07-12-2005, 11:35 PM
Im 42 just started drawing and painting. Im kinda weird in the sense that I never really grew up.I have always felt young.But they tell me that Im getting old.I still do not believe it, but there you go.

I refuse to grow old. Just cannot accept it.But, thats me.

Nice list of painters .Its amazing.

07-18-2005, 05:58 PM
Wow, Dallen what a list! I contacted several art libraries/museums with my question and only a few names were mentioned to me. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this information! :clap: Unfortunately, I am not eligible to give points in this forum, or you would get all of mine for today!