Years ago ....
...I found myself trudging through six foot snow drifts with several good friends and one of my art inspirations, Genevieve Tuck. Somewhere in the Cascade mountains outside of Roslyn, WA. In the middle of winter we had lugged our equipment to the edge of a frozen lake where the most fascinating thing I could see to paint was 93 year old Genevieve having a great time. She is in the lavender coat and the other person is either Diana Shynne or Catherine Gill, they were both on this trip.
She was an enthusiastic artist and a friend to many. If you want more of the story you'll have to find the section in my book Sketching With Valued Markers about her. Suffice to say that GT didn't begin painting until she was 73 to 75....the age varied with the day you asked her....and she kept going with a brush or pencil in her hand until she was just a hair shy of 100.
A year after this painting experience with her, this enthusiastic sprite of a woman called me and said 'I hear you have a cabin in Montana and, you know, I've never painted in Glacier Park'. More than happy to drive her over and put her up, we tried to work out the details. My schedule was not a problem....it was hers. She was opening a gallery and going to France and the farm needed some care so she was sorry 'but I can't seem to fit it in'. If the math eluded you, she was now 94.
I tell this story to any person who says they are too old to learn to paint or draw or do anything in life that excites their passions. She has certainly long been an inspiration for me.
Paging through a book on watercolor from my library, Painting from Life by Douglas Lew, I was surprised to see this wonderful painting of our heroine. Since Mr. Lew taught at the University of Minnesota I wondered about the connection. Perhaps my friend Greg Lipelt might enlighten us.
Thanks for looking! I'm currently in Montana wishing Genevieve could have made it.