by Phillip Cox

It is unusual for someone in their ninth decade of life to set out discovering new adventures, new careers or hobbies. It is more normal for people in my age group to sit back and enjoy other people’s creative efforts.


I am not sure if I found painting or if painting found me – I think it was the latter due to the opportunity provided by Celebration Lifelong and the patient efforts of my Art Teacher Meryl Rachlin. Her technique of providing guidance and critiquing is tempered by her belief in “letting you have at it” and “let’s see where you end up.”


I have always had an interest in the natural world and a few years ago, with help from Lyn Berelsman, I completed the Florida Master Naturalist Course. Now, combined with an artist’s view of the world, I see beauty in nature that I have never appreciated before. While walking my dog, I see light and shade, dark backgrounds and sunlit leaves, sunsets and sunrises, reflections on water, shadows and light – they are all around us. The creative spirit of painting turns our world into an artist’s palette that we constantly try to replicate on canvas.