Today LD Sledge is turning 80, a young 80, and we are celebrating him as a man and contemporary artist, a great friend and a totally amazing writer. A man full of creative ideas and curiosity. No body age is going to stop him from dreaming about the next adventure that will culminate into “Wow” art. As a matter of fact, the body has nothing to do with his urge to create.
His fight with cancer is mere noise. When he thinks of how to do this and that and presents it just so, he will again lift you up.
LD is an inspiration for all people who lived their lives while dreaming of one day doing different things – an inspiration not to get sucked into watching TV and believing that life had its peak and now will go down. An inspiration that you can make your dreams come true, no matter your body age, that the ideas you had “inside your head” can be taken up, even better after people start calling you a “senior”.
And “senior” is not a bad word after all, really. You have now started the phase of life where you can be senior to everyday musts and have to’s. There are actually many people who soar after they retire. There is a freedom to this senior thing. And we are still very blessed to have a social structure whereby you can receive a pension and/or social security and smartly adjust so you can start life as you always hoped you could live it.
Take for instance Arnold Kramer who recorded the history of the Midwest in primary colors. He did not start painting until after he retired. And then Clementine Hunter, a self taught African-American folk artist who became well known and even was called the “African-American Grandma Moses,” after Anna Mary Robertson Moses. “Grandma Moses” sold one of her paintings for $1.2 million. She did not start her painting adventure until her mid fifties.
I knew a lovely lady from Scandinavia, who at the age of 65 decided to study philosophy. To pay for her studies she created a line of figurines that were mass produced at the local pottery. As money was flowing in, she studied for 20 years while she became a very sought-after artist in Europe.
So Senior means senior. You have made your mistakes, learned your lessons, made up your mind and got to know yourself enough to dream about “what next…” In the early days the senior was the one passing on the knowledge, hard fought for, to the young and inexperienced. Many philosophers throughout history reached their peak at a ripe old age. And is there really a senior artist who is not somewhat a philosopher as well?
On this day, LD’s day, I love to invite all senior artists to celebrate with us. Wisdom and beauty caught on canvas through eyes and hands that have seen and done it all, uplifting people all around.
Now that is the way to go!