Wednesday, June 18, 2008

June Oil Painting #7

I heard an inspiring story on National Public Radio (NPR) today. It was about a study of 213 visual artists aged 62 and older living in New York City. The average income of these artists is $30,000 a year--amazingly low for New York City. NPR interviewed two artists from the study, both of whom expressed their lifelong love of art. They don't mind being poor, because doing art is what is important to them. Their entertainment? Not travel, eating out, or the movies. Rather, 78 year-old Hank Virgona says
a walk down a quiet street — especially toward dusk — is as good as going to Caracas or Venezuela or anywhere.
81 year-old Pat Dillard says
The first thing I do when I go out of my building, I look at the sky, white clouds and a blue sky, my heart goes pitter-pat.
Pat Dillard supplements her income by pet sitting cats. Art and cats. Does life get better than that?

The study found that artists never retire. If they can't continue to do their art because of arthritis, they change their art form.

You can read the story or listen to it at Perfecting the Art of Frugal Living in NYC. You can also find a link to the complete study there.

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