It's a truism I suppose, that as we get older, our tastes change and develop. My own late involvement in things artistic, coupled with thoughts about ageing as covered by Ronni Bennett has however caused me to think about this rather more deeply
I'm not alone in developing an interest in art late in life. Grandma Moses for example took it up even later than me, in her 70s. I want to know however if there are common factors or triggers. Grandma Moses was an embroiderer before she took up painting. Harry Bell, as I remember from our school days together, seems to have had a natural talent for drawing, but didn't fully pursue it until his 40s, when he went back to university and took a Fine Art degree.
In my case I've always been as much interested in the idea of creativity as in being creative. I first read Arthur Koestler's wonderful book The Act of Creation, some years ago and I suppose that ties in with one of my other interests, philosophy. I remember years ago on a training course, coming across Eric Berne's Transactional Analysis and in the course of some quiz, scoring highly on the Adult and Child axes, which according to the tutor was a strong indicator of creativity. I have to admit however, that after thirty years working in local government, I didn't come across many people who were obviously creative- or at least who tried to be creativity to their daily work. Any signs of a creative spark were seen not as something to encourage or build upon, but to be stamped out like a fallen ember from the fire.
It seems possible therefore that one factor that drives people towards creative activities in later life is that in their working lives creativity was suppressed. I have no idea of the conditions of Harry's working environment, but I know it was in the Civil Service, which from my contacts over the years is even more suspicious of new ideas than local government.
I do wonder how much creativity is locked up and suppressed by the demands of work, and what the impact would be for all of us if that creativity could be set free.