Some time ago I wrote about the importance of honouring our dreams and the call from our souls no matter what our age. In the course of writing, I thought about Elizabeth Layton (1909-1993).
Elizabeth started learning to draw only at age 68 in her attempt overcome depression. She attended a class and learned “blind” contour drawing. Drawing was therapeutic and helped her overcome her 35-year-old affliction.
Her unique drawings, which are sensitive to social issues and aging, are exhibited at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art, and in more than 200 art museums and centers throughout the U.S. The Washington Post had called her “the van Gogh of contour drawing”. There is even a mental health services centre named after her. She drew actively for many years until she died at 83.
Her story fascinates me. It bears testimony that our souls manifest in human form to fulfill a desire, and how finding the right mode of expression for it can make a difference to our sanity and value on this earth during our short time.
I really like her drawings. They are quirky, a bit surreal, humourous yet at the same time a little poignant. Because she draws truly, true to what she feels and what she sees, her work touches the humanity that connects us.
And I learn from her that it is never too late to start.