“ Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life .” ~ Pablo Picasso Retirement offers a unique opportunity to explore new places, new talents, and even new things we didn't know about ourselves. With this newfound feeling of freedom, many of us look for meaningful, productive, or just plain fun ways to serve as an outlet. Activities in the creative field can allow us to express feelings or emotions in ways perhaps we were never able to. Expressing yourself in creative ways can be some of the most explorative and rewarding experiences in life. Here's a few ways you can begin exploring your artistic side, whether it be in painting or other schools of art. And don't feel as if it's too late to start learning. Just take a look at some of the most talented artists the world has ever seen, like Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Edward Hopper, all of whom got a late start in their artistic ventures. Take a class. Art classes are the perfect way to get your start or improve your existing ability. Art teachers can be inspiring, and may even offer perspectives on art you've never seen before. Also, classes are a great way to meet others with your same interests in art. Explore your nostalgia. Do you remember certain things, places, or people you'd like to pay a certain homage to? Reproducing these memories can allow you to remember them in a new light. Create art for your loved ones. A work of art dedicated to you is one of the most flattering gifts one can receive. There's no better way to show your care for someone than giving them something you've put time, thought, and emotion into. Paint your travels. For many, retirement means there's no longer anything holding you back from traveling the places you've always wanted to go. Painting landscapes, people, or even feelings that you encountered on your travels is the perfect way to pay tribute to your travels, and chronicle your amazing experiences. We at Manhattan Life encourage you to explore a new, creative side of yourself, or maybe reignite the joy you may have had for art previously in life. Keep us posted on your progress and share your work with us on Facebook or Twitter, we look forward to seeing your creations.