I just arrived home from a birthday party....and not just any birthday party. This was a 95th celebration for a woman I have known since I was fifteen. She is the mother of one of my close high school friends. I'm not sure if you are the same - but for me.... there have been a few special women in my life that I have always admired and felt especially close to - outside of my own mother.
Mrs. Coyne or more lovingly known as BeBe to her family is this to me. She is a very accomplished artist and I have known that about her and watched her paint many paintings for family, friends and art lovers over the years. Little did I know that 40 plus years later - I would not only be admiring her for the warm and gracious woman she has always been - but we now had something in common that I never would have guessed at - so many years ago. This being the love of art and painting that has been a lifetime love for her and a very recent discovery for me.
There isn't much that slows this woman down. At the age of 92 - she generously agreed to come to my little art group and share some of her insight as we listened eagerly to every word! During the last couple of Covid years - she has converted her kitchen into her studio where she continues to try new techniques and mediums. At 95 - she continues to take art classes and is busy painting a magnificent self portrait!
Today was such a wonderful celebration! The tea party - organized by her two daughters - was enjoyed by guests of all ages. It reminded me of two important lessons of staying youthful that I hope I never forget. Number 1 - Stay enthusiastic about something - what that passion is doesn't really matter - it is a way to stay curious and engaged with your surroundings.
Number 2 - Solicit friends of all ages - you learn so much from both those older and younger than yourself.
This blog is quite a bit different than my usual irreverent rant about how some art principle or latest painting was a struggle. However - how many times do you get to say that you attended a 95th birthday celebration of a fantastic woman and artist!
I wasn't invited to Queen Elizabeth's 95th earlier this month.... but I did get an invite to a birthday celebration for another very special lady and I was honoured to attend.
Happy Birthday Mrs. Coyne (BeBe)!!