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Pursuing passions at any age

Learning something new is easy in the right community

Created date

February 20th, 2017
Nancy Gregory says she didn’t start painting until she was sixty years old. She has since become an accomplished artist.

Nancy Gregory says she didn’t start painting until she was sixty years old. She has since become an accomplished artist.

The notion that you can’t learn new things or embark on new adventures in your 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond is outdated—and the vibrant, active people who live at Linden Ponds are living proof of that. 

Take Nancy Gregory, for example. She didn’t start painting until she was 60 years old, and in the two decades since then, she has become an accomplished artist. She counts painting as one of her greatest passions.

“It’s very absorbing, and I don’t know what I’d do without it,” Nancy says of her artistic pursuits.

Painting connection

From a young age, Nancy had an interest in the arts. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, where she majored in apparel design. She did some needlepoint work, volunteered at the Fuller Art Museum (now the Fuller Craft Museum), and ran a craft show in Easton, Mass., where she lived before moving to Linden Ponds. 

“Over the years, I did keep my hand in artistic endeavors, but I never went near a painting studio,” she says.

That changed in the early 1990s. Nancy decided to try her hand at oil painting and started taking lessons from a painter named Mary Good at the Easton community center. 

Coincidentally, when she moved to Linden Ponds, Nancy discovered that Mary also lives there, and the two have since been able to reconnect. 

“After taking some lessons, I started painting alone at home,” Nancy recalls. “We had a family home in Rhode Island, so many of my first paintings were in that area, and I’ve been painting ever since.”

Nancy’s early work focused on landscapes. With many picturesque places in New England, such as Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, inspiration was never far away. 

She says she would often take photographs of landscapes and then use those to create her paintings. She’s painted cityscapes as well as rural settings and recently started focusing more on depicting interior scenes, such as restaurant dining rooms. 

Over the years, Nancy has sold some paintings through her personal network and has also been commissioned for pieces on various subjects. 

Nancy moved to Linden Ponds in 2010. She chose a two-bedroom, Frederick-style apartment home with a balcony. The balcony faces the north and offers a lovely view of the trees and sky and glimpses of the sun setting in the west. 

Nancy turned the second bedroom into an art studio, which gives her a dedicated spot to store all of her painting supplies and quiet space to concentrate on her work.

“My exposure is northern so I have very good light,” Nancy says of her in-home art studio. 

The show must go on

In addition to reconnecting with her former painting instructor, Nancy has found a vibrant community of other artists living at Linden Ponds. She belongs to the resident-run art council, which organizes exhibits in the on-site art gallery as well as other art events. 

Each month, a different artist’s work is showcased in the Linden Ponds gallery. Nancy’s paintings were featured there in 2011 and again in 2015. 

People who live at Linden Ponds enjoy maintenance-free living. With professional staff on hand to take care of things like shoveling snow, repairing appliances, and even cooking dinner, residents have more free time to spend doing things they truly enjoy.

“Two years ago when we had a tremendous amount of snow, visitors would say, ‘Isn’t this awful?’” Nancy recalls. “We saw the snow outside, but everything was taken care of for us, so it wasn’t a problem.”

While her art keeps her busy, Nancy also makes time to enjoy some of the other amenities Linden Ponds has to offer, including dozens of resident-run clubs and committees and an exciting lineup of lectures, special events, and parties. 

She plays bridge and Ping-Pong with friends and neighbors every week. She stays physically fit by going to exercise classes at Linden Ponds’ on-site fitness center. And she’s discovered yet another new hobby she enjoys. She belongs to the resident singing group that puts on concerts at Linden Ponds. In December, they were busy with rehearsals for their annual Christmas show. 

“It’s wonderful and I love it,” Nancy says. “I always have liked singing, but I never joined a group until I moved here, so now I get to get that out of my system too.”