Jody Stadler

Self Portrait: Moving On
oil bar on canvas
48 x 24 in.

There are many passages along the trajectory of aging lives. Toward the very last, thoughts go to loss of health and autonomy, loss of friends, and, ultimately, death. These stages and concerns, although normal and natural, are not often discussed, just as the aged themselves are rarely represented in secular art.

My drawings of elderly women begin to delve into some of the inevitable physical and emotional changes that are due to aging. All of the subjects are women I know well: friends, relatives, frequent companions, and, at times, myself I see women who are vulnerable, immobile and frail, but who retain great dignity and spirit while often alternating between resigned acceptance and defiant anger.

At 77, I too am rapidly moving into the later stages of my own old age. The empathy I feel for the very elderly is certainly triggered in part by the questions I am beginning to face personally.

My strong desire is to show to the world through art the feelings and concerns of old, isolated and often forgotten women. – Age: 77

© Jody Stadler