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October 21 2021 9:49 PM ˚

'It's never too late to art'

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George Baddour, a 95-year-old student at The Art Studio, is pictured at the studio’s “Never too late to art” exhibition in Jabal Luweibdeh. (Photo: Samah Samaha)
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AMMAN — Learning a new skill or picking up a hobby is not just for the young, as Jordanian artist and instructor, Samah Samaha’s 95-year-old student exemplified at The Art Studio’s last exhibition in Jabal Luweibdeh.اضافة اعلان

The student, George Baddour, was the star of the exhibition, which was called “Never too late to art,” and took place on September 25 to October 2.


George Baddour, a 95-year-old student at The Art Studio, is pictured at the studio’s “Never too late to art” exhibition in Jabal Luweibdeh. (Photo: Nouha Maaninou)

Samaha told Jordan News that Baddour is “living proof that it is never too late to discover your artistic side. In exhibitions you often see young talents or adults that are well established as artists, rather than let’s say, mid-life or older students that are still learning.” 



(Photo: Nouha Maaninou)

Samah Samaha described her diligent student as a perfectionist, yet a very sensitive person which reflects in his work and gives is character and contributes to its creativity. 

As with most academic students, Baddour had to refresh his skill working with pencils when he first started, Samaha said, adding that after months of practice, he was introduced to watercolors, then pastels where he discovered his love for painting.

“As a perfectionist, if he sees something in his artwork that needs fixing, he will not just leave it, not until he is really satisfied with it. He shares his opinions and discusses his own perspective on things, characters of a true artist,” Samaha said. 


George Baddour, a 95-year-old student at The Art Studio, is pictured at the studio’s “Never too late to art” exhibition in Jabal Luweibdeh. (Photo: Samah Samaha)

“I enjoy Mr George’s class and company, he is a true gentleman with a lot of interesting stories and a lovely sense of humor, you only meet people like him once a lifetime, that’s if you were lucky enough!” 

Baddour, in an interview with Jordan News, said that he actually decided to pick up a pencil and try his hand at drawing at the age of 90. 

“I am retired since a long time ago, and didn’t have any real other occupation since. I started drawing about five years ago, never held a pencil to draw before, I had to start from scratch,” he said, “One day, I was just sitting with my daughter and told her that I wanted to start drawing, and she went with it.

She contacted people and found me a course with the late great Jordanian artist Aziz Ammoura. I started learning with him for two years, and after his death I was introduced to Samah’s class and continued my journey of learning with her for the last three years.”

 Samaha, who founded The Art Studio, graduated from the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Jordan in 2012. She studied under Ammoura, describing her former teacher as “very stubborn when it comes to the rules of art and the teaching methods.”

However, this is the same philosophy she uses today when teaching students. “Students have to climb the ladder of learning. You have to start with pencils and basic rules of drawing. … my aim here is to give academic and professional tutoring for those who are looking for it.”

I recommend to people, especially the retired like me, to do something to occupy themselves, their brains, and body. Even if they don’t have hobbies they can create new ones. … It’s simply never too late to start, never too late to art.

Samaha said that the amount of time it takes to finish the pencil courses varies depending on the student, but that after several courses of still life then portrait and figurative drawing, students move on to learning color theory and start with watercolors.

“Some people are really fast learners, and others are perfectionists, it takes them forever. There is not a limited number of classes or courses because it depends how much time it takes you to learn and acquire that skill,” she said.

 “I understand that not everyone likes academic learning and realistic art, but that’s what you have to learn at first; the rules, and then learn how to break them later”

More than a simple art class, The Art Studio offers a new beginning to its students, through hard work and exploration of different mediums, people from different ages and artistic backgrounds can reconnect with their artistic side and discover abilities they never thought they had. 

As for Baddour, he said that he would continue bringing his favorite topics to life. “I like to draw whatever comes to my mind, when I see nice pictures that I like, especially nature,” he said. “I don’t draw from my memories; that would be too complicated. I just draw from pictures that inspire me; nature, and some portraits of my grandchildren.”

“I recommend to people, especially the retired like me, to do something to occupy themselves, their brains, and body. Even if they don’t have hobbies they can create new ones. … It’s simply never too late to start, never too late to art.”

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