Retired shipping lawyer’s Twickenham painting group encourages seniors to paint

A retired shipping lawyer’s painting group meets every Tuesday outside Orleans House Gallery to paint and practice art skills.

Hugh Dalzell was born in London and based in Richmond for around 30 years and has been drawing and painting for over 10 years. 

However, he has been painting in Twickenham for a few years.

After retiring, Dalzell decided he wanted to follow his dream of pursuing art.

After working as a Shipping Lawyer for most of his career, he decided to pursue painting, describing it as his ‘dream’ and something he’d always wanted to do but couldn’t due to lack of time.

Dalzell said: “I was brought up with painting all my life as my mother was a painter

“That’s now what I do, I just paint.”

“I didn’t have the nerve to paint when I had been deciding if I wanted to go to art school

“When I retired I had the opportunity to do what I always wanted to do, so now I am doing it.”

Dalzell has decided to focus on painting portraits and landscapes.

He has sold some of his pieces at

Frederick Cuming, who was a contemporary British landscape painter, is where Dalzell gained inspiration.

His painting group focuses on people who haven’t had the opportunity to practice or pursue art for a variety of reasons, including a lack of time or being too insecure to attempt.

Whilst the group is open to anyone, he claims to mostly paint with the older generation and wishes more of the youth would participate.

The NHS recognises elderly loneliness is an on-going issue, claiming more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone.

More than a million older people say they go over a month without speaking to anyone.

According to the Arts and Minds website, art activities can be a lifeline for lonely seniors. 

The organisation said: “While the pandemic may have cut off seniors from the comforts and joys of their social world, art activities remain easily accessible and can help ease loneliness as well as the negative impact on their health and longevity.”

Dalzell said: “Younger people don’t have time, like me I didn’t have time.

“It was one of the reasons stopping me.”

“The aim is to get people painting, people who aren’t confident to pursue or come out on their own.”

When the group meets, the painters station themselves in the same area and paint whatever they want.

His group could be a small step towards reducing elderly loneliness for locals in the Richmond Borough.

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