|Hope you like the T-shirt - called 'the artist within' and bought at the Tate Modern in London|
It all seems quite strange and exciting making a 'career change' late in life. As a horticulturalist, managing a large estate, my daily work evolved around getting the work done, purchasing whatever was needed, balancing the budget, attending meetings, planning for events and designing new landscapes. Relatively little of my time was spent on plantsmanship and in latter years, virtually none was hands-on time. I once objected to my boss regarding some issue and was told that I was a manager not just a horticulturalist! After retirement, I spent much of my time writing about plants and gardens and enjoyed the few glorious years working on the nine books I now have published. I guess some are out of print or remaindered - I never made the best sellers list! But the writing dried up - apparently gardeners aren't buying books anymore!
Now here I am in my mid sixties with a new interest, - once again plants and flowers but this time painting. To my astonishment I seem to be getting some success and it seemed strange to be making plans, framing pictures for the gallery, packaging mounted paintings and printing greeting cards, all for sale. And with hesitation I even printed some new business cards - Ian Cooke - artist!