Weekday Women: Carmen Herrara

It’s art week here at the Womens Room; both Amanda and I will be visiting Frieze and I have been researching up and coming exhibitions for new seasons colour influences  – yes people I am in A/W 17/18 already!

I was inspired to read about artist Carmen Herrera who has an exhibition at the Whitney next year. Herrera is 100 years old and still paints every day in her New York studio. Her work is precise, abstract and full striking colour combinations.

Interestingly after six decades of private painting, it was only when she was 89 years old that she gained recognition from the art world – selling her first artwork in 2004 – with the The Observer calling her the “discovery of the decade”.
Carmen Herrera_Untitled_1948


Herrera has said of her work, “I do it because I have to do it; it’s a compulsion that also gives me pleasure.”


I’m often surprised when people tell me they can’t wait to retire and love to read about people who are still actively involved in their work well into old age –  of course it helps if you do something you love.




  • Jan says:

    I agree it’s great to hear of folk actively engaged well into their later years. Realistically this is more easily achievable if one is perhaps an artist, writer, actor etc. and can work free lance and choose how much or little one works. Even more so if you’ve been successful and have good network connections. Less easy to achieve if your work was for example in trade or commerce where employing folk in their 80s is not the norm. Equally if you need to work to supplement your income you may find you end up in a DIY super store rather than doing what you love if doing what you love doesn’t bring in any money.

  • Jane says:

    I agree Jan, its so much easier to choose to work in something you love and have the opportunity to continue. So many industries are still very ageist and make it impossible for older people to continue
    J x

  • Deb says:

    Carmen Herrara is an inspiration! Thanks for this post, I had not heard of her before, but will be following her from now on.
    I consider myself fortunate to do work that I love. I am a graphic designer and illustrator, and for many years have been an art director, mainly in retail. As I’ve gotten older, the number of photo shoot bookings has begun to dwindle, however my graphic design work is something I can do as a freelancer, and I’m getting busier all the time!
    I hope to do more freelance projects in the fashion realm, and would love to do some projects that focus on the more mature, stylish woman.
    I just discovered your blog this evening, and look forward to reading your future posts!

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