GUEST ARTIST: “I Found Myself At 70” by Nancy Mills

I Am Powerful Watercolor Abstract Painting by Nancy Mills

We all have a story. Mine is very California-ish. It has to do with fate, destiny and light. My name is Nancy Mills and I started painting at 70. As a women’s empowerment leader and as an inspirational writer, I had no idea this would happen to me – that I would return to my childhood passion that was buried so deep, it took 65 years to re-emerge.

Joy To Love Watercolor Painting Abstract

Joy To Love

I was a sensitive, gifted, little girl. I loved, just loved to live in my imagination. My mother on the other hand, had no imagination or creative spark in her body – or so it seemed to my five-year-old self. She constantly told me that I was making a mess by painting on the kitchen table.

So what’s an artist to do? I painted my bedroom wall instead. Half-way through, my mother walked in and exploded, “No more painting Nancy, no more painting.”

I was traumatized. For years and years, I would tell anyone who would listen, that I can’t even draw with a ruler. I had no talent. I couldn’t paint if I tried.

I Listened To The Signs

Three years after my mother’s passing, just before I turned 70, and almost 20 years into owning Spirited Woman, my women’s empowerment community, I had another fated story. I met with my long-time friend Donna, who is very psychic. I said, “Donna, what do you see as the next step for me?” She paused, then answered, “I see you painting.”

The Seeing Eye Abstract Watercolor Painting by Nancy Mills

The Seeing Eye

“Donna, have you lost your mind?,” I responded. “I can’t paint at all.” She held her ground and said, “That is what I see.”

Two weeks after that, I had a reading with a famous hand analyst – it was a gift actually – and she said after looking at my hands, “Aren’t you a women’s empowerment leader?” “Yes,” I answered. “But,” she said, “You have the hands of a painter. Paint and you will be filled with passion.”​

Portal To Your Heart Abstract Watercolor Painting by Nancy Mills

Portal To Your Heart

A few weeks later, I happened to drive down an unfamiliar street, and there was this little sign in the side window that said, “anyone can paint.”

Well, that was it for me. Tell me once, tell me twice, maybe, but tell me three times, I’m on it! I slammed on my brakes and ran into the Paint: Lab store. I yelled, “I’m here, I’m here.” I am sure they thought I was a little Los Angeles nuts-crazy – but within 5 minutes I had my own easel, paints, apron and I was on my way.

Breaking Out Watercolor Painting by Nancy Mills

Breaking Out

There is more to the story, but right around the spring equinox closest to my 70th birthday, I became a painter.

Energy Comes Through My Hands

Right from the start, I was drawn to painting in watercolors. To this day, I do not know why I chose that medium. I just knew. Each color was a burst of light for me.

Determined to paint a painting a day, I started sharing my art on Facebook and Instagram. I posted my feelings with each painting and I was amazed at the reaction. I found that my paintings and words deeply inspired others. I have now painted over 300 watercolors.

The Wings Of Love Abstract Watercolor Painting by Nancy Mills

The Wings Of Love

As time went on I realized I was an Energy Artist. I have this special gift where I can feel energy, such as a spiritual force coming through my hands. I have no idea what I am going to paint, what colors I am going to use – the energy leads me to paint the painting I paint. Oftentimes, when I am finished, I will see images appear, that I had no idea I painted.

I also realized soon thereafter, that I have the ability to paint other people’s energy too. Whether they are with me via webcam or I’m painting solo in my studio, I can feel their special energy channeled through me – in color and in verbal messages that I both see and hear.

High In The Sky Watercolor Abstract Painting by Nancy Mills

High In The Sky

I have been told that my paintings are soothing, calming, healing. That I have this natural ability.

For that I am grateful.

Painted Prayers & The Paints I Use

Even though I name each one of my paintings, I refer to my energy paintings as PAINTED PRAYERS. Each 9” x 12” watercolor is a blessing of spirit, empowerment, and beauty. I paint them on Artist’s Loft 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper. The paint brushes I use are Marrywindix. They come in 9 different sizes and I use most of them. And in terms of watercolors, I use a mixture of my Dainayw Watercolor Paint Set and Winsor & Newton Gouache tube paints.

Dreams Do Come True Watercolor Painting

Dreams Do Come True

When I do my private energy art sessions with clients, I paint on an 18″ x 24” watercolor cold press paper from Canson. Each client names their own painting.

Along the way, I learned how to photograph my watercolors. I use a Canon Rebel T7 and I edit them in Photoshop Elements. I archive my images on Smugmug. I even created my own new website on Squarespace so I could feature my work and I have a video Studio Series on Instagram.

One Lucky Woman Abstract Watercolor Painting by Nancy Mills

One Lucky Woman

Now, a year and a half after I began this amazing journey, I am creating a special PAINTED PRAYERS holiday gift, “An Assorted Postcard Box of Original Divine Feminine Energy Art.” The printed postcards will be 5″ x 7″, so they can be framed. It will include 8 of my most popular paintings some of which are featured here. In the future, these postcards will be available seasonally in 2021 for the equinoxes and the solstices.

Life Is A Fascinating Mystery

Whenever I am asked my philosophy on life, I always say, “There is no age limit on self-expression.” Because there isn’t.

I am a testament to that and so are you! Anyone can be re-awakened at any age. Please reach out to me, I’d loved to hear your story and see your art.

Nancy Mills

Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists
  1. isaiah46ministries 2 years ago

    What an amazing woman and story. I am stunned at the beauty of the story, the art, and the woman. Just wonderful to read. I will be 69 years old in November, and I thought that maybe this is the time to rest, as I feel somewhat useless, having retired this year from my beloved teaching. But, she inspires me to try to learn a new skill and not think I am too old for a new direction. I always wanted to be a motivational speaker and writer. Maybe I can still dream it and fulfill it.

    • Nancy Mills 2 years ago

      Hi Isaiah – 69 is young! You have your whole life in front of you. There is no age to age. Only wisdom. Keep in touch with me and I will help you in anyway I can a long the way. Thank you for your kind words. Nancy

  2. Sandra Strait 2 years ago

    Nancy, your story is inspiring and your art is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing your artistic journey with us!

    • Nancy Mills 2 years ago

      Sandra – Thank you so much for reading my story. And it just feels so good that you like my art. This is the first article in the whole world about me as an energy artist. I am floating. I’d love to know more about you and how you became an artist. All my best to you, Nancy

  3. Manish RAjguru 2 years ago

    Hello Nancy, thanks for sharing your story and lovely paintings. Your story reminds me my childhood story. Once I painted a parrot when I was in school, yes the all green bird with red beak. I used all green I had in my color box. The my father said you applied color like they use the shaving cream. really thick :).
    All the best for a journey called artist..

    • Nancy Mills 2 years ago

      Hi Manish – If are parents only understood how much influence they have on us. Those comments stick for a lifetime. Thank you for sharing your story with your Dad.

  4. Mugdha Savkar 2 years ago

    Hello Ms. Nancy,

    Saying I am blown away by your story is SUCH an understatement. Your first few lines reminded me of my childhood about 32 years ago. I too was convinced I could draw and paint. It wasn’t my mother who put an end to it, it was an art teacher who ripped up my painting and hit me for doing a bad job, giving me a tiny scar on my arm that still remains. Since then, I couldn’t even draw a line till I found Doodlewash. I loved looking at Charlie’s paintings and reading his posts and decided to try painting. My sister encouraged me. Your story filled me even more hope that dreams do come true. Your paintings are fascinating and really induce a soothing calmness coupled with positive excitement. Thank you so so so much for sharing your story. You have a beautiful soul that speaks through your painting. And a BIG thank you to Charlie O’Shields for this community. 🙂


    • Nancy Mills 2 years ago

      Hello Mugdha – It is so wonderful to hear from you. I have never heard the name Mugdha before, what country are you from? It is a beautiful name. Teachers, parents, family – do not understand how much they hold us back. But, isn’t it wonderful when we find ourselves again? Maybe in a way it is even more powerful since we have missed out on so much passion for most of our lives. Thank you for writing to me, it means so very much. Nancy

  5. Anna Y Koritansky 2 years ago

    My goodness, it made me cry. Our mothers had wounds of themselves that they projected onto us, coupled with the issues of the world. Better later, than never. It’s good that we come across people who can help us awaken our desires.
    And in addition, just last night I was sitting and wondering how i can find another way to archive my art – bam, the answer is in this story 🙂

  6. Nancy Mills 2 years ago

    Hi Anna – Thank you so much for writing. And thank you for following me on Instagram. I believe that is you. Smugmug is a fantastic service. But, be forewarned – once you get started you will be with them FOREVER since taking your art off seems like an impossible task. I already have 100s of images on there. But, the service makes me happy and is easy to use. Yes, the universe is powerful. All my best to you, Nancy

    • Anna Y Koritansky 2 years ago

      Thank you, Nancy!!!

  7. Mary Roff 2 years ago

    Wonderful bright colors and fabulous energy in your paintings! Thanks for sharing your inspiring story. Somehow when something is right for our soul we make it happen.

  8. Nancy Mills 2 years ago

    Oh thank you so much Mary! It has been such an amazing journey. This is the first time my art has been featured in a publication and it just feels so wonderful for other artists to appreciate it. And yes you are right, when something is right our soul will make it happen. Best, Nancy

  9. Karen Fortier 2 years ago

    Nancy, thanks for sharing your story with us! I picked up my paint brush in my early 60s just before I retired and have been painting for several years now.

    • Nancy Mills 2 years ago

      I am so happy to hear from you Karen. I think those of us who start painting later in life have a different perspective on the joy of it. Keep painting! And thank you for reading my story. Nancy

  10. Kathy Delumpa Allegri 2 years ago

    Wonderful journey, Nancy! We septuagenarian sisters are an amazing force! I’m 72 and a late-blooming artist, as well. At each phase of life, we are meant to be where we are. And happy that we were young in the 60s! Onward and upward!

    • Nancy Mills 2 years ago

      Hi Kathy – There is no age limit on self-expression! I think there are millions of us who are blessed with a youthful spirit and happy to paint whenever we start. Thank you so much for reaching out. All the best to you, Nancy

  11. Sandra Rajoo 2 years ago

    Hi, your story certainly resonates with me as I only started on my art journey after I turned 60. If I had listened to my heart earlier on, I would have become an artist. Instead, I listened to my head and became something else. But, life is unpredictable, and anything is possible. Now I post my drawings on Facebook and Instagram ( and find great inspiration from other artists as I do you. Thank you!

    • Manish RAjguru 2 years ago

      Hey Sandra I just checked your work. You are an amazing artist. Started following you.. 🙂

      • Sandra Rajoo 2 years ago

        Oh thank you, Manish, 😁very nice of you to say that…I’ll be sure to check out your page.

  12. Nancy Mills 2 years ago

    You are so right Sandra. Life is unpredictable and anything is possible. Thank you for sharing your art. Best, Nancy

  13. Itching for Hitching 2 years ago

    What an inspiration you are Nancy. I grew up in a household devoid of art, yet I was drawn (not meant to be a pun) to the prints on our neighbours walls. Art wasn’t a hot topic in school either. Retired after a long career in technology I woke up one morning and thought “Sxxx I can’t draw!”. Naturally I sought out art sites and Charlie’s wonderful Doodlewash and within days I was amassing a collection of pencils, pens and brushes and I’ve settled into the joys of Urban Sketching a sort of ‘techie art’ you could say. The upside being in these Covid times is having even more time to explore and learn. Fate has a strange way of sneaking up on us. Enjoy your wonderful art and your new vibrant world Nancy.

  14. Nancy Mills 2 years ago

    Hi Lindsey – I went to your blog. I loved reading about your “retirement plans.” So much for that. What I didn’t write in the article is that I am a former travel journalist. I was lucky enough to travel the globe. I miss it so much, I can hardly stand it. Thank you so much for reaching out and if by chance you are on Facebook – send me a friend request. I would love to keep in touch. All my best, Nancy

  15. Pam 2 years ago

    I am resonating with all of these retired teachers who have picked up on finding meaning through watercolor … I am almost persuaded to start a group especially for us. I retired from teaching a few years ago and started leading a women’s group at my church. then I started watercolor painting almost two years ago and paint every day. There is a longing to find a way to bring the two together …

  16. Nancy Mills 2 years ago

    Hi Pam – Thank you for reaching out. Watercolor is a passion that is part of my life and part of my career. When you have a moment, take a look at my website to see how I combine women’s empowerment with energy art. I wish you all the best. Nancy

  17. Geva Salerno 2 years ago

    I love this. I’m going to share your story.

    • Nancy Mills 2 years ago

      Thank you so much Geva. That is very kind of you. When you share it, let me know if you can, so I can see it. All my best to you, Nancy

      • Geva Salerno 2 years ago

        I shared it in my group “Over 40, Fearless, and Free” on Facebook.

        • Nancy Mills 2 years ago

          thank you, I will friend you on Facebook

          • Geva Salerno 2 years ago

            Okay, cool! 🙂

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