Their love of painting has taken them on an artistic journey together.
This Leeds community arts group has sprung up after the members discovered a shared passion.
Having had previous careers as everything from a teacher to a fork lift truck driver, the members of the Horsforth-based group have achieved a string of qualifications together.
Now an exhibition of their work has raised over £1,300 for charity.
Member Paul North said: “The passion is unbelievable really.We are really enthusiastic and I think it’s a good standard of work.”
The group, who have been working together for over ten years, first decided to do an art GCSE course.
Then several went on to study for an A level in the subject as well.
And they then completed a two-year foundation degree in art at Featherbank Centre, which was awarded by Leeds Metropolitan University.
Now their group Art1st meets every week at a former cricket pavilion off Calverley Lane.
Mr North, who was previously a forklift truck driver for 28 years, said: “I was always interested in art and invited friends who were also interested to join me. It stemmed from there.
“It’s been a great experience.”
Now the group has several core members of retirees, including former human resources worker Ellie McVerry, retired teachers Isa Guest and Caroline Woods, former receptionist Vicky Nolan sales rep Linda Wood and David Hodgson, who still works as a cricket groundsman.
Mr North, who is recovering from a heart attack, added: “We work really well together. It’s just finding that outlet.”
Their pieces are proving popular, with £3,500-worth sold at their most recent exhibition, the first since finishing their college course.
That raised £1,330 for the ABF, the Soldiers’ Charity.
Mr North said it was very well supported by the community: “It was a huge success and we are working on another exhibition.”