New Beginnings

‘Pull a thread here and you’ll find it’s attached to the rest of the world.’   Nadeem Aslam. 

I have been working on a large oil painting over the summer.    It’s 5′ x 4′  (152 x 122 cm) and for the first time, I am using Winsor & Newton water mixable oils.      They behave and work in much the same way as regular oils and the clean up is so much easier.   I give them an all round thumbs up.

I wanted to express through this painting the interconnectedness of all life.  

As humans we seem to be fixated with what can be seen and touched.    I am much more interested in the unseen magic and wonders of our world.   My goal is to achieve a sense of atmosphere and emotion, tapping into the intangible elements of life. 

Given that the painting incorporates the same symbolism I have been using in my work during the past forty years, it is also  a self portrait of my life as an artist.

The painting is still a work in progress.


I am a lover of all animals, and especially big and little cats.

The tigers symbolise passion, mystery, sensuality and patience.

The Peacock – nobility, guidance, immortality and renewal.

The Great White Egret – is known in many ancient cultures as the spirit messenger.

The hummingbirds – were believed to be messengers between the worlds, symbolising eternity, continuity and infinity.

The landscape in this painting is taken from the magnificent Amalfi Coast in Italy.    I stayed in Conca dei Marini last October and fell in love with the place…..and its exquisite light.

I found a beautiful little fountain with a stone cherub overlooking the bay where I painted watercolours, which I used as reference in this painting.

The Little cat in the bottom left hand corner of the painting, visited me there, and it felt as if she had brought a message to me from my beloved cat Cristeve.

The Morning Glory flowers, symbolise death and re-birth.    The seeds which have hallucinogenic properties were made into drinks by the Aztecs when communicating with the spirits.

The new moon – represents – new beginnings.

The following are some watercolours used as reference for this painting:-

Great White Egret.


The little visiting calico cat.


Conca dei Marini, Amalfi Coast.  



For anyone interested in my blogs over the past five years….Go into my website at and click on the ‘Archive blog’ button.

For now I wish one and all a beautiful day filled with loving hummingbirds:)

A Bientôt

16 thoughts on “New Beginnings

  1. ShimonZ

    What a beautiful idea for an artistic self portrait… Having watched the painting develop from earlier versions, I was waiting anxiously to see what the completed work would look like, so you’ve left me hanging here, a bit, with your news that this is still a work in progress. But it is very beautiful already. I see a lot of personality in the face of the tiger… and a lot of innocence in the young kitten. Wishing you great success with your new beginning here, Janet. And so glad that you now reside at an address that is easier for me to visit.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Shimon,
      Thank you so much for this comment, and yes it’s lovely to be in a place which is not only easier to access but also easier to navigate in all ways.
      I have been thinking of you and Nechame recently with the Jewish new years festivities. I hope it’s been a very special time for you and the family.

  2. Janet Williams

    I love your symbolism of these animals. Like Shimon, I’m eagerly waiting to see your work. It’s very interesting about the hummingbirds. When I was in the primary school, there was a text called Hummingbird, which we all had to memorise and recite often. “Hummingbird, hummingbird, the world’s smallest bird….’ I’m not sure if it’s the same bird in your arts. In classical Chinese, the messengers are normally Swan Goose 鸿雁. The source of this symbolism was said to have come from this story, about a Chinese diplomat Su Wu, in the Han Dynasty.

    About the moon — this year, the Mid Autumn Festival will be on Sep 19 — remember to appreciate the full moon on this day. Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important festivals for the Chinese, also a public holiday in China and some countries. It’s a festival for family reunion, moon cakes are eaten, and family get together. Even when you are away with your family, your longing and your thoughts can be conveyed through the full moon, while your family is also gazing at the same moon at the same time.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful, beautiful work.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you Janet for your interesting comment. I am sure the Hummingbird text you had to memorise was about the same hummingbirds that I am referring to….because you referred to it as the world’s smallest bird, which it is.

      I will put September 19th in my diary and pay special attention to it this year and I will read about the Chinese diplomat Su Wu later today.

      I am so pleased that you enjoyed my blog. Janet.

  3. snowbird

    It’s coming along beautifully Janet. I love the explanations for all the different components and I especially love that the tigers are remaining the same.

    P.s….still not getting email notifications re your posts, I have checked and am subscribed. I’m a bit of a technophobe so not very helpful as to why this should be the case. I wonder if anyone else who has subscribed is getting notifications….maybe the follow/subscribe button needs to activated….xxxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you Dina….I need to step back now and let the painting rest. I am sure than when I return from the States in mid October, the painting will tell me what or if any changes should be made. I do need to work on some more hummingbirds….as I said to Shimon. I can’t help myself:)

      I believe that the ‘follow’ button is working OK, and so can’t understand why you wouldn’t receive e mails. I am gone tomorrow, but let me have another look around the site on Friday.

      I have to say that WordPress is superb and it is such a delight not to have long delays:) I am loving your posts. xxxx

  4. bhdutton

    I love the quote Janet… I may need to “borrow” this… so perfect for what I am trying to convey in my Trade Bead paintings! The interconnectedness of the entire world is becoming increasingly obvious in this global world. I love your descriptions of the symbols: very insightful and outstanding artwork you are creating!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Bonnie….thank you so much, and very pleased you like the quote. I can honestly say that most of my work for the past thirty or more years has been about the interconnectedness of all life. My own understanding of this began when I spent time on Isle au Haut, an island in the Penobscot Bay, Maine back in the early eighties….The rock formations on the Island fascinated me, and I could see the human form within them. Thus began my ‘Rock and Nude’ series, which I am still working on.

      I love your Trade Bead paintings, and am I sure they will do very well in your upcoming exhibition.

      On a different note, I love this new server… more delays when trying to blog:)

      Thanks for commenting. Janet.


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