The story behind the painting…..

The story behind the painting…


It is a story about transformation and turning points….

As I write this, I am experiencing another period of transformation and given that the painting arrived with me in London on Monday, having been housed with friends in Wales for the past eleven years, it seems the perfect time to tell the story…..with the help of magical hummingbirds, of course:)


The portrait was painted in my large carriage house studio in West Chester, Pennsylvania.  The year was 1987.

Prescott Alley Studio, West Chester, Pennsylavnia. 

Scan 74

From as early as I can remember, up until the time of painting this portrait, I suffered from acute anxiety….a crippling anxiety, made worse by the fact that I did everything I could to hide it.   For the most part, aided and abetted by tranquillisers!

In 1987, my son was 21 years old and my daughter fourteen…and to all intents and purposes our world appeared to be very rosy.    In hindsight, I can see that my husband and I did the very best we could given the tools we had.


In 1986, I received treatment for my love of tranquillisers during which time I met someone who said the right words at the right moment.

The words were ‘Stop fighting it……!’

I will never be able to explain what happened, but at that moment my life changed….and although I have lived through some difficult times since, I have never experienced the horror of the crippling anxiety again!

The self portrait is a response to that moment of transformation…

It was the beginning of living my life authentically, and it was also the beginning of my understanding that I am not on this journey alone.

In this symbolic still life self portrait painted in the same studio, I included a photograph of the painting. 


And so as I move gratefully through this new period of transformation, I am ready for a burst of creative energy…..I am ready for the next part:)

A Bientôt

16 thoughts on “The story behind the painting…..

  1. Tish Farrell

    You are such an inspiring being, Janet. Thank you for telling this story. You have given me a spark of hope this morning. I’ve been feeling very creatively ‘low’ since having a strange virus after Christmas. So yes, onwards and upwards…

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you, Tish.
      I had, what I can only call flu before Christmas which was awful….this is after having the flu shot in September, and so maybe it was a virus. It took me a good three to four weeks to fully recover.
      Spring is just around the corner, and I am sure that with it will come new found energy and the creative juices will begin to flow again:)
      Your recent photographs are superb.
      Have a lovely Thursday. Janet. x

  2. First Night Design

    Reblogged this on First Night Design and commented:
    Janet writes about the importance of realising that we are not alone on life’s journey and shows us an exquisite self-portrait painted in 1987 at a moment of transformation.

    In other news, it’s one step forward and ten steps back. The loaned computer won’t connect to the internet and I’m back to data roaming on the mobile. Such is life.

    Take care and keep laughing!

    Sarah x

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Yes, it is….I am so pleased to report that I haven’t suffered from anxiety issues since 1986 nor do I have any need or desire for a tranquilliser….Such a gift, which I never take for granted. Thank you, Gil. x

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Jen….thank you so much for your comment.
      Anyone who has suffered from anxiety will understand completely how crippling it can be. I like to think that I am an example of someone who moved on and since 1986 when I had this revelation, have lived an anxiety free life….and can be a beacon of hope for others who continue to suffer.

      1. Jen from Universe B

        That is so wonderful, Janet. You really are an inspiration. I still struggle with my anxiety, but I love knowing there is the possibility of shedding that burden and living anxiety-free. 🙂

  3. snowbird

    Oh you poor thing! I suffered from anxiety for a couple of years and it was utterly horrendous…you sit there in mortal terror of nothing, I thought I was losing my mind! Like you, I simply gave up fighting it and somehow it faded away on its own. I love your paintings and the idea of transformation.I so happy you are rid of that hideous plaque called

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Dina,

      Your description is perfect….’sitting there in mortal terror of nothing!’
      Being released from the grip of anxiety is probably one of the greatest gifts I have ever received, because it allowed me to move forward and really live my life….
      Thank you so much and wishing you and the beautiful furies a wonderful, and probably very windy weekend:)xxx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.