The arrival of Claudia

One of my favourite sayings is that ‘none of us is ever creative enough to know how things will actually work out’ – which is why during my more enlightened latter years, I try not to force issues, but rather allow life to evolve.

This brings me to another story about the arrival of Claudia into my life during the summer of 1977.

Oil on canvas of Claudia aged 17.


In 1977, I was living with my husband and two children just outside of West Chester, Pennsylvania. My son was eleven and my daughter two years old.

Friends told us of a young French girl who wanted to spend some time in the United States to better her English, and who would make an excellent au pair.     We agreed to be the host family for Claudia.

We drove to JFK airport filled with anticipation as well as a sign which would alert Claudia as to who we were.

I remember the moment she came down the stairs and how we all immediately jelled.    By the time we reached home, it was as if we had always known one another.

From that day on, Claudia became a life long friend and muse.    

I could write reams about Claudia….her work as an actress and director of theatre…her family and the many wonderful times we have spent together, but let it suffice to say, that our meeting was a very special one and once again proves the point that we never know who or what is just around the proverbial corner.  

Magical Hummingbirds have always surrounded this very special friendship.   


A bientôt

14 thoughts on “The arrival of Claudia

  1. teagan geneviene

    Janet — such a wonderful story, fill of “warm fuzzies.” And so close to Valentine’s Day, it is the perfect time to share about this friendship. The portrait is gorgeous. It’s also interesting to see the different styles you use in your art. All of them are beautiful. ❤ Mega Hummingbird hugs!
    (Errr… what would a mega humming bird look like? :D)

  2. janet weight reed

    Hi Teagan….thank you so much. I painted this in 1978, and so yes, over the years my style has changed….and what would a mega hummingbird look like? hmmmmmmmm – I need to think about that one.xx

  3. kathryningrid

    The world of the spirit has such perfect timing. How else can we find perfect connexions that surmount and defy all planning and expectations? A lovely part of your story, this. 🙂 xoxo

  4. snowbird

    Wow….that’s some portrait….I think creatives are certainly drawn to each other for sure! I like to let life evolve these days too….it’s so much better than trying to force things. Gorgeous magical hummers

    1. janet weight reed

      I do believe that like minded people attract one another and is definitely the case for creatives…..Claudia was such a breath of fresh air when she turned up all those years ago, and continues to be so. :)xxxx


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