Day 5 of 5 photos – 5 day challenge – The Magical Town of Crickadoon.

In 1987, after my divorce I knew that seven years hence I would move back to the UK/Europe.      Christie would have entered university and Jarrod would be 28.  As it transpired, Christie spent her third year studying in Paris.

Those seven years were extremely full.    Along with getting water and heat into the studio I completed two series of large paintings, and several corporate murals.    I also continued to give workshops.

Initially I was planning on returning to Cornwall, a place where I spent time as a child, or France, a country I have always loved, but then my cousin, Lyn came to visit and suggested that I look at Crickhowell, Wales where she her family had recently moved.

When I visited Crickhowell – I fell in love with the place.

In the spring of 1993, aged 47, I sold or gave away all my belongings….and moved to Crickhowell, which was to become The Magical Town of Crickadoon.     I remember arriving with two suit cases and several large oil paintings rolled into a huge tube.    

For the first six months, until I managed to get a place of my own, my cousin and her family and aunt and uncle, who had retired to the area, took me under their wing – something I will always be grateful for.

My day 5 photograph show me with my cousins Lyn and Michael.    It is taken on what is called The Heads of the Valley, a place that overlooks the beautiful Usk Valley where Crickhowell sits.       A very happy moment. 

Mike, Lyn and me wales

Another choice at that time was to stop driving.    In the States I sometimes felt as if I had a car attached to my body.     Anyone who has driven with me will know that I am not the most confident of drivers:)   It was another life changing decision.   To this day, 22 years on, I have not been behind the wheel of a car….

Every day I walked with my cousin’s dog Bumble, a beautiful golden labrador.    It was through her that I met the people of Crickhowell.  

When I was commissioned to paint two large panels for the ancient church of St. Edmund’s, Bumble was added.    As is the case with much of my work, the panels are full of symbolic meaning.    

This rather grainy photograph, shows me and my friend Cyma Horowitz, who was visiting from New York, with the panels. 

st eds murals 2

Cyma and other friends from the States visited me on many occasions – 

Through my cousin, who is a superb interior designer, I received commissions for corporate murals in Wales and other parts of the UK.   I also exhibited in the UK and France along with giving workshops.  

After the first two years, I began to commute two or three times a year to the States where I gave workshops, painted water-colour portraits and kept close ties with family and friends.

On Christmas Eve, 1996, during a huge storm, a little cat came to me….I named her Christeve.        Far too long a story to write here, but Christeve the Cat became my muse, and before I left The Magical Town of Crickadoon, I included her into both church panels.  

The actual cottage where Christeve the Cat came to me. 

167752_138371162888955_1732775_n

Christeve the Cat after she took possession of the cottage and me…….

christeve front door

October 2005, I moved to London, where i have been based for the past ten years.    I don’t try to predict the future, rather live each day as it comes…..I do know that none of us is ever creative enough to know how things will actually work out.    

For me it’s all about trusting in the unseen, the intangible and trying to make the most of every fleeting moment.

I leave you with the 16th century bridge which crosses the River Usk – at the Magical Town of Crickadoon.    The Church spire in the photograph is where the two panels can be found. 

Crickhowel bridge sunset

A Bientôt

37 thoughts on “Day 5 of 5 photos – 5 day challenge – The Magical Town of Crickadoon.

  1. andreacconnolly

    Janet, I followed your story. Every day I was taken by the rich canopy that is your life. Wishing that it would resume I thank you for sharing in such an inspiration way! Andrea

    Reply
  2. jpennerzook

    Janet, you had me at Day 1 and I couldn’t resist coming here to see what Day 5 held. (After following 2, 3 and 4, of course.) Such a lovely glimpse into a remarkable life and inspiring artist. Thank you.

    Reply
  3. ShimonZ

    I’ve known a bit of the story for some time. But these photos are new for me, and I love them. Your story is inspiring and encouraging… and such a pleasure to read together with these photos. Wishing you a very happy weekend, and days filled as always with inspiration and accomplishment. xxx

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi dear Shimon….thank you so much for reading and for this lovely comment. Do you know we have been communicating for about seven years via our blogs…isn’t that wonderful. It’s been a lovely weekend, and I hope the same is true for you. Janet. xx

      Reply
      1. ShimonZ

        It is amazing, how quickly time passes… but getting to know you, Janet, was a very sweet part of becoming comfortable with the internet for me. And as the years have gone by, I feel we’ve become real friends… though we haven’t had the pleasure of meeting face to face yet. But we do know we have a lot in common. Wishing you a very good week.

      2. janetweightreed10 Post author

        It is incredible how the time has past….and yes I consider you to be a good friend, and still like to think that we might meet in your country sometime. Janet. x

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you….they are better in life of course, but at least you can get an idea…these were painted with traditional oils, but then I was working in a very big studio…..Are you still playing with your water-mixables? I have had a day of oil painting which felt very good….x

      Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      I have painted that bridge on many an occasion from the very spot where the photograph was taken, and from the other side of the river. I lived and worked in the area for twelve years and painted all the time….it really is a beautiful place. Thank you so much for your comment:)

      Reply
  4. Vera Komnig

    A very eventful life, Janet …. I need the days 1-4 still read but this 5th day I really liked and yes, a deep faith in the unseen is a very good basis for life. I love it 🙂 ❤

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Crickhowell and the surrounding areas are wonderful to visit…It’s where the Black Mountains meet the Brecon Beacons….and has been designated as an area of outstanding beauty. The Church, as you could see from the bridge photograph is right in the middle of the town. Thank you so much…and hope you have enjoyed a lovely weekend. Janet.x

      Reply
  5. Jet Eliot

    Thanks so much, Janet, for sharing your inspiring evolution. It take great courage to make those leaps, and you are living proof of the benefits that one never stops reaping. Lovely visuals too.

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      It looks just like that….the whole are is magnificently beautiful and has been designated within the UK as an area of outstanding beauty….the perfect place for Christeve to come from. xx

      Reply

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