My youngest model – Creativity and emotional well being

A little over three years ago, I arrived at The Boathouse Studio to find a lovely young model, named, Tessa. 

During the first break, Tessa’s  three month old baby, Maya arrived with her grandmother.      As I watched Maya feeding Tessa I asked if it would be possible for them to model together.

That was the  beginning of two wonderful sessions.

The studio was very quiet and warm, and Maya loved it.    She modelled with her mother for most of the day….and didn’t make a peep……

Baby Maya and Tessa. – watercolour/gouache – Boathouse Studio


This post touches on how beneficial creativity is to emotional well being

As I mentioned before, a life drawing/painting session is like a long meditation.    Once artist and model settle…..a beautiful calm comes into the studio….and at best an intense connection between artist and subject.     It is as if mind and body are in a protective bubble.

I call this, becoming one with my subject – and it is at this stage that I enter into a completely different zone.      Any cares and stresses are dissolved, not necessarily solved, but removed during that moment in time, consequently allowing my mind to rest.

Tessa’s hand gently supporting baby Maya – waterlcolour


When I was very young, maybe three or four, I saw my Aunt’s sketch book at my Grandmother’s house in London, and It was pure magic.    I knew from that moment what I wanted to do….and really never wavered.

Baby Maya in Mother’s hands. – watercolour. 


I was to find that being a creative in the world we live in is not always easy.

Although today there is a greater understanding of how the creative mind works, society in general still tends to see artists as interesting outsiders.  

I recall a great deal of mental anguish when I was younger, mostly centring around the worry of not fitting in.

Then as I matured and my art career developed, my confidence grew along with a resolve and understanding that this is who I am and what my life is about.     With total acceptance of this,  I was free to move forward.

I heard a very interesting interview on the BBC recently with a young man who had lost both legs to the war in Afghanistan.     Initially he thought his life was over, and then he was introduced to the camera, which became his medium and art form.     As he said “Creativity set him free”.

Baby Maya on the floor…during her second session.     Watercolour


Mother and child – watercolour


After these two sessions, which were several weeks apart, Tessa and Maya moved to S. America.

I received an e mail recently from Tessa saying that they were back in the UK….that Maya is now three…..and hopefully we might meet up sometime soon.      I do hope so.

A Bientôt

28 thoughts on “My youngest model – Creativity and emotional well being

  1. Peter Wells aka Countingducks

    Sometimes, it seems to be the case that the gentler you are, the deeper you can see, and that seems to be the case here, There is a beautiful sense of harmony about these works between artist, mother and baby. I can imagine seeing them again would be a rich delight

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Peter and thank you for this lovely comment. When the subject is gentle it brings the same out in me and my work. In this case there was a complete connection between me , Mother and child. I look forward to seeing them again, especially now that Maya is three years old. Have a lovely weekend. Janet:)

  2. tedgiffin

    You did it! You accomplished what a lot of folks have huge difficulty with, doing images of babies that are believable. I always really goof them and they look like adults with some sort of small body. I went to a museum a long time ago, there was a baby done by Caravaggio. Problem with his was that the greens he used made the baby look either dead, or rotting, or both. Enjoyed this!

  3. Sammy D.

    These are breathtaking. So much love, innocence and calm come from them. You captured the humaness so well of this special bond between Mother and newborn.

  4. olganm

    I hope we can see Maya again. I suspect she might not be such a peaceful and sedate model any longer. What amazing paintings, Janet. So warm and earth bound… Beautiful

      1. janetweightreed10 Post author

        Good morning….Yes I do. I have been a working artist for about 45 years now….thank you so much for visiting my blog and commenting…really appreciated. Janet.

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