Interconnections and new horizons.

‘Life is like climbing a tower:    the view halfway up is better than the view from the base, and it steadily becomes finer as the horizon expands.’   William Lyon Phelps. 

One of the many paintings taken from sketches made during the twelve years I lived and worked in Wales.    Large watercolour/gouache.

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It was April of 1996, when my daughter Christie and I were standing on the steps to the American Embassy in London waiting to get Christie a replacement passport.     It suddenly occurred to me that thirty years earlier, in January of 1966, I had been in exactly the same place waiting  to pick up my visa to visit the United States.

In that moment I was able to look back in time at the younger me with detachment and compassion and at my daughter with a sense of wonder.

In 1966, I had no idea what a huge adventure I was about to embark on – So many experiences and changes were to occur that I could never have been creative enough to imagine, including the birth of my two children in the United States.

Tangible evidence of two major changes that were to come.   My son Jarrod and daughter Christie….This was taken in my Westtown, Pennsylvania studio in 1978:)

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So why the United States?      In 1965, after finishing art college, I married my first husband in London.         As a young boy he had visited family in the States,  and having loved the experience, wanted to return.      We agreed on a two year visit.

On January 28th 1966 we set sail from Southampton on the SS United States liner.      Our final destination was to be Key West Florida.

The SS United States liner in 1966


After what was one of the roughest crossings on record – causing me and just about everyone else aboard to be sea sick….we arrived in New York Harbour on the 3rd February.     As we glided under the newly constructed Verrazano Bridge, I had no idea that one year later, I would be returning to New York  where I would be living in a cottage on Staten Island overlooking the Harbour.

The Verazzano-Narrows Bridge – spanning the narrows between Staten Island and Brooklyn.    


After disembarking onto the shores of Manhattan we took a yellow cab to the bus terminal and then a Greyhound bus to Miami.     From there my husband’s uncle drove us to Key West, the most southern point of the United States.

A greyhound bus in 1966


Still feeling queasy from the Atlantic crossing, several weeks later I was to find that I was pregnant.    On 10th September 1966 – almost exactly nine months after setting sail, my son Jarrod was born in the brand new Holy Cross Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

As time moves on I believe more and more in fate.    Had I known that I was pregnant prior to leaving the UK – I would never have travelled at that time.

Jarrod about three months old – Florida. – 1966


I have begun the process of  writing my autobiography which has given me cause for much reflection.

Yesterday, I met with a friend and we talked about how I would tackle the  book.    The answer is that each chapter will be a vignette, a stand-alone story.       For example, in this blog I have given a very brief overview of this particular period, when in reality there is so much more to tell.

During the past fifty years since I made that journey – not only has my life changed in ways that I could never have imagined…..but our world in general has changed almost beyond recognition.

As I continue to climb the tower of life, the horizon continues to expand and for that I am extremely grateful.

I close with a magical hummingbird drinking from the sweet nectar of life –     watercolour. 


A Bientôt








54 thoughts on “Interconnections and new horizons.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning and thank you so much for this comment. Yes, indeed, and of course the older we get the memory bank becomes bigger and bigger, and at the same time we are able to view it from possibly a much clearer point of view. Have a lovely weekend. Janet.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you, Peter. – yes as I write in depth about these experiences there is so much history involved – for example, I was in the deep south of the USA when, although Rosa Parks had already made her incredibly brave statement, segregation was still very much in force, and of course so much more on both sides of the Pond. We are the same vintage and so you are very aware….
      Have a wonderful weekend in beautiful NZ – Janet. xx

  1. Tish Farrell

    The depth and range of colour in the first landscape is magnificent, Janet – a metaphor perhaps for the autobiography now begun in earnest. So far you have given us fascinating sketches – now for the big work. Re-visiting one’s life can open up all sorts of avenues, reveal areas we have closed off with, or without realizing it. I’m wishing you joy on the grand safari, oh yes and some fair weather 🙂

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Tish, and you are oh so right…….now for the big work! I am very glad that I don’t have deadlines, other than life itself:) Something I will be grappling with is just how much of myself I expose – and as I write those words, I realise probably a lot. As you say re-visiting one’s life can open up all sorts of avenues and reveal areas we have closed off….I can see that is already happening.
      It pleases me greatly that I am a part of WordPress with writers like yourself as a guide…..Thank you so much for the comment and very glad you like the landscape.
      Enjoy a beautiful weekend – it looks like we will battening down the hatches again. Janet.:)

      1. Tish Farrell

        Yes, a big wind coming. A good time for some inner exploration. I’m just floating this as a notion, but if you really want to peel back the layers, maybe try writing about yourself in the third person. It might anyway be interesting as an exercise, just to see how it goes 🙂

      2. janetweightreed10 Post author

        Good morning Tish – and thank you so much for this…..I will give this a try – it resonates. . Interestingly, an old self portrait of mine has just re-surfaced. I don’t usually sell them, but a woman in the States picked this one up at a sale I was having (I must have been desperate for money at the time) – Anyway, she talked about the woman in the portrait in the third person, and how that woman had helped her through difficult times. Interesting. enjoy your weekend, and again thank you – Janet.

  2. davidprosser

    I do like your hummingbird pictures but he picture of Wales captures the hills so well, a mixture of sunshine and a little gloom too. I see a lake hidden behind the hills and wonder where you are. North or South, I’d say North.Perhaps even Lake Bala? Maybe you’ll go into the story of why you were here, how you met your husband of the time and abut the decision to make such a move for 2 years……..
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning David, Thank you so much for your comment. I lived and worked in Crickhowell, which I call The Magical Town of Crickadoon, from 1993 tis 2005. During that twelve year period, I made hundreds of sketches and paintings – many of which have been sold. However, I still have sketch books and paintings that I can use as reference. The painting on this blog was taken from sketches I made in the Brecon Beacons just outside of Llanfrynach – which sits just below Brecon.
      I love Wales and the Welsh people, and would have been happy to stay there for the duration, however life and work conspired so that a move to London, (where I was born) was made in 2005. I still miss it, especially my long daily hill walks.
      If you are in Crickhowell, visit St, Edmund’s Church which sits bang in the middle of the town….you will find two large panels that I painted. They were commissioned by the Church in Wales and installed in 1995.
      I arrived in Wales in 1993, after having lived in the States for what turned out to be 28 years! For the first six months, I stayed with my cousin and her family…..As for the move in 1966….I will be writing about that:) Have a wonderful weekend. Janet. xxx

  3. Bushka

    Good Going…..Best of Wishes on the venture.
    Love this concluding line…. ‘As I continue to climb the tower of life, the horizon continues to expand and for that I am extremely grateful.’

    Hummingbird Hugs! ❤

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much, Bushka. You would understand my concluding line so well…..very pleased you liked:) As I mentioned in another comment, I am so pleased I have no deadlines….only life:) Have a beautiful weekend. Janet. xxx

  4. teagan geneviene

    Dear Janet, first I think the vignette idea is a great way to approach an autobiography. Speaking from my editor-brain, the stand-alone vignettes are already connected because they are *your* story. Using more words could easily bog down the story.
    Thank you for this beautiful landscape. I drank up all the lovely blue tones. And this magical hummingbird will guide my way today. Have a thriving Thursday! Mega hugs 🙂

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Teagan and thank you for this. As I mentioned earlier, I am so pleased to be part of WordPress where writers like yourself can lead the way for me and help me as I move through this venture. I am so glad I don’t have deadlines….but fully recognise the enormity of what I have undertaken. I am finding that old feelings and emotions are coming to the surface, which is good…..
      Glad you like the landscape and of course the magical hummingbird. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and have enjoyed your days off.
      Janet. xxx

  5. Vera Komnig

    I love it to read your adventures and memories, Janet. Please tell me when your autobiographic book is ready…I want to sell one!! With hugs and more from your sister in art, Vera 🙂

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much – I am just at the beginning of this venture…..and so it will be a while before any book is ready….however, you will be one of the first to know. So much of it will be about my life as a creative and my earlier anxieties as a young artist….and how the creative process has always been the healing element in my life. I am fortunate to have lived a rich and full life, one that has been touched by so many different people, including yourself my dear sister in art…..janet:)xx

  6. Mary

    Very excited for you to have started this journey, yours will be a colorful and amazing destination. I do love how deep and brilliant your watercolors are – the opening landscape is fabulous. Have a beautiful weekend Janet!

  7. olganm

    Thanks so much for sharing a bit more about your life. I love the pictures of the period. You’re right about how much things have changed… Looking forward to reading the book. And thanks for the hummingbirds and for the beautiful landscape. Have a gorgeous weekend!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you, Olga for your comment. Yes, I have indeed begun a new adventure……and it’s really lovely to share some of it here as I move along the way….hope you have a wonderful weekend. Janet:)x

  8. Jet Eliot

    Thanks so much for taking us along with you as you begin your autobiography. I love the old photos and the story, and look forward to joining you on this adventure. I especially like the photo of the bus and uniformed driver with the NASA ad, back when NASA was in its early days and state travel on buses was common. 😀

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Jet. – Thank you so much for your comment – I also love looking back at these photographs. On the one hand it all seems like yesterday and on the other, like a million years away……the illusion of time. Have a wonderful weekend. Janet. 🙂

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much Dina……yes it’s been such an interesting ride. The key is how to write this book….I am almost veering towards a novel based on my life:) Glad you enjoyed the quote….janet. xxx

  9. Carol Balawyder

    Janet, I enjoyed reading this vignette and getting to know you a bit more. Your Wells painting is wonderful (as is the inspiring quote) and of course your hummingbird, always a delight. The pink is outstanding! 🙂

  10. janetweightreed10 Post author

    Good morning, Carol – thank you so much for taking the time to read and for your comment….it is always much appreciated. I do hope you are having a lovely weekend. Janet. x

  11. inesephoto

    I am so glad that you are writing your autobiography. You have so much to tell! Hopefully, a novel will follow.
    Your hummingbirds are the sweetest things ever. I see Wales in you painting – have been there, some ten years ago.
    Best wishes!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Inese, and thank you so much for this lovely comment. The more I think about it, I believe that this book will probably be a novel based on my life…..and as for Wales, I love it. Enjoy your day and week ahead. Janet:)x

  12. gini

    You are so very generous in sharing your life. I don’t think I could ever be so brave. (or interesting) .. WINK… you’ve sold the first copy!!! to me.. I love you so much.. g

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much dear Gini…..I do hope that by sharing my own experiences others who are following, or wish to follow their own creative path, will be given some encouragement and hope – In other words, if I can do it, so can others. Sending tons of love and look forward very much to sending you the first copy:) Janet. xx

  13. Paul J. Stam

    Love your art. Thank you so much for letting me know you liked my post of “Murder Sets Sail” on Thanks again and Aloha – pjs/


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