Imagine if you have ideas for paintings, books, music or all sorts of other creative endeavours….but you lack the tools with which to express them.

Compound this with the notion that the luxury of creating is only for a select few – or those who do create seemingly  arrive on this planet with all the necessary skills and talents already formed!

In my last blog, Self-Discipline equals Freedom,  I described how I found the freedom to fully express myself by establishing new and positive habits into my life.    These routines and habits brought with them a daily structure which I still adhere to.    When I live within that structure I feel fulfilled and content…when I don’t, I feel a sense of frustration.

definitions of frustration:

anger, resentment, disappointment, discouragement, depression, discontent, lack of self esteem/confidence

Large symbolic oil on board – mural for public building in USA – circa 1991

One of many large murals I painted after my turning point in 1987.       It expressed my new found freedom of working within daily rhythms…..and at the same time contributed to paying the bills.


I believe that prisons and rehabilitation centres are filled with people who were never given the gift of self discipline or the necessary tools with which to explore their creativity.         With a myriad of ideas running around in the mind, but unable to express them in a tangible manner, a deep level of frustration and resentment builds……

Is it any wonder that some of the most popular TV shows are of a creative nature…cooking, gardening, baking, etc.     These shows help people to focus.   They become involved with the process and often in observing are given the desire to have a go themselves.

Three 18ft hanging mobiles – installation for public building, USA.  –  Using a jigsaw, I cut the shapes for the mobiles from 6″ thick house insulation.    They were then painted white and installed into this 40ft high atrium. 


In my ideal world, men, women and children would spend a period at the beginning of each and every day doing something creative.        This might be one of the solutions for peace and harmony the world:)

Speaking of which.      It was in the mural I have shown in this post that I first began to incorporate hummingbirds as symbolic imagery and so I leave you with  some of their colour and magic.


A Bientôt







58 thoughts on “Frustration.

  1. Gill McGrath

    Hi Janet. Beautiful work on here. Loving hearing about your artistic and life rituals that keep you grounded and productive. Beautiful and generous and wise. Thank you so much xxx

  2. ellenbest24

    Superb imagery and accurate post. Writing demands discipline and imagination but also skills learned. Some of the best writers have the power to create worlds, people, stories and poetry, but couldn’t polish their work without an editor to correct the grammar, punctuation and flow. While others can write but don’t have the imagination to build the picture. Creativity has to be nurtured fed and soothed into submission. I know this to be true of vocalist they need the experts to write and promote to work alongside. I wonder if an artist such as yourself needs collaboration with others to produce your art? Or is it a solitary pursuit from beginning to the end. The morning id my most productive and as you suggest it would be for children I am sure. Thank you for posting 😇

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning and thank you so much for this comment. Following on from what you have said…something I believe in is that an artist’s goal is to ‘marry technical prowess with the intangible’ As we know, it takes many years to get to the point where the brush or musical instrument, or pen become an extension of one’s body….with no separation…but then as you say, what is then needed is the inner, the imagination, the intangible element from within the artist. This is a rare occurrence. When we see ‘sublime’ art – it’s clearly has both these elements…and consequently makes the heart and soul sing.
      I have worked in collaboration with others, but for the most part work alone. When working with others, it’s vital that they be on the same wavelength in terms of work ethic etc. I have given workshops around the world for over thirty years, and in fact today will be giving one in London. This is a time, when I get to be with other people – talking about the creative process…which I thoroughly enjoy.

      Again, thank you and have a lovely weekend. Janet:)

  3. Bushka

    Excellent post……Commented on the subsequent post…..Can only condone what I said there….I, too, enjoy a structured life….more secure. Hugs! ❤

  4. teagan geneviene

    Oh Janet, this is spectacular. But let me get something out of my system first… OMG That first painting is so beautiful i can barely contain myself!!!! Your glorious colors and fine details, and fluid movement, and…. and then the magical hummingbirds to even out the many-faceted thoughts and lend a sense of hope.
    Okay, now that I can control myself — somewhat. I deeply relate to what you said about frustration. This is such a mindful post. I’m happy that it began my Thursday. Onward to the office now. Have a thriving Thursday! Mega hugs. ❤

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Teagan, I am so pleased that you enjoyed this….This mural was one of many I painted on both sides of the Atlantic between 1987 and 1993, when it got to the point I had to stop…..They were huge, and for much of the time I was on scaffolding:) I learned so much from doing these, and most importantly they helped to hone my technical skills.
      I hope that your day at work was not too frustration and that today is even better….and of course surrounded by magical hummers. have a wonderful weekend….Janet:)xx

      1. janetweightreed10 Post author

        Good morning Teagan….the workshop in London was superb and then the talk I gave in the Bristol area was also really good…I will write more about this in a later blog…thank you so much for asking……

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Bette. I firmly believe that a period each morning dedicated to the creative process, in all its many forms, could change the world:) WE can always hope….have a wonderful weekend. Janet. 🙂

  5. snowbird

    Oh ….how I agree with you. We all need an outlet and everyone has a talent. I just love how your work has changed and evolved over the years, I love it all, but you beautiful, distinct, almost impressionistic current style is just brilliant. Another marvellous

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Dinah – thank you so much……I am giving a workshop to day and then a talk in Bristol on Monday and one of the things I will talk about, is being ‘pigeon holed’ by galleries. Early in my career that’s what happened….I was selling like hot cakes (wildlife) but it became non-creative….I could paint whatever was on order in m sleep. And so in 1982, when I began my ‘Interconnections’ series., I broke away from all of that – and I have never regretted it:)
      Hope you have a wonderful weekend….no rain this time, but cold and crisp…which I like. xxx

  6. Bonnie Halsey-Dutton

    I agree so completely: the human mind was meant to create. Today’s society squelches this human need need by attaching monetary criteria to the process. Creativity does not require the ability to make money by doing it!!! Creative acts such as painting, baking, home improvement, etc. are done for the act of creating, not necessarily for the longevity or “value” of the end product. Just as jogging for exercise isn’t a quantifiable race against other runners… running can be undertaken for many reasons. (So I am told… I am NOT a runner: if I have that block of time, I am PAINTING!!!)

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning dear Bonnie, Thank you for this comment and you are so right. Anyone can bring creativity into their daily life….and with it a sense of fulfilment and well being. One of the big things we lack in today’s society is that so many end the day feeling utterly exhausted with nothing tangible to show for their efforts! Talk about frustration. Here’s to many more years of painting my friend….and let’s home many more time painting together. Janet:)

  7. Mary

    I can totally understand your frustration. When my husband retired in April, 2015, it totally threw my daily routines into the rubbish – now mind you, I love having him home and we are having a good time, but how I structured everyday whether for art, blog, house work, outside obligations have kind of been turned upside down. I understand ~

    To see your magnificent mural – an amazing piece of very deep and enjoyable art. Very cool Mobiles – can only imagine how challenging it must have been to cut piece of insulation that were so large. Back to your elegant painting of hummingbirds Janet ~ they are filled with beautiful energy.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Mary….I think this happens a lot….Was just talking with a dear friend, whose husband is home full time for the first time in their forty year marriage, and it’s a huge shock to the system. They have both worked full time, and so have had lots of space and very set routines….as you say all of that goes out of the window! Time to make new routines.
      Eight years ago, I became the prime carer for my now 95 year old Mother….first three years, travelling and spending three days a week overseeing nurses, and her home etc…then the last five in a nursing home only ten minutes from where I live. This meant huge adjustments to my routine….and was actually the time when I began to write a blog….which has been and still is an important part of my daily routine and life.
      The key is being able to re adjust and establish new routines when life gets in the way…..which it often does:)
      I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Janet:)

      1. Mary

        My siblings and I have just began our journey in taking care of our parents, I can’t imagine how challenging it must be to get the sole caretaker. Eight years I would believe takes a toll as I can see within your writing – I know your Mother has been cared for extraordinarily well with your hands and now guidance.
        I retired two years prior to my husband, after 7 years of air travel with my job one day I just decided no more, I can’t walk into another airport and keep up this routine. That’s when I started to draw and paint, and a year later started my blog. This has been a good journey and new routine for me, and now my husband gets to experience it as well – his appreciation for what goes into creating has gone up exponentially.
        Janet you’re an inspiration to me – looking forward to your book! Have a wonderful weekend ~

      2. janetweightreed10 Post author

        Good morning Mary…so many people I know have already, or are now embarking upon the journey of being a carer for parents. During the past eight years, there have been moments of despair…when I really thought I couldn’t do it anymore….however, as you say my Mother is in a beautiful nursing home (she needs 24/7 care) only ten minutes from where I live, and her mind is really almost gone…I am now able to go about my life and integrate my visits to her within my daily routine. I have learned so much during these years…about me, my Mother, and life in general…and because I changed plans to move permanently to France at the time she became ill, I took my studio/flat in London that has actually turned out to be a huge blessing in many ways.
        Bravo to you for making the decision you did…clearly there was a real artist waiting inside to be released….I am so pleased you did that, and yes, your husband and other around you I am sure now see you in a very different light.
        Along with my talk tomorrow in Bristol – back to London on Tuesday, my darling daughter arrives with a friend from the States on Wednesday for my 70th….and so I am looking forward to a busy and very happy week. Janet:)

      3. Mary

        Appreciate the life lessons you’ve gone through, as hard as it is – there is no book for our individual circumstances right? We kind of figure it out as we go along and hope that our support system along the way helps us through. Your art was, I’ll bet, your big outlet and a way for you to channel the energy.
        Best wishes for a great talk.
        And your 70th? Well now let me be one of the first to congratulate you on this milestone and sending big TX wishes and hugs for a wonderful celebration that lasts the whole year long. Your daughter’s visit will be the highlight I’m sure. Have a great week and thank you for your taking time here.

      4. janetweightreed10 Post author

        There is no question that my art has given me so much during my life. As I state on my website, and I will talk about this tomorrow….I believe that creativity in all its many forms is the key to emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. We are fortunate indeed to have found that out….and oh yes, I am so looking forward to seeing Christie. A big party is planned for next Saturday with friends (many artists) coming from all over the place…should be much fun. Thank you so much for your wishes…Janet:)x

      5. Mary

        How happy do you think I am after finding some youtube video’s showing your painting demonstrations – awesome by the way!

      6. Mary

        The whole discussion around warm-up had me thinking about when I was taking tennis lessons and literally the same thing applied. So you have me thinking, that if I want to get a bit more expressive in my work – I might have to try a few exercises to loosen up a little before I start to work. Even with the drawing I’m doing now, I would think the same thing applies. I know when I do charcoal portraits or still life’s I start with a few exercises that you could consider warming up. Would love to see more of your demonstrations ~ 30 – 40 sec spots entice and are intriguing.

      7. janetweightreed10 Post author

        As I said in my workshop on Friday…warming up helps the artist regardless of whether they are working in a very literal, realistic manner, or more expressive way. I can never recommend it enough….plus it leads to new ideas. I have given many demonstrations over the years, and some have been filmed. I really appreciate your feed back on all of this…it means a great deal.

  8. Jet Eliot

    I am enjoying this series of artist reflections so much, Janet, thank you. The level of peace that you present this post is a breath of fresh air, as was the recent post about self-discipline. It brings me deeper into my own creativity — thank you. 🙂

  9. olganm

    A glorious post and such great suggestion. I hope somebody in charge is reading it. Great beautiful images. And the scale… Thanks for sharing and I hope to see one of your works in the flesh soon. 🙂 Happy and magical weekend.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Carol. Thank you, This was one of many commissioned murals I painted between 1987 and 1999 – Not only did they hone my technical skills, but they also paid the bills….allowing me the freedom to paint what I wanted to paint:) Hope you have a lovely week. Janet. x

      1. janetweightreed10 Post author

        Good morning Carol….just catching up and will take a look at this soon…Thank you so very much for such a lovely compliment…it is much appreciated. Janet. x

  10. Pingback: My Life as an Artist (2) | Frustration | First Night Design

  11. phoartetry

    Art has exposed me to people, young and old with physical disabilities, as myself. Creativity, in whatever form, allow us to separate the disability of our bodies from the ability of our minds, artistically speaking. Art is a fabulous escape from feeling icky – chronic illness, and physical pain takes an emotional toll, and the struggle, not only accepting a diagnosis, but also help relieve a lot of the stress and sadness that occurs.

    When I’m driven to express all within, I pick up a brush or a pen or camera, and this girl’s life force pours out. It’s like the bird flying free, no longer caged.

    I always enjoy reading your post and love your hummingbirds.

    Janet, looking forward to your book. Happy flying!


    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good evening Connie….I just caught your wonderful comment before going to bed. It’s quite late here in London and the wind is howling and the rain is falling….something I rather enjoy when I am fortunate enough to be in a warm bed and flat:)
      I would love to use your comment when I give talks….and possibly quote you in another blog…if that would be OK for you??? You say so eloquently what I have always believed the creative process gives – and given that you speak from a place of real understanding, all that you say resonates so much more.
      I love that ‘your life force’ pours out when you pick pen or camera….how wonderful is that…….and to fly free as a bird and not be caged is the biggest gift we can achieve in life. Bravo:)
      Many thanks – Janet. xxx

  12. phoartetry

    Yes, of course Janet, please quote me.

    I’m writing a paper on “How Art Has Given Me Life” and hoping to be posting it in a week or two, but I’m finding it difficult to concentrate when the sun and salt breeze is screaming out my name. My husband and I are spending winter in Florida. It seems not enough hours in a day. So much I want to do, to experience here.

    I’m sending you sunny thoughts….



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