A Life Well Lived – Madame Nottale – a remarkable woman.

Madame Nottale died a few weeks ago.    Selfishly I would have loved to spend much more time with her, however at 94 years old she was ready to move on.     I feel a deep sense of gratitude for having known such a wonderful human being, whose life was indeed well lived.

A recent photograph of Madame Nottale with her daughter Claudia. 

P1050879When Claudia Nottale came to stay with my family in the States in 1978 she was just seventeen years old.    I had no idea at the time that she would become a life long friend.

Claudia Nottale – 17 years old – oil on canvas

10996105_10153048192965396_8451570209771699384_o-2In 1984 on one of my trips back to the UK and Europe to visit family and friends, Claudia’s Mother  invited me to dinner at her home in Marley le Roi, not too far from Paris.       I will always remember the first moment we met.        Her warmth and love shone through.

So much could be said about her life….Mother of seven remarkable children, nurse, friend to so many, lover of nature and in her latter years when she had time for herself….the brilliance of her painting and  writing shone through.

Portrait of Madame Nottale in 1985…..watercolour/gouache


She was a woman who exemplified what it is to live life well.     She exhibited great courage and at the same time compassion for others. – I would say that she spent much of her life alleviating suffering in others in tangible ways as a nurse and Mother and in less tangible ways simply by being who she was.    For to be in her presence was indeed a beautiful experience.

Madame Nottale drawing me September 2015


She loved colour and chocolate…….two things we had in common:)    During her latter years she painted and wrote every single day.    The walls and every other surface in her room were covered in her work.


Three  years ago, I made this watercolour of her….which I feel demonstrates her letting go of worldly worries and coming home to her true calling…..that of being an artist and writer.


Deeply spiritual, and an inspiration to all……Madame Nottale must surely be in a heaven with unlimited paints, paper, brushes and pens…and of course surrounded with beautiful flowers and hummingbirds:)

A special moment with Madame Nottale……


‘There are always flowers for those who want to see them.’     Henri Matisse.  

Moon, Mountains and Magical hummingbird – inspired by a drawing by Madame Nottale. 

20-11-15 - 1 (6)

A Bientôt



50 thoughts on “A Life Well Lived – Madame Nottale – a remarkable woman.

  1. lurda55

    Precisosa su experiencia con ese ser tan fantástico. Toda dulzura, se nota en sus ojos. Descanse en paz, como dice, con sus pinturas y sus escritos, en el cielo. Un abrazo,
    “There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” Henri Matisse. ¡¡¡¡Bella frase!!!!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, and thank you for this beautiful comment. and yes we must never forget that the flowers are always there:) This was something that Madame Nottale understood no matter what was going on in her life. I hope you enjoy a beautiful weekend…Janet:)x

  2. Patricia Pekmezian

    what a beautiful and touching ‘ testimony’ you’ve made about Mrs Nottale . We , Claudia and I, met a few days after her departure. : One can dream to leave our world in such a conscient and peacefull way . She was a beautiful Being… Love

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Patricia, You are so right….we can only dream to leave our world in such a peaceful state….She was indeed a beautiful being and an example to us all of how life can be lived. I do hope to see you soon…meanwhile thank you and hope you enjoy a lovely and peaceful weekend….just woke up to the new about Nice…….I am sending love….janet. xxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Bushka….yes indeed, I am so very happy to have that particular photograph…we had such a lovely time that day…..We had lunch in St. Germain en Laye and Madame Nottale talked about her life….it was wonderful. Wishing you a lovely and peaceful weekend…Janet. xxx

  3. First Night Design

    Exquisite tribute to a remarkable woman. Although expected, I am sad to hear the news. As always, you have accompanied the post with some beautifully characterful paintings. Keep smiling. 🙂 xxx

  4. Pingback: A Life Well Lived – Madame Nottale – a remarkable woman. | Mark Geoffrey Kirshner

  5. Jet Eliot

    An outstanding tribute to your friend, Madame Nottale, Janet. I have enjoyed your posts in the past of her, your reverence for her; and share with you in the celebration of a spirited soul. So lucky you were to be inspired by her, may we all know such fortune.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Jet, Thank you for this beautiful comment…and yes I celebrate her spirited soul and all she stood for. Wishing you a weekend filled with peace and magic. Janet:)

  6. Athena

    She sounds seems full of magic and inspiration Janet, but you also glow with that same essence Janet, you two seem like two peas in a pod, what s special friendship xx😍

  7. snowbird

    I have always enjoyed the many posts you have written about your incredible friend, what an astonishing woman. I’m so sorry for your loss and like you hope she is in a light filled place surrounded by all the things she loves. What a bitter sweet post. I’m so glad I got to know her a little through you.xxx

  8. Mary

    Dear Janet, how sad to read this news. My heart goes out to you and Claudia for the loss of this special woman. I remember last September when you introduced us to her, your special friendship and her beautiful art. It’s rare to find someone who so deeply affects and connects with us as you had with Madame Nottale. May your special memories hold tight your bond and affection for this lovely woman. My condolences to Claudia for the loss of her Mother.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you, Mary….I feel so privileged to have known Madame Nottale….a truly exceptional human being – one that gave such a sense of hope to so many, even when she was going through difficult times. Most importantly an amazing creative spirit. Janet:)

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you, Timi so very much….I really appreciate your taking the time to read my posts and to follow the blog. I will be looking at your blog a little later today, and look forward to following and reading much more about you….Janet:)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.