1st September – beginning of my new year………

1st September always signifies for me the beginning of a new year.     After a period of reflection during the slower summer period, September is when I start to get excited about my new work goals for the coming months.

I am pleased to report that the magical hummingbirds (tiny flying jewels)  are definitely in place this year….symbolising for me the unseen magic in our world.


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Speaking of which, I have just had a very special time with my friends who live high up on a hill outside of The Magical Town of Crickadoon in Wales, overlooking the beautiful Usk Valley, where the Brecon Beacons meet the Black Mountains.

Watercolour painting – overlooking the Usk Valley


Along with sketching, relaxing, eating superb food – and enjoying good conversation – I had time to reflect.

Early morning watercolour/gouache in my sketchbook….

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I left London, filled with it’s fast pace and noise on a very hot summer’s morning….and arrived in Wales to find cooler temperatures, sweet tasting air, and the sounds of Mother Nature……

The sounds of sheep in one of the fields beneath where I was staying…

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The ever changing landscape….is a joy and excellent for honing observational skills.       I remember when I first came to this area 23 years ago, I was mesmerised by the colours and constant changes in light.

The clarity of early morning light….   

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The atmospheric quality of misty evenings and mornings……

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And the beautiful sunsets…..

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To top it all the resident cat, Tarantino, who is now 18 years old, completes the picture.     He is so very sweet…..

watercolour/gouache sketch of Tarantino

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sketch of Tarantino sleeping….watercolour/gouache

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Although I need routines and rituals – (they give me the freedom to create)………more and more I am able to go with the flow of life.     I find that in doing so, I am can follow life’s clues more easily.        I tend not to miss those  little gems of information – and moments of deep intuition.       

My friends and I talked about time and the fast pace of 21st century life.    Sally then said something  which I found to be quite profound.     “We do things because we can”….We get in cars and drive long distances simply because we can.   We are able to keep in constant contact with one another through new technology…simply because we can….. 

Of course,  just because we can, doesn’t mean that we necessarily have to do it!:)     Which means that discernment is ever more key to sane living.

Watercolour from my May visit to Wales. 

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I realise more and more that no matter how much we mere mortals try, we can’t control the timing of things….We can make plans, but in doing so we have no idea what other plans are being made around and beyond us.      None of us is ever creative enough to know how things will actually work out………’

Always reminding me to stay in the present moment like the magical hummingbird.


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A Bientôt

56 thoughts on “1st September – beginning of my new year………

  1. davidprosser

    I’m so glad you’ve had a good time in my Country. Your depictions of it show it to be as beautiful as I always brag about. I adore the picture of the cat.
    xxx Massive Hugs Janet xxx

  2. Timi Townsend

    Welcome back to the blogosphere, Janet! I’m glad that you had such an inspiring and restful time with your friends in Wales. The paintings from your stay are lovely…especially the ones of Tarantino (well, I am biased, being a cat person lol). I hope that you will be using discernment in your life back in London so that your days are not frenzied. Mine are a bit so, since I’ve started classes as two different places and I’m volunteering at three different places. Details on my blog. Wish me stamina!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Here’s to stamina:) I find that in London it’s even more vital that I use discernment….it’s a place where you could go crazy trying to keep up with everything. My remedy for this, is to paint and write:) Looking forward to catching up with yours and other blogs. Wishing you a beautiful and creative weekend. janet. 🙂

  3. Teagan Geneviene

    Welcome back Janet! And what a great post to kickoff your arrival. Such a true and profound thought you shared, “…discernment is ever more key to sane living.” I love how you described the hummingbirds as tiny flying jewels — so true, especially when your paint brush comes into play. Thank you for this wonder-filled post, my friend. Mega hugs.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Teagan….thank you for this comment – I always appreciate. I will be catching up with your blog over the next day or two…have missed tapping into your incredibly creative mind. Sending magical hummingbirds to you for this Labour Day weekend…hope you enjoy. Janet:)xxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning…and yes I feel refreshed and excited about this new year. As always, thank you so much for your comment…will be catching up with yours and other people’s blogs over the next couple of days. have a very enjoyable Labour Day weekend. Janet. 🙂

  4. Margaret Parker Brown

    Love your paintings! I always appreciate how bold or colorful some artists get with watercolor. I know that you use gouache as well but what a wonderful set of paintings. The painting with your cat curled up sleeping, that granulation of color is so gorgeous…..also your 2nd painting from the bottom is simply divine. What colors did you use in that one? That is my ultimate favorite one of yours in this collection…hard to choose but that one….wow. Your photos are beautiful and what an amazing inspiring landscape.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Margaret, – Thank you so much for your lovely comment…it is really appreciated. With regards to the landscape….to achieve the substance in the foreground, I used a mix of burnt sienna and Prussian blue….I then allowed that to dry and then added Turqoise over the top….The green I use is always Winsor & Newton Green Gold (a very transparent pigment), one that can be used with gouache or on it’s own. By the way, I don’t always use the watercolour/gouache mix, and usually indicate if I have. About 15 years ago, I was painting in my studio in Wales – and decided I need to PLAY – as I was going through a bit of a block! I spread out large sheets of paper, and then used any paint that was readily available. It was during this playing session, that I came up with the watercolour/gouache mix…..I loved the concept of the opaque with the transparent. Hope this all makes sense.
      Meanwhile, wishing you a beautiful and creative weekend. Janet:)

      1. Margaret Parker Brown

        Thank you for that list, I have been thinking about getting some Prussian Blue, it seems to always intrigue me….also Antwerp Blue, so beautiful. I have recently decided to buy a blue green color (Daniel Smith’s Cascade Green) and the fact that you use greens encourage me. I have heard so many artists brag that they don’t use tube greens and yet I don’t see why not, I have seen so many well executed paintings using tube greens and they look pretty darn beautiful! What do you think of this “snobbery” of sorts? I think hogwash, use them! lol thank you again for giving me some good feedback on your paintings. 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend.

      2. janetweightreed10 Post author

        I absolutely hate any snobbishness to do with painting and creating. I fully respect others opinions and tell people who come to my workshops, to cherry pick the best that works for them from different tutors/paintings. Life is too short, and the creative process to wonderfully exciting to limit ourselves with all sorts of silly rules. Having said that, the green gold is the only tube green I do use…give it a try – I think you will love it. With regards to Prussian Blue – it is, as you know a very staining pigment, and so to be used wisely:) Happy painting. Janet:)

  5. Tony

    Almost Marmite Heaven? – Multiple Bliss? Wales + Crickadoon + Old Friends + Hills + Light + Sheep + Cat + Peace + Painting!

  6. ĽAdelaide

    A gorgeous post that spoke to many things I find unnecessary as I age! Now Peace, quiet, clean air, water are so important to the good life! And plenty of quiet time with my paints, time alone.xxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Wonderful to hear that you are ‘following your bliss’ (a term coined by the late Joseph Campbell) May you enjoy a beautiful weekend. Thank you so much for your comment – I always appreciate. janet:)xxx

  7. olganm

    Nice to catch up with you here too, Janet. What a wonderful place and what beautiful watercolours (I’d missed the hummingbirds but I love Tarantino. What a great name and character!). I agree so much with what you say about plans… I’m trying to get better at living the moment. Good luck with all your projects and happy and magical weekend.

  8. moorezart

    Janet I haven’t visited your lovely blog in sometime and popped over to see what you have been up to. OMG you are doing exquisite work! I simply love the last several posts of cats, birds and landscapes! Bravo! Wonderful! — Douglas

  9. snowbird

    What a wonderful post! So glad you had a good time with your friends and also found time to reflect. I simply loved those atmospheric photos, unbelievably beautiful and also lovely seeing you paint in such stunning scenery. Tarantino’s eyes are stunning, I love the expression you have captured there! The idea of following life’s clues really resonated with me as did the discussion about what we do with our time. Good to have you back, I missed you.xxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you, Dina….always good to hear from you and thank you so much for you comments. It was a lovely period, one that left me feeling very refreshed and ready for my new year. Tarantino is an absolute love….18 years old, and so wonderfully mellow….He makes for the perfect model.
      Hope all is well with you and the furies and that you are enjoying these first days of Autumn. Janet. xxx

  10. I of July

    Beautiul view of the Usk Valley and wonderful watercolours Mary. Enjoy your new year, always a pleasure looking at your work and the pic of you in action is lovely 🙂


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