Chance or Fate?

“There is no such thing as chance; and what seems to us merest accident springs from the deepest source of destiny.”    Frederick von Schiller.

My cousin introducing me to Crickhowell (The Magical Town of Crickadoon) in 1993 – a place I had never heard of before…..was that chance or fate?…….Certainly living and working in Crickhowell for twelve years constitutes a very important chapter of my life, and indeed will always be part of who I am.

large self portrait – Crickhowell Wales 2000 – rapid watercolour/gouache20-11-15 - 1 (955)Yesterday I visited my good friends Greta and Martin.     We met 12 years ago shortly after I moved to London from Wales.     It was a Sunday afternoon and I was giving a portrait demonstration for Artslink – a group I had recently connected with.       After the demonstration, Greta and Martin introduced themselves and asked if I would be interested in giving a workshop for SOFAP (Fulham/Hammersmith Arts Society) to which I said yes.      They also asked if I was related to Carol Weight, who it turned out was one of the early founders of the Society.     In fact, Carel was my Father’s cousin.

From Carel’s Memorial Service at The Royal Academy. 

20-11-15 - 1 (956)I will always remember that first workshop….because I knew in every fibre of  my mind and body that I was in the right place at that moment in time.     Subsequently, during the past 12 years, so much of the work I have done and people I have met in London can be traced back to that Sunday afternoon when I met Greta and Martin.   Chance or fate?

My first portrait workshop with SOFAP – Fulham/Hammersmith Arts – eleven years ago20-11-15 - 1 (954)Recently, I have been experiencing a glut of ‘coincidences’ – or are they?     Six Degrees of Separation is the term we use to describe such happenings when we meet others for the first time who we find are in some way connected to our lives.

When in Portugal, some of the group were scrolling through my work on a pad and came across this painting – which is a ‘symbolic self portrait’ large oil on canvas – painted in my West Chester studio, Pennsylvania 1990.      They asked what the different objects in the painting represented.     I told them that the little egg cup in the front and centre of the composition represented my birth.     That it was given to me, and other babies born in England on 21st January 1946.    The silver egg cup has the inscription –  News Chronicle Centenary – 21st January 1946 – Janet Weight. 

At this point one of the group said that their family had owned the News Chronicle….for me a significant moment.    Chance or fate ?      The egg cup has been a Talisman for me throughout my life….and as I write this, it sits on a shelf in my book case.


Claudia Nottale came into my life when she was 17 years old.   Introduced through a friend, she came from Paris to live with me and my young family.     I knew from the moment I met her that she would play a significant part in my life…and indeed she has and continues to do so.

I have painted and sketched Claudia many times over the years…. charcoal when Claudia was visiting Crickhowell in 1995. 

20-11-15 - 1 (951)

It has been suggested to me that I write a book about the numerous  ‘coincidences’ that have occurred throughout my life….and indeed they will be a part of my book.  With the luxury of hindsight I can now look back and pin point how these events have shaped my life.

Like a tightly woven tapestry – our lives are intertwined.        When we look at a tapestry, like this magnificent piece from Hampton Court Palace, we tend to see the main features….but every thread is key to the whole….all of life is interconnected. P1120664I am quite clear that when these ‘coincidences’ occur in a glut…that the hummingbirds are indeed weaving their magic…..20-11-15 - 1 (788)

A Bientôt



36 thoughts on “Chance or Fate?

  1. First Night Design

    Beautiful post in every way, dear Janet. Adore your self-portraits. Coincidences or not, I’ve had many in my life, some of them rather like you and Carol Weight, some of them extraordinary. The latest is finding out that (I may have told you this in an email already) I have a cousin on my mother’s paternal side who lives on the Isle of Wight and that my wondrous friend who makes jewellery and cleans my house has just moved with her fiance into a house three or four doors down from this cousin! Have a smiling and joyous Wednesday 🙂 xx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      I am not in the least bit surprised that you would have experienced some extraordinary coincidences. I love the story about your friend moving virtually next door to your cousin! I have a feeling that when we do get together there will many more stories…. Hope all is well with you….I am off to Hampshire tomorrow and Saturday to work with some people…and so I will wish you a good weekend…and do keep smiling 🙂 Janet xx

  2. Teagan Geneviene

    Janet your posts are always lovely, but this is one of your best. Profound and beautiful. I especially liked “every thread is key to the whole”…
    Even though it has been a very long time since I’ve had the feeling of being in the right place at the right time, I understand what you mean. I like to call big coincidences “the small world effect.” (Like when someone goes on a cruise or vacation and there meets a person who lives in their town, but they’d never met before…) Anyhow, gorgeous paintings and beautiful words — thank you for sharing them with us. Have a thriving, hummingbird-filled Thursday.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      I like that ‘The small world effect’. Thank you Teagan for this lovely comment and I am sure that the day will come again when you do feel as if you are in the right place at the right time….meanwhile, keep smiling and know that the hummers are circling 🙂 I am off to Hampshire for the next two days to work with some people, and so I wish you a very lovely weekend filled with creativity….janet . xx

  3. Spike Mclarrity

    Janet what a wonderful read, inspiring, moving and very touching…. Yes I understand such connections as we have connected on so many levels, its nice to be reminded of these connections. Your an inspiration.

    Love you Spike

    On 18 May 2017 at 08:47, My Life as an Artist (2) wrote:

    > janetweightreed10 posted: “”There is no such thing as chance; and what > seems to us merest accident springs from the deepest source of destiny.” > Frederick von Schiller. My cousin introducing me to Crickhowell (The > Magical Town of Crickadoon) in 1993 – a place I had never heard o” >

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Dear Spike, how lovely to see you here…and thank you for your really beautiful comment. We have indeed connected in many ways and in fact it was you who put me onto Artslink…which lead me to meeting Greta and Martin ! Amazing. I would love to get together with you this summer…July/August…if you are around…I am planning on being in France in September. I also want to hear about your trip to Japan…and read your book about it. Sending love Janet xxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Peter….I have been wondering where you were….I am off this morning for the weekend…will check in again on Monday….HOpe you are a good weekend…Janet 🙂

  4. Jet Eliot

    I so enjoyed this quilt-work of memories, thoughts, discussion of fate, and life experiences, Janet. One of the things I like about getting older is having the space to look back and reflect, and moving forward with that wisdom. I liked seeing you in your class, the old tapestry, and of course your paintings. Always a delight to be here, my friend~~

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Jet….thank you so much for your comment. I love it when we are reintroduced to thoughts and ideas that we might have had for years…indeed all our lives…because as you say, as we get older we are able to observe these happenings in a different and possibly clearer way. I find that it is through these ‘coincidences’ that my memory is awakened in many different directions. Do hope all is well with you and that the hummingbirds continue to flourish. I have enjoyed a lovely weekend painting in glorious Hampshire countryside….what a treat. Enjoy the week ahead…Janet 🙂

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Andrea….and yes I do agree with you – fate. Hope your day and week ahead are filled with the beauty of Mother Nature and creativity….janet 🙂

  5. davidjrogersftw

    Janet, I think I’ve grown envious of the serendipitous life you’ve led and are leading now. You flit about, don’t you, place to place, country to country, continent to continent, always painting, always making friends, always having new insights. I found the post so nicely written, so smooth from one event to the next, flowing in the same way your life seems to flow. Sooo…nice.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning David, I am so pleased you enjoyed this….and yes my life has most definitely been interesting 🙂 I love spontaneity, in work and in life….and yet on the other hand I am in many ways a creature of habit, and enjoy structure within the framework of spontaneity! Perhaps this is why I write about self discipline equalling freedom….because I believe it is the structure and discipline that allows me to live the life I do. I hope you enjoy a weekend filled with creativity…..Janet 🙂


Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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.