September – new beginnings and a time of renewal.

‘Let us reflect on what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that’.  From ‘Buddhist Offerings’ 

watercolour/gouache – Rays of sunlight as I walked through the woods1917262_186338425395_7900997_n

Moving from August into September has always meant new beginnings for me.        Along with the onset of cooler weather and visible changes in nature….there is also a perceptible change in mood.      Children go back to school and many return to work. The world around us becomes busier.    I am speaking from an English point of view.     For my friends living in the southern hemisphere….there are also new beginnings – for them Spring is arriving.

Those who follow this blog will be aware that I usually go to Portugal in April.    This year, I am also returning on 18th September for a workshop at the school in Olhao      The School is one of my all time favourite venues – a wonderful places to explore the creative process.

Olhão Portugal – – watercolour20-11-15 - 1 (936)After working with a group for the first week, fellow artist and good friend Bonnie Halsey Dutton  arrives from South Dakota to give a course.     As always we take these opportunities to spend some time together.     I will also see another artist friend, Vickie Snaddon, who has a house not far from Olhao. It is Vickie who runs the beautiful lodge in Belize     Needless to say, I am really looking forward to it.

Given that Olhao is part of the Ria Formosa National Park...beautiful wildlife abounds – watercolour20-11-15 - 1 (226)watercolour

20-11-15 - 1 (348)

Nesting storks on one of the local churches.    ImageI With its courtyards, communal areas and excellent studio space, plus shops, cafes, markets, Lagoon  all within a few minutes walk from the school – plus of course the wonderful Margarida and Joanna who take care of all our needs….what more could an anyone wish for.

The Pool House courtyard….I love all the levels, shapes and shadow play. P1150740The studio. P1150901The 150 year old Olive Tree that meanders from one of the courtyards up through the three levels of the school.   You can see the blue of the roof top pool through the tree. P1150724watercolour20180703_105444

Another exciting development this year is that I have been invited to exhibit five watercolours at the Chongqing Museum of Art, China.   This is part of a French/Chinese annual cultural exchange.    I was invited by French artist Claude Lesur  who organised an exhibition I had in France eleven years ago.   The opening in Chongqing will be on 17th November and next spring the exhibition will come to Paris.    I will write more about this after I return from Portugal.

The Art Gallery in Chongqing where the exhibition will be held. 



20180702_121621This has been one of the best years I can remember.   I have visited places, friends and family I love and along the way enjoyed wonderful conversations and much laughter.   I am so grateful for this moment in time and that I have been able to focus on what is truly of value in my life.

The magical hummingbirds have been with me all the way……

20-11-15 - 1 (38)

A bientot

50 thoughts on “September – new beginnings and a time of renewal.

  1. ShimonZ

    It’s always so good to find a Buddhist Offering on one of your posts, and this time all the better in that it represented your own feelings as you start the new year. Yes, it’s the time of the new school year these days, but as you may remember, it is also around the time of the Jewish New Year which will start on Monday next week. I no longer teach classes, but I remember that time as the most exciting and rewarding, and an art school is always such a good place to be, for both students and teachers learn from each other and share the excitement of work and learning. So happy for you that this has been such a good year. And even now, you are off to focus on what is truly of value in your life. I always enjoy hearing of your time in the Algarve, in beautiful Olhao. The studio is beautiful and so nice to see the olive trees and the blue roof through those trees. The watercolors are splendid. I loved the light through the woods. Wishing you a wonderful time, and looking forward to seeing images of your adventure when you return. xxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you Shimon. I was given the Buddhist Offerings book by my good friend Rosie for my 60th birthday and I have treasured it since. It always seems to give me pearls of simple wisdom that hit the spot.
      I am sure I will come back from Portugal with all sorts of news. Going to the school feels a little like coming home. The welcome is always warm and the physical place suits me very well. It’s also fun to meet new people along with the familiar faces of those that run the school and make it all happen. We artists couldn’t do it without them.

      A little premature, but I wish you L’Shana Tova.
      Janet xxx


    Another post. How lovely. I love your freedom, your philosophy, freshness and way of life. I am in south Wales and came to you via friends who owned your flower paintings from when you lived here in Wales. I love Wales – particularly the Beacons also south west France which you wrote about a while ago. And colour, colour, colour and movement you seem to find and paint so easily especialy the beautiful humming birds.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Sheila…thank you for this lovely comment. As you are aware I do love Wales…all of it. When I was there recently it was wonderful to sleep in the shepherd’s hut set right in the Beacons and listen to the sounds of nature….nothing else. Being there always inspires me – not just the landscape, but so many wonderful portraits. The south west of France is another beautiful place as are so many other regions of that beautiful country….again so much inspiration. Time is most definitely our most precious commodity, which is why it is so important to enjoy each and every moment to the full and try not ta take any of it for granted. I hope you enjoy a lovely and creative day. Janet 🙂

  3. Ben Aqiba

    Hi Janet,

    it is a real pleasure to read your post and to observe your paintings. They are really magical. I must say that I am nor some expert for art, and to be honest I don’t know anything about art directions, but I know that I love your paintings !Thank you for sharing

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Ben….thank you so much for commenting and I don’t believe that you have to know anything about art…just like what you like and enjoy. I am very pleased that you like my pictures – Janet 🙂

  4. Writing to Freedom

    Congrats on having your art selected for the Chinese museum Janet. I love your images in this post. I’m glad life is flowing so well for you. Please enjoy it for me. 🙂 Might I use one of the stork images to create a poem?

  5. snowbird

    I can see why you love the studio so much in Portugal, it looks just wonderful. This has been a marvelous year for you, long may that continue. I just love the artwork here, especially those beautiful storks! Goodness, exhibiting in China? How exciting! Have a marvelous

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much dear Dina….yes it has been a such a wonderful year, one I am very grateful for. By the way I am waiting to hear from a B&B in Kent a stone’s throw from Wassailing….re our staying there…..Will keep you post xxxx

  6. Jet Eliot

    What a lovely post, Janet. I am happy you are returning to the refreshing art school in Olhao Portugal, and enjoying an exuberant year filled with love, beauty, travel, and art. Congratulations on your invitation to show your art in China — what an absolute thrill this must be. And oh my goodness, I am absolutely taken with your beautiful crane watercolors. I don’t recall seeing cranes in your repertoire before, and you capture their grace and elegance so delightfully. You lift my spirit, thank you.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Jet. Thank you so much your comment. So pleased you like the crane watercolours…..There are many egrets and cranes on the Thames River which is literally a five minute walk from where I live. They are such elegant creatures. I will think of you this weekend…welcoming your little wren. Janet 🙂

  7. Mabel Kwong

    September is here indeed and here in Australia, we are into Spring. We’re still shaking off winter and hopefully warmer weather here soon. It’s amazing watercolours you’ve got here, all so vivid with colour and full of live. So lovely to hear you will be exhibiting in China later this year. Hopefully it all goes well 🙂 Always nice to spend time with artist friends…meet ups like these usually don’t come by easy unless you live close to each other or down the street. Have a good time 🙂

  8. Dina

    Wonderful post, Janet. Delightful impressions and great paintings. Congratulations to the invitation to show your art work in China, how exciting!
    Wishing you all the best and happy days in Portugal.

  9. davidjrogersftw

    Congratulations on everything, Janet–your beautiful work, the skills that make it possible, the growth in reach you’ve witnessed over the years, China, Portugal, Wales, America, all your fiends, your special personality that so endears so many people to you wherever in the world you gone and will go, your generosity of spirit, friendly manner, and that mind that is always groping for new ideas. Whatever it is that makes a person extraordinary, you’ve got it.
    Best wishes for a great stay in Portugal,

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning David. you have made my day and much more…..thank you for such a lovely compliment. Off to Portugal soon to be at the School that I love so much. I will think of you. Best wishes for a very creative day. Janet 🙂

  10. Pingback: My Life as an Artist ~ Janet Weight Reed | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  11. Timi Townsend

    Hello Janet! ❤ I am trying to catch up on some of your posts, and in this one I am so delighted by your storks–almost as magical as your hummingbirds.

    And that you are returning in just a few days to Portugal–I know how excited you must be about that, and how busy getting ready, too! I love your photos from there. I'm also impressed about the invitation to show your work in China! Well-deserved, I think. 🙂

    Have a great time in Portugal, and I hope to be a little more on the ball about reading your posts. They are always so inspiring, as luminous art always is, especially when paired with a wonderful soul such as yours. Have a great and productive rest of the weekend and bon voyage! –Timi

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