How social media has changed my life

It’s important to note that when I was born at the end of WW2 the concept of social media…would have been pure science fiction.      This means that I had the good fortune to live for most of my life without it – which in turn means that I am equipped to live in both worlds – the real and the virtual……

The very real world of David’s courtyard in Olhao Portugal – watercolour20191024_114626I dipped my toes into the virtual world about 18 years ago when living in Wales.    At that time,  the WDA (Welsh Development Agency) decreed that every town, village and hamlet would have something called a tele-cottage…..This is where I learned the basic first steps of how to use a computer.

Olhao Portugal – close to the School – watercolour20191018_092639Without a real plan, I signed up for FB very early on (thirteen years ago) and began writing a blog about the same time…..It didn’t take long for me to recognise the potential of this medium….especially for visual creatives.

I had always been a letter writer, keeping up with friends over the years using snail mail….but all of a sudden I was able to communicate at a whole new level.

Four watercolour studies of shadow play on the courtyard olive tree at the school in Olhao Portugal.  http://www.artinthealgarve.com20191102_113140Through social media I was able to share my images.      It gave a platform for my magical hummingbirds, in ways that I could only have imagined before.

It didn’t take too long before my name became synonymous with the magical hummingbird along with the symbolic meaning these little birds hold for me. – i.e. the ‘unseen energy’ in our world.

watercolour. 20191103_111815Other elements of my work took on different forms after the advent of social media.

I have given workshops of one kind or another for forty years….but now through cyber space I was reaching people from around the world,  people who were interested in my teaching either in life or on line……

Which brings me to my next stage……Web cam. videos. 

Courtyard steps in Olhao Portugal. – watercolour74235539_10157674169065396_4511698166164226048_oDuring my workshop in Olhao Portugal last month, Dora Keogh, suggested that I make some web cam videos….

About six years ago I made a few youtube ‘taster’ videos.     To do anything more I knew I would need someone who understands web cam technology.    Immediately  Richard, the man who has fixed my computer for several years came to mind.    All things being equal it looks like we will begin this process very soon………….

From one of my sketchbooks in Olhao Portugal last month…..this is what I call note taking.    20191028_105016Watercolour taken from sketchbook notes – of one of my favourite Olhao trees. 20191104_100843

Another watercolour from the little courtyard at David’s house in Olhao Portugal 20191104_091721There is so much more to write on this subject which I will share in future posts.

The key is to treat social media as you would treat dealings in the real world and most importantly to always follow through and do what you say you are going to do.

watercolour/gouache20191103_104549    A bientot



34 thoughts on “How social media has changed my life

  1. tidalscribe

    I wouldn’t be without it both as a writer and for family stuff – how amazing is it to chat on Facetime – perhaps half a dozen people crammed on the sofa on both sides of the world. But that doesn’t stop me talking to real people at the shops, meeting up at friends’ houses and getting muddy in the garden!

  2. Margaret Parker Brown

    Gorgeous paintings and yes, social media and modern technology is most definitely a science fiction if you were born at a certain time. I am often tell my kids and grandchildren about milk being delivered to our porch! Are you planning on making more videos? I would love to see that because your style is so unique. Cheers!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you very much Margaret…..It’s very difficult for young people, and especially children, to imagine a world without social media! Yes, I am planning on making some videos….with the hope that the first one will be made by the end of this month….

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you very much Brad. There are definitely advantages and perils….but just like real life, we have to aware of the perils and as much as possible stay away from them. This is why I am so glad to have lived most of my life without any social media…I believe it has given me the tools to use it wisely…or at least I hope so. Very pleased you like the Olhao paintings….such a special place. Janet X

  3. Katherine

    And through it I met you and that changed my life. I am glad to read something positive about Social Media.Willhope to seey ou on YouTube
    Lots of love and gratitude.xxxx

  4. Andrea Stephenson

    I’ve lived with and without it too Janet, and it seems strange how well connected we all are now without even thinking about it. I used to have penfriends from all over the world who I would write to, now I could be communicating with someone across the world without any effort whatsoever.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you Andrea for your comment. I could never have imagined how incredibly easy it would be to communicate with people from far and wide. Personally I don’t like the telephone….and actually avoid it like the plague, which is another plus with e mail – not having to talk. 🙂

  5. Dora

    Wow! What a great blog. How positive. It is hard to find a person stating the positive side of Social Media but there you are Dear Janet. A star in the sky. How sweet of you to mention me. You are so generous of all you have. Thank You. Looking forward to the videos. Go Richard Go!! XxDora

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you dear Dora for encouraging me to do this and for being such a positive addition in my life. By the way when my daughter comes for the holidays in December pictures will be taken of me in the dress….:) XX

  6. Coryn Thompson

    It’s wonderful to see what you’ve done with the very familiar sights of Olhau. It gives inspiration for what can be done with sketch book art – thank you! Janet, we’re of a similar vintage, however, I haven’t got into social media though I love what you’re doing with it – another thank you!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much Coryn for your lovely comment. I have only used social media for art….and the occasional friend, cat and dog:). So much of what happens at the art school in Olhao can be attributed to social media….it’s powerful stuff. Thinking of you as you prepare for more painting adventures – Janet 🙂

  7. Emma Cownie

    I loved your courtyard sketches – so beautiful. Social media is both a blessing and a curse, it can be a fantastic platform for sharing your work and your process but it’s also a hungry monster that always needs feeding!.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      I really like this comment….I might use your words ‘Hungry monster’ in one of my next posts about social media. It’s so true – if not watched carefully it can easily gobble up hours of time. 🙂

      1. Emma Cownie

        It’s a funny beast – some times it can be so rewarding, making connections and friendship and others, you feel like you are just throwing your voice into a howling gale of “stuff”! Feel free to use my words, Janet.

  8. snowbird

    What beautiful paintings! Such a treat, as always to see your work. How I agree with you about being able to live in the real and unreal world. Technology is amazing and incredibly useful if used correctly. It is fantastic to meet people online who then also become real friends in the real

  9. Jet Eliot

    Oh Janet, I found your watercolors here simply breathtaking. Your fluidity is astounding. The colors and shapes, marvelous. I enjoyed the conversation about social media and applaud your enthusiasm for it, and your foray into webcam videos. But meanwhile the “unseen energy” of your artwork here was very moving. The study in shadows of the olive tree was lovely. Shadows are one of those unseen beauties that most people don’t even notice. And the painting of the courtyard steps (under the hummingbird) truly took my breath away…leading us into the unknown.


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