Creative thinking, personal wellbeing and community.

We need and depend upon one another and our environment so that we can flourish and live meaningful lives, rather than simply existing in our individual pods, hanging on for dear life!

watercolour 46920517_10156832334295396_5337611435063115776_n

On my recent VIRTUAL trip to Crickhowell, Wales, I spoke about the importance of community many times, and how Crickhowell exemplified that for me.

In October 2005, during a personally challenging time, I had to move from beautiful Crickhowell to London.      Along with the failure of a project that had been very dear to my heart, my elderly Mother who lived in Kent was becoming ill.

watercolour 20-11-15 - 1 (923)    

In 2008 I found a bolt hole in Hampton SW London….and so brought my Mother from Kent to a nursing home a few minutes walk away.     Prior to this I had been commuting back and forth from London to Kent every week, overseeing nurses and my Mother’s house and garden and at the same time trying my best to keep up with work commitments.

I thought my bolt hole would be a temporary measure – maybe a year or two at the most, after which time I planned to move permanently to France.

Nearly 12 years later I am still here in Hampton,  proving that none of us is ever creative enough to know how things will actually work out…….



Although a pandemic has been long predicted by scientists –  we  buried our collective heads.    None of us expected a global pandemic in 2020, let alone the ensuing consequences and fall out.

Just a few short months ago, we had no idea that we would need to let go of all pre-conceived ideas and that our lives on an individual and collective level would change in such dramatic ways?

None of us is ever creative enough to know how things will actually turn out………  

20-11-15 - 1 (1154)

Because of the virus, we have been allowed to stop and think.

Like farmers who allow their land to lie fallow for a period without being sewn in order to restore its fertility…we humans have also been allowed to lie fallow for a short period of time.

Creative thinkers have seen this as an opportunity to make positive changes, which brings me back to Hampton….


After the first lock down I was introduced to The Inspired Hub           Fortunately for me – right on my doorstep.

During the first lockdown Susan Green (a creative thinker) and Hampton resident along with others had been busily revamping an old building and site.       It is now a place that is very pleasing to the eye, focusing on creative thinking, wellbeing and community……

In short they have turned what is a very challenging situation into a positive.  


Many people have turned to zoom for both social and educational purposes.     I prefer to communicate one on one…and so use Skype to talk with my children and some close friends.

I have been used to working and living alone for many years, but what about those who find themselves feeling cut off and isolated?      What about those who are living in crowded conditions with not enough money to pay the bills or put food on the table?

As 2020 morphs into 2021 perhaps we need to ask ourselves what have we learned from this experience individually and collectively?

All the images in this blog are watercolours…..where I have used small amounts of pigment with lots of water… dry white paper. 

More tutorials to follow…..


49 thoughts on “Creative thinking, personal wellbeing and community.

  1. hilda5462

    Yes! I do believe some awesome stuff is going to come out of this whole business of the pandemic, if humanity is open enough to let it!! Very thought provoking, Janet – thanks!

  2. Writing to Freedom

    I love your paintings Janet. They convey so much beauty, hope, movement… And yes, we can use this challenge to be clear on the world we want and make choices to help bring it about. I’m choosing love, beauty, wholeness, and unity. Be well.

  3. davidjrogersftw

    Janet, thank you for this beautiful, thoughtful, and invigorating post that makes me pause to reflect on this habit I call my own life. I find that I am am down more than usual, and have a much more urgent need to see my grandchildren’s faces across a fence–to know they are safe–to hear my children’s laughter on phones,, to touch Diana with my fingertips.. That is the community of my heart amidst this turmoil occuring here in Amerca.

    .I love your ideas–as always–and your watercolors–as always, and continue to find your mind so fascinating–“what will Janet come up with next, I wonder”

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning David,

      I am not surprised to hear that you hare feeling low and have a need to be close to grandchildren and family. The whole world is in a mess but what is going on in the States is really frightening. I hear this from. my children, friends and of course the BBC.
      Turmoil is the perfect description.

      All any of us can do is do the best we can on a one day at a time basis. There’s not much point in making plans at the moment because none of know what’s happening from day to the next.

      On a lighter note, both my children are well…as am I and I continue to be so grateful that my life is steeped in the creative process. I actually have quite a few commissions to work on at the present…and am hoping (although the odds are 50/50} to go to Portugal for a weeks teaching on the 29th September…and my courses are fully booked for next spring…but again – one step at a time.

      Best wishes to you and all the family and stay well and safe. Janet 🙂

    1. davidjrogersftw

      I’m happy that you have comissions to work on. As we agree, artists love to work. It would be wonderful if you were able to get to Portugal in the fall and again in the sprring. I’m hoping that works out.

  4. America On Coffee

    Hi Janet! Beautiful story and what gorgeous, draping, colorful birds. I love your convictions and hope that your mom is doing well. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead dear Janet!🍃💐🍃💕☕️☕️

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you. My Mother lived another 7 years after she moved to Hampton. She died three and a half years ago at the grand age of 94. I feel fortunate to have had that time with her. The older I get the more I realise that we never stop learning. I hope you enjoy a wonderfully creative week ahead. I have just finished up some commissions that will be shipped tomorrow….Janet :)XX

  5. snowbird

    I loved this Janet. Yes, the lockdown has been a time for reflection. It has also been a time of peace, in many ways people have benefited. I wish we’d learn a few lessons for once though. I just love these birds.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Like you, I wish lessons could be learned from this period – however, I have a feeling that we will need to go through more hardship to learn those lessons! Thinking of you in your garden with Lil Urchin:)xxx

  6. inese

    When I look at your cranes, Janet, the first thought is “hope”. This year has been devastating for those who lost their loved ones; unfair for those who died in agony; annoying for those who are focused on themselves. I hope everybody has learned at least some of their lessons. This year might happen to be a turning point for us all, and it might not, but it definitely is one of a kind.

  7. Jane Owen

    Hope your mum is doing better and as always your beautiful paintings always bring a smile(s) to my face. 2020 most certainly has been a different sort of year. I’m very much alone here so this quarantine we were under and has made me think, really think of my future. Hope your well. ❤️

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      My dear Mother died three years ago aged 94….but thank you for asking:). I am delighted to hear that you are really thinking about your future. Lifei is short and I do believe that this time has given everyone cause for thought:). Stay well and think about the things you love to do most of all and where you really want to be….Janet 🙂 X

  8. Gannu

    Beautiful paintings and a wonderful message too:) thank you for sharing that last message in particular. It’s so important to be able to rethink the negative outlook of this year and to be able to look at the world as hitting ‘refresh’ rather than ‘pause’ or ‘stop’. Whilst this year has been quite a shambles, it’s all about perspective at the end of the day, and we lose nothing in hoping for the best!


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