Watercolour of my dear friend the concert pianist Arsha Kaviani

I was first introduced to Arsha Kaviani by his mother and have come to know him well over the years..

Every now and then we get together and always have exciting and enriching conversations….thus was the case this past Saturday.

We discussed how tempting it is to ‘hide ones light under a bushel’ in order to protect friends, colleagues or family members who might, for whatever reason, find it difficult to accept the successes of others.

watercolour of Charlotte.always the life and soul of the party, but what I see in this portrait painted some years ago, is introspection and depth. In hindsight, all Charlotte’s friends, including myself, wanted to see the party animal in her- not interested in her more serious self!

Wonderful Madame Nottale – a woman I respected and loved very much. I painted this portrait some years ago when she was still working as a nurse and raising a large family singlehandedly. Always kind and giving, she had very little time for herself.

watercolour/gouache – Madame Nottale

When she became old and infirm, she moved into a lovely nursing home in Le Pecq – SW of Paris. For the first time in her long life she was able to pursue the things that had laid dormant within her….i.e. painting and writing.

I painted this quick watercolour of her during that period. It shows how the weight of so much responsibility over the years was lifted. It shows a lightness of spirit.

This amazing woman is the mother of a dear friend from Lebanon. To the outside world and to her family and friends she was the giver…..someone who sacrificed so much for her large family. I didn’t know this woman personally but am fascinated with her powerful face which says so much. I would love to have had the privilege of spending time with her – of learning about her dreams and aspirations. Through her daughter I feel as if I can know her.

Sue Hineman was a dear friend – someone I met when living in the States. She was kind and so giving to others. Very sadly not long after I moved back to the UK in 1993, Sue took her own life.

I promised Sue that I would keep this painting with me at all times, and I have. It’s with me here in London as I write this.

My dear friend Tony….oil on canvas

Sometimes we meet people and initially don’t click…..which was the case with Tony. However over the years he has become one of my dearest friends and a supporter of my work. He is a therapist and a very good listener…..and someone I feel safe in sharing my deepest thoughts with. everyone needs a friend like this…… What you see with Tony is what you get…..

The point of this post is to talk about how we tend to hide our light under a bushel. Yes, we all have to compromise but wouldn’t it be lovely if we could be completely ourselves – warts and all….

Gail is a childhood friend and a good friend to this day

. An amazing woman and artist she also has given so much to so many.

I finish with this oil on canvas portrait of my friend the American artist and chess player Charles Jay.

Of all the people I know, Charles is seemingly the most at peace with himself. Although from a big and loving family Charles has lived a simple, quiet life of making art, playing chess and contemplation…

During the eighties I would accompany him to Times Square New York to watch him play speed chess.. We would also take the free bus from Philadelphia to Atlantic City where we would spend the quarters we had been given to gamble on pizza and other goodies on the board walk. We both enjoyed people watching.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Out deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Marianne Williamson

If there is a lesson to be learned from this post it is to be oneself….and if that is a new experience….get to know oneself ….



  1. Ka Malana - Fiestaestrellas.com

    Truly beautiful. I love stepping into your rich life for only a moment. Your blog posts show your beautiful friends, expressed through art–truly a gift you have. I hope you never feel you have to hide your light. You have truly been successful as an artist and a human 🙂 That is truly not only worthy of pride, but of humble sharing. Your inward experience is expressed so well with these marvelous brushstrokes. In them is the “unseen” made seen. The oil painting at the end is truly marvelous because of his character and his depiction. His oneness with is background. The beard that lives its own mystery 🙂 Blessings for your light, and your reading of light with the marks you make.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much dear Ka for these beautiful words. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate what you say and your being such a lovely blog friend:). One day it would be. wonderful to meet in person. XX

  2. Jet Eliot

    Lovely post, Janet. Your power and light come singingly through in every one of these watercolors. Thanks for the reminder of how many of us hide our light under a bushel. Love the faces and spirit you capture in every one of these, but there’s something especially moving about Charlotte’s portrait.


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