Tag Archives: magical hummingbirds janet weight reed

Gratitude – a time of Thanksgiving

‘Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed.    Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.’   Denis Watley. 

watercolour45487165_10156777268340396_893438499913465856_oI think it took me until I was forty to begin to understand the meaning of gratitude.   Until that point, I had wondered through life, sort of hanging on, and trying my best to put one step in front of the other, often under challenging circumstances, and then boom, an epiphany – something occurred which opened my eyes to what gratitude is all about.

I began to see and feel everything in ways that I had not experienced before.    Fear and anxiety had been the underlying emotion ruling my life since early childhood….and so when it was removed all of a sudden I was free.   I began to see and really experience the world around me rather than to observe it from a distance.

bluebell woods Crickhowell Wales – watercolour44740914_10156746580470396_1767998054465536000_oOf course this didn’t mean that life would be easy from that point on.    As a working artist for the past forty-five years, I am fully aware of the feast or famine syndrome and what it’s like to live on a knife edge.       However, with this new way of being life’s challenges have become much easier to live with and to move through and more importantly I am able to learn from them….

The simple pleasure of a cat sleeping…..watercolour 45683106_10156784344175396_6268958295583621120_o

Perhaps it takes losing the ‘stuff’ of life to fully understand that as long as our needs are met and we keep things simple, and most importantly that we find purpose in our daily lives….all the other things that we strive for are in the most part irrelevant.

long tailed hummingbird – watercolour20181121_083646-2

I saw my first hummingbird in 1967 in the mountains of North Carolina…but it wasn’t until after my epiphany that I really saw hummingbirds.    Not only did I see them, but I sensed their vital place within Mother Nature’s rich tapestry.   It was at this point that the hummingbird became something deeper, symbolising the unseen energy and interconnectedness of our world. 

Normal Rockwell’s wonderful classic illustration showing a family enjoying Thanksgiving. Freedom from Want - Norman Rockwell - 1943I lived and worked in the States from 1966 til 1993 when I returned to Europe, consequently I enjoyed many Thanksgiving celebrations.    However,  I do wonder if I had real understanding of what it was all about.    Sadly I think the running around  and worrying about if every detail was correct obliterated the true meaning of the day.    We live and learn…..

And so I wish my friends and family n the United States a beautiful Thanksgiving filled with gratitude.

Remember not to sweat the small stuff…..it doesn’t matter and ‘this too shall pass………’:)

magical hummingbird – watercolour20181120_112602

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts…..Aristotle.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts  – Aristotle. 

Rapid oil on canvas, self portrait painted on January 3rd 2000.









Enjoy a day filled with Magical Hummingbirds.  HummingbirdHQ.com


A Bientôt

Another Fizzy watercolour exercise..

Good morning – here is another rapid watercolour exercise, using dear little Fizzy as my subject.


Note that the shadow play is dramatic, just as it was when I made rapid sketches of her sitting in the kitchen in Kent.

Once again I begin with the head….


Then indicate the darkest areas of her body.


I could stop here


However, the shadow play shows the connection of foreground and background.   Note that the darkest shadows are the same tone as the darkest part of Fizzy. 


In the final frame, I have allowed the paint to bleed and left much of the image as a suggestion.


Some Magical Hummingbirds for Tuesday.  HummingbirdHQ.com


A Bientôt

Janet Weight Reed video by Bonnie Halsey Dutton

Bonnie Halsey Dutton and I have been friends for 24 years.     We met at an art opening in West Chester, Pennsylvania.      At the time Bonnie was new to the area and looking to connect with fellow artists.   The rest is history.   We have been good friends ever since.

I have travelled to Bonnie’s home in Spearfish, South Dakota and Bonnie has stayed with me in Wales and London.      We have also enjoyed working and playing in France with our mutual artist friend Mariethe Salort. 

Bonnie is currently studying at the University of Arizona…and several months ago conducted an online interview with me on how I use the internet and social media for my work in general and more specifically for teaching purposes.      As part of the same project she made this video.

This video doesn’t exist

Enjoy Bonnie’s beautiful work on her website at http://www.bonniehalseydutton.com

You will note that there are Magical Hummingbirds in the video:)  HummingbirdHQ.com

A Biento