Tag Archives: magical town crickadoon

Upon Reflection

For the twelve years that I lived in the Magical Town of Crickadoon, Wales, I walked every day….and part of my walk took me along the Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal.       

Observing reflections in the canal became a constant source of fascination for me…..it was like looking into a different world…which seemed to go on for ever. 

We tend to think in terms of going forward and backwards – looking to the future or the past, when in fact if we take the time to look up, down, inside, around, underneath and into the other worldliness of reflections…..we see so much more – like connecting with other dimensions. 

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In our fast paced, technologically based world, it seems that we rush past life, rather then taking the time to contemplate its beauty and mystery.      Whereas, if we look a little further than the obvious, we begin to see and understand so much more. 

The Geode – Cite des Sciences – Paris……Worlds within worlds. 

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In Rachel Carson’s book ‘Silent Spring’ – first published in 1962, we were given an insight into what could happen if we didn’t take care of this exquisite planet that we inhabit.    She showed us the consequences of narrow thinking…..Reading the book today is even more compelling than it was all those years ago. 

A photograph I took in Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland.    The beauty was in tidal pool reflections and wet sand….When the tide retreated, whole new worlds were revealed. 

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Climate Change has been in evidence since the beginning of time.   Our world and the universe is constantly evolving….growing, changing and responding to seen and unseen elements, which includes anything that humankind contributes to the mix!   

Here in the UK, we sometimes forget that we are never further than 75 miles away from a vast ocean.     An ocean which surrounds our beautiful, tiny and highly populated island. 

Looking down into tidal pools…Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland. 

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We forget that not that long ago, England was attached to France….when looking at a map of the southern coast of England and the coastline of Brittany, France…..what we see is almost like a jigsaw puzzle, where the pieces came apart. 

For those of us fortunate enough to have a home, sanitation, available clean drinking water, and all the other luxuries that technology allows us to enjoy, it is easy to forget that Mother Nature can remove all of it in a flash.    

Reflections at The Hurlingham Club, Putney London – note the black swan peeking through.

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Extreme weather is being experienced world wide.    In the UK, we are having severe floods and storms….floods that are affecting the lives of many, who are now feeling homeless and uprooted.      Floods that are encouraging us all to reflect and think in new ways.    

There are some who say, but this happened 250 years ago….and of course it did, but then there were no cars, a fraction of the population we have now, natural drainage everywhere, etc. 

As E.B. White said…..‘Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission’ – and clearly that is not working!

Photograph, courtesy – Kevin Chapman.    

Kevin teaches painting at the Boathouse Studio in Hampton just five minutes from where I live,  but for now all classes have been cancelled, and the swans have taken over…..

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I took this photograph two springs ago close to where I live.    

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A Bientôt

Returning home to UK/Europe.

I returned to the UK/Europe in the spring of 1993.    For the first six months, I lived with my cousin and family in Crickhowell, Wales – or as I call it The Magical Town of Crickadoon.

Set in the beautiful Usk Valley, where the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons meet, just twenty miles from Hereford and the  English boarder, it is indeed an area of outstanding natural beauty.

I made a home there for 12 years until I moved to London in 2005 – the place if my birth.

In this photograph, taken right after I moved to Wales, I am with my two cousins, Lynn and Mike.

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After returning I contacted a relative, Care Weight, who was  a well known English artist and had been professor of painting at the Royal College of art.

In 1997, Carel died aged 89.     This image shows the programme given out at a wonderful tribute to his life, held at the Royal Academy, which I attended.     The painting is Carel’s tribute to Turner as he soars to heaven.

From 1973 until I returned to the UK in 1993′ I had painted under my married name, ‘Reed’.          Carel and I both agreed that it was time to paint using my maiden name,  ‘Weight’.     Hence my signature…Janet Weight Reed.

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Once again proof of the interconnectedness of life.     Shortly after moving to London in 2005′ I gave my first workshop for The Fulham/Hammersmith Arts Society, also known as SOFAP.

This photograph was taken at that workshop when I was giving a portrait painting demonstration.

Ironically, it turned out that Carel Weight was one of the founders of the Association back in the fifties!

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Tomorrow I am giving another workshop for the same group and then staying with a good friend, which means I will be back on line Monday 27th

Have a lovely weekend.

A bientot

More Past and Present

My recent trip to the States was superb, and of course like anything in life, it’s the people who are involved that really make a difference.

At the beginning of the trip I stayed in Ipswich, Massachusetts with my niece, her husband and their beautiful five year old twins and my daughter Christie.    This made for a fantastic weekend, full of laughter and much joy.

I took this image of Kate, daughter Christie and Grace (one of the twins) in front of a mural in Ipswich depicting the history of what is a very old and fascinating town.   (past and present)

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As you can imagine, I took many pictures of the twins….here they are in a local orchard where we went on a hay ride and apple picking, and yes of course I painted watercolours of them.

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Then I flew from Boston to Atlanta where I was picked up by Lynn….and taken to the house in Gainesville.    The whole week was action packed, with wedding excitement, painting portraits, and just having fun.

This picture shows the ‘Kearnsclan’ on one of the occasions when they visited me in Wales.

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Now all very grown up and leading fascinating lives…..the following are portraits I painted of the four children on this trip.

Catherine – the bride.    In the photograph she is the little girl in blue wearing glasses.   I painted this spontaneous portrait the day before the wedding.

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This is Maddy who in the photograph is the little girl holding her teddy bear:)

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This is Amey who is in the white sweat shirt to the rear of the photograph.   Amongst other things, Amey rescues animals, including beautiful Ally who has been shown on Facebook:)

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This is Jackson, who in the photograph is the little boy in front…..

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I have painted all four children several times before,   It’s wonderful to see how they have developed and grown into fine and very interesting human beings.   I look forward to spending many more times with them.

May the hummingbirds be with you.

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A Bientôt