JanJan has been part of a winter series I have been teaching for a number of years. This group has an annual seminar on Orcas toward the end of September. When we were sharing what we had painted since the last time we were together, Jan took out two portraits. One was of me.

I was startled first — a teacher is an enabler, a facilitator, NOT the subject of a painting! And I was so very touched.

Jan has used her sensitivity, her insight, and her skill to capture something that almost glorifies this later stage of life. I was moved to tears.


CarolinesmerThat is art.

Later, when the group was at our house, Jan showed the painting to my husband.  He said, “You caught what it is that I love about her.”

That is art.

The painting is now to the left and above our piano. I feel this kind “Me”  smiling as a stumble my way through a work by Brahms or Beetoven. This Me doesn’t judge or criticize but encourages.  Whatever it is that Jan captured, it is alive.

That is art. That is love. Thank you, Jan.

I encourage you to get a photo of yourself smiling encouragement and post it where you paint. When you hear those critical voices in your head, look up and bask in your loving look of approval.  Your paintings will be the better for it.

Happy New Year,