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Jane's Story

Jane shares with us her incredile story, how losing loved ones through the years. Started her journey of discovery through different art forms, and how she shares that passion with others.

I am an artist: I’ve finally said it!!! At 73 years of age I declare my true calling.

I’m also a wife for 51 years, a mom to 4, a grandmother to 5. I was an RN and a farmer, and I have had many identities through my connections with others. Over the years I dabbled with art (mostly watercolour) but was often pulled away through work and family. Today through many losses, anxiety, and depression I have connected in a different way with my own self, and now I consider myself an artist.

There have been many losses large and small over the last few years. Lots I’ve tried to ignore, and others refuse to be ignored! When Covid hit, isolation was a new partner we all experienced. I am fortunate to have a wonderful husband. But we live in a remote community in BC, far away from our children and grandchildren. Our 50th anniversary party was canceled, and we are experiencing our 2nd Christmas without our family around us first due to public health restrictions, and now flood damages.

In February, my dear sister-in-law died of Covid. No visits or memorial were allowed, and no physical expressions of connection or love helped us to grieve. As the pandemic wore on, extended family relationships suffered in devastating ways, and stark viewpoints on masking and vaccinations brought more isolation. Then, to drive me to my knees quite literally, my dearest friend of 44 years died by assisted suicide. Totally crushed I sought a place where I could process all that has happened.

My dear daughter and her husband provided me with a quiet non-judgemental place in their home in Toronto. I was able to rest and recover, aided by a delightful baby grandson to make me smile. There, in my attic getaway, I discovered acrylic pouring on YouTube! It was so relaxing watching painters pour on canvas: I saw dozens of videos, and I wanted to try it! So, a studio of sorts sprung up in the garage and driveway. I was off! In the fresh air I made so may paintings - I had to do it!

As I painted, my mind became more peaceful. I started to think about what brought me joy! I began to become clearer on what I needed. The answer was simple: art and children! My grandchildren were my first choice, but distance made frequent visits difficult. Then, a friend asked me to teach her 7-year-old art. I immediately contacted her and got lessons set up I called my husband and commandeered a spare bedroom for my studio! The day after I returned home to BC the art room was set up! Since then, I paint most days, and I have 8 art students now!

I still have bad days. But I talk myself into getting into the studio but because I know it will help when I pick up the brushes and connect with the canvas in front of me. I’m into abstract painting now and will start an online course from The Toronto School of Art mid-January!

I believe that everyone is creative being born in the image of God! I’m thankful every day that I can connect with myself and others through painting.

A gift for a mutual friend: this painting of flowers is a watercolour I did the day after my friend died. Bright and brilliant like her!

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