Simplicity in Action: Jeane

Editor’s Note: This is a post in the series, Simplicity in Action.


My name is Jeane George Weigel and I am a working artist living in a tiny Spanish land grant village in the mountains of northern New Mexico. There are many other serious artists here and we earn our livings from our art. It hasn’t always been like this for me. I didn’t paint for 26 years after college and I used to think it was because my teachers discouraged me (being a realist painter during 60’s conceptualism) or that I’d bought the whole cultural view of it being impractical. But now I know it was mostly because, as a young woman, I wasn’t strong enough to withstand the energy that flows through me during my creative process. When I paint, the room fills with light, color bleeds from my brushes, and heaven and hell exist there in my studio. The power is immense.

But leaving a corporate job to be an artist does take some courage and it certainly hasn’t always been easy. I’ve faced issues that test my faith in the life I’ve chosen to live on almost a daily basis. But this life has also fostered growth, connection, awareness and transformation in ways I couldn’t have imagined 16 years ago when my journey began. This artist’s path has demanded an ongoing shedding of my old identity, my old ways of being. I’m immersed in an exploration of what it means to live my truth.

I didn’t make these major changes quickly or easily. I was aware for years that my life didn’t seem to fit me, or I didn’t fit it, but I wasn’t sure what else I was supposed to do. I felt unhappy on a level I wasn’t willing to acknowledge and I used to say that if I knew what I wanted to do I’d go do it. Life flowed by, day after day, and I ignored my own restlessness. I told myself to grow up and get real—to be practical: Life wasn’t meant to be fun and work certainly wasn’t. Finally, I believe, the universe dealt me an ultimatum: paint or die. So I began. I trusted. And my vision continues to unfold.

Read more from Jeane at and follow her on and


  1. Wanda says

    That is how I have been feeling for a longtime. It becomes more obvious everyday I need to do or become more of who I am but I don’t even know where that first step is. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • says

      You are aware and asking questions, Wanda. I just gave this same advice to a reader of the blog: listen to the messages the universe is sending you, follow their guidance, and you will find what is waiting for you. I know you will because I did and if I can do it, you can.

  2. Heather says

    This is lovely. You and I are very similar. I will have my someday..soon. : )

  3. says

    Jeane, it sounds like you are truly living life now. Congratulations. My husband and I recently started a similar transformation, and it is liberating. I like how you shared that it wasn’t easy or sudden. Conscious change or living life on your terms is not like getting a big check in the mail, though it does yield dividends you could not possibly have imagined. At least that is the what I have experienced! Many thanks for sharing your story.

  4. says

    Jeane, this is beautifully and concisely written. We can let that niggling unhappiness fester or we can acknowledge it, grapple with it, and grow. I am glad you chose the latter and made this sensational rendition of it here. Tammy and I are also fighting practicality and convention. It’s certainly been worth the trouble!

    • says

      Lovely to hear from you and thank you for your kind words. There are so many of us walking this winding path of change. It’s wonderful when we can connect and support each other. Best wishes for your continued joy in the choices you’re making.

  5. says

    Yes, weird, huh, Irene? Until I came here I knew nothing about it. Back 300 to 400 years ago, the King of Spain gave grants of land in New Mexico (although it wasn’t his to give) to Spanish colonists who came to settle these lands. Through the centuries, the trio of cultures (Indian, Spanish and Anglo) and the people have found their ways of making peace with each other. As a result, I live in a very rich and culturally diverse place.

  6. says

    Such a poetic story: such beautiful use of language and imagery.

    My fiance is also a painter, and photographer, and constantly struggles with society, and her family, telling her to get a ‘real’ job. I will definitely get her to read this piece, as I feel she will find it inspirational.

    • says

      Thank you, Mark. It adds so much to this life I continue to believe in and to fight for, to think that someone out there will find some meaning, some inspiration, in what I’m doing. I wish your fiance much richness in her artist’s life. Please tell her that she is definitely not alone.

  7. says

    Thank you for such an inspirational post Jeane. I am the fiancé of Mark Adam Douglass and have finally read your post. Apologises for the lateness. It’s been sitting in my inbox “to do”.

    I have struggled to find my way as an artist. To be content with the idea that I don’t have a “job” as my family would put it. But I’m getting there. I’m working through it in my head. I hope doing my art, photography and painting and it is my job. It is my life. I have a fantastic supporting partner that helps me through every struggle and supports me through every triumph.

    Thank you for being an inspiration and reminding me that my life is about creating, and that is what I HAVE to do to exist.