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.