To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Oil, 24 x 30, St. Germain
Below are two sketches I made for my painting "The Potter". This approach is somewhat of my comfort zone, when painting with the oil medium. Not to say, that this is only style I paint in, as you have seen from my pastel paintings.
If anyone would ask about this painting, to impress art critics you would say that the Ultramarine Blue combined with the Naples Yellow and Sienna shades is the mark of this painter's color approach, as well as the diagonal movement in her design. A mouthful, huh? But impressive :)

The atmosphere of a potter's studio exudes hard physical work. A cloth thrown over the pot or sculpture adds to the air of mystery. Like a still life that awakens when the artist enters the room. The potter sits down, takes the cloth off the work of art and begins to mold and sculpt the clay with his or her hands.

The hands working with the spinning motion of the wheel is the potter's world. The intensity of focus is palpable. This aspect I wanted to bring to the foreground rather than the finished pot or sculpture.

Often people like to know how I came to paint the painting and why. Here it is.
Most of my paintings have a story behind it. This one is at a time where prophets and dream interpreters belonged to the staff of Middle Eastern kings. This prophet made history because of the pots he bought from a potter.
History tells us that the prophet Jeremiah went to the potter's house, and saw him working at his wheel.

He buys a pot and goes with some city council members to the Potsherd Gate. The following is what prophets do. They call it "a prophetic act." He smashed his newly bought pot (ouch, I don't know if I would do that) as a symbol that his nation would be smashed by another ruling nation and that the population of his own country would be broken up in parts, like the smashed pot.

Another time he found himself in prison, because the king did not like his predictions (I guess it was a risky job!). In prison he gets a visit from his cousin, who convinces the prophet to buy his field. You got to be kidding! It is war, and Mr. Savvy Cousin asks him to buy a piece of real estate, while uncle is in prison?
Uncle caves in and buys the field! Then he puts the deed of the field in a clay pot, to signify that once houses, fields and vineyards would be planted again in a time of peace. Crazy or what? It does not seem to make any sense!

More than 2000 years later, I guess during the 1940ties, when they are quibbling about the Jews really having lived there before, one of the pieces of evidence is that they found the deed of the field this prophet bought on the location of his field.
How did they know it was Jeremiah's field? The Jews always have been very precise in recording events of their history. This, among other pieces of evidence played a part in the UN's decision to allow the one-Jew-one Arab rule, which led after six months to Isreael's declaration of their independence.

This is one of my favorite stories, because at the time itself our decisions, and our daily work or art may not seem to carry any weight. We wonder if some of our sacrifices and risks are worth the effort. But only time will tell.


SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I guess some people have to be dramatic to make an effect of others. :) Now me, cool and calm is what I like, not breaking things. :) Then I guess I dont have any points to make as he did. I wonder at these stories sometimes. Lovely of you to share Jeanette.

I like #3. It is simple and tells a long story. It makes me wonder what all has been through those hand. Where have the pieces turned up.

Michelle said...

Very interesting. A lovely painting partner is a potter and yes, the focus is amazing. I get on the wheel and make a big mess!

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

Quite Creative!

Indian Railway Stations — Jamnagar For Example
Birdhouses, Birdfeeders, Birdbath

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

I like the painting and maybe the sketches even more. What you love about pottery is that broken or not, they can stay freshly buried for centuries and tell their story.

TheWritersPorch said...

Wonderful story Jeannette ! I love the Potter sketches! Ever since watching the movie Ghost,
I have wished to be a potter but have done nothing to advance the dream....

DUTA said...

I like the analogy - the work of art "like a still life that awakens when the artist enters the room".

(thank you for visiting my blog).

jeannette stgermain said...

You are the most faithful commentator of my blog! I quess this guy was very dramatic, but also a lover of the truth. Also I forgot to mention in my story that of artists is said that they are the prophets of our time (still not very good in getting my points across!)

jeannette stgermain said...

guess we are not all potters! Neat though that you having the opportunity with a potters wheel closeby :)

jeannette stgermain said...

Bhavesh, thank you for your kind comment - I'll have to go back to your blog again and read some more of it - welcome to visit an time!

jeannette stgermain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you for saying so pointedly in one sentence what I wanted to say! By the way, thaanks for referring me to Laguna Clay. Yesterday I picked up my batch of self-hardening clay (since I don't know if I will do enough of it to invest in a kiln).

jeannette stgermain said...

I like sketching, but then I always miss the color - catch 22! Buy yourself a batch of clay, then you have to do it, that piece of clay staring at you every day... Or, take a class?
thanks for the comments!

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you! My painting style is very western. I love the stories on your blog!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You are welcome for the comments Jeanette. :)

I cannot see what the world would have done up to now without all these most talented people, be they painters, potters, glass blowers etc. I truly appreciate them all.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you for showin how you work! The final result is very beautiful. I like those colours!
Thanks also for your visit!

Kilauea Poetry said...

Hi, thanks for commenting on my blog. They are cool aren't they. I took a look at your blog too.. and noticed you didn't really leave any scripture ? verses. I don't like to respond too fast when it comes to the word but suffice it to say, I'm chewing on the book of Jeremiah. Anyway, looks like your having fun with your work... Have a great day-

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you Joan, even though I've never met you in person, I have come to appreciate not only your vast knowledge about nature, but also your character :)

jeannette stgermain said...

Reader Wil,
thank you for your comments - you are always so encouraging! This is only a very small part of what making a painting entails - but I'l cut it up in bite size pieces, so people who do not know much about art are able to digest it, rather than spit it out, because it is too foreign to them:) Have a great weekend.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Lovely work and I so enjoyed the potter's story. I wonder, did you have a model for this painting?

Catherine said...

THis is a beautiful painting - I know nothing technical about art only trivia like Vermeer and his Camera Obscura technique and that Dali's museum in Figueras is one of my favourite museums! And I have a friend a ceramic artist whose work is beautiful and textured and to be admired rather than functional. But I do appreciate lovely art like yours and am in awe of talent like that.

By the way I added a comment to my last blog post to reply to yours and Wil.In case you don't get notifications of replies/further posts.

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you for your kind comments. About having a model - my visual memory is very strong - if I see an person from a certain angle, the image stays like a pic in my mind that I can access whenever necessary.

jeannette stgermain said...

Glad that you like the painting. You don't have to know anything technical about art, to be able to enjoy it - just look, feel, or listen. I don't remember to whom I said it, but 80% of art is practice, practice, practice. (Some don't even believe in "talent", but say it's an acquired skill). I'm going to your blog to see you response!

Marvin said...

My wife is a potter. I don't know if her work is prophetic or not, but she does make a nice coffee mug.