Since my very recent move back into my artistic life long after so-called “retirement age,” I’ve been particularly inspired by other people who take up or return to their heart’s desire when they’re older. I featured one here not long ago, artist Christine Hartzell, who is quite new to the world of painting and has really found her “thing.”
These days I’m in love with another wonderful artist, Georgia-based Jeanie Tomanek who didn’t really get started on her art career until she’d been in the business world for years.
“Throughout my adult life I have always painted—sometimes only one painting a year. Several years ago I escaped corporate life. Since then I have concentrated on developing my style and voice in my work,” says Jeanie.
Jeanie’s paintings evoke an ethereal, mysterious, mythical, magical, mood-provoking, dream-like, even sometimes slightly (but deliciously) eerie sensation. I find them endlessly fascinating and they lift me gently into another realm. Most of the figures she paints are tall, gossamer women with no hair, whom she refers to as her “little baldies” — the ones who tell us their stories.
“My figures often bear the scars and imperfections, that, to me, characterize the struggle to become,” says Jeanie, who underwent such a transformation with her painting that she even changed her name — from Shirley to Jeanie. “I have been painting full time for ten years. I still pinch myself when I realize I get to do what I love and make my living at it.”
What an inspiration Jeanie is to people like myself who have yearned to break away from unsatisfying work to pursue their heart’s desire — to have a second chance — and I know we are many! Truly the most inspiring work comes forth when we finally muster up the courage to turn away from work that has been holding us back. Here are some of Jeanie’s paintings. If you’d like to see more, go to: http://www.jeanietomanek.com
Below is the first of Jeanie’s paintings I ever saw. I immediately got the urge to write a Haiku about it (although I think I misinterpreted the meaning of the piece!):
Hurry, sew faster
The sun is setting quickly
And the night requires our stars
Here is a wonderful video of Jeanie’s work that was recently added to YouTube: