Jeanne-Marie is a Cape Town based Artist. Born in Zimbabwe and now living in Cape Town with her husband and two teenage daughters. Jeanne-Marie has lived all over South Africa throughout her childhood and lived in the UK as a young adult for a short while where she started her working career in the Film Industry at the BBC, Drama.
Jeanne-Marie returned to Cape Town, South Africa in 1996 to get married and start her family and continue her career as a Freelancer in the Film Industry. Always being creative by nature and always dabbling in the arts, it was something she knew she wanted to pursue on a full time basis. In 2010 she made that a reality. She has been actively and daily working creatively ever since. A lover of film photography, painting and sculpture.
In 2017 Jeanne-Marie held her first Creative Portraiture on Recycled TeaBags, Solo Exhibition in Woodstock, Cape Town which was later published in Slow and Premier Magazine and Elle Decorate for her work. She has been selling her art worldwide for the past 6 years and in 2016 started teaching online.
"I have been on a learning journey and it's been a delightful surprise in my life, one I'm embracing everyday. Thank you for being on this journey with me and allowing me to share this special part of my life with you."
Jeanne-Marie continues to juggle her time between her art, teaching online and the film industry and the demands of two very active teenager girls.
- What are you most excited about in returning to Orvieto?
Whenever I have gone to Orvieto, it has felt like a pilgrimage of sorts. It is deep and rich and there is a sacredness to the journey that I have struggled to put into words. I have been back 3 times already and I can unequivocally say, I have fallen head over heels in love with Orvieto. She has seeped into my bones and I think perhaps her and I will never quite be done with each other. I know returning always gives me that - the depth, the quiet and the sacredness of that week is rather life changing in many ways and it fills the creative wells for months to come.
- What's your fondest memory of your last trip there?
My favourite thing to do daily - is rise early in the mornings while Orvieto is still sleepy and quiet and go walking. I always go with my camera. I shoot in film. The early mornings are cool and quiet and the mist hangs low. There is hardly anyone around except the local shopkeepers, cleaning and setting up for their day and quietly chatting. There is a quietness at this time of day that is rather sacred.
I also took a walk up the clock tower and it was mind-blowing to see Orvieto from above. I highly recommend this. These are my favourite moments.
- What do you hope your students will take away from your class?
The gift of working and learning together in that upper room of the Monastery. There is a vulnerability that happens in that place that is art and life changing. As much as we are learning new skills together, it is my hope that we not only walk away with deeper connections with each other that will last a life time, but that we capture the depth of Orvieto in our hearts. Not only taking in the cultural side of the week but how incorporating what we see, hold and capture into our daily art practice.
- What is it about teaching in Orvieto that is so special?
There is something so incredible about taking a long journey to meet up with strangers and/or friends to create together in a far away place but Orvieto is a soft landing. Arriving at the Monastery feels like you have come home in many ways. It feels safe and kind enough to teach and learn from. The small group in the upper room is beyond special and it's a perfect setting to journey into deeper waters together. It definitely pushes teacher/student to go way deeper than you would staying at home.
- How do you incorporate Orvieto/Italy in your teaching this week?
It's really hard not to draw inspiration from the visuals around you. The Madonna is everywhere and I fall in love with her every time I go. It is brilliant for portraiture and storytelling type art. Sketching what we see and find in and around Orvieto and incorporating that into our work. The buildings and architecture are incredible... I would like to incorporate the buildings into what we share whether with painting or the clay.
madre della Citae
- What are you most excited to share with your students?
Pretty much what I shared above especially finding that in our clay and portraiture and incorporating Orvieto in whatever we teach. Taking a moment to seek, observe and use, whether in our clay or paintings. We are in a place that completely fills the creative wells visually and I would love to show ways how we can be inspired to use that in our work.
- What cultural experience do you enjoy most?
The visit to the Duomo is totally incredible and I would have to say the visit to Lamberto and the printing press close to the Duomo was a huge thrill for me. The talk on the history of paper and how to make marble paper and spending hours going through his beautiful prints and papers.
- Do you have a favourite spot to watch people?
My favourite spot to sit and be quiet and watch is at the Blue Bar and Scarpone outside the marketplace.
- What is your favourite flavor of Gelato?
Oooo that's a tough question... I am not sure I can narrow that down.
- This what I shared on my blog in 2014 after an art retreat in Orvieto
Travelling again, in my 40's is not by any stretch of the imagination easy but I do think it is necessary... both trips to Italy impacted me so deeply and changed me and my art in so many ways. It's deep and nourishing but this kind of expanding from the inside out is never comfortable, growth is never comfortable but I believe growth is imperative to who we are as humans. For me, it's not a vacation. It is intense and deep learning. I get home utterly fatigued. As I unpacked my bags, my precious treasures and memories, I understood this… that it was something I would be unpacking for a while. I knew that I didn't want to be left wanting. I wanted to know that with the time that I had, I wasn't wasteful. I maxed out and I totally gave 100 and 10 per cent to everything I did. The most remarkable thing about Orvieto - is finding preciousness everywhere you look. When you open your heart and your eyes - you see with your soul. You find art, beauty and creativity everywhere you look. Especially in the old, from architecture, to buildings, to door knockers, to beautiful windows and fresco. Every corner you turn is more breathtaking than the last. I took so many pictures because I was desperate to capture it, remember it and to hold it close, so I will never forget. This trip, I took the time to be quiet and still and at times alone. I stole early mornings and gaps in between to walk, to seek and find and capture. To dwell, remember and hold onto. This time away felt so sacred to me. It felt deep and spiritual. I came with an expectant heart and I left with it overflowing.
Now having gone twice - I know I will be back. I'm not sure when or where or how… But I know we will definitely meet again.