Edge of Faith May 2017 - Page 50

Jean Wetta AOF: Jean, thank you for talking with us and taking the time to share your thoughts and your heart. WETTA: Thank you for considering me, I really appreciate it. Why don’t you start by telling us about yourself and about your art? I am over 70 and I never thought I’d live this long. I got an art scholarship in the fall of 1962. I never thought I could be an artist because as a girl, in those days: “Oh, well you’ve got ability, you’re talented, but you’re going to get married and have kids so we are not going to waste our time with you.” I think that was the way we were raised. I never thought I could be a practicing artist. I thought I would get married and have kids, which of course I did, but all along I think — since this is a religious publica- tion, I think I can go ahead and say this — I really think God kept push- ing me back into the professional career. I am doing what I am called to do. Whatever that means. It has been quite an adventure. I have been painting full-time. I was able to quit my job in around ’84. I was running a gallery at the time when I got to meet all these artists who were my heroes. That would be Jane Frollicker, Neil Welliver, who we called in those days the new realists. Then, I was able I was able to quit my job and paint full-time. That’s awesome. It is awesome. Who would have ever thought! I have a won- derful gallery astery, came home one day at 19 and and said, “Guess what I did today.” Of course, we were terrified, she said, “I joined the Army,” and she was very girly and had lots of boyfriends. So our son went into the monastery and our daughter joined the army at the same time. We have very odd kids, but our son is still in the monastery and our daughter is not in the army. She is a director of nursing at a home run by these cloistered nuns in St. Louis. She’s sort of overwhelmed with spiritually as well. Well, my favorite artist is Morandi. I look at him frequently. I have never been able to figure out why he is so gripping, but he is” 50 • The Art of Faith Magazine • www.aofmag.com in Houston that I am very grateful for and I live close enough to New York. I get into New York City all the time. I have very peculiar kids. My husband and I have two kids, but my kids have always been very supportive of my work. Our son, who was a surfer dude and graduated from Rice University, ended up being a Benedictine monk. Interesting. Our daughter, who was a silly sorority girl when our son entered the mon- You mentioned a couple of the artists that were your heroes. Who are few of your favorite artists? Would they be the same? Who is your favorite art- ist? Well, my favorite artist is Giorgio Morandi.I look at him frequently. I have never been able to figure out why he is so gripping, but he is and he is a still-life painter or was — he died in, good lord, I don’t know, 1968 or something. Morandi is my favor- ite artist. The ones that gave me courage to move on were the new realists; the people that first broke from abstract expressionism and went back to painting the figure and painting from life. You know, Janet Fish, Rackstraw Downes, let’s see, who else? Alex Katz, Phil Pearlstein — you know, those people. It was Pardon Me The Art of Faith Magazine • www.aofmag.com • 51