Jolie Guillebeau

photo by Arabella Crawford

Stories matter. Everyone has a story,

I always have a story to tell. Friends ask me a question and I can rarely give an answer without offering more detail. Details matter.

And I love hearing the stories of others. Learning about people, hearing about their past, asking questions and discovering more about why they are the way they are. Stories matter.

Our stories shape us. The things that happen, the details of that Christmas party in 1984 connect with who we are today. And painting for me is about finding that connection.

See, I had a crazy childhood. Things were wonky on many different levels. And for a long time, that was the story that shaped me. But after a few years working in Africa, I started to re-frame my story because I encountered other stories, and realized how lucky I was even in all the crazy.

So I searched for happy memories from my childhood. And I found them in toys.  Those paintings became part of my new story. As a way to sort the crazy. Those paintings remind me of things I’m grateful for. Like a childhood that still offered a chance to play.

So I paint as another way to tell my story.

When I’m not painting, I’m experimenting with recipes, or knitting, or yes– reading stories. I create my story now in Portland, Oregon with my husband Chris– who is the best listener.

photo by Jen Lee

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