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Home is Where the Art Is

jaynshouse.jpgYou’ve heard of an art installation? My friend Jayn’s whole house could be one. Her art can’t be separated from the life she lives and the place she lives it from, an old Appalachian country home with a flower child touch and an artist’s manifested vision.

Last week when most everyone else I knew was downtown listening to author Lee Smith speak, I was at Jayn’s house having dinner, meeting the new love in her life, and participating in an impromptu poetry reading that took place in her living room. jaynsdoorway.jpg

I was also and touring her art installation that had recently been renovated, and I had a camera in hand.

Jayn lives lightly on the land, mostly off the grid and without indoor plumbing. Seeing the new composting toilet in her newly decorated bathroom was as much a part of the evening’s agenda as meeting her new boyfriend was.

She, primarily a potter and sculptor, did most of the new renovation work herself. When she cringed at the old exposed wiring coming out of the light fixture in her bathroom, she put her artist’s imagination to work and created a streaming golden sun…or is it seafaring octopus? jaynswiring.jpg

Every corner of Jayn’s house, un-posed and ascetically arranged, looks like an art composition begging to be noticed. Even her cat is photogenic and seemed to be engaged in some sort of performance art the night of my photography shoot. Our dinner, a potluck of salad, stew, and venison, served on Jayn’s plates and locally made pottery bowls, completed the evening’s masterful arrangement. jaynstable.jpg

Post Note: Jayn, a member of the Writers’ Circle I belong to, is writing a book about the history of her house and the cultures that have converged in it. Her website is here.


Her house sure is a masterpiece! Is this the same Jayn I know?

Yes, the one who played the drum at my wedding. Usually a featured artist piece is on a person...but this one is Jayn's house! Her house might as well be a person for all the personality it has.

What I would give for 1/10 of her creativity! I was enthralled by this post. I am always captivated by women who can exist so beautifully without all the modern day comforts.

What a great house!

You asked about the "PATHDOC" license tag. I am a medical doctor specializing in Pathology, hence the PATHDOC. I personally like the anesthesiologist tag the best.... NAPDOC. We also had an orthodontist in town with the tag... TIN GRIN. Nyssa's first tag was one of her favorite early teen expressions.... COOLBNZ.

SRP, I had no idea you were a doctor. Your plate reminds me of the Seinfield episode where Kramer gets a wrong vanity license plate sent to him that should have gone to a proctologist, which said "Assman." And so the trouble begins...

Mine says L3TITBE.

Before I read your post note, the words 'if walls could talk' were spinning through my head. What a place!

What an amazing friend/house/evening! Thanks for inviting us inside to share a bit of it.

I love the photos of her home, especially the sun ceiling light. I have a bathroom papered in sky/cloud wallpaper and that would look great in there!

Beautiful house reflecting what I'm sure is a beautiful soul. Don't you love it when animals cooperate with the photographer? I always feel like I've accomplished so much if I get a good feline or canine shot!

I'll be interested in seeing the book about that house!

My goodness.. what wonderful pottery. She is a very talented lady.

Thanks for this wonderful post, Colleen. We have have only just recently become acquainted with Jayn, her poetry at "Open Mike" and her exceptional pottery. To have a glimpse of her charming home is a delight!

Your friend sounds like an amazingly creative soul, and her house is wonderful.

Wow, that is a very interesting house! I've never seen anything like it. Your friend sure has a lot of creative energies. She exercises it beautifully!

What an incredible home! We all create our own environments. When creative people do it consciously, they often do great things.

I love Jayn's teapots!!! And the house is fantastic :-)

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