Danielle Jacqui – She Who Paints – used to sell buttons and embroidery at flea markets in the 1970s. Her first paintings sprung from her embroidery projects, and then she turned to her house. I can only guess that she needed a bigger canvas to express herself. I wonder, 10 years later, if she has filled that canvas, too.
I have never known an artist who parts easily with his or her artwork, and those mosaics weren’t going anywhere. But I did ask about buying one of her paintings. Her answer was rather vague – somewhere between “no” and “that’s not likely to happen.” I understood that she occasionally had pieces for sale in an art gallery in “another town” but she thought they had all sold. I left despondent, but she did agree to call the gallery on my behalf. When I called Danielle a couple of days later, she confirmed there were no works for sale, but invited me for coffee. A very positive sign of progress, in my mind. Turns out she wanted a legal opinion on an art-related matter. She did, however, invite me back to her house, and into her personal space. You guessed it – every square inch covered in mosaics. It’s like being buried in a jewellery box.
Danielle disappeared into a back room and came back with a small painting, which had been damaged. She offered to repair it and sell it to me. Halleluiah! My heart lurched when she took scissors to another painting and cut out a chunk to patch the damaged piece. Some glue and a squiggle of acrylic paint and – voila – she was done. She also handed my young son a black and white line drawing, inscribed to him. A kind, gentle, and lovely woman.
Several years after returning home, I was browsing through the sale table in an artbook shop. A beautiful book, Fantasy Worlds, caught my eye. I opened it up and there was a spread about “She Who Paints.” Until that moment, I had no idea that anyone else had discovered Danielle Jacqui’s magical Queendom and had also fallen in love with her fantasy world. Brava, Danielle.