My name is Janie Stapleton, and I’m an artist. What I do is go outside, paint, then go outside again.
Five years ago, my uncle told me to stop thinking about a career, and asked me “What do you want to see outside every morning?” At the time, I was on my way to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. But after that, I ran away to the woods and launched myself into the world of primitive skills. There I studied herbal medicine, lived in a bark tipi, made fire with sticks, trapped animals with deadfalls, and drank an obscene amount of tea. For almost three years, I didn’t touch my brushes once. I thought that I was done painting.
But as I studied what I love, I began to need art again. So I returned to my paintings. Now my life has become a rhythm of wilderness wanderlust and long hours spent painting afterwards. I stumbled into a life that feels well lived and it all started with, “What do you want to see out the window every morning?“.
I wanted to see the woods…
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