(DOUG JESSOP’S JESSOP’S JOURNAL – ABC4 NEWS – SALT LAKE CITY, UT) Do you See the Seashells by the Seashore? Susan Jarvis has, and every time I see her still life painting of shells I’m transported back to my favorite beach and can practically hear the surge of the surf and the call of the seagulls.
I’ve noticed something interesting in my years of doing TV interviews in Salt Lake City, Utah…I call it the “Small Lake City Syndrome.” It seems like with just about anyone I interview that after talking for a while we discover that we have a common thread on both knowing someone else I’ve interviewed. This interview was no exception.
When I first met Susie (she likes the more informal name when we are in person), she gave me a tour of her gallery in Workshop SLC, and we talked about some of the artists that I interviewed. She knows Al Rounds, the watercolor genius that I just recently interviewed. Susie knows Greg Newbold, the incredible artist and illustrator that did the line drawing of me that is in all of my storytelling franchises. Just for the heck of it, I asked if she by chance knows an artist that does a lot of fun rural scenes and just so happen to be my roommate in college back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. To my surprise, yes, she does indeed know Ondre Pettingill.
Suzy has been an artist since she was a little girl, and her mother would pass out pieces of paper and pencils to keep them quiet in church. Apparently, Susie got really good at drawing the back of people’s heads. Okay, yes, the front of their heads as well.
Her father was a pragmatic guy that wasn’t exactly thrilled when Susie announced what she wanted to study in college. I won’t spoil the story. You’ll have to watch our extended Jessop’s Journal interview to get the rest of the animated details.
It was interesting to hear Susie describe the process of becoming an artist. In her opinion, no body is born an artist. It is the result of honing a teachable skill. It’s practice, practice, and more practice. Come to find out that part of her making becoming a “full time” artist was sharing her talent through teaching. She now teaches on the side and gets a kick out of seeing people of all skill levels develop.
While we visited in her studio, Susie showed me a painting of a little boy playing in the rain. There was another picture of a redhead girl frolicking in the flowers. Then she showed me a young lady sporting sunglasses and colorful fingernails. Portraits yes. But different. The common theme was movement and dare I say a sense of discovery and even joy.
Here’s another interesting tidbit about Susie that you might not know. She was part of a bluegrass band. They would try to wait until the kids were in bed to practice at her home, but then they would practice until midnight. Come to find out that the kids would sneak a peak at their mom playing and beg to be part of the band. It’s a cute story that, yes, you will need to watch the complete interview to get the details of.
Consider this your personal invitation to watch this entire episode of Jessop’s Journal and share it with someone that enjoys a powerful and positive story.
Everyone has a story. I strongly feel that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”
You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.
Jessop’s Journal is something special when it comes to broadcast news. I have the honor of being able to do longer in-depth interviews that you don’t normally see with people from all walks of life. A big shout out goes to my collaborator, Ed Wilets, who does a great job as my videographer/editor for all my stories. Your feedback is always welcome at DJessop@abc4.com
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