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Happy New Year 2019

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen.”

Hebrews 11:1

Olive Trees Dancing in the Wind at l’Abeille

Dear Family and Friends, 

True to the French tradition, I am sending my greetings to you in January, from our hillside, where I dance with nature to bring in the New Year.

As the New Year begins, I wish you all a year of renewal and time to be silent, time to go outside and to walk to restore your spirit. The question is not “How can I be happy?” but rather “How can I be free?”

A simple definition of freedom is this: the ability to do the will of God. Immerse yourself in nature and walk into the silence. Open your senses and you will hear the voice, you will know that you are where you should be. Inspiration will surge up from within.

Fall Tour 2018 – I trek out into the universe; travel over hill and dale. I’m not by myself but with my team:  Sergio with his metal sculptures, Alexander or Jimmy, and Ginny, my ever patient assistant. There is something biblical about our journey. We are following our star, bringing our creations to you. The way you receive us with your generous spirit and enthusiasm for our art gives us courage and confidence. We are full of gratitude.

A Landmark Birthday On December 8th, I exited the 50s and entered the 60s. Truly, to be with friends and family, surrounded by all my boys for my 60th birthday was the biggest gift of all. We danced, we laughed, and we let go of all our worries like birds in the sky.

It was a glimpse of what I believe awaits us in Heaven. And there was someone that evening who I did not have to look for, one who read my every expression making sure I was happy… my husband, Serge. As he led me to the dance floor, we knew we were one in our hearts, in our souls, and in our minds. And we knew we were blessed.

The Steenhuis Ruffato Family Christmas 2018

Family News – Creating art and playing soccer have been the main focus of our lives this year. We work all the day long in our different disciplines, congregating at the table for meals and then the boys are off to Aix to play soccer. There is a fraternity between the boys that warms my heart.

This past year Jimmy worked at Alpine Camp for Boys on Lookout Mountain during the summer, filming and photographing. Sergio went to Shanghai for an Artist Residency in April and continues to forge ahead with his metal sculptures. Alexander has been investing his time in artistic pursuits, mostly 3-D, and continues to grow my Silk Collection.

Changes in the New Year – My wonderful assistant Ginny McDowell’s two-year time with me has come to an end. I will miss her very much. She is taking the next step in her journey and I will be looking on in suspense to see where she goes. I am grateful for all she did for me. My new assistant is Hayley Davis, originally from Chattanooga, TN, but a resident of Aix since 2010. I look forward to introducing her to you this spring.

Swan House, April 2018

Art News – I am honored that my painting of the Swan House, has been added to the permanent collection of the Atlanta History Center Museum Collection. It will be presented at the Swan House Ball on April 27, 2019. In the live auction the same evening, my Aix oil painting workshop and a stay “chez nous” will be offered to raise funds for the History Center. Lady Liberty has been added to my Silk Masters Collection – a scarf and a tie. And in honor of my beloved alma mater, a new silk scarf of the Sweet Briar Rose is added to the collection. Part of the proceeds of the sale of each scarf will go to support Sweet Briar College.

2019 Tour Dates

  • April 25-26 : Memphis, TN
  • July 15-22 : Hamilton, MT
  • July 24-27 : Aspen, CO
  • July : Jackson, WY (TBA)
  • October-November : New England & southeast (dates/locations TBA)

My Wishes to You – I wish you all, wherever you are, a year full of love, joy and good health. To those who are alone and ailing, I pray that the Lord will give you strength and courage.

“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily…. Thou shalt call and the Lord shall answer; thou shall cry and the Lord shall say, here I am.” (Isaiah 58:8-9)

Love,

Jill

 

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