In 2002, we moved to the Jersey Shore an hour and a half
from New York and Philadelphia. Again we find ourselves
on an island---this time at the juncture of the Toms River
and Barnegat Bay. Frank is a professor of history at Kean
University and I continue to paint full-time. The light
on the New Jersey coast is much less intense than in the
South. We have lots of snow. The landscape has more umbers
and shades of ochre, blacks, whites and grays. It is more
abstract and moody.
An even greater influence, however, has been the great 19th C, trompe l'oeil painter John F. Peto. We live around the corner from his studio. It is as he left it at his death in 1907. Ever since being introduced to his work in a 1982 article in Portfolio Magazine, I have loved both his small, simply structured still lifes and his "fool the eye" approach.
In 1999, Eleanor Jones Harvey, now Chief Curator, Smithsonian American Art Museum, wrote in an essay for the catalogue
of my traveling retrospective exhibition: "Perhaps most compelling about Jean Wetta’s work is its underlying mystical
and spiritual sensibility. Far from being straightforwardly representational, her works are invested with metaphor
and mysticism." I hope that remains true today.