In 1997, I was diagnosed with a terminal condition called scleroderma* and I had to retire from a full time job
in the computer software industry.
I went from leading a very active life to being at home, unable to do anything. As I was brutally wasting away,
my body was quickly turning into stone.
I paint healing
Out of boredom and despair, and near death, I started drawing and painting.
I found myself unknowingly painting what I had lost and wanted back in my life: energy, suppleness,
Jacqueline Langis was born by the
stunning St. Lawrence River, in
Rimouski, Québec, Canada. She
spoke only French at the time of
her move to Vancouver, British
Columbia, Canada, in June 1993.
(Photo by Kathy Carlisle)
laughter, passion, sensuality, light... And hands. Normal hands. I also had an imperative
need to surround myself with strong, saturated, intense colors. While my choices were
unconscious, their powers were at work. I was painting my healing.
Where do I get my inspiration? My first source is in my sleep. I wake up with very vivid images
imprinted on my mind. I am also very much inspired by the shapes surrounding me, any shapes, anywhere:
puddles drying out, stucco on the ceiling, hairs on the floor...
If images came first, words were not too far behind
Although I have used watercolor and soft pastel in my paintings, you will find these two media mostly in the
illustrations I have created for my children stories.
It all started when, going to bed one night, I thought I
saw something through the window. The next morning, I felt the urge to write and illustrate what my imagination
I Think I Heard a Sound Outside
Soon I felt the same intense desire to bring to life an adventure that was recounted to my
family by my nephew Philippe. And so was born Philip and the Butterfly
After several drafts, a story
was ready for the world, so ready that Philip and the Butterfly is now an animated short film
and was distributed exclusively by the National Film Board of Canada from 2009 to 2019.
In February 2013, however, I woke up with a seed of an idea for an adult novel. Healing is all I was
whispered, healing at a physical, emotional, and spiritual level. I knew that the latter two triggered the former.
Right away, I was clear on two things: it was going to be fiction, and it was not going to be a love story. But when I allowed
inspiration to come my way, it exploded into a very powerful, profound, spiritual love connection. The manuscript has turned
into a trilogy, and I am working on it nonstop.
Who knows where this will take me? One thing is sure. The last two decades have taught me a lot. I cannot wait to share this new knowledge with
little kids and big kids, in images and in words, for a few more decades.
* Scleroderma is characterized by a hardening and tightening of the skin, joints and internal organs,
resulting in severe contractures, particularly noticeable in the face, and on the hands and arms.
Jacqueline currently lives in Vancouver, WA, USA, where she moved in 1996.