From heartbreak came beauty.
In 1992, Jane Seymour's life unraveled. The film and television star was in the midst of a divorce. And she was nearly broke. Her husband had squandered her fortune.
She turned to art. She hadn't painted seriously since she was in grade school. She was good at the time, doing well in advanced classes. But she put aside art to focus on dance and theater, eventually becoming an Emmy award-winning actress.
With what little money she had after the divorce, she made a donation to a child abuse agency, in return getting a portrait of her and her children painted. When the portraistist arrived at her home, he noticed the doodlings she'd done in fingerpaint with her children. She had talent, he said.
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She laughed it off. But he offered lessons, and she took a chance.
Art helped her get through tragedy.
In addition to her acting work, Seymour has become a successful artist. The Karis Gallery on Hilton Head Island is having an exhibit of her work Oct. 24-27. She will make an appearance at the gallery Oct. 26.
In an interview earlier this month, Seymour said she began painting almost daily during the divorce. It was her release at the time. She paints beach scenes and landscapes. Lately, she's been painting flowers. She sees character in a flower -- each blooming differently, giving an expression like a face.
"If I'm ever accused of anything it's that my paintings are happy," she said. "I hope my images can bring a smile to someone."
Less than a year after the divorce, Seymour landed what turned out to be her iconic role in "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." She remarried soon after, as well. Life was turning around.
But she still painted.
It was through her art that she developed the "Open Hearts" image that's now become associated with her line of jewelry.
It started as a painting. She was fooling with the image of interlocking hearts, resulting in an S-shaped curve of two hearts joined at the tip. Both are connected yet open.
The image actually traces back to her mother, a Holocaust survivor. She said she's always looked to her mother for strength.
"She always told us in life there will be challenges. Don't dwell on the past. Accept what happens. Open your heart. It will allow love to come back in your life," she said.
She remembered this during her divorce. She opened her heart and, with the help of her art, she kept looking for the beauty of the world.
"I went from one open heart to the next," she said.