2018-05-24 / Life in Leelanau

Talk of the County

Having a conversation with Jane Ditri


PASTEL ARTIST Jane Ditri’s favorite place to paint is Good Harbor Bay, where she says there is an infinite variety of scenes to capture. PASTEL ARTIST Jane Ditri’s favorite place to paint is Good Harbor Bay, where she says there is an infinite variety of scenes to capture. Name: Jane Ditri

Town or township of residence: Centerville Township

Resident since: We’ve lived here full-time for 13 years but have had a summer cottage here since 1991.

Age and birthplace: I’m 76 and was born in Almont, MI.

Occupation: Pastel Artist. Prior to that, I was a nurse for 45 years.

Marital status: May 23rd marked 54 years with my husband, Gerald N. Ditri.

You live in Leelanau County because: My family started coming here because we loved it as a vacation spot and had so many wonderful memories. I’m here, though, because of the beauty of the peninsula and the variety that it offers. I can paint anything - farmland, beaches, forests, wildflowers...it’s just endless.

Last good movie you saw: “The Shape of Water.” I thought it was a beautiful story that depicted how every creature is an aspect of God’s creation and even those that are considered less than human are capable of having feelings.

Last good book you read: For the book club that I’m a part of in Leland, we read “Peace Like a River” by Leif Enger. I joined the club when we moved here full time and I appreciate how it keeps me reading.

If you could trade places with one person for one day, it would be: I’ve never really considered that because I’m happy being me and being surprised by what happens in my life. Everything that happens contains a lesson and I find that exciting.

Things important to you that you’ve accomplished so far: My husband and I successfully raised four children that are all contributing to the world and overcoming challenges, two of which have children of their own. I’m also very happy that I had the opportunity to choose a career that always felt worthwhile. And even when it was time to retire, I was excited because I knew that art was what I would be doing.

What you hope to be doing in 10 years: I hope to be alive and walking. I also intend to keep painting until I take my last breath - pastel in hand.

Things you lose sleep over: Puppies barking. I’ve never really had trouble with insomnia.

If you could change one thing in Leelanau County it would be: I would like to see more affordable housing. It’s a very big problem for the people who come here to work and the retailers and restaurateurs that want to hire them.

Favorite dessert: Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. The way I see it, if you’re going to inject calories into your body, you might as well make them chocolate.

Are you a coffee drinker? I have one cup every morning, decaf.

Favorite place in Leelanau County: Good Harbor Bay off of Bohemian Road. With Shalda Creek and the beaches, there’s an infinite variety of things to paint there.

If you had more time you would: I would definitely paint and travel more. In fact this June I am going to France again, as I’ve always had nothing but admiration for the French way of life. They know that beauty is one of the most important things there is.

The words that best describe you are: I’d say that I’m a happy person above all else. I’m also strong in my beliefs, and try to always follow my heart.

Northwestern Michigan College student Kelsey Pease of Suttons Bay provides our “Talk of the County” to readers each week, and welcomes suggestions. She may be reached at kelsey@leelanaunews.com.

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