Getting Acquainted with Jacques LeFresne

By Jacques LeFresne

I was born in Fougeres, France, in 1930. I moved to the U.S. in 1962. I attended a hairdressing school in New York, since cutting hair had been a hobby of mine.

After finishing school, since I knew the right people, I had the privilege to work in one of the top beauty salons. My French accent also helped my being hired.

In 1970, I became tired of the New York rat race, and moved to St. Croix, the Virgin Islands. I had some friends living there whom I had met in New York. I opened a beauty shop business and, since I was bringing in the latest styles, I did very well.

I love pets, and eventually ended up with six parrots. Comedian pianist Victor Borge had a house in St. Croix and used to spend the winter season there. He loved my parrots and we became good friends. He used to bring celebrities who were visiting to my beauty shop. I did the hair of Maureen O’Sullivan, Maureen O’Hara, John Wayne, and some models.

After Hurricane Hugo devastated the island, my mother, who was with me, decided to leave. We moved to the Carolina mountains in 1993. She passed away two years later at the age of 94. My final move was to Ocala, Fla., in 2003.

I had no formal education in painting. I have painted on and off since 1965. I taught myself with the aid of a few books. I like to paint seascapes and landscapes as the mood strikes me.

Two of my mother’s sisters were very religious. One died of lung disease and the other of brain cancer after painful illnesses. I also lost my 35-year-old daughter at the hands of a drunk driver in 1989. These facts led me to question the existence of a just and merciful God.

A magazine with a photo of a train somewhere North inspired the painting you have liked so well.

Freedom From Religion Foundation