Studio Time

I've been trying to get myself into the studio at least twice a week. I know....you'd think I painted everyday right? Nope. I can't really talk about it without getting a bit defensive/angry about my lack of studio time. Sometimes the paths we walk down lead us to really good things. So I'm not saying I dislike my current journey. It's just not what I expected it to be let's say. My job teaching and then after school being a Wonder Mom is an amazing journey and one I am embracing more everyday. And that's okay. It's really good. I sure love being a Mom of teenagers. I just have to set aside a few hours a week to focus on my art. Since I get off at 2:00 on Monday, Thursday and Friday I am finding these days to be good for getting home and just running on down and starting. Well....except on Fridays. Friday I have what I've dubbed "Friday Flu". Where the week of teaching and interacting with like 700 people in one week come crashing down on me and all I want to do is crawl into a tiny ball in my closet and suck my thumb praying Saturday will reveal a rainbow of goodness and joy. It usually does.  :)
So this week I am working on a custom order. I've 2 more in line and I got a call that a spot opened up in the Norcross Art Festival which I said "YES!" to. (Am I that crazy? Perhaps.) The Norcross show is in like 3 weeks. I can do this....I can do this.....
Actually I find goals such as these very liberating. These goals make me focus on my work and not just come home to veg on the couch drinking deep red wine getting lost in HGTV and Lifetime movies (did you know on-demand has a LMN channel that has movies available anytime?)
So...I am off and running. I've got to get these rainbow spikes done so this baby can get shipped off! I hope you are all staying busy and being creative.
PS....My new favorite app is called Aviary and is how I've made the magic happen in these photos. The button "splash" turns your photos black and white and then with your finger you rub across the screen where you want color revealed. Seriously best app ever to happen to me.


Paint Something: an ecourse TAKE 2!

Alright friends...my Paint Something e-course for the summer was super amazing. I know I'm biased because I was the teacher, but really the students made the course special for all of us! So now it's time to re-open and go again! Again, this is PART 1 of Paint Something: an e-course. During the course of 4 weeks we set up our studio, paint, paint, paint and then talk shop. It's a very thoughtfully planned and carefully executed course I planned just for YOU. My sweet readers and blooming artists. If you've ever wanted to know how I get from point A to point B in a painting, then this is the course for you. I tell silly stories, share my thoughts on being an artist, mother and wife and so much more throughout the 4 weeks. And as a extra, you get an entire 4 weeks after the course ends to absorb it a little more.

Here are just a few of the comments I received about the course from the first group:

"You Rock Jenni! And everyone has been so inspiring" -Jackie

"I can't wait for Part 2!" -lots of students said this. YEAH!!!

"THANK YOU for such an enjoyable and information-filled month, Jenni!  Loved every minute of it!  Please plan to do more...  for the first time in years, I want to do art!"

"By the way, I am LOVING how your class has challenged me to try things that I have not felt comfortable doing (ie drawing and painting...I tend to be more crafty/creative than artsy) and even if I don't like my product I try to still show it to people like the flickr group and my friends and boyfriend. I need to embrace the entire process rather than frustrated when I'm not fantastic right outta the gate! This has been such a humbling experience but I am THRILLED to have a new arena for creating things for my friends and family. Especially since I'm at the age where everyone I know is either getting married or having babies so creating art to hang on their walls as they enter a new season of life is becoming kind of my niche!"

"Thank you thank you thank you! I, too, am a teacher of little ones--kindergarten and first grade multi-age class! Whew! I can tell that you genuinely love to teach--especially art--and you are phenomenal. And I so appreciate the incredible amount of time, giggles, thought, effort, time, energy, and did I mention time? ;) that you put into this class. Honestly, I could go on and on about things I've loved about this entire experience (the blog posts combined with step-by-step video, and feedback on the Flickr group) but I'm on my phone writing this and I really don't like typing long emails on my phone (though you'd never know that judging by how lengthy this email has gotten. Haha) You can bet my name will be in the roster if you decide to do part 2!"

Felicia wrote a whole blog post here about the course.! (she lives in frikin' Ireland!)

After the course you will see the course is more than just making art. It's about being a part of a community of like-minded thinkers. Creative thinkers. Who encourage, support and love you throughout the process. Pinky promise you will end the course feeling excited about art making. And confident moving forward in your creative journey.

Won't you join me? Click over here to the site for all the details and to sign up. We start Monday, October 6th-31st. I can't wait to see you in the class!


Leather Cuffs Headed to Alabama

I have to admit, this batch of leather cuffs is good stuff. I kinda got carried away seeing what I could add to each one to make it super unique! Vero's been selling my cuffs since probably 2011. They are a great seller for her as they are both one-of-a-kind and priced just right for your budget. :) This group will be for sale in her online gallery. My page is here. In the store she'll have like 20 more. Like I said I got carried away this time around with the making.

I also made a few new dainty gentle reminder bracelets using the USA stamp blank and those teensy vehicle charms. Look at that truck. Love....love the way these look on your wrist!

If you are in the Birmingham area you should definitely check out the gallery. Vero was recently named one of the TOP 10 MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN in Birmingham!! Woohoooo Vero. I mean seriously. That is like the coolest honor. I am so glad she took a chance on me all those years ago. Her gallery has been such an inspiration for my art career. I love being a Naked Art Gallery artist!


Candy Beads and Teensy Charms

It's embarrassing the quantity of artsy pieces and parts I have in my studio. Seriously. I've got stuff. Paint, embellishments, jewelery making, felt, stamping, wood burning, leather crafting, clay, you name it I dabble in it. It's like I am a blue hairy art Cookie Monster.  I HAVE to have art stuff all the time and devour all that has to do with art. Every once in awhile I get inspired to just use it. And the past few weeks I've been a monster making fool. The tiny bike and camper charms are a part of an OLD series I did with metal stamping. They were super cute. But I got bored with the making of them so the extras got stored away. Since I tend to buy in bulk for fear of the stuff never ever being made again, I have like 50 of these teensy wheeled charms left. These adorable stretchy beaded bracelets are the end product of such hoarding. It's the beads fault really. I was in Hobby Lobby the other day minding my own business when these pastel candy looking beads with a clearance price tag said "BUY ME!". So I did. And these are the result. YEAH!

These will be available at Naked Art Gallery in Birmingham, Alabama after this weekend when I get them there. They are $18 each. I am sending 6 total. If ya want one she can do online purchases. cool right?

So off to figure out what needs to be used up next. The jewelry making supplies are overwhelming my artsy brain right now. These stretchy bead bracelets are an excellent way to reduce the bead hoarding. So perhaps I'll stick to this for a spell.


Vintage Trailer Show

This weekend I participated in a show sponsored by a local antique shop called Spoon Sisters.  I was shopping in their store one day when I saw the poster. I asked her about participating if you didn't have a trailer. She said sure come on! And for a $25 booth fee...I thought why NOT!
My booth is a little sparse on paintings because well....I have a special event coming up for those new paintings and just brought the older ones at deep discounts. I did bring all my new baubles and sold a ton of my sweet gentle reminder bracelets. People love a $20 item at a show.
Most of what was set up were vintage peeps. It was like a mini Country Living Fair. It was AWESOME!!!  Seriously. The day, although hotter than heck was super fun. I loved being amongst all the vintage people. I was one of 2 painters there. But the vintage treasures were plentiful!

There were about 12 campers set up. Most were selling wares out of them. And then sleeping in them at night. Love that. Mailey peeked in all of them with me. She's always talked about wishing we had one. This certainly made her more interested! She asked me after looking in the one above, "Mom, where do you go about buying one of these vintage campers?" I said, "You could find them on places like ebay and craigslist." I'll be darned if she didn't sit down in my tent, get on ebay and find the CUTEST Zipper camper for sale. And of all things its in Florence, ALABAMA. Where my parents are from! She has no idea that her Pawpaw and I are watching it carefully over the next 4 days. It's purdy cheap. But purdy sure it'll jump out of our range by day 5. But wouldn't that be a fun 13th birthday surprise???

My Mom helped me set up Friday night and came to hang all day Saturday. Since it was local it was an easy trip for her and helpful for me. Plus she loves antiques and such. I spent my childhood in auctions and antique shops. Then my Dad, who lives in Alabama, came over to surprise me and also hung out with me all day. Um....not sure when I've had both parents with me for more than 5 minutes in 10 years. I have to admit. It was nice.
Above are some of my new baubles. I found the shooting medals charms while at the mart with Valerie in January. And yes, it has taken me this long to figure out what to do with them! I love them though and will be putting them on Etsy. The cost to make them is too high to send to the gallery. The charms alone were $25. I know...what was I thinking.
This is my friend Suzi. We are baseball moms together. She's a dental hygienist by day and crafter extraordinaire by night. I am so excited and proud of her. This was her first show and she rocked it!! She likes to take old furniture and fix it all up. She sold and sold! Her hubby is gonna be super excited. hehehe....

So I'm off for day 2. Hoping to sell a few more things. And then come home and chill. I'll have to run my training run late tonight since it didn't happen yesterday. It's gonna be a very full day!! Come out and see us if you are near Tyrone, GA today. We shut down at 2PM.


It Started with Orange Paint

So it started with a new container of ORANGE paint. I was getting wood cut at Lowe's for after-school and had wandered over to check out the newest samples at Lowe's. And there it was. 

The most perfect shade of orange. If you've taken either an in person or online course from me then you know I am not brand particular on paint. I buy based on yumminess of the color. Plain and simple. One of my favorite types of paint to buy are these tiny samples at Lowe's because they are a tad thinner than my regular heavy body acrylics making them perfect for painting backgrounds. Also...if you've taken a class from me you know that the background is ALWAYS painted first. I love to capture the negative spaces in a composition first. It makes the rest fall into place beautifully. See:
I just love the way the black gessoed panel and the negative space play on the canvas. Just makes my heart go pitter patter.  And then this happens:
This was the first in the series I've started. The 1st is always the best in a series for me. The spontaneity of it. The freshness of it. The freedom of it....I have a hard time capturing this magic again sometimes. But so far I think because there is no pressure to create or deadlines to make I'm doing pretty well.  See:
Saturday I was in complete creative mode. From leather cuff making to crayon ornaments, I was a busy bee in the studio. I often find that once I make the effort to get into the studio, I don't want to leave and the ideas just keep flowing. I'm also a creature of complete the task. The summer was dedicated to the e-course. Lawd that was super time consuming, but super worth it. My brain was so fixated on making it magical that there was no room for creating just to create. And then I had to finish the 24 bikes for the licensing contract. Not sure I'll be painting any more bikes for a spell. HAHA!
So now I've committed to a painting a day(but not worried if I don't paint everyday). On instagram it's #artsyorangepaintingaday. I can't wait to make a flipagram of the experience!! I read recently about an artist that did a painting a day and by the end truly found her artistic voice. Not that I don't have a little inkling as to my voice already....but no matter how versed you are as an artist you continue to struggle and search. Any artist that says they don't struggle is probably lying. So I'll continue to explore this route for a spell. See ya back later with more orangey art!


A Productive Weekend

This weekend I knew we as a family had nothing on the calendar. No baseball tournaments, no groceries to buy, no clothing to shop for, nothing (well I did have a GNO Saturday but that doesn't count hehehe).  So Saturday morning I attempted to rise early for my first long run in my marathon training. Let's just say I can tell a huge difference in my motivation from the 1st one to now my 3rd. Last year I was up and at 'em by 5:30, out the door and running before daylight. Yeah. I guess I'm a tad too confident in my running now so an 8am run was sweltering. Note to self: get up earlier next Saturday!

Anyhoo....my goal since I knew the kids were chiling and hubby was in charge of the yard was to get into my STUDIO. I mean seriously folks. I have a beautiful work space in the basement that is stocked with supplies. But for some reason I always find an excuse not to enter. I'm too tired, kids are bored, Billy needs this, dinner needs to be made. You know the list. You have the same list I bet. But I have lingering deadlines, so I had to enter the threshold or the stuff wasn't going to get done.
I started with leather cuffs. Once a year I buy a stash of buttery smooth leather cuffs from a guy at the Atlanta Mart. And after stamping and attaching all the wordy goodness I ship them off to Vero at Naked Art Gallery. She's been selling my cuffs for about 4 years now. There are a lot of people making cuffs these days and offering them on Etsy...in particular my friend Becky at FarmGirl Paints makes a an extraordinary amount of cuffs and sells them on etsy. So quite honestly, I don't want to compete there or feel weird about something I love to make and have been making for years. So Vero happily takes them. And she is very excited about my spirit cuffs!
In the meantime I'd primed a couple of canvases thinking I might get a hold of one today. And I did. I've had this idea of a new genre for a spell now. I've been smitten with the work of Lullie Wallace for a few months now. I can totally stare at her work for hours. It's a bit Matisse like, who happens to be one of my favorite master painters ever. You can see her work here. My feed in instagram has been chopped full of zinnia's lately too. They must grow well for people up north. Mine just wilted. So I pulled up one of the many photos of zinnias, sat down at the easel with my audience of animals and came up with this composition:
I can see me in this entire thing.  So far loving the process.
He just couldn't stand it and had to come sit in my lap. He is such a lovey dovey.
This is how it ended last night before I had to head off for GNO. My entire family at this point was going in 4 different directions...so I felt no guilt headed out the door for dinner and a movie. Although today I am demanding family time. It's funny how easily we get lost in going and doing and doing nothing as a family unit.  Everyone was perfectly happy all weekend going and doing, but never as a 4some. So today this painting might not get done. We are headed to church, lunch and hopefully the pool. And then tomorrow....well tomorrow it starts all over again. My goal is to get into the studio at least 2 times a week right after school before the kiddos get home. I'll let you know how that goes. 

Hope you had a lovely weekend. :)

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