Saturday, March 23, 2013

52 Canvases..The Opening

Here are LOTS of photos from the opening.  Guys it was amazing.  I am so humbled by the outpouring of love towards the work on display.  19 of 52 pieces sold by Saturday.  That's huge.  We are hoping to get a few more sold before the show ends, so if you still want one head on over here and peek at what's available!
Enjoy the photos and again, thanks for the 52 weeks of support.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Week 51 and 52

I was reminded by a sweet follower that I'd not showed you the last 2 paintings.  Tisk...tisk on me!  So here they are.  I am loving this new know how I love a willow tree.  And hearts.  So together, swoon.....

And number 52, well it says it all in the wreath on top of a giant heart above.  "This is where my story began".  It did. 

As a child I was always drawn to art.  Always.  I was pushed into music because, well I was good at it.  Piano, singing, chorus, show choir, dance lessons, name it I did it in regards to being on a stage.  But quite honestly I was jealous of the "goth" kids in the art classes.  Their room was in the creepy deep dark depths of my high school.  Creepy meaning where you'd open a closet and the basement dirt was right in your face smelling like, well, smelly dirt and possibly dead bodies.  Each year the art department hosted an art sale.  I bought art from them, much to the snubs of my friends.  I was drawn to it.  The lines, the texture, the talent.  Yep.  I knew deep inside I was an artist too and that one day I would find a way to express myself.

Fast forward some uh....well you KNOW my age, 22 years and I am now an artist.  Oh geesh it feels good to say that.  One friend at the show who was one of those cool "goth" kids in the art room was at the opening this weekend and said this to me, "Mary Elizabeth and I were talking the other day (both went to HS with me and now both work in the public library where we grew up) and she said to me, did you know this about Jenni?  That she was an artist?  Why no, I did not."  And then I cracked up and told her I was jealous of she and the goth kids in the art room!  She got a giggle out of it too.  Because no, I did not pick up a brush or pen until my freshman year of college.  And that is where my story began.  I had one giant heart for being an artist, and despite being the worst one in the class with the least skill set, I tried my best and gave it my all.  And look at me now.  Yeah.  Sometimes having a big heart for what you want to do can make things happen in magical ways.  It might take 22 years, but nonetheless it can happen.  So the moral to the story here is, if ya want it, then the only thing holding you back is you.  Because I have found that the answer to a question never asked is always NO.  And well, I am not that keen on no.  Just ask my family.  hehehe...

Monday, March 18, 2013

It's Done.

This is me and sweet Vero, the owner of Naked Art Gallery.  Without her, I'd not be where I am today in this little art journey.  She was the first gallery to believe in me.  And look now where I am.

The show was a HUGE success.  I can't really talk about it without getting a tad cloudy eyed.  19 of 52 canvases found homes.  Which means $760 is going to the Angel House.  I am so grateful to all who came.  All who supported.  All who bought before the show even opened!

I've so many photos to share, but it might be the end of the week before I do.  I didn't want the week to start without saying I did it.  And it's over.  And that I'm a little sad.  But I'm also seriously ready to start the next chapter of my artsy life. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

It's Time! It's Time!

I'm on my way to Birmingham right now.  So excited.  First stop is the gallery.  So I can look at all the paintings hanging in the room and go ahead and get the crying over with.  Oh who am I kidding.  I'm gonna be crying all weekend!  (Note to self...put on waterproof mascara).  I've also got to set the window up all nice and pretty.  And then I've got to get to Savages Bakery.  Because they make cookies like no other.  And you know, cookies are my favorite food group!  And then I've got to find my Aimee.  She knows just how to keep me calm and cool.  Otherwise I am going to be a nervous mess.  A lot of people are coming.  Like I am completely overwhelmed by the folks making the drive.  It kinda humbles me to the point of feeling too exposed.  I know, I asked for this.  The paintings were my idea.  The show was my idea.  I suppose a part of me didn't really get how my peeps would respond.  Yeah.  That's it.  I went into this expecting a few people to come.  But now....looks like the only one in my circle not attending is my HUSBAND!  Poop him.  Well, in his defense William has a huge baseball tournament and has to leave the house at 6:30am to get to it.  Someone has to tend to the little chickens in the house.  2 and 4 leggeds can't be left alone.

So I'm sure I'm blasting favorite music in the orange van right now as you're reading this.  Trying to pump myself up for the night ahead.  It's going to be so great.  So overwhelmingly great.  Thank you SO MUCH for being here in the journey with me.  I love all my readers so much.  And really, really look forward to seeing what comes next!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A 41st Portrait

Well this is me.  Age 41.  Not too bad.  I need to purchase some eye cream.  And I think my nose has grown since last year.  Yeah.  Definitely it has.  I've so much I want to do in this coming year.  It's a tad exciting.  Potential is out there just waiting for me to discover it.  I also intend to step back from this crazy art life a little and refocus my energy.  It's nice to be able to admit that right now.  I've decided the need to succeed has a new definition.  And success for my soul right now is maintaining a happy home life.  A balanced home life.  One that allows opportunities for art making, but not letting the making consume my view of what success truly is.  I find right now I am most happy teaching, coming home and tending to my family.  Carving out creative time in the quiet hours on Saturdays and Sunday mornings when all are still asleep.  Not rushing into the "I have to get this done" mentality I am so drawn to.  Instead I am trying to direct my energy into a more well-rounded view of home, art, teaching and self-nurturing.  It shows.  In my eyes I see that rest is needed.  After finally being diagnosed and almost getting well.....I am ready to unearth my sparkle again.  Years of doing too much have taken a toll on my entire being.  The photo above reveals so much to me.   
Hello 41.  It's nice to see you.  Now let's see where this year will take us.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The End

Last night I finished week 52's canvas.  It was sorta bitter sweet.  My birthday isn't until actually next Tuesday...I guess last year my birthday was on a Sunday and it was a leap year.  Because it seems I finished a week early.  Ha...I always do like to be prompt.

I thought a lot about what to put on the last canvas.  To a point of deciding to just quit thinking about it being the LAST canvas and just do it.  Let go Paint.   All the other canvases came quite easy, idea after idea.  52 different ideas.  Seriously.  52 totally different canvases.  You know secretly I thought these were never going to look good all hanging together because they are not a consistent theme.  But actually the color palette and style is so me (except for the first 4 which are encaustics) that I am actually quite pleased with the end results.

I've decided to keep the last two canvases a secret.  I know...but there has to be some element of surprise for the show opening.  Speaking of the show Opening.....I can not wait.  So many friends and family gathered in one spot to celebrate with me.  I am a lucky gal right now.  LUCKY! 

What's left before the show?  Well, I've got outfits to decide on.  Gotta strut my 41 year old self.   And paint a sign for the window.  Other than that, I am taking some much needed time off.  In fact, I am thinking about a major studio purge during my time off.  After the purge I intend to have a studio sale.  You might want to mark you calendar when the date is set.  Because if you read my other blog, my word of the year is "Chose".  And I've made some decisions about my art and life.  I am choosing to eliminate a lot of junk from our home.  Starting with the studio.  I know.  What??  But after spending a month not feeling well and spending a lot of that down time with my family I've decided that right now my focus needs to shift.  And the stuff in the basement I feel guilty for not "getting to" or "having time to get to" is leaving the house.  Because the 3 warm bodied persons in my house mean more to me than any unfinished project in the basement.  They mean more to me than the next show.  They mean more to me than deadlines.  God has a funny way of knocking you off your feet to make you see clearly sometimes.  The rose colored glasses are gone. And reality has hit me that in less than 7 years my children will no longer be living in our home.  7 a blink.  It's seven years that I plan on not missing because of my need to succeed.  Oh I'll still be painting and teaching.  But this crazy idea that to be successful I've got to do A,B and C RIGHT THIS SECOND....well it's just ridiculous.  My time will come.  It will.  And perhaps along this journey a new door will be revealed and some of my goals can be achieved.  I am settling into this teaching routine and am almost giggly everyday that I get to do this job.  And get paid for it.  Well, not much pay, but still.  So some other things I am choosing to do in regards to my artsy life:

1.  remove my work from 2 galleries that are not selling it.  since they have a TON of my work, it's obviously not the right fit for the art.  it'll all be a part of the studio sale.
2.  create a studio website.  a real one.  not a blog.  but a big girl panties website. 
3.  take a year off from travel teaching
4.  make an effort with etsy.  no really.  like effort.  with my paintings.
5.  stop trying to reinvent myself.  just paint what I know and love more than anything.
6.  teach at the local art studios....
7.  host summer PSW classes
8.  stop buying crafting supplies.  stop.  stop.  stop. (they say when you say a name 3x it sticks.  does it work with life goals too?)
9.  clean out the far side of the basement so my husband can have a space in the cave. 
10.  clean out the studio.  like REALLY clean out the studio this time.
11.  clean out the displays.  because seriously 2 shows a year do not require that much display.  oh, and this will also be in the studio sale.

So that's about all I can think of right now.  Pretty big list if you ask me.  But now that it's in writing, well that seals the deal.  It will get checked off.  It may take a year.  But I'll do it.  The purge is happening as soon as I have a free weekend.  Which is in 3 weeks.  Looking forward to that!

Well, I'll be back next week with more details for the show opening.  I'm hosting a make-and-take on Saturday.  I want to be sure and share samples of that.  If you are interested in a canvas and can't make the opening click the link in the top sidebar that says, "want to buy a canvas?"  It will take you straight to the Naked Art Gallery site.  5 are sold already.  Whooohoooo!!

Later guys...and thanks again for being a special part of this year long journey.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Other Stuff for Sale

Along side the 52 canvases Vero asked me to create some functional art pieces for the pedestals in the center of the room.  I struggle sometimes with this kind of stuff.  Kind of like handmade ornaments.  I just can't think of what to do!  But for some reason a giant light bulb popped into my head about a month ago.  After one costly trip to Joann's fabrics...a frantic search for reasonably priced sketchbooks, I've about got the functional art pieces ready to sell!

First supply jelly rolls. functional is that?  I've always wanted one for my own brushes.  So this little item was truly made with puffy hearts.

It took a little figuring out on my part.  How far to make the lines, how to make it roll normal, how wide....the end product is by no means "made in China" perfect.  Rather quite lovingly stitched and topped with recycled felt heart and sweet trims to tie it all up.  These are $20 each. 
 Another item I had an "AHA" moment on were with these fleece blankets.  Gail had this uber soft blanket for porch time on our Southern Circle Retreats.  I love scallop edges on anything so asked her where it came from.  She said IKEA.....$3.99.  No frikin' way.  So I made a trip to IKEA and bought one in each color offered knowing that my little felted birdies would be a sweet addition to their uber softness.  I've got two giant Rubbermaids of old felted down sweaters.  In sorting out the felt I found baggies of birds I'd cut out a year ago or more to make 3-D birds.  Sweet find, right??  I used to make and sell these adorable felted birds that stood on long legs on vintage jello molds.  So instead of using side A and side B to make a 3-D bird, I laid them flat on the blanket!  Recycling 2 fold.  Score!!
Last item to be finished up are the sketchbook covers.  They are turning out so good...but have a little more stitching before I can show them off. 

Anyhoo....this about wraps up the creative journey.  2 more canvases to go.  Wow.