6.28.2014

Savoring Summer...


My mom's deck-my retreat



Why is it that Winter is so long and Summer just flies by? I guess that's one of the reasons why I dream about living in Hawaii. It's always summer there. It's a dream that I'm not sure will ever happen and I'm wondering if I might have to do it alone. We're in the early stages of searching for a new place to call home. Maybe in two years (hopefully sooner), but I'm a planner and love to research different places, finding the pros and cons. Weather is number one with me, so that definitely narrows our choices down a lot. Cost of living is a big one too. Lately, I've been thinking about Oregon as an option. It's got the art scene, paintable beauty (for inspiration), lots of GF and organic places, and a moderate real estate market. It does get a lot of rain, but is pretty mild and that keeps everything lush. I think my autoimmune problems have made it hard to tolerate extreme weather, so I'm looking for a place that's not too hot and not too cold, but juuuuust right. The hunt is on! 





I've been busy working on some commissions (very large ones), but took a very quick 2 day trip a few weeks ago to see my beautiful daughter graduate from college! It was the best day ever! I am so proud of my little girl! She's overcome a lot of obstacles and worked so hard to earn her B.S. degree in Psychology. She wants to help people. I'm just so proud! 



Hopefully I'll be able to spend some more time with her this summer before she starts her new life as a pre graduate student, yes she's going on! She's going to be so busy! In the meantime, I'll just be painting, while taking little breaks to savor my favorite time of year. My birthday month is coming up! Enjoy your summer!:)

Jen

6.12.2014

Be Open to Receive


Dance of the Koi


Everything happens for a reason. Be open to receive and all things are possible.











Jen

5.21.2014

Palos Verdes View and Poppies!


P.V. View 24x36 oil
sold


This is a very familiar view of my hometown in Torrance, CA. I had originally painted this scene pretty much how it looks in real life but wasn't completely happy with it. It looked a little bland like it needed some pizazz! So….I added a few palm trees, some bougainvillea, and statice (the purple flowers) and a few other minor changes. I like it better now and am inspired to do another in a vertical format. I have several more reference photos to use from my recent trip to Southern California. 
I'm going to be doing more of this area soon for a big commission job. I mentioned it earlier and it's happening!!!!….I just don't know when. haha! Well, right now I have another large commission job for a cityscape! It's going to be a biggy- 30x60 so I've ordered more paint! Don't want to run out (like I did here). 

Now on to the poppies! I took a quick trip down the street to The Highland Art Center this morning for some inspiration. It's a cute little local gallery that I show my work in sometimes. They have the most beautiful garden and picnic there, and at this time of year the Chinese Poppies are blooming like crazy! This town has some history with Chinese people, because of the Gold Rush. We honor them with a Chinese New Year Parade every year, where a few local children dress in a dragon costume and parade down Main Street. There is also The Joss House, an absolutely beautiful Chinese Temple, which is the oldest in California! 








Dance of the Tulips
18x24
oil on canvas
sold

All photos by Jennifer Beaudet Copyright © 2014


Jen



5.16.2014

Building Self-Confidence…not always easy


Dance of the Tulips oil on canvas


If you've been following me for any amount of time you may have noticed that I lack confidence and suffer from social anxiety. I've struggled with this all my life and it's definitely a handicap when trying to achieve my goals. 

I can remember the first set back I encountered at the early age of seven. I was given the opportunity to test for AT, academically talented, now called GATE. I was so excited to be among this elite group of peers, but when it came time to take the test, alone in a room with the proctor, I froze. The questions coming from her mouth were jumbled and my head was spinning. I couldn't focus let alone get the words out. Being put on the spot has always been a challenge, to say the least. I remember standing in front of my 6th grade class in a spelling B, just me and another classmate left. Do you think I wanted to be there? No! I was terrified and remember thinking, 'time to misspell a word and get myself out of this!'. How many times I've failed in order to get out of the spotlight. I can't be alone. Am I? 







This month is Mental Illness Awareness Month. It's something that not only I've been affected by personally, but I have many close friends and family members who suffer from various mental afflictions. There's nothing wrong with talking about it and you shouldn't be ashamed. I believe much of it is caused by nutritional deficiencies and should be treated accordingly. I found out about 2 years ago that I have Celiac, an inability to process gluten. Because I had been undiagnosed for so long, possibly my whole life, I was deficient in essential vitamins which contribute to well being and healthy brain function. I'm sure I have a genetic disposition for anxiety and such, but fully believe that lack of proper nutrition for so long, has played a big role. I also have Hashimoto's.

I've researched the effects of these deficiencies,extensively and found that many brain related problems can be attributed to them(such as- anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and some other really scary things). Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 complex, zinc, selenium, and more are needed for healthy brain function. I was having major anxiety and panic attacks but have almost completely gotten rid of them from following my Dr. orders along with adding some other supplements I found through further research. I'm not a doctor, and I'm not saying that it will work for everyone, but it is working for me. I have never taken any medication for anything other than antibiotics, I've done it all with my diet and supplements. I eat a clean Paleo diet, which is not processed foods, and all organic and non-GMO's. Grass fed beef is important although I don't eat a lot of red meat, only because it's hard for me to digest. I was having a lot of other issues caused my my auto-immune issues (Celiac and Hashimotos) and borderline arenal fatigue), like rashes, dizziness, extreme fatigue, allergies to almost all foods, and many other things. Right now, I can say I feel better than I have for years and am almost without symptoms (besides my undiagnosed sjorgren's) I may have other things going on, but I feel good! One other great benefit that I just realized yesterday is, that I no longer have seasonal pollen allergies! Every year since I was 21, come springtime, I've had major allergies for a few weeks; sneezing, headache, dripping nose, drowsy feeling…no more! 

I know I still have pretty bad social anxiety sometimes, but at least I know my brain is getting what it needs now. There's a lot more to it than I've written here because it's so complex, but this is just the very basics of what I've learned. 

Ann Tran wrote a great article about building self-confidence that has some great tips on living a healthy life and developing good habits for building your self esteem. It's based on Allan Loy McGinnis' 12 points about building your self-confidence; a must read. 

So if you're still reading this…(I know, I've gone on a little too long, and said a little too much) maybe there's another person out there who feels the same way as me. Maybe they won't feel so alone knowing they are not alone. 



Jen

Update: 
Flash forward to May 13,2020...It's hard to believe I wrote this post in May of 2014. Something made me look at it again...not sure what it was. Re-reading this is both difficult and encouraging at the same time. Mental health is more important than ever now in dealing with our current pandemic situation. How are you staying healthy? I've gained about 5 pounds but am still eating gluten free...no longer paleo though and I feel it some days. I have not had a panic attack since 2013, although I've felt some serious anxiety recently, keeping me up at night. I had no choice to eat gluten free because of Celiac but I still feel very strongly about how a "clean diet" not only benefits your physical health but mental health, as well. I will add to this the importance of daily exercise and meditation. I walk every day but have not made a habit of sinful meditation yet. I know how much I need it but have been stubborn. Do you have some tips? I'd love to hear them! Stay well everyone! 


PS...The tulip painting is no longer available but here's a link to my latest




5.10.2014

Mother's Day Rose




Roses are just plain hard to paint! I actually think I might be getting better though! After painting the first version, I realized (well, I guess I pretty much already knew)that I need better studio lighting. Our overhead lighting is not very good and I bought a cheap desk lamp at Target, but it's just not cutting it. I do most of m painting later in the day, so I need to buy a real studio light. The other thing I've been trying to do without is a computer display or an iPad to see the image I'm painting. I've been printing it out on paper, but I'm missing so many subtle color changes. I have a laptop but I don't want to get it anywhere near paint…it's a Macbook and I love it! 
I'm glad I did the challenge from Daily Paintworks this week. I haven't had time lately but I'm starting a small commission and am in the planning stages right now, so this was good practice. I should probably do 100 roses so I can feel really comfortable painting them. I still need to figure out how to get that glowing translucent look to the petals. 

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this as your Mother's Day gift from me! Have a wonderful day tomorrow and Happy Birthday Julie! I hope I got it right this time! 










5.07.2014

New Koi Fish and Lily Pad Painting!


click here to view on Etsy
The Dance of the Koi
24x36 inch
oil on canvas

Here's my latest palette knife painting of beautiful koi fish with lily pads and flowers! I really enjoyed painting this one, especially when I broke out my knife! I had originally started this one with mostly a brush,using a knife on the flowers and a little bit on the fish, but soon realized it needed more interest and depth. I use such a small knife that this one took me quite sometime to complete, but it was so much fun bringing theses little guys to life!

close up



Koi represent courage and I need to tap in to this! 

They're referred to as "lucky koi"
Many of the attributes of the koi symbolize several lessons and even trials individuals often encounter in life. The koi fish has a powerful and energetic life force, demonstrated by its ability to swim against currents and even travel upstream. Some of the characteristics associated with the koi include:

Good fortune
Success
Prosperity
Longevity
Courage
Ambition
Perseverance

...all good things we could all use! 





 I tried to take the main photo at an angle because of the glare but it's still there, and now it just looks crooked! I'll be taking it again when it has a chance to dry more. I'll be working on a few commissions in the next few months, so I might not be sharing a lot of new art, but might be able to post some progress shots! 








5.02.2014

Fifteen Minute Conversation With Lori McNee!




I can't believe it's been over a year since I won a fifteen minute phone consultation with world renowned artist,  Lori McNee! She held a contest on her Facebook page and the painting that received the most "likes" would win a fifteen minute conversation with her. I figured I had nothing to lose so posted my latest painting…the "likes" started rolling in and I actually won! I still can't believe it! That was in September of 2012. Yes, it's taken me this long to write about
…doing the walk of shame right now. 
It was so amazing to have a chance to pick the brain of such a successful artist. The only problem was,  I was so nervous that when we got to the end of our conversation, and she said I had a bonus question, I couldn't come up with anything! Really? Yeah, that happened. I still have the notes from our conversation sitting on the table so I can easily refer to her words of wisdom when needed. I had a list of things I wanted to ask, but she ended up covering everything on my list with me even asking! We talked about social media and gaining Twitter followers. 

What did she say? Follow friends of friends, form relationships, make connections, and pay it forward. I would quote her but I was just jotting down notes.

I think she means if someone retweets you, show them the same courtesy. If they follow you, it's nice to take the time to check out their page and follow them back. Find people with the same interests, in your field, and follow them and their friends. That's how I found her on Twitter, all those years ago. I searched for artists on Twitter and she came up. 
From there, I found her blog Fine Art Tips where she and quest writers discuss all topics about art, from creating art, to the best marketing techniques for selling your art. 

Other tips she talked about were to schedule your tweets using Buffer or another scheduling app. It make sense since you definitely can't be on there tweeting all day! You'd never get any painting done!
Also, half the world is asleep when we're awake.


We talked about how to get in galleries and whether or not that's the way to go. Her advice- Focus on your region, paint local scenes and come up with a series of 12-15 cohesive pieces to present to a gallery. (have I done that yet? no) I feel like I'm always trying to pay my next bill or buy supplies so when I paint a piece, I need to sell it asap. I'm trying to come up with a way I can get around this, maybe time to change my strategy. She mentioned making notecards using Vistaprint for advertising. I'm also out of business cards now so that may be my next purchase…when I sell another painting.
We talked briefly about branding and finding that thing that sets you apart as an artist. This is a difficult one. I think many times it just happens naturally. I wish I could do a survey of successful artists and ask if they consciously created their "it" factor or if it just happened. They may have noticed that they had something special that set them apart and then used that for a marketing strategy. Or maybe someone else drew their attention to it. (wow! That would be nice! Please tell me what sets my work apart!…anyone? haha ) But how many artists actually tried to come up with something out of the blue? This is a big topic for another discussion later. Another point I took away from our conversation, was to be a success you need to meet people in person. Galleries need to be approached in person and connections must be made. I wish there was a magical pill I could take for the courage to do that.


My conversation with Lori was beyond my expectations! She was so nice and down to earth and full of insightful information, as she always is. She is a gift to other artists and truly a gift to our world! I'm so glad to have had the chance to speak with her and get to know her a little more on the online community. Thank you Lori for all of your support and encouragement! 


So...reflecting back on what I've accomplished over the years, I feel pretty good about where I am, but would like to take things to the next level. I'm thinking about starting art fairs. Many artists start this way, and besides a small local one years ago where I old hand painted address tiles and hand painted furniture, I haven't ventured into this yet. Lori talked about coffee shops, and I have a few pieces in some local shops, but this is a very small logging town (pop. 3500) and the nearest city of a pop. close to 95000 already has its share of artists in their local shops. I'm not considered local there. haha! So, I need to find another venue. I really feel like I need to move out of here again. I came back with the promise it would only be three years, but that's past now. Promises, promises. Thank the internet! I wouldn't be able to sell anything without it! There are several other ways to sell art and up to this point, I've only concentrated on the "online" art scene, which is definitely a great place to be seen and sell your art, but I'm concentrating on larger pieces now. The largest I've sold online has been a 30x60 and I mostly sell 11x14's, but I want to go bigger!…which of course, will have larger prices…more of a commitment for buyers to make. For my clients who know my work, they can be confident in what they are getting, should they choose to purchase a larger piece. But for someone who has just discovered me, I would understand their reluctancy to make such a big investment online, without seeing it in person. If you're one of the later, just know that I offer a 100% guarantee on all my work. Your satisfaction is my number one priority, as I value each and everyone of my collectors! 


Jennifer




4.23.2014

New Tulip Painting!




Here's the finished painting! I asked my friends on Facebook for help with a name. I felt it had a musical quality and Enzie came up with "Dance of the Tulips"! It's the prefect name. I have such a hard time putting my thoughts into words sometimes. I know what I want to say, I just can't come up with the right words. I'm going to retake the photo because the right side had a slight glare which makes it look washed out and grainy.
So for now, it's on to my next painting! I think I'm going to stay with the spring inspiration right now!

Jennifer



4.21.2014

More Progress on the Field of Tulips



I worked some more on this piece yesterday, and am just about finished. I do think the two stripes of flowers in the distance could be broken up a bit, but other than that I think it's done! I'll try to get some better photos later today but it looks like rain, so no sun. Have a great week ahead! 


Jennifer

4.20.2014

New Painting in Progress- Tulips Field of Flowers







HAPPY EASTER!!!

Here's what's on my easel today! I was inspired by the Tulip Festival (didn't get to go) in Washington State. I'm trying to figure out color gamuts and should probably do some small studies before attempting a large painting like this! It's an 18x24, oil on stretched canvas. I toned the canvas with the yellow in the sky because I want it to glow. After I blocked in the red tulips, I realized I should have used another tone instead of the bright red. Now I need to go back and adjust. I'd also like to add some other accents of pink and maybe purple tulips, and darken the mountains, slightly. 
The mountains were inspired by my recent trip down south. So this place doesn't really exist, just in my mind and now on canvas. 
I'm working on drying the eye through the scene with the clusters of tulips but will need to define the path some more without making it obvious. I'm contemplating whether or not to add a little cottage or farm to this one. I know it would work, but it's so peaceful without it. We'll see. 


Jennifer

4.17.2014

Stormy Days Ahead…


sold

(well, I hope not!)
This one was done as a request to match two other pieces my client had purchased earlier. He asked for a stormy seascape with clouds. It's an acrylic on paper, which you may notice is different from my usual oils. Oils are so much more enjoyable for me to work with, but I like how this turned out in the end. I'm working on my color schemes lately and like the more subdued, moody feel to this one. I didn't have a photograph to work with, so I used several different ones, and made it up as I went along. 

Jennifer


4.12.2014

I'm having a Facebook Print Giveaway!





This giclee print can be yours! Just pop on over to my Facebook by clicking on this link for all the details on how to win! Click Here! Good luck! 
And if you're new to Facebook and my page welcome!:)

Jennifer

4.10.2014

Trip to Southern California; What's your favorite drive?


Huntington Beach Harbor



I visited my home a few weeks ago. My daughter was off for Spring Break and I needed to take care of some art business, while also using this opportunity to do some field work, the perfect opportunity for a Road Trip!! In the end I had over 300 photos! That is…with the help from my passenger (aka daughter). Some of the photos aren't worthy of showing, only because my passenger window in my car can't roll down, along with both of the back ones, which I just discovered! Anyway…on the bright side, I can use any of the photos as painting reference. I don't need a picture perfect photo, that's what I do with the paint! 

The first photo is where we stayed for the week. I'm so lucky to have a sister who lives in a home with such a gorgeous backyard. Yes…this is her actual view from her deck! We were living the good life! The weather was a bit too cold for the beach but we made the best of it. Funny though, the week before...perfect weather...and now, two weeks later, my dad tells me it's hotter than the hottest day in summer! Isn't that the way things go! haha



Kincaid's Redondo Beach


Here's a shot of my favorite place to visit when I go home, The Redondo Beach Pier! I used to go there as a child, then, as a teen had lots of fun catching crabs off the side! They tasted so nasty though! 
Later, when my daughter born, we had so much fun spending the afternoon at The Fun Factory, then would enjoy a nice bread bowl of clam chowder…not anymore, since I found out I have Celiac. ugh! But I still have the memories, and absolutely love the ocean air with the seagulls soaring overhead. 
This is home. 



Tony's on the Pier


In the photo above you can see Palos Verdes, which I just painted a month ago. Not sure if I'm going to work more on it or not. It's hanging in my home right now, so I can decide. In the meantime, it brings me a little piece of home in my mountain retreat!:) That's what I like to think of my home now…just temporary…until I can move back to my real home of Southern California. I'm not sure of what city, but I just can't stay away. Going back just makes me long for it more. 

I finally had a chance to visit my brother and get a tour of his little town of Ventura! Who knew this town was an artist's haven! We drove up to what Venturians call "The Cross" for a beautiful view of the whole town, from the vineyards to sea. It has everything! 


He even informed me of the affordable housing for artists! Can you believe that? They actually support starving artists and their families! I only wish I had known about this years ago. I haven't applied for it yet, but am seriously thinking about it. 
It seems the wait list is extensive, which makes sense. Who wouldn't want to live and paint in such a gorgeous place? 



Carmel Scenic Loop

Back to the trip…


At the last minute (that's how I roll, not the planner at all), we decided to drive home up the coast instead of the boring old Interstate 5. I'm so glad we did because it was the absolutely most gorgeous day for it! I've done the drive a few times before and it's always foggy…and a little scary. I guess someone knew I was driving that day because it couldn't have been any more perfect! 
We took our time and, instead of a 7 hour drive, it ended up taking 14 hours! I drove the whole way, while my daughter snapped away, getting shots like the one above, of Carmel By the Sea. How gorgeous is that? Another big artist's town and no wonder. 
This one is sure to become a painting soon! 

I also got a lot of the rolling green hills with some wild flowers (but I'll have to add more flowers to make it a nice painting!) 
I gained so much material and inspiration from this trip and we had a fabulous time! It was just so fast! Need to go back soon! What's your favorite drive? 

Jennifer

I'll do a part 2 soon with more photos! 




4.04.2014

Spring in a Mason Jar!



Spring in a Mason Jar
Sold


Here's the finished painting! I'm already planning my next one. I used a palette knife for most of the painting except for some areas that I wanted to recede a little. I posted some close ups on Etsy so you could see the palette work. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and have a chance to get out and enjoy the beautiful spring flowers blooming! I'll just be working on another painting!:) 

Jennifer

4.02.2014

More progress on my spring floral painting...


16x16 inch oil


If you saw how this began, it's changed a lot. It's definitely a work in progress! I usually paint florals this way; make it up as I go. I try to have an idea about the kinds of flowers and the basic colors I want to use but it always evolves. Even if I have it set up just the way I want it, once I start painting, it takes a life of it's own. 
I think I'm going to take out the middle green bud in the top left corner and am not sure about the bright orange/red tulip hanging down. It may become more of a yellow/orange and a different kind of flower all together! I'm using a palette knife with a little brush work to give some variety, but I like the free movement I get with a palette knife. Anyway, I'm loving painting these spring flowers! 

Jennifer

New Spring Painting in Progress



Just getting started on this one, inspired by the coming of Spring! I've just laid down some color but have a long way to go yet. It's actually already changed I just haven't loaded the pic yet! It's a 16x16 inch canvas and I'm using both a palette knife and brush with lots of juicy paint! 

I took a very quick last minute trip to the South Bay, with my daughter, last week. She was on her Spring Break and I thought it would be nice to go down and visit family while getting some business done. We had a great time seeing everyone and managed to take over 300 photos! Lots of inspiration! I needed to get some new reference photos of the area and stopped by a restaurant that I'm hoping to have my work in. They contacted me about 3 months ago, and I've been working with them, planning what paintings they are interested in, the sizes, doing tests on the canvases for durability, etc.. Now I'm just waiting for the final word from the corporate office (send me some good vibes!). It would be a really big deal for me! 

Jennifer


3.23.2014

Something for Spring!


Sold


I just finished this small springy piece and found out it sold this morning! I really enjoyed painting this one, trying to keep things lose but deliberate. I noticed it's very similar to a few of my earlier pieces.



Jennifer

3.20.2014

Little Women Studies





I'm studying right now! I've bought a few more art books and am watching Peggy Kroll Robert's videos on demand. I love watching other artists paint! It's so relaxing and inspiring at the same time. My favorite workshops are Richard Robinson's landscape workshops, but I love painting people too, so I was thrilled to find Peggy's videos. I actually first found her from a plein air site which was advertising her workshop coming up in Palos Verdes, this March but I'm not able to take the workshop at this time. Her videos are a great substitution
 and are pretty reasonably priced. 

I read an article last week about how art school is a waste of money. That's a little controversial, I'm sure, but I was happy to find several links to videos and recommended readings that are supposed to take the place of school. It was a very well thought out article, that mentioned about the need for a mentor. Hmmm, don't know where I'll find that around here, but I do my best with my online resources. Of course if money was no object I would find a mentor online and pay for their expertise…but…that's not quite where I'm at right now. I did have someone I refer to as my mentor, but that was before I was this serious about my art. While in college, I worked for a wonderful landscape artist who painted large pastel landscapes. He taught me a lot about the art world, but I wasn't taking notes! I wish I could go back and pick his brain. I actually just heard from him the other day and it's been years! Is that a sign?  

I guess I should tell you about my art education. I've taken just about every class that my community college, in Torrance, had to offer; three semesters of art history,(although I would really like to take a whole course on the impressionists)drawing, lettering, design, painting, and sculpting(one of my favorite classes). I also had two amazing semester of life drawing from an amazing professor. El Camino College had the best instructors, at least for art. My sculpture class was taught by a professor from Long Beach State which has a very competitive art department. So even though I don't have a BFA, I got the most from what was available to me at the time. Since then, I've been teaching myself through books and more recently, videos. The videos are great for me, as I'm a visual learner. 
But someday, I hope to be able to take a workshop in person and even better yet, teach my own! 

Jennifer

3.12.2014

Finished my Palos Verdes, California Coastal Painting!




I'm not used to painting this large and it taking so much time. I tried to rush it posting my progress everyday, which I will continue to do. However, I need to take a step back, give it a few days before I post it for sale. I ended up making a few changes to make the diagonal lines less prominent by adding some curves. Sometimes when I'm not sure of what to change, I go to my favorite workshop site, Richard Robinson's The Complete Artist. The people on there are always helpful and sometimes, if I'm lucky, I get input from Richard, himself! Michael Severin, is so knowledgeable about painting and design, I always learn something from his help! 

Jennifer

NEW Website!

It's been too long...I've been loving Renoir

  Poppies Delight by Jennifer Beaudet Zondervan sold Does your life fly by? Mine sure does! How does time go by so fast? I just returned fro...