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

3.07.2014

Coastal Painting in Progress





Here's what's on my easel this week! It's an oil on 24x36 canvas; large for me! I've been posting my progress on my Facebook page and hopefully will finish it up this weekend! 

This is the view from Torrance/Redondo Beach sidewalk. It's where I grew up. Thirty years of my life were spent there, actually thirty one if you count the year I moved back. I miss it…a lot. It's hard when you grow up in such a beautiful place being able to roller skate to the beach, spending the whole day there 'til the sunsets. I have the best memories from this place! It's my home, and always will be. I'm displaced right now, in the mountains, so far from the ocean. How can you miss a place so much it hurts? I feel the same way about Hawaii though and I didn't grow up there. Must be the ocean, it gives me life! 




Anyway, as you can see, this painting has a very deep meaning to me. I could almost paint it from memory. I'm mostly using a brush for this one, with some areas needing a palette knife for a nice edge. The flowers in the foreground are from blooming ice-plant (which brings back memories of writing on the sidewalk with it. Did you ever done that?) 
The blooms are a beautiful magenta and bright yellow (which I haven't added yet). Ice-plant is not the most aesthetic of plants but I'm trying to achieve an impressionistic feel to it so that it's more appealing. 



The sand in the above stage was to saturated in color so I toned it down adding some ultra marine blue and more white, to the mix. This set it back further and made the hill come forward. I feel the hill is too dark though so I'l lightened it up with some a little lighter but saturated color mixed with areas of greys. 


This was stage one. I toned the canvas with orange since it would be a predominantly blue piece, this would give the painting some warmth and unity. I sketched in the scene very roughly with a brush.
 I usually use a darker color but this one worked. 
The lines aren't visible in the end so it didn't matter. 
This stage was done with acrylics. 

So, this is what I'll be doing this weekend! What are you up to? 

Jennifer



2.16.2014

Final Woman in Red Dress Painting SOLD!



I finished this piece on day 4, Valentine's Day, appropriately! I listed it on Facebook and had it sold in
3 hours! It's always so exciting when that happens and I'm left wondering if I can do it again. Being consistent is not always easy. I recently had a discussion with a fellow artist about this subject. It is one of the most important aspect of success in this business, but being an artist, wanting to "express" my feelings, consistency can be challenging. This is when hard work and determination plays an important role. So…with all that being said, we'll see what I come up with next. 
Will I be able to do it again? Stay tuned to see! Are you being consistent? Any tips?

Jennifer

2.14.2014

Day 3 of Woman in Red Painting



I've worked more on this one and am really enjoying the process. I think I mentioned earlier how much I love painting fabric. I remember back in my early college drawing class. 
One of the assignments was to draw a crumpled sheet. 
It seemed like an odd subject but I learned so much from it
 and was amazed when it actually became a piece of artwork. 
There's so much intricacy to the folds. Sometimes a bit challenging but in a good way! 

I'm planning on finishing this one today so hopefully will get it posted and listed on Etsy by tonight! 

Oh! Happy Valentine's Day! 

Jennifer




2.13.2014

Progress on New Sitting Lady Painting




Here's what's on my easel today. It's an 18x24; larger than what I've been doing lately. It feels good to work on a larger canvas! So freeing (is that a word?) 

I'm going to leave the background alone…well I'm going to try to at least. It's hard to resist overpainting, 
but I want this to have a raw feeling.  She still needs work on her arms as right now she looks armless. They are resting on the sofa, so you basically all you see are her shoulders. I think her hands will be on her head, but will be very vague. More work needed on her dress. This is my favorite part. I love painting folds in fabric, especially beautiful dresses like this one. 

Jennifer

1.31.2014

Sunset Stroll...






Here's a commission I'm finishing up this weekend. I still need to paint the figure in and work a little more on the background. I just really love the colors in this. I started it with a very colorful acrylic canvas. That way I didn't have to worry about any white peaking through.
 It's making me want to go to the beach, but that's nothing new. Thank goodness it's a sunny day here today...even though we desperately need rain here in California!  

Jennifer



1.22.2014

Wet Paint!




Fresh off the easel! Well...actually it's still on it. This one was done with a palette knife and brushes in oil. I used a Ray Mar hard panel board on this one and it an 11x14 inch. 

Jennifer

1.01.2014

Let's Get it Started!









I'm so excited for this New Year! Time to take a look at my dream board to see how far I've come! 
...maybe make a new one. Do you have a dream board? If so, do you make a new one each year?
 I have a few art related goals in mind for the new year, 
but haven't written any down yet. But number one would be get organized! 
I have a beautiful art/craft studio on my dream board but the only thing I've accomplished for that is that I actually have a designated room for it. But hey, it's a big start! It would help if I knew how long we would be in this house though. I haven't even hung pictures yet! 

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! I sure did. I got the greatest gift ever! He's furry, cuddly, and the cutest little guy ever! 

Here's my Christmas gift this year! He's a bundle of joy and trouble all in one! I haven't laughed so much in a long time! I named him Kona after my favorite place. So, I'm not sure I'll be doing the 30 in 30 challenge this month because I still have a few commissioned pieces I'm working on and am taking care of this little one! 



The paintings above are some of the commissions I did  this Christmas. I've heard from a few of their new owners so far and they were thrilled! I always love hearing that!



HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!



12.20.2013

Merry Christmas!




I just want to say Merry Christmas to everyone out there in blogland! I hope you all have a nice Christmas and a Happy New Year! My daughter is home for Christmas, so I know I will. 
We're going to have an "art day" and paint together. 
She's just starting to do watercolors and
 I think she's a natural at it. 

This has been such an amazing 
year for me and I hope it continues into next year! 
Thank you! I really can't say that enough! 

Jennifer



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