Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Acrylic on 6" x 12" canvas
Created December 2008
Available at www.livefunky.etsy.com
I'm so excited to celebrate 2009 with a gathering of friends and loved ones in the days to come. I wish you all a very happy New Year. Cheers!
Monday, December 29, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
In this picture you can see my wonderful collection of new canvases and tons of new brushes. I just finished working on the commission with the new brushes and uh.... what a difference. My well worn brushes, with rusted metal, paint saturated, chipping wood and mangled hair have done me good, but it's time for retirement and specific assignments (raw texture/strokes). I just busted into a package of 6 x 12 canvases I got from my cousin and my parents also got me some larger canvases, including an oval which should be fun!
The ball jar in the picture was a gift from my grandfather. All five grandkids got to pick one. They were used by my grandfather's mother and grandmother so they go way back. I'll be proudly displaying this Ball jar - don't worry, it will NOT become a water vessel for painting or even a storage for used brushes! I loooove the blue Ball jars and used them in our wedding for table bouquets so I really cherish this gift.
Now it's off to paint! I'm feeling just like I did as a kid the day after Christmas digging into all of my new art supplies that family (and Santa) gave me. Yipee! Oh! I forgot one more supply. A new batch of oil pastels. Ahhh.... so nice. My old ones were getting down to nubs. 36 new clean colors to play with. What joy!
Friday, December 26, 2008
I hope everyone had a lovely holiday! I'm recuperating after a 48 hour bonanza - wow a real night of full sleep sure felt great! My wonderful family gave me lots of fresh new art supplies (thank you!) and I'm so excited to get back to work - but today I'm taking it nice and easy and enjoying the glow of the tree and a warm cup of tea. Hope everyone had a great time and you're able to relax a bit after all of the excitement.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Original ink drawing over an archival art print of my painting Orange Sun. Hand signed and titled. Image measures 5" x 7" on 8.5" x 11" matte finish paper.
- Have you ever purchased original art online? Y/N
- Have you ever purchased art prints (reproductions) online? Y/N
- If you answered no to questions 1 or 2, have you ever purchased either in a shop or gallery in person? Y/N
- When you are considering purchasing art what sizes do you usually look for?
a. Miniature, ACEO
b. Small 5" x 7" - 9" x 12"
c. Medium 8" x 10" - 16" x 20"
d. Large 20" x 24" - 36" x 40"
e. Extra Large 40" and higher
f. All of the above or your own alternate answer
- When you are considering purchasing art what subject matters interest you?
d. Still Lives
e. All of the above or your own alternate answer
- When you are considering purchasing art what mediums do you usually look for?
a. Ink or pencil
b. Oil paint
c. Acrylic paint
d. Watercolor paint
f. Digital media
g. All of the above or your own alternate answer
- On a scale of one to ten, how much or little are you interested in the following art forms or styles?
Kitch/Vintage Influenced Art
Children's Art (made by children)
Art for Children
(Please feel free to add any other styles in your answer that interest you)
- When you are considering purchasing art, what are you looking for when it comes to the surface? Please rate each on a scale of one to ten, ten being the most desirable.
Paper (any kind)
Standard canvas with staples in the sides
Gallery wrapped canvas
Gallery wrapped canvas with 1.5" deep sides
Custom framed art with mat and glass
Custom framed canvas (no mat or glass)
- How important is a Certificate of Authenticity?
a. Very important
b. Don't care either way
c. It's a waste of paper
d. What's a Certificate of Authenticity?
- If you were to purchase original art online, where might you go looking to buy? Please answer Yes, No or never heard of it (which you could mark with a ?) to each of the sites below.
e. Boundless Gallery
f. Other (please include any other sites you would consider)
- Would you consider purchasing art directly from an artist's website or blog?
a. Yes, I prefer that to purchasing it on another site (like Etsy).
b. Yes, but I prefer buying through other sites (like Etsy).
- Would you ever consider asking an artist to create a commission (custom work of art) for you?
a. Yes and I have!
b. Yes and I will at some point.
c. Yes but I don't think I will because I'm concerned about ______. (fill in the blank)
e. No and artists that offer that service turn me off as a collector
- On a scale of one to ten, how important are these factors when considering purchasing from an artist online?
Longevity of career
A history of showing in physical galleries
Word of mouth/buzz
Professionalism in presentation
Silliness/light hearted approach to presentation/writing
Good photography skills
Good writing skills
Extensive descriptions of art
Personal anecdotes, poems, or artist's thoughts about individual pieces
Large amount of previous sales
High feedback rating
Seeing a photograph of the artist
A return policy
First class shipping
Priority mail shipping
Insurance on shipping
Delivery Confirmation on shipping
- Which answer sounds the most like you?
a. I like to buy art from as many different artists as I can.
b. I like to buy art from a very select few of my favorite artists.
c. There isn't much rhyme or reason to how I buy art or from whom. I just fall in love with something and have to have it!
d. I like to buy art from people I know.
e. I don't buy art.
- If you purchased art, what would be the biggest turn offs to you as a buyer? You can pick just one or rate these from one to ten - ten being the biggest turnoff.
Poorly wrapped/packaged and arrived damaged.
Long shipping time.
Smells of smoke.
Smells of perfume or incense.
Colors don't look the same way they did on the computer.
No personalized thank you note.
No extra gifts.
Promotional materials from other Etsy sellers (not the one you purchased from).
Religious materials included.
Candy or food products included in non food purchase.
Scented extra gifts (like soap or candle) in a scent free purchase (such as a tshirt).
Poorly crafted product.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions! To make commenting/answering easier, just copy and paste the quiz into your comment.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
- Boneless chicken breasts
- Red wine
- Pearl onions
- Yellow onions
- Chicken stock
- Black pepper (salt to taste)
- Bay leaf
- Bring chicken stock to a boil in a pot and add peeled and diced potatoes.
- Cook a few strips of bacon till it's nice and crisy in a frying pan. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a plate with paper towels to absorb the grease. Chop up the bacon to use later.
- Remove most of the bacon grease from the pan except for about two tablespoon.
- Chop yellow onion and add to frying pan with grease until golden yellow.
- Drain potatoes when they are still firm but slightly tender.
- Add potatoes and some of the chopped up bacon bits to the pan and fry. I added a little butter too (as you can already tell, I don't really cook diet food, at least not in the winter!)
- Cover and cook on a low heat, checking and stirring often until potatoes are tender all the way through.
- Spray another large skillet with cooking oil and add four chicken breasts. Cook on medium heat browning both sides of the meat.
- Peel and cut carrots into thin slices - about two/three cups.
- Peel pearl onions and cut off the ends - about 16 onions.
- Mince about two cloves of garlic (or more if you love it like I do).
- Once chicken has browned on both sides, add 1.5 cups of red wine, minced garlic, pearl onions, carrots, a few tbls of bacon bits, one bay leaf, a sprinkling of thyme and black pepper and bring to a boil.
- Once it has reached a boil, cover and bring the heat down to low to simmer for about 25 minutes.
- Check the meat to make sure it's done, and if it is, remove the meat and veggies from the pan with a slotted spoon onto another dish.
- Remove the bay leaf from the juice remaining in the pan.
- Wisk together 1/4 cup of flour with 1.5 cups of cold water in a seperate bowl.
- Add flour/water mixture to the juices in the pan and cook on a low/medium heat stirring/whisking the mixture continuously until the mixture thickens to a good gravy.
- I served the potatoes on the side, but on second thought I think it would be good to serve the chicken and veggies on top of the potatoes with gravy ladeled over the entire dish.
This is comfort food at it's best, my friends. You'll notice I'm not exact with amounts - most of this will be to YOUR taste. My husband doesn't like mushrooms so I didn't include them, but they are a traditional (and perfect) addition to this dish.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
Because my art idol Mary Ann Wakeley sent me this stunning original painting! I am looking at it right now and my heart is still pounding. It is hanging in our living room where I can gaze at it from our computer desk. I can't thank you enough Mary Ann - you are a wonderful person and truly a modern master!
Please visit her Etsy shop at www.maryannwakeley.etsy.com
Thursday, December 04, 2008
I've got a new commission project to get started on that I'm very excited about. I created a deposit listing for the project on Etsy (since that is where the customer found me and contacted me) and it inspired me to create a general commission listing to give other folks an idea of how it works and my pricing. No bites yet, but I only have one size listed so far. I'm going to add some more sizes today. You can see them in my Commission section of my Etsy shop at www.livefunky.etsy.com.
WORLD OF IMAGINATION VOL. 2
I also signed on to do a show in 2009 at the APW Gallery in NYC. I've never worked with this gallery before, but the idea for the show grabbed me. You pay $50 to submit 5 works on 12" x 12" canvas. There is no other restriction besides the size. I don't live too far away from the city, so I plan on going to the show on opening night. If you are interested in participating, visit http://apwarts.com/worldofimagination.html. (You can ship your artwork there if you live far away from NYC). If you sign up for the show, let me know!
I re-opened my Etsy shop at www.illustrationstation.etsy.com. I didn't like the look of my illustration prints in my livefunky shop because they just didn't visually groove with my other artwork. I only have one section right now for Figurative Illustrations, I hope to add more to the shop, including abstracts and art for kids.
I'm considering offering art advice online for anyone that would like a little guidance or suggestions for their artwork. I've found that through the years I really love helping other artists and offering suggestions for different directions they could take their work. I'm not exactly an expert in my field, but I do have a good deal of experience working in multiple mediums and styles, and I've taught art lessons to adults and children in the past. I like the idea of working one on one with anyone that would like to develop their artwork. I can also offer advice about marketing their art online. What do you think?
I am really excited to start stretching large canvases to offer in my Boundless Gallery shop. www.JessicaTorrant.boundlessgallery.com. I need to take a trip to the art supply store STAT! Hopefully I'll have some big boys to share with you in early 2009.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
I'm having a 50% off sale in my Etsy shop on select original paintings from now through this Monday at midnight. Get these great savings before they bounce back to their original price!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I purchased this wonderful handmade paper by http://www.ClaudiasCreations.etsy.com. It has a great thickness that can absorb a lot of paint and becomes a bit pliable when it's wet, behaving more like canvas. I love the texture and I'm eager to keep experimenting with it.
I've been out of commission this week because I've had a terrible cold. The good news is I feel like the worst has passed and I'm on my way to being all better. I had the best dream about painting last night - I am so ready to get back to work! Well, today I didn't feel like my head was going to explode so I listed these paintings I made last week and relisted some prints in my Etsy shop. I decided to give them another go after my brief hiatus. They may not sell as well as my originals (which is FINE with me!) but I might as well include them as an option for buyers.
Hope everyone has a great weekend! Happy and healthy!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
TITLE: The Eye in the Land Can See Too
ARTIST: Jessica Torrant
CREATION DATE: 2008
MEDIUM: Acrylic paint, Oil pastels
SURFACE: Canvas panel
SIZE: 8" x 10"
DETAILS: Unframed. Hand signed, titled and dated on the back.
SHIPPING: Shipping is FREE worldwide!
The title for this dreamy abstract actually came from my dream last night. It was probably the most lucid dream I've ever had and seemed so very real, I honestly spent the day questioning if I had just returned from some astral traveling or just a very deep REM sleep. Something clicked when I painted this today and I know I was infulenced by the lingering buzz of my dream journey.
...It's that time of year again, folks. The art I'll be creating from now until spring will be from the inside out.
(See this piece and more new paintings at www.livefunky.etsy.com).
This new acrylic painting on canvas panel has a lot of depth thanks to a layer of craft tissue paper adhered with gel medium. The rough surface picked up color dry brushed over it for a unique, misty effect.
ARTIST: Jessica Torrant
CREATION DATE: 2008
MEDIUM: Acrylic paint, craft tissue paper, acrylic gel medium
SURFACE: Canvas panel
SIZE: 8" x 10"
Available at www.livefunky.etsy.com
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Have you guys seen this site yet? http://emptyeasel.com/ There are a ton of great articles, reviews of art sites and tutorials. I know, one more site to get sucked into, but this is great because it has so much helpful information for artists that want to sell online.
Next up - MORE ART!
Saturday, November 08, 2008
But with my very brief experience now with Artbreak I like that it has a very interactive feel between the artists on the site. I'll be playing around on there for the next hour or so looking at all of the great art! Here is my page on Artbreak http://www.artbreak.com/JessicaTorrant. If you click on the bold artbreak logo in the top left it will take you to the home page. You may notice I have the same paintings I have on Boundless. I know it's against Etsy rules to post your listings elsewhere so that's been driven into me as a no-no. But looking into how other artists on BG are marketing their art, I saw the same paintings on multiple sites so I figured why not me too!? The odds of selling the same higher end painting in the same day are pretty low (working to change that!) and I'm online every day.
One more thing before I bounce back to Artbreak... Please come to my BG page and vote for me in the Black Friday contest! It's free and easy to sign up as a Customer. Here's the details...
The 2nd annual "Black Friday @ Boundless" contest is here, giving you the opportunity to support your favorite Boundless artists and win! 8 lucky artists will be featured on the Boundless homepage during the biggest shopping day of the year.
How to Play:
• Sign In or Create an Account.
•Vote for your favorite artist on their profile page before Friday, November 21st.
•Visit Boundless on Black Friday, November 28th, and vote on the top 8.
Everyone who votes in both rounds will automatically be entered to win.
Grand Prize $300 Gift Certificate
Runner-Up $100 Gift Certificate
VOTE FOR ME AT www.JessicaTorrant.boundlessgallery.com
Friday, November 07, 2008
At some point this year I started to think about expanding outside of Etsy because let's face it - there are a LOT more artists there than when I started and I found my most consistent sales were for art up to $100, rarely over. I looked around the web for other art sites. Every search I did from "abstract painting" to "contemporary art" to "buy modern art" Boundless Gallery would pop up in searches. I looked into it again and felt really drawn to it thinking YES, now is a good time to take the plunge. When I showed Rob the site he got REALLY excited about it. He, like others in my orbit, have been so encouraging for me to keep raising the bar higher and higher - from my price range to scale to where I share my work. My whole summer plan was to clear my Etsy shop and include only my best of the best but that was a plan that had many holes in it. It just wasn't the right fit for Etsy. Still, the desire to raise the bar persisted, so I decided to give Boundless Gallery a go.
My site on Boundless is not even one day old, but I have begun with my Fall 2008 Series and you can see my site at www.JessicaTorrant.boundlessgallery.com.
As for Etsy, I've not only removed my higher end items, I've also removed my prints because as popular as they could be, it just doesn't sit well with me in the spirit of handmade that makes Etsy so special. (I may start selling my prints on eBay eventually, but for now I'm taking a break). I'll be honing in on affordable originals for my Etsy shop and I've got lots of smaller canvases to work on in the coming days.
Come visit me on Boundless Gallery and let me know what you think!
I can visualize all of the things that would make this place extra fabulous and would attract local business and support but it all comes down to..... is that how I want to spend my days? And the answer is no. Painting is the only thing I can really see myself doing and WANTING to do day after day. Still, the vision of this alternate life is so sweet in theory (did I mention the organic garden out back, the canning and freezing at the end of the season, the local goat cheese? it goes on and on...). So maybe I need to shoot for making so much bank with my art that I can buy and operate the biz, come up with recipes, decor, etc - all the fun stuff - and leave the opening at 5 am, daily cooking, cleaning and accounting to my staff. Now THAT's sounding a little better!
Taking it to the next level, I would love to buy a two or three story old main st. victorian somewhere in this area (northern CT) or Western MA with enough land for gardens and a barn/studio out back. We would live in the upper stories, I would paint out back, and the business would be operated out of the first floor. That would allow for multiple rooms = more space to exhibit art and sell everything from clothes to jewelry to handmade toys (I'd be depending heavily on Etsy sellers!) as WELL as having the space for people to lounge and hang for a bit. The food part of it really doesn't even need to be there, it would mean a lot of extra work and permits, but it would attract more people to the space. Imagine someone on their lunch break - they could go get a fast food lunch that weighs them down and makes them ill, or they could come to my place to get healthy, fresh, homemade meal and check out some cool art while they are there or chat with other friendly locals. Good times!
Ah... I'm rambling, but Rob and I got talking about this dream again last night (it's a subject I've gone round and round with him and my best friend Emily too for years) and it always ends with "yeah, but I don't want to spend my days managing that business. I want to focus on art.". Then it hit me that as part of dreaming big, why NOT dream it exactly the way you want it? I can be the owner but I don't need to be present. I could hire some young artist to man the store while I'm working out back and I can check in when I come in for lunch and cover it when I have to. This is a mighty big dream but I guess I'm spelling it all out here to get it out of my head and into the universe. The first step is visualizing that anything is possible...
What's your BIG dream?
Thursday, November 06, 2008
First let me say....
Today is a new day and so will tomorrow and the next. I feel excited and inspired that we will keep this feeling afloat and carry it with us, step by step, day by day, changing the world for the better for generations to come. I want to leave my children and theirs a world that has clean air, land, rivers and oceans. I want to leave them a legacy of great success and change happening through forgiveness, diplomacy and non violent action rather than war. I'm going to keep dreaming big, for myself and for the world.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Check out all of my Mixed Bag sets at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=102895§ion_id=5722626
Saturday, November 01, 2008
We stopped at my parent's house before we went to Rob's parent's house. The oldest was feeling too old to dress up, and his gag leading up to the big day was "I'm going as the ghost of a fourteen year old boy". But at the last minute he asked if I wanted to paint his face and I jumped at the chance. He looks really ghoulish and it delighted my Dad that he decided to dress up afterall (see him pointing and smiling in the window). My Dad really hammed it up for them and my mom was so happy to see everyone all dressed up. She and I had some great times when I was a kid walking around with my best friend and her mom and the kids in her neighborhood. I have always loved this holiday. Maybe it's the theatrical bit in me - playing dress up - being able to get outside of your own self definition for a night. I remember being a professor, a hippy (would I get away with that Love Not War poster now? haha I wonder), an angel (which was a sewing project gone horribly wrong worn to school in junior high. Let's just say that was a day that I wanted to shrink my super tall self down to the size of a pea). Since Rob and the kids have come into my life, my love for the holiday is renewed in a new way. Love it.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
This image is now available as a hand signed print in my Etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=16429237.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Visit my Etsy shop this weekend for a special sale! 20% off of everything in my shop. You could save lots on my larger work, so if you like my pricier paintings, now is the time to buy!
Friday, October 17, 2008
So I'm sorry if my previous post may have inspired anyone to sign up. I hate to think that I recommended something that I didn't really explore every aspect of. Lesson learned, and to those who are using the site, I hope that they work out their kinks and sales start pouring in for you all. As for me, this first impression was not a good one at all, and I doubt I'll be back. Well, maybe after a year and lots of other people's praise from personal experience, but not until then.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
There's Magic Here - Original acrylic painting on 8" x 10" canvas panel, 2008.
Now available in my Etsy shop at www.livefunky.etsy.com
Monday, October 13, 2008
Now... I just have to say this. Some people wouldn't get it. It's not your usual girly dollhouse with a picket fence that daddy built or anything. But I absolutely love it. And the little girl in me does too. Being a quirky, natural scavenger myself as a little girl, I would have fallen in love with this wild playscape and added my own collection of various shaped and sized critters and found objects. Todd and I had some great conversations today as we worked, and I know he won't mind me sharing that some of those conversations included what it's like being quirky (which we both are) and how sometimes people can't really understand it. Like talking to ourselves, or bouncing between different projects at once when you get excited, or following your intuition rather than a map. There's room for all of us in this world, and when I think about my friend Todd, I thank God for people like him on this Earth. He is constantly meeting new people and befriending them wherever he goes, and he's a roamer. He has passionate and creative ideas and he pursues them right away, not in a rush, but not put on the list of "someday I will...". I've got more to share about Todd, but let me get to what we worked on today...
Todd and the project.
Ok. I was introduced to the amazing music of Fela Kuti today. Here is a clip for your enjoyment.
I've got more to share about Todd and what he's up to, but I'll be saving that for tomorrow. Good night and peace.