Saturday, August 30, 2008

Collective Dream Stream

Original acrylic painting on 8x8 inch box canvas, created in 8/2008. Now available at

The Art of Cooking 2 - Fruit and Cheese Salad

This installment of the Art of Cooking is a simple and DELICIOUS salad I'm calling the Fruit and Cheese Salad. We've been trying to have as much salad as possible with our meals, and the standard veggie salad with Italian dressing was getting a bit old, so I mixed it up a bit tonight.

What's In There?
Mixed greens
Yellow tomatoes (fresh and local!)
Red onion
Peeled and diced orange
Halved red grapes
Crumbled goat cheese
Strawberry slices
Served with a raspberry poppy seed vinaigrette.

I think apples, pears and grapefruit would be good substitutes and/or additions to this salad.
Check out my first installment of the Art of Cooking HERE!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Here I am! - by Jessica Torrant Portfolio

I've been a member of absolutearts for some time now but I've never offered anything for sale. I'm now offering some very recent paintings for sale here to see how things go. Please feel free to contact me at with any questions or comments you may have about me or my work. Thank you! Portfolio

Big eBay Sale!

Today I listed 51 paintings (possibly more later tonight) on eBay with auctions ending in 3, 5 and 7 days. The starting bids are all greatly discounted from my usual prices.

Original acrylic paintings on paper - $9.99 and up starting bid/no reserve
Original acrylic paintings on canvas board - $19.99 starting bid/no reserve
Original acrylic paintings on stretched canvas - $39.99 starting bid/no reserve

I'm offering these at such a discount because I only want to work on gallery wrapped canvases from now on. You can see all of my current auctions here

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Summer Day Dance

Original acrylic painting on 12" x 12" box canvas, created 8/2008. Available at

Documenting my routine

Take a morning hike on a local trail through Shenipsit State Forest with my two loves, Leo the dog and Rob the husband. (Rob is on vacation this week - he makes taking a walk ten times more fun).

Get home and start painting. I've been working in the screened in area of the porch because the weather has been so nice. It's so easy to get in a groove listening to the birds sing and the chipmunks peep and scurry about. I love it out there.

You'll see those craft bottles of acrylic there. I've been using them for base coats and then I work over the surface with higher quality paint. You can call me frugal franny if you like, I won't mind.

Continuing on the frugal tip, instead of buying some pre made bbq sauce for our chicken tonight, I whipped up some homemade sauce, a little trick I learned from my dad. Ketchup, molasses, spicy mustard, garlic powder, ground red pepper, and some of my favorite dry rub. I put some boneless thighs in there, as well as chopped onions that caramelize, to marinate for a few hours before baking them. Let me just say, I have a new favorite recipe.

The energetic boy has refueled from his walk and is ready for more. A good old Frisbee session in the back yard is in order.

Back out to the studio to paint, and take pictures of finished paintings, then it's time to call it a day and get started on dinner. After dinner, I dive into online work - promoting and adding new pictures to my various sites. At some point we'll go to bed then the whole routine begins again tomorrow.

So there it is. Not especially exciting or anything, but it's my life, and I love every minute of it.

In an Instant

Original acrylic painting on 8" x 10" stretched canvas. Created in 8/2008.

Since I am trying to keep my Etsy shop filled with only the best of the best, I decided to list this painting on eBay instead because the canvas has stapled sides. I bought staple sided canvases for years at a discount store in the area because, well, they were inexpensive and readily available. But I've found that spending a bit more on a staple free canvas is so worth it because so many contemporary art collectors don't want to worry about a frame.

I like the interesting palette in this piece - a soft pink contrasted against darks and a bold yellow. I'm starting the bidding at a much lower price than what I'd usually charge so if you're looking to invest in my art, but you want an affordable option, you should CHECK OUT THIS AUCTION!

Push and Pull

Original acrylic painting on 8" x 8" box canvas, created 8/2008. Available in my Etsy shop at

Monday, August 25, 2008

Worlds Collide

Original acrylic painting on gallery wrapped canvas. Now available at


Original acrylic painting on gallery wrapped canvas. Now available at

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Testing the Water

This watercolor painting is on acid free watercolor paper. It is being sold unframed for the custom framing of your choice, or an easy DIY project by popping it in a ready made, standard sized 8" x 10" frame (Note: painting goes to the edges of the paper). For a great overview of more in depth DIY picture framing, check out this blog post.
Now available for purchase in my Etsy shop

Today was a great day - very productive! After a walk in the woods with Leo and Rob, I spent the rest of the day in the studio painting. At first I played with some watercolors (this is the most successful one among the three I worked on - the other two are currently incubating) and then switched to acrylic on various canvases. I "tagged" around ten paintings with a fast first pass of color compositions. Just getting back into the flow of things, the feel of it, the zone. Tomorrow I will be getting back into each one, and I'll have at least one complete painting to share by the end of the day.


Deep Breath

family portrait, originally uploaded by livefunky.

Sitting on the shore, watching my step son wade out for one last swim of the day, I had this amazing feeling wash over me. Everything that matters is ok. In fact, it's ideal. The things that matter are love and family and inner joy/peace - check, check and double check.

The things that don't matter are the things that we left in a flurry of stress about. It all boils down to one thing - paying the bills. The almighty dollar. It is amazing how such an abstract thing can cause such real emotional, physical and psychological distress. When we returned to our home last night (and the stack of new bills waiting for us like a chorus of Debbie Downers) I couldn't help but let it get me down for a moment. After a "poor me" (or actually "us") cry, we talked it out and toasted a glass of wine to keeping our dreams alive and having patience in ourselves as we take each day at a time.

Uploading our vacation pictures to flickr was the best medicine as the salty air recent memories filled me and replaced my fear and stress with that same optomistic energy I felt every day of our trip. We may be in a pinch, but who isn't? EVERYTHING has gone up - everything. Whereas a year ago we could manage to skate by, even when unexpected car repairs or whatever popped up, now it's a constant skate and that wears on you. But it's wearing on EVERYONE. We are not alone, not by a long shot. There are folks that have to forclose on their beloved homes. There are folks that go without heat because they can't fill their oil tank. I must always be grateful for the blessings that we have and faith that God will provide when we cannot. He always does - when will I finally realize that and do what my mom always says "let go and let God"? Today I resolve to say no to stress and yes to life.

So - back to the best vacation ever.

We stayed in a big, old house built in 1898 right on Wells beach in Maine with a large group of family and friends. Feeling like we owned that chunk of sand and sea in front of us and spending every available moment outside. At night, there are no lights, no noisy traffic to disturb the peaceful sound of lapping waves and the nightly show of a huge, red moon rising over the ocean. We ate lobster, we boogie boarded on some "gnarly waves" (as my step daughter said, getting a laugh every time), we had deep and silly conversations, we shared ghost stories by the fire and had sing alongs. Every day the sun came out hot and heavy, with just a few puffy clouds in sight. Every day we bonded with Mother Ocean, swimming, walking beside her, and searching tide pools for hermit crabs and baby lobsters. As an added bonus, there was a ping pong table. So much fun working up a sweat with a few matches then going for a dip in the chilly water. My mom got to go for a swim in the ocean for the first time since her stroke in 2005. It was a wild group effort getting her out there, but she loved it. With my dad and I on either side of her holding her up and bouncing up over a wave, she giggled like a little girl with a wild smile on her face. That will be one of the memories I hold in my heart forever.

It was a magic vacation based on very simple, down to earth elements. Ocean, family, friends, food, fun, relaxation and conversation. No need to go all over the place or spend money on amusement parks or mini golf. A ping pong table, deck of cards, a scrabble board, our imaginations and the sea were all the entertainment we needed. I am so thankful for my parents organizing this and bringing everyone together. If you read this mom and dad, we all love you and thank you for the best family vacation we've ever had.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Back to the beach!

I'm going to be away for the next week. We are leaving tonight to go to Maine. I am PUMPED! And I must return to packing as I'm always a last minute girl. Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Series of original ACEOs

Well, it's official. My summer sale has come to a close. I cleared out my Etsy shop of all of my older work to clean the slate. I am going to be away on vacation next week and then I'm looking forward on starting my new series when I return.

In the meantime, I had ants in my pants and I had to do something. ACEOs seemed like the perfect solution for my idle hands! I have made a collection of new watercolor ACEOs, such as this one called Dance. You can find them all in my Etsy shop at

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Crowded Shoe

Designing funky Keds on Zazzle is addicting. This is my new favorite pair. They feature my black and white Crowded House design along with a red and white polka dot insole. This pair of sweet ladies shoes should scream "Hey man, I may not be good in crowds, but get me alone and I'm a real laugh riot".

Get them in your size HERE - which means this link - yes, please click on it.

Graphic Art Sneakers - Keds get a makeover

Check out my new line of Ked's shoes at* -sassy footwear is where it's at!

New and Improved Website

In the last few days and nights, I've been steadily working on revamping my website. I have to say, it's my favorite version to date. The design concept is simple and I hope that it is easy as well as interesting to navigate. There are still some things I need to add (like tags and page titles) but for the most part, it's complete!

Please check it out and let me know what you think. I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions.

What I'm most excited about is my new Art Prints of the Month feature. Each month I'll be offering three new print designs to be purchased directly from my website. Check out the August collection HERE!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Good times

These pictures were taken tonight at my cousin Steve's house. He and his wife live in a farmhouse less than a mile down the hill from our house with some wonderful, lush property. Steve and Rob are old friends and I have a brotherly connection with him, so we all have a good old time when we hang out. The pictures above are of the insane blackberry bushes at their house LOADED with fruit. I picked a bunch to mix with some fresh local peaches for dessert. Ah the bounty of summer fruits and veggies! I'm in heaven.

No artwork updates right now. I'm working on home improvement stuff and just enjoying the golden days of summer as much as I can. Happy summer to all.