Thursday, May 28, 2009


Escape - Acrylic on 20 x 30 canvas, 2009
Available for purchase at
This is the painting I was wrestling with the other day. I love how it ended up and of course had no idea it would work out this way. It just arrived here through many layers and attempts for something to click. The colors remind me of the butter yellows, violets and blues in pansies.

So my friends - I have a question for you. In the picture above you can see I've centered the full image of my painting over this square. The reason is to have the entire painting show up in the listings on the front page of my shop, There are pros and cons to using this style as my first picture.

Professional looking
Entire painting is seen for the first impression

Sort of goes against the "Etsy grain" - doesn't have that Etsy look (if you use Etsy, you know what I mean - macro shots, side shots, close ups, etc)
Less likely to be chosen for Treasuries

So on the one hand, I started out with this shop thinking "this is not about Etsy, this is about my vision and style". I want to present myself with professionalism and high quality work so you visit my store feeling like you're walking into a virtual gallery - not just a "shop". I want to cater to art collectors, not necessarily just Etsy customers. Please understand in trying to express my vision, in no way am I putting down the Etsy style, look, way, lingo, etc. etc. I just got a little too obsessed with it with livefunky and along the way lost a piece of my own vision as an artist. I'd like to keep challenging myself to market Etsy-popular items in livefunky and with this new gallery shop, I can free myself of those concerns and focus on the art, period. Allllll that being said, it brings me back to this presentation. What do you think of it? Do you like it? Does it turn you off? What sort of presentation do you like best or would suggest?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Catching Up

garden shop in the berkshires, originally uploaded by livefunky.

I had a wonderful weekend that all came together rather impulsively, which is usually when the best adventures happen. My mother and I drove up to the Berkshires in Mass, an area that's only about an hour and forty five minute drive from where I live, but I have only been there once before years ago. It was such a delight exploring the towns of Lenox, Lee, Great Barrington - all so charming with lush green mountains surrounding every beautiful view. Even though there are tons of galleries and shops in each town, we focused more on the natural spaces visiting the Audobon sanctuary for a nice walk and soaking up the bird calls and fluttering things. We stopped by the botanical gardens and then went to this garden shop that was like heaven. We each walked away with a few plants for our gardens and just walking around all of the beautiful flowers and plants was rejuvinating. We came across many lovely people up there and had some great meals and conversation. On Memorial Day, my family went to Bigelow Hollow which is a state park with a large, beautiful lake that is great for swimming. So today I am still feeling refreshed and happy from my mini vacation and I'm looking forward to taking this energy into the studio. And on that note... off I go!

Friday, May 22, 2009

today was... productive? yes, productive

I painted up a storm today. Covered all four limbs in the stuff and everything was in harmony - sun shining bright, blue skies, feeling good, I even had another visit with the butterfly (yup, he landed on my wrist again today!). I had a lot of fun playing around and testing things out. There were many moments of "yes! that's niiiice" but I would get a new idea to make it even better and that wouldn't work out exactly as planned and the cycle kept looping as more paint was squeezed out, brushed or splattered on, wiped off, repeat. I think it's hilarious that my last post yesterday was of this painting that I keep layering over - it really COULD have been done if I just LET it be done! haha It's ok. It looks totally different than in this picture too - seriously, this painting has lived more lives than an extra lucky cat.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Work in Progress

This puppy is close. Really close.

Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains - Acrylic and texture mediums on 30 x 40 canvas
Available for purchase at

This painting has layers of gritty pumice stone under the paint. Surrounded by all of the green foliage in the backyard, I'm just naturally drawn to using this color. Today has been a great day. I had a cool experience of going out to the studio to set up, getting giddy about the cleaned space and skipping back to the house to get something. On my way, this dark brown butterfly that I've seen every day since the first warm days of spring fluttered up to me and hovered a few inches away from my face. It startled me and I sort of dashed away from it. Seconds later I was saying out loud, "I'm sorry butterfly, I shouldn't have been scared of you". Once I got whatever I needed in the house, I headed back to the studio looking around for my butterfly buddy. I stood in the backyard looking around and then all of a sudden it fluttered towards me fast and I wasn't scared, I raised my hand up and it landed on my wrist! It stayed there for a good 45 seconds as I stared at it in awe whispering to the butterfly telling him how pretty he was. I took a step and he flew off, dancing above my head for a bit then flying off into the woods. It was a real connection and it boosted me up before I started painting. After that encounter I giggled realizing I all of a sudden had "The Sign" by Ace of Base in my head for no apparent reason.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

(late) spring cleaning

So fresh and so clean! The studio has been picked up, reorganized, sorted and thought through, and it's now ready to be torn up into a fine mess in the spirit of wild inspiration. Let the games begin.


Modern Castle - Mixed Media on archival matboard

Dream of Atlantis - Mixed Media on archival matboard

Popular Mechanics - Mixed Media on archival matboard

New ACEOs in my LiveFunky Etsy shop.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Delicate Illusions

Delicate Illusions - 24" x 10" triptych on canvas, 2009
Available for purchase at

In this piece, I experimented with layering in embroidery floss. It has an interesting look on the surface. In this painting it serves as an accent, in the future I'd like to play around with covering the whole surface with swirling threads.

I'd like to say a belated Happy Mother's Day to all of you hard working mamas! I hope your families spoiled you rotten and showered you with love and thanks. Rob and I had a great day, first visiting my parents then going to a cookout at his parent's house with his siblings and our niece and nephew. They are SO much fun to play with and I wish I could bottle their energy! I am so incredibly thankful to have my mother in my life. We're planning a mother daughter get away soon which I'm really looking forward to. I love my mom so so so much. Thank you God for her continued health and spirit of optimism and faith.

Today is the last day I'll be 31 and I feel a little... off. I am not sad or anything to be turning 32, just sort of contemplative I guess. Life really does fly by. Whenever you hit a milestone it's only natural to look at your life and ask what have I accomplished? What am I doing right? What am I doing wrong? I don't know why today is any different than tomorrow or the next day and there's no reason to feel like I should be on top of the world by age X, you know? But still, it's in there. High expectations of yourself can drive you to be the best you can be, it can also overwhelm you and get the better of you. I've got to let those feelings pass right on by and welcome in the spirit of gratitude my mother has taught me so much about. I'm here. I have love, I have family, I have dear friendships. There is so much to be thankful for, and I am. I really am.

UPDATE: Ok, a mood adjustment was in order so I went to my cousin's house to get out of my head. What a relief! I helped him work on his gardens, gathered a few plants to take home to my own garden, laid in the grass, watched a hawk swirl over me, and took in a gorgeous sunset. Nothing like digging in the dirt to get you out of a funk. My momentary funk is now officially over. Let good things grow!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Mini Paintings on LiveFunky

Acrylic mini abstract on 4" x 4" matboard, 2009
Available for purchase at

On a rainy day this week I worked in the basement on these 4x4 squares of matboard. I have stacks of archival matboard I inherited from one of my framing gigs years ago. They are in beautiful shape (did I mention archival? these boards will probably outlive me!) and for smaller sizes, you can display them "as is" on a mini easel.

I spent the day tediously going through my livefunky shop updating listings (free shipping in the US and Canada) and eliminating all paintings larger than 8" x 10". I've decided to focus on small scale originals for livefunky. ACEOs will be making a comeback and I'm going to be working with some recycled paper panels from Kendra of I like the distinction now. I'll always be doodling and working on mini projects when I'm not working on big bad canvases in the studio.

It just worked out that these became abstract semi-landscape studies but in the future I'll be playing with my more linear and atmospheric abstracts. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Jess :)

Friday, May 08, 2009

Greatest Aspirations

Greatest Aspirations - Acrylic on 18" x 24" canvas, 2009

Finding New Ground

Pulse - Acrylic on 18" x 24" canvas, 2009
In this latest painting, I like the contrast of the horizon line that closely follow the lines of the texture vs. the rough surface of the bottom three quarters. As opposed to Horizon 2, this piece evolved pretty quickly and the moment to call it quits came surprisingly fast. For a moment I doubted it thinking, 'but-but-I haven't wrestled with this for days, it hasn't had fifty different lives before this one, is it really done??' but yes, it is. Not all paintings need to rip your heart out, stomp on it, then put it all back together again for you just when you've come close to giving up. Some paintings mess with you like that, others are eagerly awaiting completion and will help you get there any way they can. Those are very polite paintings. I'd invite them to a dinner party.

I've been thinking about the series that I sort of canned for now that was very thought out (was going to be called Relations - maybe it will resurface someday at the right time). I had sketched out all of these painting ideas and then when it came time to actually PAINT I was drawn in totally different direction. I do, however, have that painting Leaning (first painting of Relations) to thank for this new textural direction. It's hanging in front of me unfinished and that's just fine.

I think these new paintings are THE series - they came to me unexpected and deserve some kind of recognition as a group. Thinking about this yesterday as I was working on a bunch of new canvases (one is close to done - can't wait to share it!) I came up with the phrase "Finding New Ground". Part of this is a nod to the technical process - the painterly sense of "ground". It's also of course related to landscapes and my attempt to express a sense of space, teetering on the edge of reality and dreamworld/imagination. Lastly it's sort of a personal declaration, finding my own footing in this new phase of my life. Sensing changes, good changes, shifting priorities and desires, letting go of ways I've defined myself in the past and embracing the unknown of the present and the future.

Time to go back to the studio. Hope everyone is having a great day.

Monday, May 04, 2009

wax on, wax off

Horizon Line 2 - Acrylic on 24" x 36" canvas, 2009
Available at

This piece has had so many incarnations, but I'm pleased with the final product, though it's much different than I had expected. Lots of layering on paint and then wiping it away. I've been experimenting with various approaches to get the textural effects to pop. I'm in that mode where I want to consume paintings, hungry for more knowledge and experience. It's a thrilling feeling but I have to be careful to not get burned out. It's a very physical process and I'm focusing so intensely - it's exhausting, but in a good way, like a day at the beach. I'll be back at it tomorrow - time to relax and unwind for the night. Take care.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

I Keep You In My Heart

I Keep You In My Heart - Mixed media on 18" x 24" canvas, 2009

This painting was an absolute thrill to create from the very first splash of paint to the final details and the voice that said "STOP!" as chills ran up my spine. I actually shed a few tears writing this for the Etsy listing...

"I am head over heals for this painting! I poured my heart and soul into this piece - every element was finely considered and worked over until it was just right. The overall canvas has layers of acrylic texture medium and the mystical blues and purples illuminate the surface with a translucent layer of silvery mist. The rectangle is a piece of linen adhered to the surface with gel medium and painted over in silver metallic paint. The finest details of all are the three freshwater pearls suspended in the rectangle, handsewn onto the canvas. I believe this is the first time I've ever sewn something onto a painting and I absolutely love the effect.

This piece is all about love. I look at the pearls and think of my husband, my three step kids, my best friends, my parents and grandparents, and those that are no longer in my life but most certainly in my heart and spirit. I do believe that art is infused with the energy and spirit of the creator - their mood and emotions upon creation are imprinted within the fibers of the canvas and layers of paint. This painting was a meditation for me that led to feelings of bliss and pure love. I think that energy will reside and shine out of this piece for as long as it exists, and that makes me very, very happy."