Monday, March 26, 2012

Painting Season Begins

Happy Spring! 

In classic New England style, the end of this March has included wearing everything from winter boots and layers, to flip flops and tank tops as the weather greatly fluctuates - even flirting with summer temperatures (though we're expecting a frost tonight). As soon as I see my daffodils blooming, I know my painting studio is open for business!

This winter I did more painting than usual inside my home, but that was in preparation for a show. Even though I love the paintings themselves, there is nothing to compare working in my real workspace vs crammed in our kitchen. Ahh... to be outside again...

Here are the first paintings completed in my studio in 2012.









In other news, I am thrilled to announce that I am now working with McGaw Graphics to reproduce many of my latest paintings in the Fresh Impressions series. They won't be available until May but you can be certain I'll keep everyone updated when they are released. This is such a thrill for me and I feel I need to give a little backstory to tell you why.

When I was 16/17, I got my first real job at a picture frame shop in our local mall. My high school art teacher hooked me up with the job because he was friends with the owner and I quickly fell in love with all aspects of the trade. Picture framing ended up becoming my full time trade for many, many years to follow and was my last "real" job before pursuing an art business full time. Going back to those early days in a small shop, there was a lot of down time towards the end of the night if all the jobs were completed, and I often spent the last half hour gazing through print catalogs. Now everyone gets their prints online, but at the time, we special ordered tons of prints via catalog for customers. Out of stacks of catalogs only two do I remember; Bruce McGaw and Applejack Graphics. Bruce McGaw was the go-to catalog for most requests - I recall them carrying pretty much everything under the sun. Applejack was my personal favorite because it featured living "unknown" artists (aka no Monet's, Renoirs, etc) and they had a little picture of the artist (often in their workspace) and an artist bio at the top of their page of prints. I looked through Applejack dreaming of someday living like those artists, and the artwork I discovered on those pages was my first exposure to what living, working artists were painting/creating in the "here and now". Of course the "here and now" then was *gulp* almost 20 years ago, so let's fast forward to the "here and now" now

In January I was contacted via my Etsy shop by a representative from McGaw graphics to license some of my paintings. (The fact that I had just had a brief "affair" with another website to sell my art and then quickly returned back to Etsy in time to get discovered by this person was definitely not lost on me. Phew!) Since then, via many exchanges, I am officially on board, the contract was signed, sealed and delivered, and I couldn't be happier about it. McGaw Graphics works with interior design firms, picture framers, department stores and they have a beautiful website and still offer catalogs. They are also affiliates with many popular art sites such as art.com, artprints.com and many others, so don't be surprised if you see my pieces start to pop up there as well.

So let's get to what makes this so crazy - Bruce McGaw was bought by... APPLEJACK GRAPHICS! Hence the name change. Isn't that wild? So they are now basically the best of both worlds. They represent Disney as well as many modern master's estates (Rothko, Pollock for example) but at the same time, they represent many living, working artists today such as myself. It's just too cool the way things come around full circle. A little nibble of inspiration in 1994 has circled around to bless me with opportunity in 2012. What a world...

One final tidbit, in the early 2000's I submitted my art for review to Applejack before they merged with Bruce McGaw (something I knew nothing about until this all came up recently). I was rejected. The lesson is, once again, don't ever give up when it comes to your passion, your creativity. You never know when an opportunity will come along that will validate all of your years of hard work, determination and effort!

7 comments:

Aubrey said...

Wow. Great to hear a bit about where you're coming from. Also, the vertical pieces you're painting are intriguing!

Bhavna said...

I think this is a wonderfull blog. The work posted touches the souls as an artist. The creative process had always brought happiness and given me a feeling of accomplishment, self – satisfaction and contentment. Now I plan to successfully translate this passion into an exciting career and prays that this zeal for art can become a larger part of my life as I grow as an artist.

Murphy's Mom said...

Ugh! I have been stuck painting in the kitchen all winter too! It is torture! No space! So I experimented with small book making projects and watercolors. We had two weeks in the 70s, and dropped to 13 two nights ago. (Northern NY, crazy weather) Soon I will be out on the porch again.

Love your paintings and stamp carving. I have picked up the stamp carving again...it is small sized and I find I can get lost in the quiet contemplation of the design and the execution.

Keep painting!

Jessica Torrant said...

Thank you Aubrey and Bhavna!

Murphy's Mom - You know the frustration! (Plus I always end up getting paint on furniture and the floors). I also hear you about carving stamps, it is a very soothing, meditative process. Cheers to painting outdoors again!

Susie Tenzer said...

kudos to you! loved reading your story

Kendra Zvonik said...

Congratulations Jessica! I love the series and can't wait to see more! I hear you loud & clear about having faith and patience with the universe. I'm on your side :)

Jessica Torrant said...

Thanks so much Susie and Kendra!