Friday, January 26, 2007

Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary

I just finished watching a Today show interview about this amazing place and the people that started it all. Here is the opening paragraph from their website:

"We founded the Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary in December 2000, shortly after moving to the ranch permanently. When we first bought the property in the summer of 1998, our dream was to turn these 160 acres of open grassland and cottonwoods into a sanctuary for animals who are disabled. These are the animals who are the least likely to be adopted and the most likely to be euthanized in traditional shelters. The ranch is now home to nearly 80 animals, more than half of them blind."

As many of you already know, I am SUCH a dog lover, and doing something just like this has always been on my "if I ever win the lottery" list. If I could, I'd adopt them all! But as it is, we're somehow squeezing two adults, three kids, and a ninety pound lab in this tiny 2 bdr house of ours, so one more living being in here just might split the walls at the seams. We plan on moving in the next year or so, so when that happens, I'll be making a trip to the pound to adopt a new member of the family.

The animals in their care are the ones that no one wants. They need extra attention (and love!), and in many cases, have expensive medical problems. In the interview, they showed a few blind, and deaf dogs, a dog with three legs, a beauty with neurological problems, and a little tiny guy that needed the help of a rollerskate looking aparatus that helped him move along. I fell in love with all of them! They all looked so happy, running free in this gorgeous setting. Doggie heaven on Earth.

Since I can't really afford to donate any money to them right now, I'd like to offer my paintings. Just contact me about what piece you'd like, and then you can make a donation in the amount of the painting (or more!) to the Rolling Dog Ranch, and I'll ship the painting to you.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

New Work

This is another new ink and watercolor I created last night that is now in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Torn Between The Two SOLD

Torn Between The Two, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

This is a brand new ink and watercolor painting that I've just listed in my Etsy store.

I see this woman as being torn between two worlds - the one she's in, and the one that is weighing on her. This piece is really about choices and how confusing making them can be sometimes.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Together We Can Heal

Together We Can Heal

Here is another new painting on cardboard. Available at

The Wait

thewait, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

This is one of a few new paintings in acrylic. I've been working on pieces of cardboard and I think I'm going to try and keep working small on cardboard rather than buying 8x10 canvas boards and other smaller surfaces. These can be the reference for larger paintings on canvas (as much as I want to go Green in my life, I can't give up big, juicey canvases - at least not yet).

These works on cardboard will, for now, be only $20 with free shipping to the US, UK and Canda. Check for availability.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Enthusiasm In Motion

Enthusiasm In Motion, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

While creating this I kept thinking it was too busy, but I just couldn't help but go further. Now I love it's sense of controlled chaos, and the color grouping ended up being something a little out of the ordinary for me - which is a good thing. I think I need to get to the studio and work a lot bigger, but the slippery snow outside makes me want to be a homebody and paint on any surface I can find. Which leads me to some paintings on cardboard I'm going to sell for a sweet deal on etsy... Check out for more.

Looking Forward

Looking Forward, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

This is a brand new painting I just finished. It is acrylic on 8" x 10" canvas and I've just listed it in my Etsy store. I'm pretty happy with this piece, and I think I'm going to play with this style a little more this evening.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Monterey, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

This is my painting that will be in the Florida WWAO exhibit, A Woman's Work Is Never Done. The next post has information about the show.

A Woman's Work Is Never Done

I will have one of my paintings in the upcoming exhibit, A Woman's Work Is Never Done at the Progress Energy Art Gallery in New Port Richey, Florida. All of the information about the show is featured below, and is courtesty of

My painting that I've contributed for the show was used for the flier, seen below. The title of the painting is Monterey.

Location: Progress Energy Art Gallery
6231 Grand Boulevard, New Port Richey, FL

When: Friday, February 2, 6:00pm

Phone: 727.848.6500


Women Artists From Around the World Exhibit To Aid Czech Photographers

The New Year is starting off with a definite global flavor at the Progress Art Gallery in downtown New Port Richey. During the months of February and March the Worldwide Women Artists members will be exhibiting artwork from local members as well as from members all across the globe in the show, A Woman's Work is Never Done. The exhibit opens Friday, February 2 at 6:00 p.m.

This dynamic group, led by artists Laura Milnor Iverson and Teresa Turner who created the group in May 2004, has a long history of using art to help nonprofit organizations and charities. Ms. Iverson has been a leader in the online art community, setting a fine example for other artists and encouraging artists to take on the role of philanthropist. She has been featured on the website for her efforts.

The February exhibit is dedicated to the strength, passion and compassion of women and their impact on the world around us today. The art collection will be as diverse as the women who create it; with influences from all around the US and the world including the etherlands,Canada, Greece & Brazil. Local members include Michelle Astuto Collins, Paula Showen, and Toni K. "This exhibit is going to be absolutely fantastic," says Exhibit Coordinator Michelle Astuto Collins. "It's something I've wanted to do for a long time and now to see all of this artwork from around the world here in our Gallery is just an amazing accomplishment. I know the public is going to love the diversity and quality of this exhibit."

The Gallery will be donating a percentage of all sales from this exhibit to raising funds for the following exhibit A Czech Dialogue: Images from the 7,65foto Club located in the Czech Republic town of Liberec. This exhibit will take place April through May 2007 and several of the artists will be in attendance to personally share in this exchange of cultures.

The artists from WWAO are also going to be hosting an online art sale during the month of March in which they will also be donating part of the proceeds to the Czech exhibit. The online sale will begin March 1 and go through March 15. Sale items may be found at the Gallery's website,

The Progress Energy Art Gallery is a community gallery which was opened by the not-for-profit organization, Greater New Port Richey Main Street with a grant from Progress Energy, to encourage the growth of art and culture in our downtown. All proceeds from sales go toward keeping this valuable asset to the community operational.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Can You See Me Now That I'm Falling Apart?

I just listed this painting on Etsy. It's one of the 7 pieces I created last year for the London Raw Arts Festival in May 2005. I've taken it with me to shows in Boston, and I've shown it at my studio at the mills, and people always gravitate to it, but it's not something they want to own. It's the one I always get the most compliments from, though... I think it's because people can relate to it, but it's the sort of self realization you don't neccesarily want to see every day. "This is me falling apart". Meanwhile, I know some cool cats that love art/music/passion like this and they aren't afraid of it, or to be surrounded by it. I have a feeling someone with that sort of personality will eventually be the owner of this painting.

How am I feeling today? Well, there's a reason I listed this one - that should say something. Ha! No, but seriously, today I am thankful for best friends and loved ones, wise words and loving touches, doggy tails wagging and the kindness of strangers on a grey day like today when I feel kinda blue.

Ah, but this isn't any pity party! Oh no it is not! I'm taking in all that goodness and I'm transforming it into something positive and productive in myself. That's why I'm giving my thanks to YOU too. Yes, you. You reading this you, that's who.

Now, back to the easel I go...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Warm Blanket

Warm Blanket, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

Today I got some painting done, and this is the only piece that I feel is complete. I am calling this Warm Blanket because of the layers of warm tones. I just feel comfy when I look at this. Like the layers of color are tucking me in.

It must be the change in the weather around here. This winter in New England has been a record breaking warm one so far. I am a lover of sun and Summer, but I must admit I've felt more offput than thankful for the freaky temps. Now at last, real winter is approaching, and all I want to do is make stew, find a warm blanket, and huddle inside. I am such a seasonal person. I am aware of my cycles more than ever right now. Everything in my life revolves around cycles, as life is in itself. Paula Manning-Lewis's paintings just came to mind...

It's all good.


Awakening, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

Original acrylic on 5" x 7" canvas board. 2006

Available at

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Circles on Red

Circles on Red, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

Acrylic on 8" x 10" gallery wrapped canvas, 2006.
Circles on Red is now available at my Etsy store. Click HERE for details.

It's funny how some time away from my blog makes me all bashful and stuff. (blush) Like I don't know where to begin. So tonight I'll just do some free writing, and I'll appologize in advance for typos or randomness.

I have been a focused Etsy woman. I'm going through old works I've never shown before and listing everything I have available. We've had a series of mishaps surrounding automobiles, and every penny counts right now. We got through the holidays, and it's as if our cars waited until after Christmas to act up, like "hey, I won't bother you with this right now, but as soon as you're free, I'll break down." It's just life, I know, these things happen. But these are the times that I start to feel a little desparate and I have to hold myself back from totally selling out. That would be NO GOOD and I know it, but ideas pop into my head about "everything must go!" sales or something. Yeah, no good at all.

So the best I can do is plug along and list as much as I've got and hope for the best. I have had some sales lately and that's been great. It's encouraging me to be listing as often as possible but I think I'm slowly entering the obsessed zone. What I'm doing currently is what so many part timers would be thrilled with, but I am full time. It's been the wild leap of faith I've followed through with since the turn of 2005, and it's up to me to keep the faith and not lose hope (though I must say, my friends and family have been a great support system). I am SO not losing faith, it's just the moment. And this moment will pass.

I am reminded of my parents living in Boston as a young married couple. Living off of brown rice and veggies bought fresh from street vendors. It was all they could afford, but it was also a golden time of their life. This is my golden time. Living frugal was part of my plan for this year, so it seems appropriate that life has brought these challenges to me/us that force me to act on my intentions. I can live on a budget, and I can also work towards a time when I'm not worried about money. I am finally in a place of actualizing this dream to the fullest of it's potential, so there is no way I can crash now.

Well, I thank you, oh community of bloggers that have become my late night therapists for free. And here's to a new day of inspiration, creativity and success for ALL of us!

This is the year of the artist and I'm sticking to it!

Peace and sweet dreams,

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Expanding II

Expanding II, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

Acrylic on 24" x 24" canvas
Currently available at

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Welcoming in the New Year

Happy New Year everyone!!

I hope you all had a very happy and safe holiday, and I hope you're feeling as excited as I am about the coming year. I think it's the number 7 that has something to do with why I am so pumped up. It's my favorite number. I was born in '77, each of my names has seven letters (Jessica Chandra Torrant - not intentional, BTW), I was married on the 17th of June (couldn't wait for 7/7/o7 but I did reserve that space in the calendar for my painting! There are some still available at and I am constantly seeing the number appear everywhere when I need a sign. I know it sounds crazy, but it happens all the time. When I see 7, I know the universe is trying to tell me something. Also, I am a huge Prince fan and he understands the power of 7.... (wink wink Cynthia)...

I think this is going to be a good year for all of us self representing artists out there, trying to "make it" all on our own. One by one we came to the conclusion we HAD to do this, and the market found a place for us, just as much as we carved one out for ourselves. Etsy has been the golden answer, and I feel like as the last bugs of v2 get worked out, this site is going to take off even bigger than it already is.

So, as you know, I took a little break from blogging, and really from all business for about three weeks around the holidays. I had to transform our little house from a workshop to an accomodating and welcoming home for guests, and shopping/making presents, all of which I enjoyed. The time with family and friends was priceless, and is always the heart of what's important. I got to spend the weekend before Christmas as well as the weekend of New Years with my best friend, and when the two of us get together, the inspirational/creative/dream-the-biggest-dream tangents get going good. I am left with visions of living in lakehouses next door to one another, driving cross country in a van, and painting our way across Europe. I have been pushing the idea of Etsy on her as a side project, because she does have a full time job, but I know that her paintings would take the world by storm! So me lady, if you're reading this, I've called you out in public! Ha ha!


ETSY: Speaking of Etsy..... one of my items was on the front page today!!!!! Check it out - my username is livefunky and the listing says "FREE SHIPPING..." - it's a black and white drawing. I was so pleased to discover this and I feel like it's a good omen for what's to come! My thanks go out themusesjewels for including me in her Treasury. Her shop is at

MYSPACE: I've opened a MySpace account for my art.

CREATIVE CONNECTIONS: I've created a new blog for artists called Creative Connections at . I created this for artists at any level that have questions about making, marketing, and selling art. This all came about because I've had artists at varying levels contact me with questions and I am always happy to help. In fact, I usually get so into it that I write reply emails a mile long. I decided a blog would be an interesting way to share all of the various answers to questions I've been asked before, as well as generally speaking on the process of being an artist today. I would like fellow artists to participate by sharing their comments, and experiences, and I welcome artists to contribute their own articles which I will publish on the blog along with links to your sites. Ideally this will be a resource for artists that will cover every issue under the sun.

Ahhhh, it's been a long day, my first real hardcore day "back to work", and there's much more to do tomorrow. Time for bed. Sweet dreams. :)