Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Celebration by Jessica Torrant
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

We have a winner!

http://hiccupapparel.blogspot.com/ is the winner of my blog contest! Thanks so much to all that posted. I will be turning to your answers as I make business choices in the new year.

Congratulations hiccupapparel!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Santa was good to me!

Santa was good to me!, originally uploaded by livefunky.

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

Merry Christmas!

My honeys, originally uploaded by livefunky.

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

New ArtFire Shop!

Earth and Sky 1

Check out this print and many others in my new ArtFire shop at http://www.jessicatorrant.artfire.com/!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day!

Just came back in from my second pass at shoveling and the snow just keeps on coming! I don't mind, I love this light and fluffy snow (though I want everyone to be careful on the roads and I'll be very happy once my husband is home safe and sound). Leo (above) LOVES snow too. I took this goofy shot this afternoon. He was barking at me to throw his stick. That was my afternoon. Shovel, toss the stick, shovel, pet Leo "good boy" and toss again. He's my baby and I love him so much for keeping me company with his love and goofy antics.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


With my other commission "finished" (really just waiting for customer approval and reaction - some colors may be tweaked around a bit) I was able to begin and finish this little painting for my friend's son! It went fast because it was just too much fun to paint. I kept hurrying the drying time on each layer because I wanted to keep going. I love when you have an idea for a painting and it clicks just the way you want it to! All of the sides have this striped pattern.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Take my quiz to win this original work of art!

BLINK by Jessica Torrant
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.

Enter to win this original work of art simply by leaving a comment! Contest ends December 29th at which point I will take all of your names/emails and put them in a basket and select one at random to be the winner. I will contact the winner via email or a comment on their blog. So anyone can vote - just leave some way for me to contact you. Good luck!


  1. Have you ever purchased original art online? Y/N

  2. Have you ever purchased art prints (reproductions) online? Y/N

  3. If you answered no to questions 1 or 2, have you ever purchased either in a shop or gallery in person? Y/N

  4. 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

  5. When you are considering purchasing art what subject matters interest you?
    a. Abstract
    b. Figurative
    c. Landscape
    d. Still Lives
    e. All of the above or your own alternate answer

  6. 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
    e. Collage
    f. Digital media
    g. All of the above or your own alternate answer

  7. On a scale of one to ten, how much or little are you interested in the following art forms or styles?
    Abstract Art
    Traditional Realism
    Contemporary Realism
    Dark Art
    Fantasy Art
    Graffiti Art
    Kitch/Vintage Influenced Art
    Folk Art
    Surreal Art
    Children's Art (made by children)
    Art for Children
    Outsider Art
    (Please feel free to add any other styles in your answer that interest you)

  8. 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)
    Watercolor paper
    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)
    Recycled materials

  9. 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?

  10. 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.
    a. Etsy
    b. eBay
    c. Dawanda
    d. ArtFire
    e. Boundless Gallery
    f. Yessy
    g. MySpace
    f. Other (please include any other sites you would consider)

  11. 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).
    c. No

  12. 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)
    d. No
    e. No and artists that offer that service turn me off as a collector

  13. On a scale of one to ten, how important are these factors when considering purchasing from an artist online?
    Professional experience
    Educational experience
    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

  14. 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.
    f. Other

  15. 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.
    No communication.
    Pet hairs.
    Smells of smoke.
    Smells of perfume or incense.
    Colors don't look the same way they did on the computer.
    Unsigned art.
    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

We pardoned the turkeys and made chicken instead

It's raining now, but we got our first snow recently and got to see the neighborhood wild turkeys strolling through our neighbor's front yard across the street. This isn't a rare sight, but it's not often that I have my camera on hand to capture them before they mosey on.

Tonight I tried my hand at a recipe for Coq Au Vin I found on www.allrecipies.com. I love that site because you can just type in the ingredients you have on hand in the search engine. I typed in chicken breasts, carrots and onions and I happened to be intrigued by this one. Of course I was familiar with the name of the dish and when I saw the recipe called for pearl onions (which I have two bags of) I had to try it. I don't know how many of you out there enjoy these savory little onions, but I really love them just boiled, let alone roasted with other veggies and/or meat. Anyway, this is really an adaptation on the real recipie, and I tweaked things a bit given what I had on hand. I'll include how I cooked the side of potatoes as I think this was a good compliment to the main dish.
  • Boneless chicken breasts
  • Potatoes
  • Bacon
  • Thyme
  • Red wine
  • Pearl onions
  • Carrots
  • Yellow onions
  • Chicken stock
  • Black pepper (salt to taste)
  • Flour
  • Garlic
  • Bay leaf


  1. Bring chicken stock to a boil in a pot and add peeled and diced potatoes.
  2. 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.
  3. Remove most of the bacon grease from the pan except for about two tablespoon.
  4. Chop yellow onion and add to frying pan with grease until golden yellow.
  5. Drain potatoes when they are still firm but slightly tender.
  6. 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!)
  7. Cover and cook on a low heat, checking and stirring often until potatoes are tender all the way through.
  8. Spray another large skillet with cooking oil and add four chicken breasts. Cook on medium heat browning both sides of the meat.
  9. Peel and cut carrots into thin slices - about two/three cups.
  10. Peel pearl onions and cut off the ends - about 16 onions.
  11. Mince about two cloves of garlic (or more if you love it like I do).
  12. 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.
  13. Once it has reached a boil, cover and bring the heat down to low to simmer for about 25 minutes.
  14. 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.
  15. Remove the bay leaf from the juice remaining in the pan.
  16. Wisk together 1/4 cup of flour with 1.5 cups of cold water in a seperate bowl.
  17. 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.
  18. 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

Beefing up my Boundless Gallery site

I added a lot of new paintings to my Boundless Gallery site. You can see my site there at http://www.jessicatorrant.boundlessgallery.com/

Monday, December 08, 2008

I am the luckiest woman in the world

pour son paysage, originally uploaded by m.a. wakeley.

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

What's New?

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.

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

Rollercoaster Ride

New ink drawing called Rollercoaster Ride available at http://www.livefunky.etsy.com/

Oh Happy Day

New original oil pastel on recycled paper. Available at www.livefunky.etsy.com