Ernestine and Sally

Oh the adventures these two old girls have together!!  So I know I promised more art and less talk these 10 days, BUT I do need to remind you of a few things.  THIS Friday night 5-9PM is the opening of my show at The Naked Art Gallery in Birmingham, Alabama.  If you read my blog and live nearby, please come say hello.  It'll be so nice to meet you!!  Then Saturday the meet and greet is from 1-6PM.  I'll be demonstrating my texture technique from 2-3 and 4-5.  If you are interested in learning how I get that dreamy carved texture in my paintings, then come on by!  And yes, I am BEYOND excited.   I have the perfect outfits, just had my hair done, toes on Thursday and car cleaning Friday morning.  Looks like all things are a go!  Hope to see you there.


Poppy Love

Totally out of character for me....but my daisies were not working out and they turned into giant yellow poppies in milk jars.  Actually are there yellow poppies?  Huh. Well, I love this painting.  Yep.  


Adventures With Mattie

A journey with a friend is so much more fun, right? 



10 Days of Art

The next 10 days before the art opening I am going to be giving you sneaky peakies at some of the art I am total love with.  Yep.  I could keep them all if I could afford the space, and of course the materials.  :)  So less talking, me?  no......really?  can I do it?  maybe. Just art.  Here goes day 1:

This House was built on a foundation of love, hope, dreams, faith, kindness and hope.


Art for Your Hair!

I am in LOVE with this new idea!!  Woohoo!  I found these fabulous crochet flowered headbands at the mart in January.  I knew immediately what I could do with them.  Yep.  Just took me two months to get the art onto the little wooden discs and glued onto the headbands is all.  They are going to be a great addition to the show next week!


Art and Soul Blog Hopping

Hey guys!!  While I'm finishing up details for the show, which has to be delivered to Birmingham THIS WEDNESDAY (woohooo!), I thought I'd share links to friends I'll be teaching with at Art and Soul Portland this October.  Like a little treasure hunt of teachers.  Who knows, you just might find a favorite new spot to sit and read a spell. Or better yet you'll be so inspired you have to join us in our classes!  So enjoy the links.  I'll see you guys back later in the week!

Ok after linking everyone in and peeking at all the blogs I am totally in AWE that I'll be teaching alongside these peeps!  Holy tamoly you gotta go to all the links guys.  Gotta!

I'm back................it was pointed out in the comments that I didn't tell you what I was teaching!  I forgot that many of you are new to my blog since you are hopping.  Read here to see my 2 class offerings!  And yes, one is how to make the adorable birds pictured above.   :)


Given an Opportunity

Thursday night we took the kids to the circus.  I think this year marks the 7th year in a row we've gone.  No, we are not crazy circus people, rather we are given the opportunity to go each year with a group of peeps, so we take it.  And now our kids look forward to it each year.  Anyhoo, I tell you this because of a conversation that came about during the circus watching. 

So here's the scene:  Mailey is of course in my lap maintaining she can not see over the people in front of her.  In all honesty I think she can't stand that William got the seat by me first.   Yes, my children have "Mommyitis".  The first act involved the ENTIRE arena air space.  Seriously I didn't know exactly which spot to look, but they were all doing sorta the same thing so I focused on the ones directly in front of my eyes.  Picture women dressed in spandex body suits (sparkly of course) suspended way up in the air in hula hoops.  They were wiggling around and making magic moves in these hula hoops.  I was freaking out a twinge at A. the height they were suspended in the air given my fear of certain height thingies and B. that they were wearing SLIPPERY spandex gliding in, out and all around the hoops with ease. 

I must have said something aloud because Mailey said, "Mom, they have grippies all over those suits."  "Oh, like the socks I got with the frog pj's....you know the green ones with grippy dots?""Yes Mom."  So I was feeling a little better about the situation knowing that the grippy dots, like the ones on my frog pj socks, were indeed keeping them from falling to their deaths.  I must have said something aloud again about NEVER wanting to do my own hula hoop act because Mailey then said, "OH I WOULD DO THAT!"  Just as confidant as if she were saying yes, she would go to the American Girl Store.  Of course I was a little taken back at her certainty of doing such acts in a hula hoop.  And then she said, "If given the opportunity that is".  Just as plain and simple as that.  "If given the opportunity".  Wow.

Have you ever given a thought to what you would do if "given an opportunity?"  I can't seem to get the words out of my head.  And I suppose more than anything I'm thinking about the opportunities that were given to me that I let slide by.  Dang it. 

As I spent literally hours Friday compiling artwork for the show I thought back to the day Vero emailed me this amazing opportunity to show my work as a Solo Show.  I remember the butterflies, the anticipation, the excitement, the joy.  It's an opportunity I seized and will be forever grateful for.  It's an opportunity that quite honestly I may never get again.  I suppose that's why I've been so crazy emotional around everyone I love right now.  It's not anywhere near as BIG a deal to them as it is to me.  But this is not a show in a church or a school or on the streets of Atlanta.  This is in a gallery.  And all the attention will be on the body of work I've poured my heart and soul into since January.  I can't wait to share the joy, love and this opportunity with my friends and family.  Because if you really study the images on the canvases, that's what they are all about. 


The Red T-Shirt

So as you can see below today I wore the famous RED t-shirt that I blogged about here.  And yes, I am jumping for some serious joy in my red t-shirt.  No, not because I am wearing the red t-shirt....although the fact that it is finally warm enough to wear it is one reason to jump up and down on my front lawn..  But for other reasons completely I am jumping.   Want to know why????
Well.........................our family has decided to put an offer on this:
before we can move though,  we have to sell this.......................
Which means I started doing lots of this......................

Although I REALLY need to be doing more of this.........................

Because this HUGE amazing event is in 15 days........................

Can you believe it guys?  A Solo Show!  Me.....in the gallery's special room.  It's finally here.  Finally.  And right now, with our family making these ginormous puffy heart decisions, the theme for the show "Coming Home" has even more meaning.  In fact my head is swimming with even more painting ideas that may have to be added to the walls as others sell.  Unless, my little adorable cottage sells quick and we are......oh my goodness.....MOVING!  So please keep our little family in your thoughts and prayers.  And of course, if you need a home that has been built on nothing but love, email me.  Because I've got the perfect address for you.  :)


Care Deeply

What is it about our souls that makes us care so deeply and passionately about things?  I can not thank you all enough for being here through all my thicks and thins....for caring about me.  Me.  And most of you have never even met me.  But we are bonded you know.  It's a kindred spirit sort of caring.  It's a connection that many do not "get".   You share my joys, my celebrations, my fears and my struggles.  My words guide many of you through similar stories.  I know, you've told me.  And that just makes me care even more.  I care more about what I write here, what parts of me I share and what parts I reserve for later in our story together. 

Yes, I care deeply and whole heartily about who I am and everyone that continues to amaze me along the journey.  Your stories help make my story richer.  So share.  Reach out and connect, join the circle.


This Lovely

This composition is so simple.  And yet, I love it.  Can not take my eyes off of it.  Yes, this one may be a keeper.......


A Very Good Day

Hey guys!  I just HAD to pop in tonight to share a few things.   It's been one of those pay it forward happy days.  Seriously.  Where to start....where to start.   Yesterday my Dad called and asked if I was going to be headed to Scott's Flea Market today because he was thinking of driving over for the day.  I blogged about Scott's last month remember?  Last month I spent serious money on some amazing finds.  This month I had a little stash of cash and a mind set to NOT come home with anything that took up floor space.  Nope. (although it was painfully hard not to come home with a few finds!!)  So here are my two favorite finds:

 A pink velvet pillow with tulle fringe and a dainty vintage Girl Scout pin attached (cost:  $5.00).  Mailey Grace LOVED it!! 
And then......last month I found a guy selling hand carved metal jewelry stamp thingys.  Yes, I thought I'd died and gone to jewelry making heaven.  I poured over the trays and trays and bought 4, including a beautiful bird one.  Unfortunately they did not stamp into the metal like I thought they would.  Darn.  I think I can embed the images into PMC clay though, so not a total loss.  Today I found the one above!  LOVE.  Big puffy heart LOVE.  And yes, the PMC clay and I are going to become new friends asap.   Because Jeep and I have a little love relationship.  Like I love it kind of relationship.  (cost:  $30)
After a wonderful day of flea market exploring with my Dad (which was so nice) I came home to find a little box sitting at my doorstep.  Huh.  Who is this from?  I opened it up to find the sweetest little assortment of artsy goodness and note that made me cry happy tears from a BLOG reader!!!  So sweet Alicia...you have helped make my week that was a not so good into a very good one indeed.  Like the icing on a yummy cupcake kind of day!!  Your kind words, lovely bookmarks and pincusion I will treasure forever.  And I can not thank you enough for taking the time to send your kindness to me at a time when I needed it so. 

So right now.... I'm sending all of you a ginormous hug....feel it?  oooooweeee...what a day.  Yep.  Things are looking up in this house and that new horizon I've been painting is finally peeking up from the canvas.  Yep.


Your Story

I have always loved the old churches you see along the back roads through Alabama.  In fact, in college I did an entire lithograph series on one particular church I loved....one day I'll dust off the prints and show you!  While taking the photos of this particular church I got stung by a rather large bee.  Ouch!
I love the way the waxy brushstrokes leave a wood carved affect.  Love.  The words say, "this is where their story began".  I've been thinking a lot about how our stories begin.  How we meet people and why.  How people come into our lives and how they leave our lives.   And how they leave an imprint on our hearts.  Billy and I began our story in a church a little like this.  And I am pretty sure it has been the guiding force behind our marriage and all the love that has unfolded over the past 15 years. 
Obviously I am back today, trying to rest and catch up on studio work.   I flew in very early this morning through the most amazing cotton candy clouds I have ever seen.  And watched the sunrise over the endless sea of clouds.  When we broke the clouds to land a gentle snow dusting could be seen for miles.  This site reminded me of how magical life can be.  And how quickly it can change.  I really, really appreciate all of your kind words over the past few days.   I look forward to adding to my story and sharing the chapters here along the way with you.  xo Jenni


Sometimes Love

I believe I put these words on another bike painting recently.....obviously they are fresh on my mind.  With so many changes in our life in just a mere 10 days we are filling our house with this because it is the constant, the one true.  We are really looking forward to seeing the new horizon.  Hopefully very soon.  

As you are reading this I am on a plane to attend the funeral of a dear friend.  Like I said in an earlier post, bad news has traveled in it's traditional 3's for me.  It's hard to imagine leaving this life at such a young age.  And so suddenly.  It's just senseless.  So we are all gathering to love on the family and to help them see the new horizon that awaits them.  Please keep their family and all of us that will forever be touched by Denise's life in your thoughts and prayers.    Thanks peeps.


Quietness Without Loneliness

I love to read.  I do.  Mostly I read mystery novels, stuff like that.  But when I saw a fellow artsy friend recommend this book, The Creative Habit Learn it And Use it For Life by Twyla Tharp, I immediately scooped it up.  Over the past few weeks I've slowing been absorbing the words that flow effortlessly from her lips.  It has been a very good read for this particular crossroad in my life.  In some of my notes I wrote this Gaelic phrase embedded into the painting below:

I've always been one who enjoyed being alone.  Quietness is an integral part of my happiness and my inner peace.  There are many of you out there that can not stand it.  The quiet, the aloneness, it makes you feel.......lonely.  There is a significant difference between those two however.  And Twyla addresses this very fact on page 31.   And man, she hits it right on the nail. Self-reliance is something I thrive on as a creative person.  And having time to truly be alone and work through my creative process brings such joy to my life.  It fills me.  It makes me whole.  It's a little ironic actually that quietness can play such an important role in such a creative mind.  I suppose being so fulfilled is why I never feel lonely.


A Gentle Spirit

I suppose I should have blogged about this before the JOY posting.  Isn't it funny how we bloggers tend to paint such a "happy life" picture for everyone?  It's easier to share the good, right?  I mean who wants to hear bad stuff?  Certainly not me.  But here's the deal folks.  It has been a roller coaster week.  Seriously.  I literally spent Tuesday and Wednesday in a bit of what one would call a "funk".  Sulked, ate crappy food, drank way too much red wine, and began to feel myself creep into a state of ickiness.  But you know what, with every bad news of 3 usually the most amazing good emerges from the rubble.  It always happens this way for me.  And maybe the bad three come along as a gentle reminder that coasting through life is not an acceptable way to live.  That we must experience the extreme high's and low's to truly appreciate who we are.  And to truly grow as human beings.  Now, I am not saying someone should suffer for me to have something good come out of it.  NO freakin' way would I wish any of the pain these families are experiencing.  But this week has totally made me stop and reflect on many things.  Many.  And yesterday's JOY was spilling over because of  the changes that are around the corner. 

I have a gentle spirit.  I do.  I am as fragile as those two pink flowers above.  And yet.....I am a very strong minded.  I know who I love.  And more importantly I know how to love.  I know how to embrace change.  I recognize when things need to shift.  I recognize when others need space and when they need smothering.  Yes, I am a gentle spirit.  This week will pass, and all those involved will forever be changed. 

A dear friend sent me this and I just have to share it with you.  I printed it out and posted it in my art room.  The words are so beautiful. 

"May today there be peace within.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.
May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into
your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to
sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us."


JOY...Spreading It Around

Ok.  Today I am just about to bust at the seams with this:

 I am hoping that this passes it on to you.  And that you will in turn pass it onto someone as well.  The Joy circle.  It's a really good thing.


Daisy Kind of Day

Encaustic is a very unique technique I have to say.  There are so many ways in which you can manipulate the medium.  Some like to use an iron to create their images, some apply layer upon layer and scrap away to reveal their image, and I....well I like to carve.  Yep.  My concentration in art school was actually printmaking.  I learned all the old world styles of printing, including woodblock cutting.  And it was my favorite by far!  Of course I preferred the buttery linoleum over the wood, but they produced the same type of affect.  So after I've applied the medium and painted all the little sections like a coloring book, I get most exited at the last step, the carving and filling of the lines.  I LOVE the way the brush strokes look like wood cuttings with the oil pastel rubbed into them.  Love.

I am also playing around with adding some fun collage elements to the wax.  I found that fabric works it's way into the texture better than paper.  And since I have oh like 100 pieces of scraps from bird making, it's fun to add that little pop of something extra! 

Well, I've got about 3 more ideas in my head to paint and then it'll be time to put the wax away and get back out the acrylics.  The larger paintings I'll have to do in texture layers and paint.  My patience would wear too thin if I did a large waxy painting.   I hope you have a daisy kind of day at your house!
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