Collaborative Painting

This painting is by far the largest collaborative piece I've ever done with a group.  Not in size, but in how many hands painted on it.  460 hands.  Yep.  Children ages 4-12 all participated in this painting as a retirement gift for our principal.  The faculty has so much planned for her as far as gifts and good-byes, but I thought really, what I would want if I was retiring, was something from the children.    The overall size is about 30"x30".  Not that big really.  I painted the board black and drew with chalk the flowers and the bird.  Children were allowed 3 brush strokes each.  And boy did they follow the rules!  Overall it turned out beautiful.  I love all the little choppy brush strokes.  We presented it to her on the Gator News Network yesterday.  She loved it.  I cried.  Of course. 
Well, today I finished cleaning the last little paint flecks off the desks and have the room stripped and ready for the new year.  It looks strange in here.  Smells the same.  hahaha...seriously this room has a smell of creativity, paint, glue and crayons.  Not necessarily a smell you'd want to capture in a candle and burn at home, but a familiar smell.  One I may need to come back to one more year.  Maybe.....


Last Week of School

Well, not to sound too much like a cliche, but dang this year has flown by.  Since not feeling myself since February I realize that the year not only flew by but most of it is a blur to me.  A blur of appointments, trying a new lifestyle and more.  Wow.  I'm not sure I'd say I have any regrets, but I will say there is a period of time where I don't remember much of anything but my trying to feel better.  Which I don't (let's just say Saturday night I was the closest ever to calling 911.  thank goodness for left over pain pills.  just sayin').  So this week is a true blessing.  It's the last week of school.  Starting next week I am off for a spell.  And I can not wait!
This week Monday and Tuesday we are working in centers.  These centers include:  marble painting (which kids have never done), making homemade silly putty (this project may or may not be a payback for all the times teachers were late picking up their kids from my room), free draw and the above painting.  It's a super secret surprise painting for our principal who is retiring.  It's turning out beautiful BTW!

I'm also working on all the samples for Summer Art Camp.  Be sure to check out the paint something workshop tab at the top of the page for details on all the summer happenings.  The summer has just enough classes to keep me busy but not enough to knock me over.  hehe..The 4 day camp here at school is almost full, so if you are thinking about this camp you nee to email me asap.  (jennihorne@ymail.com)  My first Tween Camp on June 4th only has 2 slots.  Plenty of room in adult classes though!  So sign up now!

Hope you have a lovely week.  It's Mailey's last week of elementary school.  I'm going to try and savor everyday.  So I'll be missing from here until next week.  Later guys!


Rockin' The Bike Life

This new series of bike paintings brings a smile to my face.  The way the paint layered on the above painting is just sherbety dreamy, right?  It's a new style I've been messing with where the base is layered with one color paint then after that dries I use a stiff big brush and dry paint on top a lighter color. Of course always starting with a black wood canvas.  This technique allows the under colors to illuminate.  I'm always willing to experiment on the canvas...it just helps my vocabulary to grow! 

Been a busy bee this week.....mostly working with kiddos on end of year projects at school.  We had Field Day yesterday ALL day, Mailey's gymnastics recital last night, doughnuts with Dad this am, last week of middle school football tryouts, William's school awards and more!  But I've also spent a good deal of time working on the eyesore below (I really can't believe I am showing you this, but...)

I love to work in the yard.  Right now it helps me escape the constant pain.  I love the feel of sore muscles from good yard work.  Wait until you see the area above now.  After 5 hours plus whatever I get in tonight it will be a lovely sight compared to the above.  It's going be so nice to look out my studio windows and see the new plants versus the gravel graveyard.  (all those bottom windows are my studio...yep...lucky chick).  But in all seriousness, who makes a pebble garden?  I attempted to rake it up and gave up.  I imagine digging the holes will be a bit of a challenge, but I am looking forward to it!  Hopefully I'll get them into the ground before tomorrow.  It's supposed to rain.  Of course.  It's rained every weekend for weeks now.  boo.

So that's what I've been up to this week.  No art making.  In fact my studio is full of show stuff I am totally avoiding.  I have to be in the mood to put it all away, and that mood hasn't struck yet.  haha....Right now it feels good to nest on our house.  I can't wait to show the final project.  I've a tight budget, so some may have to wait.  But anything I do at this point will be better than the above!


Dunwoody Art Festival

Today and tomorrow I'll be hanging out in Dunwoody at the Dunwoody Art Festival.  I'm so looking forward to this.  I kinda miss my shows.  It's been wierd this spring having nothing.  Anyhoo...I actually packed last weekend since I knew this week would be hectic.  I've got all the left over 52 canvses (I think 20), plus art I pulled from Billy Goats and Wild Oats plus all my new work.  The tent is going to be exploding with vibrant colors and happy art!  Woohoooo!!!  The photo below is from the show last year.  Not my best set-up honesly, but that's because it was horrible weather.  I am one of those who likes to set up stuff outside my tent to capture my audience.  Last year it had to all be under cover.  And from what I am hearing on the news.....well.....please say rain prayers that it will skip us!!!Whaaaa.....I don't like iong shows in the rain.
This is my buddy Natalie and I at the show last year.  I literally had 6 inchs of water running through my tent.  Oh I hope not this year!!  The show hours are 10-6 on Saturday and 11-5 on Sunday.  Stop by and say howdy if you are in the area!!


Summer Art Workshops for Kids and Adults

It's time to start thinking about what you are going to do with yourself AND the kids this summer.  I can think of no better way to beat the heat than hanging with me in my studio or my school art room!  Check the tab above called, "paint something workshops" for all the details!  I have Tween Girl Camps, Adult workshops and a 4 day camp for elementary kiddos.  I've already ordered the materials and am working on samples.  Be sure to check the tab often for updates and photos of the projects we'll be working on.  Yeah art camp!!



I often wonder how many hours of my life I've spent waiting.  From mundane tasks such as grocery store lines to those momentous occasions of waiting for the "will you marry me Jenni" line.  I imagine the hours spent waiting are enough to fill a lot of empty trash bags.  By nature I am a go-getter.  I go 100 miles an hour all day everyday.  I am focused, goal oriented and to a fault sometimes blinded by my ambition.  Something changed the course of my life 2 years ago though.  Brought my life as I knew it and was planning it to a screeching halt quite honestly.  Because although I thought I could do it all, I quickly found out I could not.
I know the exact moment in my life this drive to incredible occurred.  I was in the 8th grade, in a hot gym assembly watching all my friends get called up for Beta club induction.  Guess whose name wasn't called?  Yep.  I was a straight B student, never a C in my life.  To be in Beta though you have to have to maintain an overall A average.  Well, from that pivotal moment on I was changed.  I was driven beyond words.  I was focused.  I was going to be incredible at everything.  I wasn't going to wait for it to happen either.  I was going to have an inner drive to succeed no matter the cost.  I have zero regrets about this moment in my life.....it has shaped me into who I am today.  But it sometimes places blinders onto what I really need to be looking around at. 

So what am I rambling on and on about?  Well here it is.  2 years ago I came on board to be the art teacher here at Mailey's school.  We moved, this art job opened up, and I took it without hesitation to keep here her at this school.  A 2 year plan.  The 2 years is up.  In 13 days.  So the question is, do I stay with this life or do I get back on track for the life I was planning and driving towards?  The life as a full-time thriving artist.  I have so many goals as an artist I want to accomplish.  So the question is, do I wait for incredible or do I make it happen?  The school has no idea this was ever my intention.  And quite honestly I love the job.  I do.  The faculty, the kids the parents....it's dreamy.  I can not imagine life without this job.

And then today this happened.  Earlier in the year I spent serious time and energy writing up development hours so I could get my art education certificate renewed.  I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts and an add on of Art Education k-12.  Unfortunately I'd let my certificate expire over the years not teaching full-time.   My principal signed off on it all, the county signed off and away my paper work went to the state board.  I was waiting for my shiny new certificate to come in the mail any day now.  And then a very formal letter came today.   These are the gut punching words in it:  "The documents submitted are not acceptable to renew your certificate."  Breath in....breath out....breath in...breath out.

Ironically enough I mentioned to Billy last night that I was really having second thoughts about teaching anymore.  I felt I was giving up on my being an artist.  I told him I thought my being sick was due to my always being in overdrive trying to "do it all, all the time".   Being the best teacher and still attempting to be an artist was literally making me sick.  You see, in my head if the certificate had come through, and miraculously I'd gotten a certified teaching position that paid full salary (I am paid $10 hour BTW for 30 hours a week....I know.) then my destiny would have been chosen for me.  I would have been where I was supposed to be.  I'd be happy.   Content.   The waiting would be over and incredible would start.  But this slap in the face is like again I have to wait on the incredible to happen.  And quite frankly.  I don't like waiting.  For anything.  Especially when I can control this.  Especially when I know what being a full-time thriving artist feels like.  Of course I'll always teach....afterschool, adults, retreats...but maybe this all day everyday teaching is not where I am meant to be right now.  Is this what I was waiting for?  Is this incredible?  Lots to think about.  Right now I am pretty angry.  And tired.  I just finished medicine for a 5th bladder infection since February 22nd.  Yes.  5 in 11 weeks.  That's enough to make a person shut down.  So some of what I am feeling right now could be the fighting off cooties battle, adjusting to a gluten-free diet (had celiac testing done in the middle of all this and am genetically built for celiac, but bloodwork says fine.  whatever.  urgh) And anxiously getting ready for a huge art show this weekend.  Which its supposed to storm on Saturday for.  Great. 

Thanks for reading and listening.  I want you to know I too struggle with my decisions in life daily.  That nothing goes by me without some sort of processing the end affects on my health, my family and my end goals.  Right now I just feel like some signs were given to me plain as day.  I have always been a firm believer that people enter our lives and circumstances happen not by happenstance, but rather by grace.   Now I must decide how to embrace this grace and which direction I shall move.   For now, I'm going to get my classroom ready for 18 sweet after school art students to arrive.  


Art and Soul Virgina Beach

Art and Soul Virginia Beach.  Where to start really?  Well heck, I'll just start from the begining ok?  Like I said in a previous post I'd never been on this long of a road trip.  I wasn't nervous or anything like that, just stating a fact.  I worked all day Wednesday, took Mailey afterschool to an appointment in Marietta, ran home, packed the car and was to Tiffin's by 6:30 Wednesday night.  We hopped in the orange van and away we went!  Our goal was to make it half-way....and we did it.  It was like we blinked and 5 hours had passed.  I like that kind of road trip.

Thursday morning our goal was to be on the road by 8:00am.  We'd mapped out a few cities we thought might be good thrifting spots with our end goal being in VA Beach by 4ish.  Of course we threw in a few side trips along the way like for the impromtu photo shoot below:

Tiffin wanted a new pic for her blog and website in a field of wild flowers.  Well, we found the perfect patch of orange poppies!!  We took a ton with our SLR camera's, but this one with my iphone I love.  All natural, no editing.  I embrace my wrinkles and freckles.

As for the thrifting stops....well.....let's just say the 2 hour excursion was fun, but not what we expected at all.  Folks in North Carolina we decided don't have good junk.  And the stores all looked a lot like this:

We got to VA Beach right at 4:00.  Just enough time to get situated, eat the best Mexican I've ever put in my mouth and get Tiffin to class.  I took some quiet time on the beach and a 4 mile run on the road.  After driving 10 hours in less than 24 hours I needed to sprint.  Each room is set up as a suite so in packing I'd decided to pack some extra blank canvases, I knew there'd be room for a make shift studio.  So glad I did because throughout the weekend I was able to get 3 new pieces done!  With a side beach view at that!

Friday we both took classes all day.  I took Jesse Reno's Follow the Leader class during the day.  It was a perfect escape from my usual painting style for sure.  He was so articulate...I was mesmerized about how he talked about his art and the purpose and intent within his chaotic work.  It was amazing.
I loved lunchtime at the beach.  We'd pack a big bag of yummy food and just sit.  Then treasure hunt.  It was crazy cold, no shorts and definately no bathing suits on my body.  But it was nice and quiet and calming. 

These are the 2 paintings I finished in his class.  No one's looked anything like mine, even though he gave us all the same directions.  Of course I had to interject Jenni into them.  Mailey wants to frame and hang them in her room.  Thumbs up from her for sure!

Friday night between classes we hopped in the orange van with our new friend Kim and hit the boardwalk for dinner.  We ate a seriously amazing seafood dinner.  Serious....I want it again soon.  Then back to class we ran.  This time a polymer clay pendant making class with Doreen Kassel.  Tiny clay pendants are not as easy to make as one would think.  Yeah.  These are now priceless one of a kind creations.  Don't ask me to make you one.
Saturday was a day of rest.  We slept late, took a run, ate yummy seafood at Bubba's, then hit the beach for more relaxing and treasure hunting.  In all my 41 years of life I have never found one of these:

Saturday night was vendor night.  I forgot to take any photos.  Darn it!  It was fun....but not so profitable.  Kinda a bummer.   Oh, well....at least I've got a leg up for Dunwoody next weekend!  After vendor night a few of us hit Hot Tuna for a late dinner (like 11PM late).  I met Stephanie Rubiano a few years back at Art and Soul Las Vegas.  Valerie took a fun class with her back then.  Funny, this time Tiffin took a class with her!  Small world.  We hit it off great and really enjoyed our late night dinner and conversaton about being artists.  It's nice when you meet people on the same path as you and get it.  (we all have lovely demon eyes right?...dang flash)

Sunday we were up early because that was my teaching day!!  I had the best group of women folk take my class.  They were so enthusiastic and kind.   We all walked over to the mexican again for lunch even....like I said a total bonding awesome class.   I have photos on my SLR....but haven't loaded them yet and am doing this at lunch at school.  I'll post their art later.  It was good.  So good.  I love my job.  We hit the road at 4:30 and set our sites on getting as far as possible.  Saying good-bye to this beautiful stretch of quiet beach.
We made pretty good time to the half-way point.  I'd have gone farther but it was pouring down rain and of course my check engine light came on.  Plus by this point I kinda felt like I had the flu. I call it the "art retreat flu".  So I called Julie at school and told her to get me a substitute for Monday.  There was no way we were making it all the way back afterall. 

We were up by 6:00am and on the road home.  We flew home, I dropped off Tiffin and went straight to the car repair shop.  That darn light just wouldn't turn off!  Luckily it was an easy peasy fix.  Whew.  I've yet to unpack my studio supplies and have gone to bed the past 3 nights by 8PM.  Seriously.  I am exhausted.  It's all I can muster to teach all day and do Mom duty afterschool.  I hope to be myself by the weekend.  Because next weekend is a huge show! 

Anyhoo....another art retreat under the belt.  It was a wonderful experience as both a student and a teacher.  I can't wait to write up my classes for next year.  I am super blessed to have the gift of teaching and sharing my love for painting.  Will Tiffin join me again?  Well, we are closer friends than ever I'd say.  I suppose when you spend 20 hours in a van with someone you either never want to see the person again or you walk away feeling refreshed and very thankful for valuable friendships!  I'd say we are golden at this point.  hehe..Oh and she has the same pee every chance she can get symdrome I have...so I'd say we were meant to be travel partners.  (some of you get the inside joke of this better than others.  my camel friend. teeheehee)
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