Kokopelli Conga

Kokopelli Conga
"A work of art that did not begin in emotion is not art." --Paul Cezanne

December 20, 2012

Nibblefest December 2012

It's Nibblefest time again on ebay! :) Search NFAC to see all the great entries by great artists. This monthly art contest always gives new meaning to the words "artistic license" as you browse the many interpretations of a theme.

This month's theme is "Mushtrooms." At first, I wasn't plannig to enter for December. It has been such a crazy busy month at work and home. But then, as is typical more often than not for me, I had a little glimmer of inspiration at the very last minute.

So, here is my little interpretation of the theme....with a butterfly spin of course! :)



You can click here to go directly to my ebay auction if you wish.

This is an ACEO (size 2.5" x 3.5") and is done in watercolor and ink.

The Nibblefest auctions all start at just $0.99 each, and the winners are determined based on the number of unique bidders to your auction.


Thanks for checking in on my blog today!
Happy Holidays to each of you. :)

December 11, 2012

So, I am a blog slacker

My apologies to those of you who follow my blog. I have been a blog slacker in the past few months! Now, December is here...and a time to reflect on the things that really matter in your life, things you are happy with, and things you want to do better on.

In my defense, my blog slacking (and art slacking for that matter) have been due to family issues. Myself or one of my kids or my husband have been sick from one week to the next, literally since mid-September. So, I have been paying more attention to my family, trying to get our household running and organized (yeah, right - like that will ever happen), and trying to get my kids well, myself well, my husband well - and still keep up with work at this busy time of year. Crazy!!  Unfortunately, the time and attention to my artwork and my blog have paid the price.

But, I can't say I'm sorry about it. While I wish I had more time in the day to paint, think wonderful "artistic" thoughts, and blog away...the reality of life settles in, and my priorities have to be set. My children, husband, and work come first. I want to make sure we are all healthy, and that there is food on the table. Like a lot of us, that means my own interests are often pushed aside in favor of things that need to be done. But, I always strive to do better, do more, and find more time for myself.

So, here are my New Year Resolutions for 2013 (though I think they are really Life Goals):

#1 - Continue to make my children and husband my priority in my life
#2 - Be more patient
#3 - Make time for myself to exercise every day
#4 - Make time for myself to paint and devote to artistic pursuits every week
#5 - Get to bed earlier and get appropriate rest every night
#6 - Be grateful every day for the blessings in my life

What are your goals for the coming year?

I appreciate those of you who follow my blog, or who follow me on Twitter or Facebook. I apologize for not communicating with you more over the past few months. But, I know you understand that life gets crazy sometimes for all of us.

I wish you a very Happy Christmas (or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or other holiday you might celebrate at this time of year). I also wish you each a joyful, healthy, and prosperus New Year. May we all remember that our true riches come from the number of people who love us and not the number of dollars in our bank accounts - and remember to make those people a priority in our lives! Now go give your loved ones a {{HUG}}.  :)




September 18, 2012

Still Alive! ACEO and other things...

It has been one crazy summer...and now Fall is coming and the crazy hasn't died down. I am still alive! For those of you who read my blog regularly, so sorry I haven't been "regular" in my posting this summer.

Now that our summer vacation is over (Yellowstone National Park and Mt. Rushmore...lots of fun!), and the kids are settle in new school/daycare, it is time for me to get into High Gear to get illustration work done!

Meanwhile, here was a little ACEO I did for the September ACEO Theme Week on ebay (the theme was "Old Houses").  The auction did not sell during theme week, so I have now listed the ACEO at my Etsy shop here.

For those who are unfamiliar with an ACEO - the acronym stands for Art Cards Editions and Originals. It is any small work of art that is the size of a baseball trading card (2.5" x 3.5"). A great way to collect some original works of art when you are low on cash or wall space. :)

This one is titled "Red Roof, Black Trees" and is done with Derwent watercolor pencils.


















I will post again soon and try to be more regular about my blog entries in the coming months! :)

Happy September everyone!

August 23, 2012

Rose of Sharon

Early this summer, I planted six new flowering bushes in our yard - four lilacs in the front yard, one lilac in the back (to replace a butterfly bush that had died last year), and a Rose of Sharon (which is in the hibiscus family). This Rose of Sharon is called "Freedom" and is supposed to turn out a red blossom.

I planted lilacs from the same nursery a few years before and they took about 4 years to grow big and give us blossoms, so I knew that we would be waiting a while on these bushes. But, surprise for us this week...the Rose of Sharon is already blooming! :) The flowers are actually more of a pink color than red (probably due to the different acids in our soil). They are beautiful flowers and I am so excited!

July 13, 2012

Busy, busy - fpartists on Etsy and more!

So, I have been busy, busy, busy getting to know the ins and outs of Etsy. Trying to keep my shop looking nice, renewing listings, creating treasuries. I even started my own treasury team for fine artists on Etsy (fpartists). You can find us on FaceBook at  https://www.facebook.com/fpartists and on Twitter at @fpartistsTeam (https://twitter.com/fpartistsTeam) if you want to see some of the great Etsy treasuries being created by our team of talented artists!

The point of creating treasuries is to feature one item from 16 different shops on Etsy (not including your own shop), all centered around a theme. People will search through treasuries in Etsy for things they like, but Etsy also features various treasuries on the front page of the website (one per hour). So, if you create a beautiful treasury that gets selected for the front page, you not only get good exposure for all the shops and items in your treasury, but also exposure for you and your shop since you are the person who created the treasury.

The goal of our fpartists team (fpartists = Front Page Artists) is to create treasuries that are front page worthy (beautiful and varied) AND...to feature fine art in the treasury in order to get more art featured in Etsy.

Here are some links to some of the Etsy treasuries I have recently created for my artist team as well as a few other teams I belong to.

"Winged"  http://www.etsy.com/treasury/MjA3NzI5Mjd8MjcyMDQ3NDEzMw/winged?index=2

"Summer Thoughts in Shades of Green" http://www.etsy.com/treasury/MjA3NzI5Mjd8MjcyMDQ3Mzg5Nw/summer-thoughts-in-shades-of-green?index=4

"Fresh Summer Garden"
http://www.etsy.com/treasury/MjA3NzI5Mjd8MjcyMDQ4NTQ1MQ/fresh-summer-garden?index=6

"Beachy Blue & Green"  http://www.etsy.com/treasury/MjA3NzI5Mjd8MjcyMDQ5MzMyNQ/beachy-blue-green?index=1

"Boho Summer Style"
http://www.etsy.com/treasury/MjA3NzI5Mjd8MjcyMzA1MDI0NA/boho-summer-style?index=0

_________________________________________

Last weekend I met with one of the children's book authors and went to take some reference photos for illustrations. Will be working on that project over the next four months with a goal to have the illustrations completed by the end of October. :)

Well, best get back to my busy summer Friday! (Friday the 13th even!). I know my blog posts have been a bit more infrequent lately. So many things to keep up with, I haven't even found time to paint in the last couple weeks! Need to get back into the painting groove!  I hope you are all having a wonderful July, and thanks for visiting my blog!
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July 2, 2012

ACEO Theme Week - July 2012 ~ Beach Critters

So...I know I did Sea Turtles for Nibblefest a few months ago. But, I just enjoyed them so much that I decided to take the opportunity to do another one for the ACEO challenge this month. I was also having a brain cramp trying to think of "cute" Beach Critters that I wanted to paint.

The only "critters" I could think of were sand crabs and little sand bugs...none were really appealing to my painting sensibilities - so, here is a little turtle for the collection instead. True...turtles aren't really "critters" either. But, I figured since they come onto the beach to lay their eggs in the sand, then it qualified as "beach-ey" enough. :)

Here is my offering for ACEO Theme Week July - Beach Critters:

"Beach Crawler"
Click here to go to the ebay auction.



















ACEO is an acronym that stands for Art Cards Editions and Originals. The only rule is the size, which is 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches (6.4 x 8.9 cms) - just the size of a sports card or baseball card. Giving new and seasoned art collectors a chance to find and collect original work regardless of limited wall space. :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

June 25, 2012

Nibblefest June 2012 - "The Big P"

Nibblefest - June 2012
This month's theme: Birds (and other Feathered Friends)

I thought a peacock would be a fun subject...especially for summer. Peacocks always remind me of gardens and the zoo...and other fun summer activities!

This particular guy is so confident in his ineherent appeal to "the ladies" that he doesn't even feel the need to spread his feathers. He struts around the grounds knowing who's boss! He's "The Big P!"


Click here if you'd like to go to the ebay auction (auction ends on June 27th). :)


June 15, 2012

King of Yellow Heart returns home

"King of Yellow Heart" has returned home after an extensive year-long tour of Utah's schools and libraries with the Utah Arts Council traveling watercoler exhibition.

Here is an excerpt from the UAC email I received upon return of the painting:

"This show is always a popular one with our schools and libraries around the state and we are sincerely grateful that you participate in our program. This past year your piece traveled to
Weber State Library
Blue Peak High School
Canyon Rim Elementary
North Elementary in Cedar City
Fillmore Elementary
Manilla Elementary
The children especially love the pieces when they travel to their schools and are always sad when we take the exhibit down and drive the art away. They become very attached."
 
I am very glad that the painting returned home in good shape, undamaged, and was part of such a nice exhibition that brings art to school children in the state. Emphasis on the arts as a crucial component of education and overall development for children has fallen by the wayside in many places in America as difficult  economic times have hit. Art and Music teachers are among the first to be laid off during hard times, while parents and fundraisers will rally to raise money for sports programs, football teams, cheerleaders. But, nobody is rallying for the Arts and Music and Drama. I think all are important. If we don't teach children to appreciate art, how will we inspire them to want to create something beautiful in the world?
 
So, I am grateful that organizations are still out there to promote the arts, and especially to bring art into schools. :)
 
 

June 2, 2012

"Zoomed In" - ACEO Theme Week June 2012

It's here again! ACEO theme week on ebay. The theme for June 2012 is "Zoomed In" which I thought would be a fun theme to participate in. Since I have been so inspired by the Spring flowers in bloom this year, I decided to do a couple of "zoomed-in" ACEOs based on some of the flower photos I have taken recently.

The first one, "Eye of the Lilac" is based on one of the beautiful light violet lilacs I found blooming in Bountiful in early May. Luckily, I was able to take several shots of these beautiful flowers - some close up. Made for a perfect setup for the ACEO. :)

The second entry, "Soft Rose" is based on a lovely pale yellow rose that I took photos of after a hair appointment. Just outside the door and across the parking lot from my stylist's salon, there is a lovely little rose garden at the business next door. The day of my last appointment, their roses were blooming in beautiful colors and they had also just watered, so I was able to get several shots of the flowers with water droplets. Good thing I have started packing my camera with me so that I can get reference at the spur of the moment. You never know when you are going to run into something beautiful and/or inspiring in the course of your day!

ACEO theme week on ebay always starts on the 1st of the month. My auctions always run for 7 days on this contest. There are several great entries this month. I encourage you to check them out. Search "ACEO TW" or "ACEO TW JUN" to see all the Zoomed In entries!

ACEO stands for Art Card Editions and Originals. These little works of art are the size of a baseball trading card (2.5 inches x 3.5 inches). Artists have been trading and selling them for years, but they have recently gained popularity among collectors as well. :)


Here is my first entry: "Eye of the Lilac"
Click here to go directly to the ebay auction. :)





















Here is my second entry: "Soft Rose"
Click here to go directly to the ebay auction. :)


May 23, 2012

Creating a Kokopelli

This month the Nibblefest theme is Elements. We are usually limited to three entries per theme, but since there are four elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), we could enter up to four as long as each entry represented a different element.


(Nibblefest is a monthly art contest on ebay. The participants each create artwork around a monthly theme. Each auction must start on or after the 20th of the month, and must end on the 27th of the month; and each auction must start at only $0.99. Search NFAC or ART NFAC each month to find the Nibblefest entries)

I've been thinking about creating a series of Kokopelli paintings for a while, but hadn't formed in my mind exactly the path I wanted to take on that journey. (As you may already know, I love the Moab, UT and Arches National Park. If you ever go to Moab, you will see Kokopelli everywhere!) So, when this theme came up on the Nibblefest list, I decided it might be a good time to turn "thinking about it" into "doing it." Thus, the Kokopelli Elements were born. :)

What is Kokopelli you say? Well here is an "official" description from Wikipedia.
"Kokopelli is a fertility deity, usually depicted as a humpbacked flute player, who has been venerated by some Native American cultures in the Southwestern United States. Like most fertility deities, Kokopelli presides over both childbirth and agriculture. He is also a trickster god and represents the spirit of music."
 
I spent some time last week looking at various depictions of the Kokopelli figure and then developed my own sketch in my sketchbook (I didn't want to make an exact copy of someone else's figure). I combined elements of various Kokopellies to make mine.
Then I found symbols to represent the elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water - and made sketches of these in my book.

Last, I wanted a little something in the background, so I sketched some little adobe huts. (At least I hope that's what they look like). ;)

After getting all these elements into my sketchbook, I cut four pieces of Arches 140lb watercolor paper and taped them off with a window of 8 3/8" x 10 3/8" (the goal to have a painting that will be approximately 8" x 10", but I always want to paint a little bigger than that so there is no white space accidentally showing through on the mat window when it gets matted and framed). Then I transferred my sketches to the four pieces of watercolor paper and went to work.

I was quite pleased with the final results. So, these are my Nibblefest entries for May 2012. :)

"Kokopelli Earth"
Click here to go directly to the ebay auction











 















"Kokopelli Air"
Click here to go directly to the ebay auction











 















"Kokopelli Fire"
Click here to go directly to the ebay auction


























"Kokopelli Water"
Click here to go directly to the ebay auction

May 22, 2012

Book Review: The $100 Startup

This book was mailed to me recently with a request to read it and provide a review. Typically, I keep my blog posts related to my art pursuits and art-related topics. But, this book actually kind of qualifies in that arena. Since many full-time artists I know are trying to find ways to generate more income to support themselves and their families, and many part-timers are also looking to find additional revenue streams or to find a way to be able to work as a full-time artist, I thought the book might contain some useful information. So I decided to give it a read.

Here are my thoughts on The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future.


(This is the review I posted to Amazon.com)

"This book was quick and easy to read. I found the information to be useful and I appreciated the personal examples of businesses in a variety of industries from mattress sales to map makers to consultants. I felt that there could have been a little more detail about how to build a customer base for your product launch, but I did notice some helpful references in the footnotes about websites with information on SEO and other things that might be helpful in answering some of those questions. Ultimately I found this book to be highly motivational. Give yourself the freedom to go ahead and start that microbusiness! Whether you want to start a part time venture or go at it full time, the message here is that you need to be willing to work at something you love, you need to find a way to create value and experience for your customers, and you need to have the courage to go for it!"


Book reviews are an interesting concept for an artist blog, but I think I will include some additional reviews here if they are books or articles I find helpful as an artist or business person.

As for this one, I would recommend it - for motivation if nothing else. There's a definite "You CAN do it!" vibe that runs through the entire book. :)

May 18, 2012

Floral Photo Notecards

I have just loved so many of these floral reference photos that I have taken in the past week! Beautiful spring flowers! I definitely intend to make some paintings from the shots, but I also decided to make some notecards with the photos themselves.

Three different ssortment sets of cards are now available at my Etsy store. (Click the links below if you would like to see them). :)

Pretty Poppies

Ravishing Roses

Lovely Lilacs

Here is a pic of the set of Pretty Poppies notecards with envelopes. (Glossy print photo is approx 3.5" x 5" and the cards are approx 4.25" x 5"


May 17, 2012

Redwoods and Rhododendrons

As you may already know, I love to travel. My husband and I especially love Moab, UT and Arches National Park. However, we also have a great love for Northern California and the Redwood National Park. Truthfully, we actually like Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park better, but the entire Northern California coastline is full of beautiful Redwood trees, from the Avenue of the Giants all the way up the coast to Crescent City, CA, where we stayed on our honeymoon. Actually, the "honeymoon" was a vacation we took seven months after we were married - but we still count it! :)

Besides being an easy drive to Redwood trees, hiking trails, and beautiful, awe-inspiring scenery, Crescent City has lovely coastline and, during July, Crabbing from the docks. I found this such an interesting sight to observe - fishermen tossing colorful round nets and baskets off the dock to catch rock crabs. I got some great photo shots with my camera, as well as wonderful Redwoods pics. Unfortunately, it was a time before I carried a sketchbook with me and, on our travels home, we accidentally left our camera (and all the memory disks with it) in our rental car! Aargh! I called the rental car place and they did, indeed, have the camera and were supposed to mail it to me. But guess what, it never came! I guess some employee of theirs thought it was more important for them to have the camera. So...no pictures from our two-week honeymoon vacation!

Well, as you can imagine, that experience was upsetting and frustrating and, frankly, maddening. But, there's nothing we could do about it, so no point in walking around my life being angry about something I can't change. Instead, we set about planning a NEW vacation to the Redwoods so we could recapture some of those wonderful photos as well as make new memories.

On our next vacation, taken the year our first son was born (he was 5 months old at the time), we did recapture some great pics - and didn't lose our camera this time. And...BONUS...we went in June, only to discover the Giant Rhododendrons were in bloom! BEAUTIFUL!! So, along with the awe-inspiring Tall Trees, I have some lovely shots of these gorgeous flowers in bloom...some of the bushes growing taller than I am (which is not hard since I only stand 5 foot 2 inches). But some were even taller than my 6 foot 3 inch hubby as well!

Eventually, all inspiration finds its way to my paintbrush. So, here are three little watercolor paintings inspired by the beautiful flowers. :) 


All three of these paintings are currently listed on eBay this week (your chance to pick them up at auction prices!). Click here if you would like see the auctions or search Jennifer Love Artwork on eBay to find my current auctions. You can also look up Jennifer Love Artwork on Etsy to see my Etsy store with original paintings, prints, cards, and custom cards.

Thanks for reading and sharing a bit in my life. :) Have a great week (almost weekend) everyone! 

Redwood Rhododendron 1  Image Size 5" x 7"

Redwood Rhododendron 2  Image Size 4" x 3"

Redwood Rhododendron 3  Image Size 7" x 5"

May 15, 2012

Mid Month ACEO challenge

I participated in this month's mid-month ACEO "Interpretations" challenge on ebay. The mid month challenge is for each artist to create their interpretaion of the same photo reference.

Here is my entry "Spirit Island Sunrise"  the auction starts at just $0.99 and ends on the 17th. :)




May 12, 2012

Spring Inspirations - Photo Safari

Beautiful Saturday! We ran errands and gave the yard some much-needed love today. While running differrnt errands and taking care of tasks that needed to be done, I took my camera on a mini photo safari to capture some of the beautiful Spring blooms that are happening in my yard (roses) as well as around the town (Bountiful, UT). Roses, Iris, Poppies. My Peonies are also just starting to bloom! Spring in Utah brings such beautiful flowers! A trip to Lowes resulted in the purchase of a lovely Gardenia that I will be planting in my yard as well. Mmmmm....LOVE the smell of Gardenias!

Here are some of my camera shots from today's photo safari. (Perhaps we will see some paintings from these shots soon!)

Happy Mother's Day weekend to everyone! :)

Purple Iris in my back yard

Rose in my front yard - on a bush I started from a clipping off one of my grandmother's beautiful rose bushes

Rose in my front yard

Rose in my front yard

Rose bud in my front yard

Rose in my front yard

Rose bud in my front yard

Rose bud in my front yard

I don't know what kind of flowers these are...if you know, please comment on this blog post  :)


Light violet Iris

Light violet Iris

Light violet Iris
Light violet Iris

Light violet Iris
Light violet Iris

Poppy

Poppy

Poppy

Poppy

Poppies

Poppies

Poppies

May 2, 2012

"Spring Monarch" - ACEO TW MAy 2012




May is already here! The 1st of the month always signals the beginning of ACEO Theme Week on ebay (search ACEO TW for all entries). This month the theme is butterflies, so of course I had to submit something on THAT theme!  Click here if you would like to go directly to my ebay auction for "Spring Monarch." This auction is starting at just $0.99. :)

ACEO is an acronym that stands for Art Cards Editions and Originals. They are mini paintings the size of baseball trading cards. Quite popular among artists and collectors alike! A great way to collect original art - especially when you don't have a lot of wall space!

I also listed some matted prints of my other butterfly paintings to run this week as well. :) Click here (or search Jennifer Love Artwork on ebay) to see all my current auction listings.

Also, don't forget to check out my Etsy shop periodically. I am trying to list some new things each week to keep it fresh! And, my larger (and some smaller) original works are also at Xanadu Gallery. They can be purchased securely through Xanadu's website as well. :)


I am so energized for Spring and Summer. Glad to have the sunshine back! I am moving forward on the Book Illustration project and getting my ideas organized and sketches going for that. Many things to keep busy!!

Thanks for checking in on my blog. Have a great week!

April 22, 2012

Painting of the Day - Bottle Bush

"Bottle Bush"
(watercolor. Image Size 5" x 7" matted to 8" x 10")

Painted en plein air this morning! :)
















I have listed this on ebay for 7 day auction. After that it will go to my Etsy store.

Click Here if you would like to go directly to the ebay listing.

April 20, 2012

April 2012 Newsletter & Nibblefest

My April newsletter is here.  You can click this link if you'd like to read it, or scan the QR code below.






















It's also Nibblefest time again on ebay. This month's theme is "Reptiles."  All Nibblefest auctions are created around a monthly theme. Each artist is limited to three works of art. Each piece must start at $0.99.  :)










Here are my three REPTILE entries:

"Under the Sea Brown Turtle"
Click here to go directly to ebay auction.




















"Under the Sea Red Turtle"
Click here to go directly to ebay auction.




















"Under the Sea Green Turtle"
Click here to go directly to ebay auction.



















Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend! :)