Kokopelli Conga

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

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!