Kokopelli Conga

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

October 14, 2014

Halloween 31 Color Blocks

Hi friends! 

I would say my blog posts have been sporadic this summer...but really they have been non-existent. My apologies! It has been one crazy summer. But, no time like the present to get back on track and back to writing more regularly.

I do actually have some art news to share with you, but I will save that for a later blog post. Today, I just wanted to jump in to let you know of a new little eBay contest I decided to participate in this week, called Halloween 31.

"Three Witches" - watercolor & mixed media (stamping/ink)

From time to time, I create and post little works of art for a group called ACEO Theme Week on eBay (ACEO-stands for Art Cards Editions and Originals. They are small works of art or prints that are 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches - the size of a baseball trading card). I tend to prefer to work a bit larger than ACEO size, but sometimes the contest strikes my fancy and I try to come up with something. The normal ACEO TW contest starts on the 1st of the month each month and the little works of art revolve around a monthly theme.

However, the group occasionally also puts together a mid-month challenge, as is the case this October. This week, they started the Halloween 31 challenge. ACEO works must be Halloween-themed. Auctions on ebay must start on October 13th. They must run for 7 days. And all auctions must start at $0.31. I thought it sounded like a fun little challenge, and a way for me to use up some of my "color blocks" and be a little crafty at the same time (by using stamps and embossing).

"Black Cat and Bat" - watercolor & mixed media (stamping/embossing)

What are color blocks? Well, when it comes to art supplies, I try to be frugal. I hate to see any strip of watercolor paper go unused! Typically, when I am painting, I will have a small or medium piece of  watercolor paper off to the side that I use as a test strip for my color and saturation, which I often use before laying paint down on my larger painting. These test strips often result in big sections of color and texture. But what to do with these? I hate to just throw them out. And they are frequently quite interesting combinations of color, line, movement, and textures. So, I hang on to them. 

"Beware" - watercolor & mixed media (stamping/embossing)

I will use some of them to make hand-made cards for friends and family. Sometimes I cut the color blocks into squares or rectangles and mat them into small, abstract paintings. And, that's what I decided to do for this ACEO challenge (minus the mat board - ACEOs don't usually come matted). 

In order to qualify as "Halloween-themed" I needed to add something extra to these little color blocks. Good excuse to go shopping! Ha! I found some cute Halloween stamps and black embossing powder at the local craft store. With my color blocks, embossing tools and ink in hand...my little Halloween 31 ACEOs were born.

"Boo" - watercolor & mixed media (stamping/embossing)

"Is this 'fine art'?" you might ask. Should I be spending my time creating little ACEO paintings instead of working on my larger projects? Well...I say that sometimes I need a fun little project to get my juices flowing again. Sometimes I have to break out of my regular "lane" to make my art brain think in a different way. Sometimes I need to work on something that still allows me to watch my little boys while they are playing. And, sometimes, I just have to take an hour to be "crafty." :)

"Trick or Treat" - watercolor & mixed media (stamping / embossing)

I created eight little entries for this ACEO challenge. All the auctions start at just $0.31 and will end on October 20th. 

"Wicked" - watercolor & mixed media (stamping/embossing/brad)

You can search Halloween31 ACEO on eBay to see all the auctions that are listed from all artists. Or, you can click here to see all of mine. 


June 10, 2014

June P4P

We had a few more artists participate this month in the June Paintings 4 Parkinson's (P4P) that started June 1st and ended June 8th on eBay. We sold a few more paintings this month, and raised more money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation than last month. AWESOME!  (25% - 100% of the sale price of each painting goes to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research).

Here's a BIG THANK YOU to all my artist friends and eBay sellers who have been participating, and all those that plan to do so next month as well. 

Next round starts July 1st on eBay. :)

For more information about Paintings 4 Parkinson's, you can click here to read Our Story & a Call to Artists.

Sign up for P4P email reminders and info here.

If you know any artists who are selling on eBay that might like to participate, please forward the info to them! 

You can follow our Facebook page by clicking here, and search P4PMJFF on eBay between the 1st and the 8th of each month to see all the artwork that is up for auction. :)


Meanwhile....we just got home from a fun week in Mesquite, NV for vacation time visiting family. SUPER HOT though! Glad to be back in hot, but much milder weather here in Utah. But...we got home to discover a Racoon had decided to take up residence in our back yard while we were away.  We think it is up in one of our big spruce trees.  Hmmm... not too fond of that idea. Nothing against the little critters, but with racoon roundworm in their poopies that can cause bad illness and even blindness (yes...blindness!), and the fact that they often carry rabies (which we don't want for our cats or our two small children), I called animal control first thing this morning. They are coming out to check on Wednesday. Hopefully the company we called will have it trapped and relocated SOON! 

Back to work tomorrow...If only we could live a life of leisure - or at least have another week off to take care of my house and yard work that still needs to be done! LOL :)

Happy summer all!

Found this super cute "keep calm" online

June 2, 2014


I recently attended the Utah Watercolor Society (UWS) Spring Exhibition Opening Reception in Provo, UT with my husband and children. It was a wonderful collection of paintings in which I was lucky to be included.  

My painting, "Stargazer," was also selected by the Utah Division of Arts and Museums to be part of their Utah Watercolor Society Travelling Exhibit that will be on display in various venues throughout the state over the coming year.

While visiting with some of the other artists and spouses at the opening reception, I overheard part of my husband's conversation with another man - the husband of one of the artists. They were discussing the wives' being artists, coming to receptions, etc. The other gentleman said "So, your official title is HOA...Husband Of Artist."  Made me giggle. Yup! That is his new official title. I think I'll print business cards for him. :)

So next time you hear the acronym HOA, don't think of Homeowners Association...think "Husband Of Artist." 

May 23, 2014

Kokopelli Weave

The Utah Watercolor Society (UWS) Small Works Exhibition is fast approaching and entries are due this week. My entry was actually due today because I am sending it with a delegate from UWS who will drive several paintings to Logan, UT - where the exhibition will take place.

I have not participated in the Small Works Exhibition for a number of years. The last few years, the exhibition has been held in conjunction with the Logan Summerfest Art Faire and hosted by the Cache Valley Chapter of UWS. Logan is about a two-hour drive from where I live, so I am grateful we have a Salt Lake-based UWS member who is willing to drive paintings up for those of us who can't be there for the delivery date/times.

The next step was to create a small painting. The requirement for the small works show is that the painting (including framing) cannot be larger than 144 square inches (ie: 12" x 12").

I had a 10" x 10" frame with a 5" x 5" precut mat ready to use, so I decided now would be a great time to try out a new woven painting, this time utilizing a semi-abstract vignette image and weaving it.

In order to create the piece, I first cut some 140lb Arches watercolor paper into two 5.5" square pieces. Then I did a sketch of my kokopelli.

I transferred my image to my two pieces of watercolor paper, doing my best to get it in approximately the same spot on the paper. Then I painted both paintings at the same time with the same color palette.

I liked how both of these little paintings turned out. Now comes the brave part...cutting them up! I cut one painting into vertical strips and the other into horizontal strips and then weave them together, starting with the middle pieces to try to match the image up as best as I can.

Here is the end result, "Kokopelli Weave."

I tried to scan the matted painting, but it's a bit larger than my scanner, so it's a little blurry...

I really enjoyed this process. It gives me an abstracted look, but still a fairly recognizable image as the focus of the painting. What do you think?

Now...the next question is this: do you think that a woven painting such as this looks consistent enough to be recognizable as being done by the same artist who painted my regular vignette paintings (such as these below). 

Recently I have been trying to focus on creating a consistent body of work - one that is easily recognizable as mine at a glance. I happened to stumble upon the woven painting technique just as I was travelling down that consistency path, and now I am wondering if creating woven paintings out of my "regular" style will be easily identifiable as mine.  I would love to hear your feedback. Do you think my woven Kokopelli painting is recognizable alongside the other semi-abstract vignette paintings? Which do you like better? 

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog! See you soon. :)

May 9, 2014

Utah Watercolor Society Spring Show

It's the time of year for the Utah Watercolor Society Spring Show (UWS). I was fortunate enough to be juried into the show this year, with one of my woven abstract paintings, "Stargazer," which also showed up on the event postcard! :) 

The show was juried by John T. Salminen, who also presented at the UWS member meeting this past Tuesday evening. Wow! What an incredible artist and an entertaining speaker as well.

The opening reception is tonight in Provo, UT. Here is the postcard.

Here is my painting, "Stargazer." 
"Stargazer"  Acrylic on 140lb watercolor paper

This show is another important step in achieving Signature Member status in the UWS. I am already a Two Star Member (achieved after acceptance into two Spring Shows). Signature membership requires acceptance to eight shows (UWS Spring or Fall shows, or the Western Federation annual show). It is also required that your painting win an award at one of the shows. So far, I have been accepted to six shows. No awards yet, but hopefully one of these days. :) What does Signature Member mean? It means I can put the letters UWS next to my signature on my paintings. Seems like a small thing? Perhaps, but now you know the amount of work required to achieve Signature Member status. Those three little letters lend a certain amount of prestige and credibility to your art.

"Stargazer" is one of only three abstract woven paintings that I have created in the past two years. Interestingly, each of the three were selected for UWS juried exhibitions (all juried by different nationally and internationally known artitsts). This has been insightful for me, since I am not normally a pure abstract painter. But, I do enjoy the process of the woven paintings, and I feel that the weaving gives some added interest and texture to the composition. My next step will be testing the weaving process with paintings done in my usual style. I am hoping this combination might help give a unique and recognizable voice to my work. I will post pictures of the process as I test it to see if it will work out! :)

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog!

April 22, 2014

Nibblefest April 2014 - Sea Monsters

It's Nibblefest time again on eBay. This month's theme is SEA MONSTERS. To be honest, I almost skipped the month. I don't really make fantasy art and wasn't coming up with any good ideas on what to create for the theme. But then, the other night, as I woke about 2:30 AM with many thoughts swirling in my head about the things I need to do in my house, yard, at work, etc... (you know those nights?)...and idea came to me. Last minute for sure, but I did manage to get a little painting in for the contest.

Seahorses look like little dragons to me. What do you think? :)

Here is my entry for this month's Nibblefest. 
"Dancing Sea Dragons"
The painting measures about 9.5" x 9.5" and is listed for auction right now on eBay with a starting bid of $0.99.

Click here to go directly to the auction.

Nibblefest is a monthly art contest on eBay that begins on the 20th and ends on the 27th of each month. Artists are given a monthly theme with which to create work. Artistic interpretation and materials used can be very broad and as creative as the individuals making the artwork. Each auction starts at just $0.99. It's a great way for new collectors to test the waters of purchasing original art and for artists to build a new collector base as well as bring people to their other available auctions. All Nibblefest auctions can be viewed by searching NFAC Art on eBay during the contest timeframe.

Also, don't forget that Paintings 4 Parkinson's starts on eBay on May 1st! You can search P4PMJFF to find auctions with donations benefitting the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (where 88 cents of EVERY dollar donated goes directly to research programs for Parkinson's Disease). See my previous blog post for details and look for more info to come. 

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog!

April 9, 2014

Composing Abstract Paintings ~ Joyce Baron workshop presented by UWS

I signed up for a mini workshop through the Utah Watercolor Society (UWS) this past Feb/March. Joyce Baron, past president of the UWS, was the instructor for this workshop that focused on planning, design, and creation of abstract paintings.

Joyce is a fabulous abstract painter with vibrant colors and excellent movement and design in her work. She also creates beautiful fused glass jewelry.

While I am not a full-on abstract painter by nature or intent, I do like to incorporate abstract elements for visual interest and texture in my own paintings, so I was excited to take this workshop to see what I could learn. My abstract paintings are usually the side product of test brush strokes I make while painting something else, or the occasional woven painting. 

I find that taking workshops from other artists who work in a variety of different ways really helps to unlock the creative side of my brain. I try to take elements of what I have learned in a workshop (technique, style, or anything useful to me) and incorporate them into my own work. In some workshops, the instructor has everyone in the class paint the same composition and he/she will walk you through the process that they use to make their own paintings. This is a great way to learn technique and/or a skill. In other workshops, you are encouraged to work on your own compositions, but incorporate the things you are learning in the class into your work. This was the approach that Joyce took in teaching our class. 

We were instructed in the different types of composition that can be used in making an abstract painting (or any painting for that matter). We also discussed color theory and ideas for color combinations, and Joyce favored us with wonderful demonstration of her approach (making it look so easy - of course). Then we each practiced creating some of the different types of composition and color combinations (NOT so easy!), ending each exercise with a "show and tell" feedback session. 

Joyce demonstrating:

I created four paintings during the course of the two-day workshop, the first two of which I was less pleased with, but I learned good things from the creative process. But, I was very pleased the final two paintings, wherein I incorporated some of the things learned in the workshop into paintings that were more "me." These two paintings were Kokopelli Three and An Orange Pair

For Kokopelli Three I incorporated the use of complementary color combinations as well as abstract shapes for texture and visual interest in a repeating pattern design. 

For An Orange Pair I used the complementary color combination - this painting was done using only two colors: Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Orange. The background is the neutral brown/gray color you get when mixing the orange and blue. I also used opposing forces in the composition for visual interest. 

Both paintings can be found for sale on my Xanadu Studios artist page by clicking here. :)

Kokopelli Three

An Orange Pair

I love the artistic jolt that I get from taking workshops. But, even better than that is just having one or two full, uninterrupted days of painting and art!  I am looking forward to another workshop at the end of April with Lester Lee and will write another blog post with follow up. :)

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog!

February 2, 2014

February 2014 - Etsy special

This past Fall did not got as planned. Family issues drew my attention away from my artwork and creating. But, the new year is looking up and I am hoping to get back into the swing of things.
So, I am starting my new year off with a Sale in my ETSY shop. If you're looking for a unique gift for yourself or your sweetheart this Valentine's Day...or just looking to celebrate February, the fact that we made it through the holidays, or just life in general...you might find what you're looking for at my ETSY shop: Jennifer Love Artwork. :)
Click here to go directly to my Shop homepage. Enter the code LOVE2014 between now and February 15th, 2014 for a 20% discount on your purchase. :)
Happy New Year, Happy Groundhog Day, and Happy Valentine's Day to you!
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