art

Making a vertical pin

I have been struggling with finding a good way to display more of my posts vertically for my Pinterest crowd. More people visit my Pinterest than my FB & IG combined, but my Pinterest has nearly 50,000 pins across my account & maybe only a few dozen lead to my own work. I’m trying to boost that number a bit & also make my work better presented to prospective (visually minded) clients who want to see my work in the context of a room. I was very inspired by another pin I saw that was presented in a similar manner. I made this image in PicsArt App I picked a canvas, dropped images on their own layer, & then cropped it. The top image was just a photo of “Faucet” 30”x40” (which is available btw :) taken with my phone & the bottom was done using the ArtRooms app.

I’m trying to figure out how to sell my art online (which is no easy task) & help out other artists in the process. So these are my resources, let me know if this helps you.

public.jpeg

I woke up this morning, less than 24 hours later & I already had 5 saves. It’s by no means viral, but more than I would typically get in a one day period. Vertical pins are where it’s at. If you clicked on the pin, which led you here, “hi!”

public.jpeg

art

Using art rooms

You guys! I took the leap & finally got the ArtRooms app. I’m obsessed. You input your images & their dimensions, it plops them in a room, and evens adds an adjustable frames & shadows.

This is not a paid advertisement. ArtRooms has only an inkling I exist because I’ve only just got the app today & have literally just started using it, but I Dawn the benefits & instead of just posting the picture with no back story, I decided to write a little blurb about it as I’m sure others would gain from this artist tool.

It is a subscription based app that is $7.99/month, which may not be for everyone. Heck, I can barely afford it, but if I can sell one painting that’s been hanging around for a while, it’ll be worth it.

I wanted to get you guys some visuals of what sizes my works are. Ideally, in a perfect world, I’d style every painting in a space with knick knacks, photographs, other paintings, furniture. I would make mood boards like this (& this one) for every single one of my paintings if I had the time. I like thinking up stories of the clients that are going to buy each piece, what they’re like, what they wear, what secrets they keep.

But this is going to show how my wild paintings can work in even the most neutral of spaces. This is going to really give the buyer (& myself) a sense of size, what art could look like in their home, as well as giving them ideas as to where the can hang the art once they decide “this must be mine.”

Three paintings with mustard by June Jewell. Abstracts, Pet Portraits, People Portraits by commission. Contact for more info.

Three paintings with mustard by June Jewell. Abstracts, Pet Portraits, People Portraits by commission. Contact for more info.

End of the Day” is only 8”x10” which many would consider small, but placed in the right spot, it will make everything around it pop. I’ve had a few people voicing their need to have more context to my images. You might not know what size things are based off of my posts of the whole painting. If you mix the smaller ones with larger pieces, or all grouped together, even the smaller pieces can play an important role in making a gallery wall tie together with the rest of your decor.

This Blue Jay painting (by June Jewell) is already sold, but I thought I’d give another sample of more to come with app…& if you’re interested in a painting of a blue jay, I do commissions. ;)

This Blue Jay painting (by June Jewell) is already sold, but I thought I’d give another sample of more to come with app…& if you’re interested in a painting of a blue jay, I do commissions. ;)

June Jewell spreads the word about her new favorite artist resource.

June Jewell spreads the word about her new favorite artist resource.

art

Letting go

I had my open studio today & it was pretty successful in that I think I’ve got some commissions coming my way, but I didn’t sell much of the huge inventory of art I already have. I need to figure out a next step. I’m thinking I need to start posting on saatchi.

Even though I have SO MUCH ART, I always feel like I need to do more before a show. What’s that about? Anyway, while I was supposed to be cleaning last night, I painted this over an older work.

“River Reflections” 20”x20”x1.5” acrylic on stretched canvas by June Jewell. $550+ shipping

“River Reflections” 20”x20”x1.5” acrylic on stretched canvas by June Jewell. $550+ shipping

I let go. I let go in a way I haven’t done with my art in a long time. I gave myself permission to go over favorite parts & in the process made new faves. It’s got a pretty ugliness about it that I want to fix, but know I shouldn’t.

I posted this on insta & while typing this, I got a comment “I love this, June!”

A few years back, a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer (she’s cancer free now!) & I didn’t have money to contribute to the mounting costs, so I thought about how I could raise funds. I started doing these kind of meditative paintings. I contemplated mortality, stressors, what’s really important to me & I did these therapeutic (though not very aesthetically pleasing) abstract works. They weren’t the type of thing I thought anyone would like.

The process, though, was something I thought others could benefit from, so I taught classes. Anyway, I’ll get back to teaching one day. The point I was making was that I haven’t given myself that much freedom to just make in years. It’s almost always about the process for me, but I often abandon art, because I get stuck & want to start fresh.

I challenge you to try something right now. Take any marking tool you can find be it pencil, pen, highlighter, crayons, paints. Just draw. Make lines. Feel what it feels like. I hear this ALL THE TIME “I can barely draw a straight line (or stick figure or circle)”

Don’t worry about that. Let go for a moment. Get messy with your thoughts & on paper & report back.

public.jpeg

Twin Art

Today I went to my friend Karmin & her twin Anie’s birthday party. I had a set of abstract paintings that were mostly done & needed a little something extra. They’re what I call “sister” paintings, meaning I made them using the same color palette at the same time. I wanted to further connect them, so on each of the four sides of the panels, there are elements that cross the edge & correspond with the sister painting. You can either consciously hang them the same direction in your separate rooms or homes, consciously hang them oppositionally, or just hang them however you prefer just knowing that however you hang this painting has no effect on your bond.

I just thought it was a cool idea & will definitely be doing more in the future.

E58BFB9E-3D1D-4251-89BD-1E0150AC1124.jpeg

art

Mood Board Monday-SunRays Through Algae

Similar to my last post, I’m trying to figure how I most want to present myself to the world/ figure out who my client is. SunRays Through Algae is one of the first abstract works I was truly proud of after Calvin was born in 2016. I couldn’t seem to get excited about painting animals, which is what I was doing previous to him being born. I made about dozens of paintings, just trying to get out emotions, focusing more on the process over product.

Mood boards are a fun way for people to see my work in the context of a space & similar color scheme. Obviously I don’t expect the buyer of my work to have dark blue walls, yellow accent rugs, & purple lipstick, but I think it would be really cool if I intuitively made this piece for that person.

There’s a lot that I didn’t include in the image. To see more of the mood board, please visit my Pinterest www.pinterest.com/junejewelldesigns/mood-algae/

algea-mood.jpg

art

Pigeon Painting Mood Board

Pinterest is my jam. When it first came on the scene, I spent hours upon hours planning Nick & my future wedding, closet, babies & home…& most importantly my art studio.

I have upwards of 48k pins. 0.0 I am an extremely visual person, but jeez, that’s a lot of time spent planning & not doing. Turns out all that pinning really helped me figure out more about who I am as a person, what my aesthetic is & what I want in life. The past week or so I’ve been trying to organize my boards, deleting pins that don’t “spark joy.” It’s a work in progress.

While going through one of my boards, I thought it would fun to make a mood board for one of my paintings, taking items from my existing pins within the color scheme. I went into my Pinterest analytics to see which of my paintings was most popular. Unfortunately, I have not been very good at promoting my own work. In my top 25 (or however many) pins, there’s only 3 of my own pieces. What’s my top pin? A cement planter made with old brooches. It’s a really cool project but it doesn’t have anything to do with me. Second top pin is a pair of shoes.

My third top pin is a picture of two of my paintings I did last year for Tryst Gallery’s LAX show. The pigeon was the first animal that popped in my head when I thought about from my time in LA. & the painting on the right was done using colors I was vibing from baby Daisy in utero. I’ve decided to keep that one as it still screams Daisy to me.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/91760911144227307/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/91760911144227307/

If this was a (Pinterest) fan favorite, I wanted to amplify it. I had to post in my shop first as it is available…most of them are. [:/ There’s still about a hundred pieces I need to list, but that’s a job for another day.] I posted it in my shop, made a post for my FB & IG with a taggable product linking to the item on my website, I also changed the link on the pin to go to my website. I’m not sure if that was the best choice, though.

Past me had already done so much of the work. I just glanced over a few of my favorite boards & put in a few keywords & made a board on Pinterest, then picked out some of my favorite images from the board & brought them in photoshop. I moved them around for about 10 minutes until I was satisfied with the layout.

I want to get better at visualizing my work in other people’s homes, to imagine an ideal client for each work.

pigeon-mood.jpg
“Pigeon Squared” by June Jewell  20”x20”x1.5” acrylic on canvas. $500

“Pigeon Squared” by June Jewell  20”x20”x1.5” acrylic on canvas. $500

Is this something I’m going to do for each artwork? Definitely not. It’s way too time consuming. The only reason I was able to paint these paintings, pin the pins, & write this blog is because I kept taking breaks from them to feed, change, & play with my kiddos . I’d much rather spend time with them, but I’m trying to show my children that I need to focus my attention elsewhere sometimes.

I’m trying to get better about doing work during the day & better utilizing my time. Here’s to hoping.

art

Art is not precious

I keep hearing on podcasts & seeing that phrase, “art is not precious” I have so many pieces that I’d be super bummed if they got one more spot on them, but I probably have just as many that I want to keep exploring. Below is two paintings that I’ve further explored. They were pretty & all & some people have preferred them in the ‘before’ stage, but since they’re not buying I get to finish them how I please. They were both hanging out in our spare room, propped up against the wall for about a year. I tried to place them around the house, bring them out for open studios, & at different venues, but they were just too bold for this area.

Part of my #100daysofjj challenge is to go outside my comfort zone. Is there a piece that just isn’t working for you that you could dive back into?

My most recent work, painted over a piece from last year.

My most recent work, painted over a piece from last year.

Left the edges the same so you can see the transformation.

Left the edges the same so you can see the transformation.

The before.

The before.

The ‘after’ of another painting that was lingering around the house for a year untouched.

The ‘after’ of another painting that was lingering around the house for a year untouched.

The ‘before’.

The ‘before’.

DBCAD1C6-FEC7-4322-9E2A-3178AE90E951.jpeg

Both paintings are still available. Contact me for more information.

june jewell

June Russett

Growing up, I (almost) always loved my name. June Jewell. “Is that your real name?” “Let me guess. Were you born in June?” “Ooh, I like your name. You sound like a rockstar!” “Oh, that’s original!”

Turns Out it’s not, unfortunately. It is still an awesome name, but not original. I wasn’t even the only June Jewell living in Virginia. There’s a CPA & author living in Alexandria, I think. I’ve gotten her evites & eBay notifications to my email. There are others in the country, 8 total, I think. You have to scroll down a bit to find my website, a domain I’ve had for 15? years.

I’m not technically…legally June Jewell anymore. I’ll be married 4 years in June. I thought I’d keep the June Jewell for my art, but I’m June Russett now. What comes up when you google June Russett? A comment I wrote on a Chik-fil-a Facebook page about how they shouldn’t use styrofoam…to which they responded something about a lot of people liking them or some other nonsense. There’s not much else.

I’m hoping this blog post will show up, too.

Oh, & if you found this blog post trying to find money tips from a professional, you’ve come to the wrong place. While you’re here, though, take a look at my art. It’s pretty good. :)

I had to go back a little ways for a picture of me on my phone.

I had to go back a little ways for a picture of me on my phone.

art

Grouping & editing art

Honestly I added the flowers to these two to go with this one, but I don’t know that it’s my favorite use of my three options.

Honestly I added the flowers to these two to go with this one, but I don’t know that it’s my favorite use of my three options.

One of my favorite things about having so much inventory is planning out different gallery wall setups. I’ve got to get better about staging my work so that everyone can see my process.

I don’t usually have the luxury of picking a few pieces to display in my own home, because I don’t have many places to store my work, so I try to hang up as much as I can & I do love having it all up too.

I was asked to bring 3 pieces into a local shop. 3? Just three? How can I possibly pick? I have over a hundred works available. Hard. I knew that I wanted at least 1 mama & child portrait & I made one a few days ago that I was especially keen on using in that space, so what to do with it?

Editing is fun, but not always my strong suit. I narrowed it down to 10…which is progress from my bigger pile. One things that helps me figure out is to lay them out on the out one the floor in different scenarios. This morning I stole a blanket from the couch to use as a neutral background. It makes me wish I could paint one wall a bit of a dark gray. It makes my colorful work pop.

I like to mix things up & have a variety of subjects within a similar color palette. I’ve been told a few times that people can tell my art by my colors, which is funny to me, because I use so many, but rarely many warmer tones.

I’m still not 100% which I’ll bring, but at least I have some visuals to help me figure it out.

I like the idea of using this piece on wood. I want to do more similar to it, so I want to test it in the real world.

I like the idea of using this piece on wood. I want to do more similar to it, so I want to test it in the real world.

I definitely love this framed piece. It’s not an obvious choice, but it really makes the blues in the mama portrait pop.

I definitely love this framed piece. It’s not an obvious choice, but it really makes the blues in the mama portrait pop.

If I wanted to do two mama portraits.

If I wanted to do two mama portraits.

Getting a little carried away. Is 5 ok?

Getting a little carried away. Is 5 ok?

Nope. I don’t like how it’s bigger in the middle, nor do I like how loud that light blue space is on the middle bottom piece. Maybe if these were all part of a bigger display…

Nope. I don’t like how it’s bigger in the middle, nor do I like how loud that light blue space is on the middle bottom piece. Maybe if these were all part of a bigger display…

Oooh, I like the framed piece, but the pink in it is maybe too loud.

Oooh, I like the framed piece, but the pink in it is maybe too loud.

nope.

nope.

closer, but still no.

closer, but still no.

Probably too big for the space, but I love that chartreuse color popping out all over.

Probably too big for the space, but I love that chartreuse color popping out all over.

art

Portrait of sabrina 9/100

I forgot to finish this post, so let’s revisit.

Today is day 9 of my #100daysofjj challenge & I’ve finished my fourth painting. I’m maybe 1/3 of the way finished with another self portrait.

…& now she’s done. Here’s a peek at my process.

I started April 1st with the sketch & finished on April 9th, working on it here & there, occasionally skipping a day.

Please contact me if you’re interested in a portrait, lock in the Mother’s Day Special pricing now-May-12th.

Mother’s Day Special

Gouache (black & white)

5”x5”/5”x7” $45 (-$5)

8”x10” $50 (-$10)

Acrylic (color)

8”x10” $125 (-$25)

9”x12” $140 (-$30)

11”x14” $180 (-$30)

16”x20” $370 (-$30)

I will also be offering gift certificates to give as gifts to go toward the portrait (or other available artwork) of choice.

If you would like to here more about these offers, different sizes, shipping costs, etc., please email me at june.jewell@gmail.com

If you’re a NOVA local,

I will be hosting an open house Sunday, May 5th.

I will have all of my current Mother & Child portraits on display & available for sale as well as my other abstract & animal works.

Please come & see them all in person as pictures do not do the works justice.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2230589070491228/?ti=ia

A quick sketch on the canvas.

A quick sketch on the canvas.

IMG_0562.jpeg
IMG_0596.jpeg
IMG_0909.jpeg
Getting close, just need some details.

Getting close, just need some details.

She’s complete.

She’s complete.

I love to match up my representational work with my abstract work. If I don’t have a piece that matches, I sometimes make a new one to match.

I love to match up my representational work with my abstract work. If I don’t have a piece that matches, I sometimes make a new one to match.

mom life, june jewell

Mama model call

This blog post started out as a response to an email I received asking about a post I did on FB. Two days ago, on a whim, I decided to put a post asking for local WOC mamas that might be interested in having me paint them.

Over 50 women responded, some sent photos, some did not, some are white, most are not, all are beautiful.

I’m having a hard time deciding who to choose. I wish I would’ve had everyone send me photos beforehand, but was met with such overwhelming response that I have more than enough info to pick a few mamas. I am loving the outreach. I don’t usually get that big of a response from my posts, but love that this is the one that stood out to others.

All of the portrait paintings that I’ve done so far have been either of friends or women that I’ve found & asked permission from online. So many of the women that I’ve reached out to in the past were white, because that’s what seems to be the easiest to find. Instagram is where I have found most of my previous references when typing in relevant hashtags, such as #pregnantmama or #motherandchild I was seeing that a majority of the posts were white women. Fine, but I want to show more diversity in my work. So I started typing in more specific hashtags, such as #blackwomenbreastfeed or #latinamamas or #asianmother & was met with a bunch of memes or women that didn’t speak English or women that wouldn’t respond to my messages.

I live in a majority white community in Purcellville. Whenever we venture East, my son becomes curious about people’s skin tones, food, & culture. I want him to know more about the people of the world...people that don’t look like him.

My favorite subject right now to paint is mothers with their children in all their beauty. Painting strong women is one of the many ways I hope to expose my children to how I love & accept others. Historically , our society has portrayed women as the weaker sex & men in power in this country are often white. While everything has “worked out just fine” for many, I tend to think there’s a lot of improvement to be done.

I want to give “ordinary moms” an opportunity to feel special, while loving on their children. Some of my favorite captured moments are breastfeeding, baby wearing, pregnancy, & snuggles. I love when the image takes up the whole canvas, showing the closeness of the bond.

I wish I could paint everyone that reached out & might just do that over time. I posted in two groups & got over 50 responses, so that would take about a year, but would be a fun project.

Right now though I’m taking a few moms that are interested in purchasing, which will become priority & a few that have not suggested whether or not they would purchase, but that I feel will add to my portfolio in one way or another.

Ideally I’ll get to take pictures of a few moms on the same day, art direct them a bit & have some pictures to paint from. I am also interested in learning more about the women I choose & hope that they share a bit of their story to post along with the final piece.

One of the main reasons I’m doing this so that my art can be my own. I’m not using some stranger from the internet’s photo, potentially taken by another artist (photographer). I don’t want the images to be overly staged, just casual, candid images capturing the love between family. I feel like I’m finally at a place to take another step with my art, I’m excited that my community wants to support me in my climb.

Thank you to all who reached out. I will be contacting my choices on/by Sunday.

IMG_2669.jpeg

art

#100daysofjj

#100daysofjj starts tomorrow. This means 100 days of unapologetic creativity. 100 days of stepping out of my comfort zone to create art that I otherwise would not. 100 days of june jewell.

I will be slowing down my process, reevaluating previous works, diving back into mediums I have not touched in ages.

I would like to explore different aspects of my creativity as well as ways to make my practice more eco friendly.

My theme is vague. I want to give myself wiggle room. I also know that I need to be firm about some things. I need to get better about so much in my practice, such as documenting my work on my website (but hopefully that’ll be easier with the new Squarespace app), organizing supplies & products, keeping up with administrative duties, utilizing supplies I already have, etc.

I also have to remember that I am a mom of a nearly 3 year old & nearly 3 month old babe & to act accordingly. No ones life is dependent on this challenge. It’s a fun thing.

Here’s a list of things I would like to do within the next 100 days. I don’t expect to do them all. In fact, I know I’ll be doing a lot of “safe” work as I already have a few paintings lined up. With these, I just hope to be more mindful & patient I’m giving myself options, though.

⭕️Paint over an unloved work

⭕️Make a wood burned piece on reclaimed wood

⭕️Make a collage-preferably over a painting on paper

⭕️Step back into embroidery

⭕️Visibly mend a beloved garment

⭕️Explore painting on an upcycled 3D substrate (looking forward to this)

⭕️Carve my lino block that’s been staring at me for months

⭕️Document an adventure with my children

⭕️Collaborations, with Calvin, with friends

⭕️Create a sculpture out of recycled parts

I have a habit of starting things & not finishing. Last year’s #jj100daystocomplete was a journey into completing finished works I had piled in the studio. The hashtag has 25 pictures. Oi, so much for completing the task, which was the whole theme in the first place. I actually got a lot of work that I’m proud of during that time, but very little of it was completing old work, I mostly made new work & did a not so great job of documenting it. I was rushing through it all & some of it is quite obvious.

This year’s challenge starts with me painting over a work that I did during last year’s challenge. It’s a large piece that I’m going to give myself the whole 100 days to work on. I will work on it in between projects. I have a bit of it taped off & will be keeping parts of it until the end.

This Is the piece I didn’t in last year’s challenge. I will be painting over most of it within the next 100 days. 

This Is the piece I didn’t in last year’s challenge. I will be painting over most of it within the next 100 days. 

mom life

DAISY LOLA IS HERE

Nearly two months ago, I had the distinct pleasure of welcoming my beautiful daughter into the world. She is a beam of light & love. Calvin is the absolute best big bro (minus his obsession with constantly booping her nose). He loves her, as we all do, so immensely.

My sweet “Star Gazer” was 10 lbs., 21.5 in. & I birthed her naturally. This birth was more painful than my first & became the most painful & powerful moment of my life so far. I’m so excited to watch her & her brother grow & learn together. She is already such a happy girl, smiling at family with her mouth, but also with her eyes.

She was such a strong creative muse to me during my pregnancy & still is now that she’s born. I’ve been super fortunate to have my mama here with us from New Mexico these first few months so that I’ve been able to heal & prepare for life as a mom of two while trying to maintain a creative practice.

Since Daisy was been born, I’ve been involved in 4 art exhibitions & probably 30 paintings! February was a big month for me. It was for me last year too, but I lost momentum when I got pregnant late March & then was brought down with serious morning (all day) sickness until about month 7. I know that it’s going to take a while to get things in line, balancing raising two beautiful children, keeping house, & continuing to grow my small business, but I’m excited about the challenge.

Photo by Micah Simmons Photography

Photo by Micah Simmons Photography

My work featured at Tryst Gallery in Leesburg. Photo by Kris Loya

My work featured at Tryst Gallery in Leesburg. Photo by Kris Loya

Me at a Meet the artist event. My work hangs from Feb. -March 2019.

Me at a Meet the artist event. My work hangs from Feb. -March 2019.

My sweet children.

My sweet children.

MAma & babe color series

I’m laying here in bed after a long night of either Braxton Hicks or very early mild contractions. I’ve got my 2.5 year old Spud snuggled up asleep in my arm & thinking about what is potentially my last one on one date for a long while with my husband we have planned later on today. He’s asleep too & snoring. This is my growing family. I’m 38w2d pregnant with my little girl & she’s starting to show signs she’s ready to join us out in the real world.

Squarespace got a new app, so hopefully that’ll mean me posting more, though I have no clue what life as a mama of two will be like.

I wanted to post about my recent works. On Dec. 1st, I decided I would start a series called Until She’s Here. I had originally intended on doing one or two very simplistic color abstracts, & I did do a few, but then I also have done 3 colorful mama & babe portraits.

In August I started doing these mama & baby black & white portraits, which were unlike anything I had done previously. It’s been so incredible to see the creativity that this pregnancy has brought me.

The second, more colorful work. Reference: https://www.instagram.com/p/BpuzMVIlPGp/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=kdlm6yu3pzyf

The second, more colorful work. Reference: https://www.instagram.com/p/BpuzMVIlPGp/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=kdlm6yu3pzyf

The first of the series I did. https://www.instagram.com/p/BhHpfOEDzDk/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=ql3dpiwidvhj

The first of the series I did. https://www.instagram.com/p/BhHpfOEDzDk/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=ql3dpiwidvhj

This one is the most recent & I think my favorite so far.  reference: https://www.instagram.com/p/BCIbOTEF101/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=l2rwkmn6szly

This one is the most recent & I think my favorite so far.

reference: https://www.instagram.com/p/BCIbOTEF101/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=l2rwkmn6szly

These have been so fun. I can’t wait to do more & already have a few references picked out.

mom life

Breastfeeding Month

I spent this August, breastfeeding awareness month, illustrating mamas & their babes. I did over 55+ portraits & loved every minute of it. Normalizing breastfeeding is something I've been a huge advocate for since before my son was born over two years ago. This is something I'd like to start offering in my practice. Let me know if you'd be interested, shoot me an email at june.jewell@gmail.com 

mom life

Baby Numero Dos

Well, I know this is a bit late to be writing about this. Heck, it's been much too long since I've done anything with my website, :| but I am 21.5 weeks pregnant! Calvin Milo will be getting a baby sister near the end of the year & we couldn't be more thrilled. 

This is Calvin May 2016 & little spudette August 2018. I was trying to compare the two. I think she's got more of my nose. :P

I will be launching a new custom product offer soon! Super excited!

both-babes.jpg

art

Creative Business Q&A

It's happened again. I've gone months without even thinking about my blog. :|

So much has happened. I am taking part in a number of projects right now. I have started a drop-in play toddler program at the local roller skating rink, I've created & sold a bunch of paintings, taken part in 8 exhibits, I'm taking part in #100dayproject in which I'm trying to make & market my first collection....maybe 2, taking 2 courses on creative business, as well as being mom & wife. 

I will hopefully loop back around to the other projects, but today I want to share some of the questions that were asked of one of the courses I'm taking. I don't give much thought to the past. Sometimes when I paint, I feel like I just paint, but I get a sense it's more than that & answering these questions really made me reflect on my 'Why?' 

Q: What is the first memory you have connected to your creating art?

A: Apparently I was quite creative very early on, but my earliest art memory is from around age 9(?). I did a chalk pastel drawing of Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ My mom placed it over the photo on the calendar in our kitchen. She turned many months over, always replacing the drawing over the calendar’s picture. The next year it was a different painting. Before that, I felt like the thing to aspire to was to get on the fridge, but this was different. This was seeing that someone, even if it was my mom saw a place for my art in the world. 

The-Scream-Edvard-Munch-700332.jpg

 

Q: What is the most profound experience you’ve had as an artist in your life (if you had to pick just one, in this moment)?

A:When a friend got cancer, I didn’t have any money to give her, so I thought of the next best thing, I would raise funds by selling paintings & giving her the proceeds. The paintings weren’t really selling as I had hoped. This news along with other life dramas, I began to sink myself into my work, doing a lot of meditative painting & a lot of visualization which lead to some (not very beautiful, but very cathartic) abstract works. 

I decided to hold a class to teach one particular method I had developed for my own “art therapy.” It was pretty successful & I ended up doing a few more of these classes, but soon got a little burnt out as I was bringing up a lot of my own junk along with my students. I would like to return to doing these classes as I feel it benefited a lot of people. 

Q: How are the two connected?

A: At first glance the 2 might not have much in common, but I think more about all that was going on in my life around age 9 & about how I likely suppressed a fair amount, which in turn lead me to seek an outlet in my work later on. 

Giving Tuesday

Ok, so what happens when you don't sell anything during your holiday sales, but you still want to give back? I usually take a small portion towards every sale & put it towards a charity I've chosen. This year, however, money is tight, which is a bummer, but also a great time to be thankful & grateful for all that we do have. Even though times are tough, especially with me staying home, we still have food in our bellies, clothes on our back, a roof over our head, & each other. What more could one ask for? 

I'm always wanting to give back, to support causes that I believe in. I wish taxes worked like that. Put your share towards a select few categories: education, environmental preservation, infrastructure, healthcare, etc. That the people got to decide where their money was spent & that it was being utilized in the most effective & productive ways. That's not how it works, though. So, whenever there's a little bit extra, I sneak it towards something I'm passionate about & when there's not elven a little extra, I give away art. It makes me feel good knowing that someone's found my art & taken it home for their walls.  

Last year, I put a few goodie bags around town, three with prints & one with an original painting. 

This year, I've done a few art abandon drops, but this is my biggest piece yet. It's actually a kind of selfish give. There's this episode of FRIENDS where Joey tells Phoebe there's no such thing as a selfless act of kindness, because if it makes you feel good to give, it's selfish. This is that in kind of minor way. It's a selfish act, for sure. I wish I could give more...always, but this will do for today. When I thought about what to give, a couple pieces came to mind. The blue dog! It's such a heavy, clunky piece & I've been moving it around, not sure where or even how to hang it. Someone will see it, though, & hopefully just feel like they've found a treasure. 

How would you feel if you found art that spoke to you? 

If you're an artist, have you ever abandoned work? If not, I highly recommend it. Even if it's a print, it might just make someone's day. 

Whatever you do, find some way to spread the love everyday. 

Much love, 

jj 

Tears Bring Change

The past two years have been a roller coaster of emotion. I'm just going to straight out say it: I am not at all happy with this administration. Every single day something has happened that has made me audibly sigh, shake my head, cry, or just feel defeated. I have found solace in my art & it has been extremely therapeutic to me. I feel the need to paint everyday & have painted almost everyday. My art varies in style, medium, & technique from time to time, but it's all the same outlet.

Last week, I was listening to this podcast, The Jealous Curator: Art For Your Ear with Danielle Krysa. She was saying something sweet about a guest that she had on & her enthusiasm made my eyes well. I used to frequent her blog, the jealous curator, years ago, but something happened & it fell off of my radar. About two months ago, I stumbled across this podcast & listen to it every night in my studio as I paint. I started at the beginning, because, if I know something's going to be good, that's what I must do. Maybe it's FOMO, I don't know. I'm hooked.

Anyway, I emailed her, thanking her for her work in writing about artists, talking to artists, & launching many emerging artist's careers. I told her how I cried & I felt comfortable in saying so to a total stranger because it did not feel as though she was one. I had, after all, listened to her talk, sometimes about personal things for hours on end. Something has to be said for being vulnerable to the world & allowing strangers to feel as though they're not alone & as though they're friends. I have, of course, had characters in books & in tv or movies that I've related to, but never really felt this sort of belonging. 

She responded to my email & I read the email in her voice, which I only really do with people I've known my entire life. It sparked something in me. I don't expect we'll be friends, having tea & baked goods, but this fandom is new for me. It felt as though she has been my cheerleader, pushing me forward in my work, which is so nice. Every episode had gems of wisdom, which I feel are meant for me & I only wish I had written them all down. 

Danielle said something a couple episodes back about reading interview answers that brought her to tears & again, I cried. Tonight, I listened & Sally Taylor was on & she said something that I thought was funny at first, but then felt true. It was something along the lines of "tears are the iceberg around your heart melting." I live my happy day with Calvin. We don't have to talk about anything in particular. The outside world does not matter much when I'm with him. But then, Nick brings him up to bed, & suddenly the news of the world falls on me. I have to listen, at least a little. How could I not? I want to be at least mildly informed. 

Since these last couple cries, I've felt lighter. I've felt a change in the air & I'm excited again. Last month, I sold 4 paintings. It had been a bit of a dry patch, mostly because I'm terrible at marketing & listing new work. I'm trying to get better. I have been thinking more about the future & what I want to do with my business. I have goals again & it feels good.

much love,

jj

 

 

 

 

About Me

I've decided to take part in another Instagram/ creative challenge for the month of November. This one is a wood burning challenge hosted by @woodburncorner with #burntnovember  The tasks are every other day, so already pretty relaxed compared to the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge from September. I have already come to terms with the fact that I might not complete them all. I have not even uploaded all of my work from the 30 in 30challenge to my website, I have a few commissions that are pretty urgent, & Christmas is coming up. One solution is to kill a few birds with one stone & word burn some of the Christmas presents this year. Most of the people I gift to are not on Instagram, so it works out.  

Day 1 is titled "About Me." I knew immediately what I wanted to do. It was simple, quick, & is the easiest way to show me, my logo. Back to back jj. June Jewell. I love my name. I got made fun of plenty for it growing up. There was a short period in middle school I wanted people to call me Katie, but other than that, I have always loved my name. 

jj-pyro

Who am I though? 

Now that I'm married & have a son, I feel like I push myself to the back burner constantly. I don't really feel myself or think about myself much at all until my husband comes home from work. On the whole, I'm ok with it, but sometimes, I just want to lock myself in a room for a weekend & paint. I haven't shopped for clothing for me in the 16 months since his birth...minus a couple shirts from the thrift store. I don't shower like I used to, which is fine. I've really decided that I was quite wasteful with water. I forget to brush my hair after showering & it sometimes becomes a tangled mess. I have to push myself to eat meals & drink water. I don't sleep much anymore. My husband & I don't have s much time together. I feel like these are normal mom things. I know I'm not alone in this, but it's still hard.   

I have been asked "how are you?" like 600 times in the past two years since I've become pregnant & had Calvin. I don't know if I've answered honestly once. Sometimes I'll say "tired," but mostly I'm "fine." That's a loaded word. Sometimes it means "ugh, things could be better" & sometimes it's just such an automatic response. I feel like "how are you?" is very rarely sincere these days & I only really answer sincerely when I feel it's being asked by someone that's genuinely curious. A cashier will ask, but not answer when I ask in response. A neighbor will ask while passing on the sidewalk, but keep walking before I've opened my mouth. 

Each day parts of me lose a little bit of faith in humanity, while other parts know how truly great humans can be. Raising a child has always been difficult, but I feel like now, with all of this knowledge (& "alternative facts") out there, it can be so dang stressful to get through one decision. I need an outlet for these emotions & painting soothes me like nothing else. 

My son is my world. He is the smartest, sweetest child I could've asked for & I am so blessed that I can stay home with him. Someone asked me recently to describe my day in as few words as possible. "Day mom, night artist." I need this time when he's asleep to be me, to turn off the mom in me. I usually have a laundry list of things that I'd like to do during this time & am bummed when I just want to paint or am too tired to get much of anything done.

I've painted my whole adult life, sometimes once a week or month, sometimes I would go months without putting brush to canvas. This year, I have not feel right if I have not been painting or being creative in some way every single day. I'm trying to figure out a way to dive deeper into my subconscious, I guess, to paint what I cannot say, which means exploring different types of works.

I don't get around to the administrative portion of my practice nearly as much as I would like to. There are always pieces to upload, prints to order, portfolio stuff, marketing, emails to send, the newsletter, updating facebook or instagram, blogging, etc. I figure, I'll catch up when I don't feel the need to be as creative or if I hit a block.

Trying to make everything in your feed look unified & cohesive is exhausting & I've given up. My art is what comes out. It's not very focused, it doesn't all look alike. I have cute & colorful animals right alongside random & messy abstracts. I use whatever colors my hands gravitate towards, I don't have a set pallette. Not a lot of thought goes into my work. It's all very intuitive. I spend too much time in my head during the day. My art is where my head goes to shut off for a bit.  

Well, enough of this rambling. I really should get some sleep, so I can try to make sense of life again tomorrow. 

Much Love,

jj