Saturday, December 16, 2006

Happy Holidays to All!!

I am anticipating a week of last minute shopping, creating, wrapping, and preparing, so I probably won't be doing much posting on my blog until after Christmas. I hope that anyone reading this has a WONDERFUL holiday season, full of lots of love, happiness, and celebration with the ones you love.

:) Jessica

Upcycling is fun!

Mark of Beauty, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

Etsy is having a Upcycling Contest right now, and this piece is one of my entries. Here's a bit of info on Upcycling from Etsy...

"The word Upcycling was coined by William McDonaugh and Michael Braugart in their book on ecologically intelligent design, Cradle to Cradle. In the simplest terms, upcycling is the practice of taking something that is disposable and transforming it into something of greater use and value. In this contest we challenge all Etsy users to create an object to sell on Etsy that is comprised of materials that would have otherwise ended up in the trash heap."

I have never heard of "upcycling" until now, but I have been very familiar with both recycled and found object art, and I'm a fan of both. I love the sustainability aspect of recycled art, and often feel a little guity for all of the new painting products I purchase, and the packaging that comes with it all.

In this piece, I started by cutting up pieces of junk mail and layering them on top of each other with acrylic medium as a binding agent, until I got to the thickness of a heavy weight watercolor paper (or even a little thicker than that). Then I did the ink drawing, and came in with acrylic washes of paint. It's fun to reveal certain parts of the paper underneath and obscure others with the paint. I'm excited to keep thinking of ways to revamp used or throw away items and happy to know there is a market for these creations!

There are some really amazing, funky creations people have made on Etsy for this contest. Just search this tag "upcycleBB" to find all of the entries.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Painting of the day 12/13

Original acrylic and oil pastel on canvas panel, 2006.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Mellow Mood

Mellow Mood, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

Back to work again

We've had the kids since Sunday (as we do every week) so I've been having some fun family time for the last few days, and now it's back to work. Having them around, filling the house with their enthusiasm, giggles, and adorableness lifts my spirits and inspires me.

Next week I'd like to make some home made ornaments with them and I just found a thread on the Artwanted discussion board with lots of ideas. One of them was the "recipe" for flour dough ornaments, and it sent me back to doing that as a kid. What fun to sculpt the clay, watch it bake, then paint and bedazzle the finished product. Are there any crafty things you like to do during the holiday season?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Putting It Together

Putting It Together, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

Here's yet another oil pastel and acrylic - there's still more coming!...

The Secret Is Out SOLD

The Secret Is Out, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

Check out to see my holiday sales!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Celebration - WEEKEND SALE!

Celebration, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

This oil pastel and acrylic painting is my 100th listing on Etsy, and in celebration, I am having a Buy One Get One sale on all of my $50 paintings! The sale will run through this Sunday 12/10 - if you'd like to indulge, just purchase the two pieces you like at or under $50, and wait for me to send a combined, discounted invoice. If you have any questions, just contact me. Thanks!

Between The Lines SOLD

Between The Lines, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

Trapped Heat

Trapped Heat, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

Patchwork in Gold - 12/8/06

Now available on Etsy

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Stripes - More fun with oil pastels

This painting is available now on Etsy

Going Deeper

Mary Ann Wakeley's Art

ML602 30x48, originally uploaded by m.a. wakeley.

I just had to share this painting, one of MANY that are currently blowing my mind over on flickr. I searched "abstract painting" and found this artist, Mary Ann Wakeley, who is now my newest fav painter! I see a connection in her work to Meghan Henley and Andrea Kostyal, two other painters I greatly admire.

My thanks to Mary Ann for brightening my day today with her outstanding art!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

We Grow Together

We Grow Together, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

Today I've been playing with a few unfinished paintings by adding oil pastels. This piece reminds me of some of my older work, with the bold, black lines.

I Believe

I Believe, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

This painting is now available in my Etsy shop!

Sun Kissed Day

Sun Kissed Day, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

Click HERE to see this painting on Etsy

This is cool! I just figured out how to blog my pictures from flickr! (Ok, if someone doesn't know about computers they will think I just spoke jibberish). I feel a little behind in discovering both Etsy and now flickr, but I'm eager to continue using this system. It's much easier and I can load clearer, larger images here (blogger times out on me when loading big files).

For artists unfamiliar with flickr, go check it out at - you get a large amount of space for free every month to store your images, and there are a lot of other artists on there sharing their work, including links to their sites and on-line stores.

It's amazing to me that this whole world of art online has changed so much in the last 7 years (when I took my first steps in the "world wide web"), and it's still evolving, and will continue to - you can really feel the flow of change around you. New sites emerge, new techniques, new codes and programs, etc. that can dramatically alter how an artist not only does business, but perhaps CREATES his or her art! I was talking about this with Paula Manning-Lewis and it's thrilling that she and I and so many others can do most of our business from our homes, located anywhere one can get internet access. Paula and I seem very similar in our desires for "the little cabin in the woods" fantasy vs. the city life. One hundred years ago, we wouldn't be able to make a living selling our art living anywhere BUT a creative center/city. On another note, it is unlikely that we would have the option as women to pursue our passion for painting. For these reasons and so many more, I feel very lucky to be alive right now, making art, and sharing it, right now.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Pleasing Dischord

(Click image to enlarge)
Acrylic on 8" x 10" canvas, 2006

This is one of a bunch of new paintings I'm working on, all on 8" x 10" canvas boards. I'd like to take this style to a larger size, but in the meantime, it's fun to play with various color combos and compositions.

The colors in this piece have an odd sort of communication with one another. The lavender/pink seems like a strange match for the earthy browns and greens in the underpainting. I'm searching for something with color relationships and I'm not quite there yet, but I'm on my way. It's hard to describe what I'm looking for - I don't want perfect harmony in the way you'd expect. For example, if I put a certain blue on my palette, there are a handful of other colors that come to mind that "go" with that blue. I want to push those colors out of the way, and dig a little deeper, finding slightly off matches that will create a pleasing dischord. This goes for composing forms too - I'm trying to push my boundaries a little more instead of painting on autopilot.

It's all just an effort to get to know paint more. I know it has infinite capabilities and in my tiny little life I'll only discover a handful of the whole, but still I want to learn ALL I CAN while I can. It's an obsession sometimes, I can get envious or frustrated, but it's ultimately a great love affair with a soul mate that I feel so thankful to have been granted. Love you, paint. ;)