Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Through Cyber Monday!

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone!

I'm having a 50% off sale in my Etsy shop on select original paintings from now through this Monday at midnight. Get these great savings before they bounce back to their original price!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New paintings on recycled paper

Stacked Up - Acrylic on recycled handmade paper

I purchased this wonderful handmade paper by It has a great thickness that can absorb a lot of paint and becomes a bit pliable when it's wet, behaving more like canvas. I love the texture and I'm eager to keep experimenting with it.

I've been out of commission this week because I've had a terrible cold. The good news is I feel like the worst has passed and I'm on my way to being all better. I had the best dream about painting last night - I am so ready to get back to work! Well, today I didn't feel like my head was going to explode so I listed these paintings I made last week and relisted some prints in my Etsy shop. I decided to give them another go after my brief hiatus. They may not sell as well as my originals (which is FINE with me!) but I might as well include them as an option for buyers.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Happy and healthy!

Friday, November 14, 2008


Alarm, originally uploaded by livefunky.

New oil pastel and acrylic on canvas. Available in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Charity Art Auction for Rainforest Alliance

This brand new painting is a reaction to feeling inspired to offer what I can to the causes that I care about. One cause that means a great deal to me is keeping our Mother Earth healthy for all. Preserving our rainforests is so important because they are the lungs of our planet. Without them, we could not perform the most basic act of life, breathing in and out. We think we are superior to this great planet we live on and that is a shame, and it's showing. If we all do the little bit we can to restore reverence for our natural resources that we depend on, I think we might just be able to turn this ship around.

TITLE: The Eye in the Land Can See Too
ARTIST: Jessica Torrant
MEDIUM: Acrylic paint, Oil pastels
SURFACE: Canvas panel
SIZE: 8" x 10"
DETAILS: Unframed. Hand signed, titled and dated on the back.
SHIPPING: Shipping is FREE worldwide!

What is Time?

What is Time? , originally uploaded by livefunky.

The title for this dreamy abstract actually came from my dream last night. It was probably the most lucid dream I've ever had and seemed so very real, I honestly spent the day questioning if I had just returned from some astral traveling or just a very deep REM sleep. Something clicked when I painted this today and I know I was infulenced by the lingering buzz of my dream journey.

...It's that time of year again, folks. The art I'll be creating from now until spring will be from the inside out.

(See this piece and more new paintings at


Sublime, originally uploaded by livefunky.

This new acrylic painting on canvas panel has a lot of depth thanks to a layer of craft tissue paper adhered with gel medium. The rough surface picked up color dry brushed over it for a unique, misty effect.

TITLE: Sublime

ARTIST: Jessica Torrant


MEDIUM: Acrylic paint, craft tissue paper, acrylic gel medium

SURFACE: Canvas panel

SIZE: 8" x 10"

Available at

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Paintings

Echo - original acrylic on 8" x 10" canvas panel

Check out my latest paintings in my Etsy shop at

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Ok, last text only entry, I promise!

Right now my blog is more text than art and that's a travesty! I'm working on that as we speak (have some WIP abstract canvas panels going). I'll keep this entry brief.

Have you guys seen this site yet? There are a ton of great articles, reviews of art sites and tutorials. I know, one more site to get sucked into, but this is great because it has so much helpful information for artists that want to sell online.

Next up - MORE ART!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Continuing to branch out...

Today was another day looking around the web for interesting art sites. I found a few that I put on the backburner because they have membership fees, but I discovered Artbreak today which is free to sign up and sell on (with a 7.5% commission rate). I think Boundless Gallery and others like it are designed with buyers in mind most importantly. There isn't much social networking potential, but that's ok, there will always be the Etsy forums for that!

But with my very brief experience now with Artbreak I like that it has a very interactive feel between the artists on the site. I'll be playing around on there for the next hour or so looking at all of the great art! Here is my page on Artbreak If you click on the bold artbreak logo in the top left it will take you to the home page. You may notice I have the same paintings I have on Boundless. I know it's against Etsy rules to post your listings elsewhere so that's been driven into me as a no-no. But looking into how other artists on BG are marketing their art, I saw the same paintings on multiple sites so I figured why not me too!? The odds of selling the same higher end painting in the same day are pretty low (working to change that!) and I'm online every day.

One more thing before I bounce back to Artbreak... Please come to my BG page and vote for me in the Black Friday contest! It's free and easy to sign up as a Customer. Here's the details...

The 2nd annual "Black Friday @ Boundless" contest is here, giving you the opportunity to support your favorite Boundless artists and win! 8 lucky artists will be featured on the Boundless homepage during the biggest shopping day of the year.

How to Play:
• Sign In or Create an Account.
•Vote for your favorite artist on their profile page before Friday, November 21st.
•Visit Boundless on Black Friday, November 28th, and vote on the top 8.

Everyone who votes in both rounds will automatically be entered to win.

Customer Prizes:
Grand Prize $300 Gift Certificate
Runner-Up $100 Gift Certificate


Friday, November 07, 2008

Big Changes!

In 2005, while I was planning the Art 4 People Festival and selling almost exclusively on eBay, I was in touch with a fellow artist who encouraged me to check out a site dedicated to selling fine art called Boundless Gallery. At this point, I was taking my work seriously, but I wasn't sure others would at a higher set price. I was willing to let people decide my paintings' worth by bidding on eBay. I put Boundless Gallery on a "maybe someday" list and put it out of my mind. A year later I found Etsy and fell in love and I've been quite happy there for two years.

At some point this year I started to think about expanding outside of Etsy because let's face it - there are a LOT more artists there than when I started and I found my most consistent sales were for art up to $100, rarely over. I looked around the web for other art sites. Every search I did from "abstract painting" to "contemporary art" to "buy modern art" Boundless Gallery would pop up in searches. I looked into it again and felt really drawn to it thinking YES, now is a good time to take the plunge. When I showed Rob the site he got REALLY excited about it. He, like others in my orbit, have been so encouraging for me to keep raising the bar higher and higher - from my price range to scale to where I share my work. My whole summer plan was to clear my Etsy shop and include only my best of the best but that was a plan that had many holes in it. It just wasn't the right fit for Etsy. Still, the desire to raise the bar persisted, so I decided to give Boundless Gallery a go.

My site on Boundless is not even one day old, but I have begun with my Fall 2008 Series and you can see my site at

As for Etsy, I've not only removed my higher end items, I've also removed my prints because as popular as they could be, it just doesn't sit well with me in the spirit of handmade that makes Etsy so special. (I may start selling my prints on eBay eventually, but for now I'm taking a break). I'll be honing in on affordable originals for my Etsy shop and I've got lots of smaller canvases to work on in the coming days.

Come visit me on Boundless Gallery and let me know what you think!

Dreaming Big and Bigger

I've had this dream for over a decade of opening my own business. It would be open morning-late afternoon throughout the week, serving coffee and tea in the morning and lunch. I'd hire a local baker for breads, pastry and pies, and I'd make the lunches and it would be like coming to Ma's kitchen - you get two choices and they change every day. One with meat, one veg (maybe one vegan too). Just basics like good soups or stir frys all with locally grown food. Meanwhile, there's little tables and chairs around as well as sofas and coffee tables and the walls are covered in art. There would be one wall of bookshelves with our own used book collection available for our customers to peruse over their cup of soup and iced tea. On the weekends, we'd have night time events like acoustic open mic nights, poetry readings, art openings, etc.

I can visualize all of the things that would make this place extra fabulous and would attract local business and support but it all comes down to..... is that how I want to spend my days? And the answer is no. Painting is the only thing I can really see myself doing and WANTING to do day after day. Still, the vision of this alternate life is so sweet in theory (did I mention the organic garden out back, the canning and freezing at the end of the season, the local goat cheese? it goes on and on...). So maybe I need to shoot for making so much bank with my art that I can buy and operate the biz, come up with recipes, decor, etc - all the fun stuff - and leave the opening at 5 am, daily cooking, cleaning and accounting to my staff. Now THAT's sounding a little better!

Taking it to the next level, I would love to buy a two or three story old main st. victorian somewhere in this area (northern CT) or Western MA with enough land for gardens and a barn/studio out back. We would live in the upper stories, I would paint out back, and the business would be operated out of the first floor. That would allow for multiple rooms = more space to exhibit art and sell everything from clothes to jewelry to handmade toys (I'd be depending heavily on Etsy sellers!) as WELL as having the space for people to lounge and hang for a bit. The food part of it really doesn't even need to be there, it would mean a lot of extra work and permits, but it would attract more people to the space. Imagine someone on their lunch break - they could go get a fast food lunch that weighs them down and makes them ill, or they could come to my place to get healthy, fresh, homemade meal and check out some cool art while they are there or chat with other friendly locals. Good times!

Ah... I'm rambling, but Rob and I got talking about this dream again last night (it's a subject I've gone round and round with him and my best friend Emily too for years) and it always ends with "yeah, but I don't want to spend my days managing that business. I want to focus on art.". Then it hit me that as part of dreaming big, why NOT dream it exactly the way you want it? I can be the owner but I don't need to be present. I could hire some young artist to man the store while I'm working out back and I can check in when I come in for lunch and cover it when I have to. This is a mighty big dream but I guess I'm spelling it all out here to get it out of my head and into the universe. The first step is visualizing that anything is possible...

What's your BIG dream?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Moving Forward Together

Moving Forward Together

First let me say....
Congratulations to our new President Barack Obama! No matter who you voted for, I am so proud of all Americans for getting out to vote and participate in such large numbers and with so much enthusiasm. There are many reasons why I am personally happy with the outcome of the election, but on a much larger scale I feel confident in positive changes ahead for all of us. I think this election has made any "under dog" feel like we can accomplish anything (minorities, women, people with disabilities, etc, etc). The energy in the air is optomistic, filled with hope and love and peace, beginning the place it needs to begin before it can happen in a physical way throughout the world - in our hearts.

Today is a new day and so will tomorrow and the next. I feel excited and inspired that we will keep this feeling afloat and carry it with us, step by step, day by day, changing the world for the better for generations to come. I want to leave my children and theirs a world that has clean air, land, rivers and oceans. I want to leave them a legacy of great success and change happening through forgiveness, diplomacy and non violent action rather than war. I'm going to keep dreaming big, for myself and for the world.
....and how are you today?
:) jct

Monday, November 03, 2008

Mixed Bag Sets

I've created a new section in my Etsy shop for my Mixed Bag Sets. What are they? Well, they are little groupings of some of my older works, put together because of some uniting connection - be it style or subject or medium. It's a great way for collectors on a budget to buy more than one of my paintings and I think they'd look great displayed all together or spread around your home or even given as gifts.

Check out all of my Mixed Bag sets at

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Ok, so any time I need to go to a happy place I'll be returning to this post for a smile and maybe even a hearty laugh. This picture is just hilarious to me. My step kids have such huge personalities, I absolutely adore them. Meet the reeper and Chewbacca. Ready to take your candy, and maybe your life, but first take you on a journey through space with your own fuzzy friend.

We stopped at my parent's house before we went to Rob's parent's house. The oldest was feeling too old to dress up, and his gag leading up to the big day was "I'm going as the ghost of a fourteen year old boy". But at the last minute he asked if I wanted to paint his face and I jumped at the chance. He looks really ghoulish and it delighted my Dad that he decided to dress up afterall (see him pointing and smiling in the window). My Dad really hammed it up for them and my mom was so happy to see everyone all dressed up. She and I had some great times when I was a kid walking around with my best friend and her mom and the kids in her neighborhood. I have always loved this holiday. Maybe it's the theatrical bit in me - playing dress up - being able to get outside of your own self definition for a night. I remember being a professor, a hippy (would I get away with that Love Not War poster now? haha I wonder), an angel (which was a sewing project gone horribly wrong worn to school in junior high. Let's just say that was a day that I wanted to shrink my super tall self down to the size of a pea). Since Rob and the kids have come into my life, my love for the holiday is renewed in a new way. Love it.