Friday, September 21, 2012

Summer Review

©2012 Jessica Torrant, JOYFUL MEADOW
Acrylic on canvas, 26" x 46" inches

Summer 2012 came and went in a flash, and blogging about it was just about the last thing on my to-do list. "Just BE" was this year's summer memo. Just live in the moment and paint as often as possible, take care of business and orders - but also - go to the lake, visit with family and friends, laugh and love as much as possible and fret/worry as little as possible (not always easy, but I try!). Or just sit in a folding chair in the sun and read, or take in the scenery, knowing that glorious summer days are to be savored. Summer is my favorite season, and it all went by too fast!

Meanwhile I've made a lot of paintings since my last post. It would be silly to try and share them all here in this post, so if you are curious what's new, check out I've also shared them on my Facebook page which automatically forwards to my Twitter account

Now the kids are back to school, our wonderful Maine beach vacation came and went, and the sun is setting earlier and earlier. Time to get back to work truly full time again. Time to think about business - what's working and what isn't, how to improve, how to keep up with the ever changing world of selling and promoting online. And... time to get this blog going again! I'd like to feature other artists more frequently as well as themed posts rather than just "hey, here's what's new" because let's face it - facebook and twitter are the best places to share a new work and/or links. A blog should be something more at this point. I'm no Apt Therapy or Design Sponge, but I do think I have something to offer to the art blogosphere. One of my dreams is to own a gallery but all of the logistics of that would be pretty much my worst nightmare. So if I can share the work of talented artists I admire (the main reason I'd want to have a gallery) without having to worry about rent, insurance and making a profit personally? Well I consider that a win win!

Do you still read and follow blogs? Do you feel like Facebook and Twitter have made you less inclined to check out artist's blogs because you are best able to keep up with them on those other social media sites? What do you think a blog should be in 2012 looking towards 2013?

Monday, April 23, 2012

What's New? 4/23

This announcement went out in a newsletter blast to McGaw Graphics' clients. I am so happy to be contributing to their vast collection of fine art prints for wholesale purchasing. You can visit my page here - As I mentioned, these are for wholesale purchasing from interior design firms, department stores, etc. Individual purchases will be available shortly on I will be sure to announce their debut once they are up.

Several of my prints were also recently included in an article about 2012 color trends. I actually got a preview of these color boards a month or so ago, and I have to say, ever since I first saw the yellow and gray board, I have seen that color combo everywhere. We had to go to the Apple Store to get a new power cord (usually I avoid malls like the plague) and since we weren't all that familiar with the layout, we ended up parking on the opposite side from where the Apple store is. That meant we pretty much walked the length of the entire, large mall and I can't tell you how many shop windows featured yellow and gray!

In other news, here are my two newest paintings...

 Rejoice - Acrylic on 16" x 20" canvas, 2012

The Places We Go - Acrylic on 18" x 24" canvas, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Painting Season Begins

Happy Spring! 

In classic New England style, the end of this March has included wearing everything from winter boots and layers, to flip flops and tank tops as the weather greatly fluctuates - even flirting with summer temperatures (though we're expecting a frost tonight). As soon as I see my daffodils blooming, I know my painting studio is open for business!

This winter I did more painting than usual inside my home, but that was in preparation for a show. Even though I love the paintings themselves, there is nothing to compare working in my real workspace vs crammed in our kitchen. Ahh... to be outside again...

Here are the first paintings completed in my studio in 2012.

In other news, I am thrilled to announce that I am now working with McGaw Graphics to reproduce many of my latest paintings in the Fresh Impressions series. They won't be available until May but you can be certain I'll keep everyone updated when they are released. This is such a thrill for me and I feel I need to give a little backstory to tell you why.

When I was 16/17, I got my first real job at a picture frame shop in our local mall. My high school art teacher hooked me up with the job because he was friends with the owner and I quickly fell in love with all aspects of the trade. Picture framing ended up becoming my full time trade for many, many years to follow and was my last "real" job before pursuing an art business full time. Going back to those early days in a small shop, there was a lot of down time towards the end of the night if all the jobs were completed, and I often spent the last half hour gazing through print catalogs. Now everyone gets their prints online, but at the time, we special ordered tons of prints via catalog for customers. Out of stacks of catalogs only two do I remember; Bruce McGaw and Applejack Graphics. Bruce McGaw was the go-to catalog for most requests - I recall them carrying pretty much everything under the sun. Applejack was my personal favorite because it featured living "unknown" artists (aka no Monet's, Renoirs, etc) and they had a little picture of the artist (often in their workspace) and an artist bio at the top of their page of prints. I looked through Applejack dreaming of someday living like those artists, and the artwork I discovered on those pages was my first exposure to what living, working artists were painting/creating in the "here and now". Of course the "here and now" then was *gulp* almost 20 years ago, so let's fast forward to the "here and now" now

In January I was contacted via my Etsy shop by a representative from McGaw graphics to license some of my paintings. (The fact that I had just had a brief "affair" with another website to sell my art and then quickly returned back to Etsy in time to get discovered by this person was definitely not lost on me. Phew!) Since then, via many exchanges, I am officially on board, the contract was signed, sealed and delivered, and I couldn't be happier about it. McGaw Graphics works with interior design firms, picture framers, department stores and they have a beautiful website and still offer catalogs. They are also affiliates with many popular art sites such as, and many others, so don't be surprised if you see my pieces start to pop up there as well.

So let's get to what makes this so crazy - Bruce McGaw was bought by... APPLEJACK GRAPHICS! Hence the name change. Isn't that wild? So they are now basically the best of both worlds. They represent Disney as well as many modern master's estates (Rothko, Pollock for example) but at the same time, they represent many living, working artists today such as myself. It's just too cool the way things come around full circle. A little nibble of inspiration in 1994 has circled around to bless me with opportunity in 2012. What a world...

One final tidbit, in the early 2000's I submitted my art for review to Applejack before they merged with Bruce McGaw (something I knew nothing about until this all came up recently). I was rejected. The lesson is, once again, don't ever give up when it comes to your passion, your creativity. You never know when an opportunity will come along that will validate all of your years of hard work, determination and effort!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Looking Ahead Take 2

"Softly She Whispered..." - Acrylic on 24" x 36" canvas, 2011

If you happened to catch one of my earlier posts from about a month ago (I just took it down so there is no confusion), I had set up a new website to sell my paintings. After some time figuring out how things worked on that site, I realized there were some problematic issues that prevented me from being 100% convinced I made the right decision. Facing "make it work or move on", I decided to let it go and refocus on my Etsy shop. Etsy isn't perfect either, but weighing the pros and cons, it became a no-brainer to make the most of my Etsy shop. So! There ya go. Once again I have publicly jumped up and down about something only to say, "No, wait, um, hold on a minute, actually..." But that's how it goes when you share your process on a blog, right? 

Anyway, I am excited to get back into the flow again on Etsy and more importantly IN THE STUDIO! I am going to share two of my new 2012 paintings that got deleted in that older post. Thanks for bearing with me! 

Blizzard - Acrylic on 18" x 24" canvas, 2012

Four Seasons - Acrylic on 18" x 24" canvas, 2012

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Heart Beats

Heart Beats - Acrylic on 16" x 20" canvas, 2011

Reckless Abandon

Reckless Abandon - Acrylic on 16" x 20" gallery wrapped canvas, 2011

This title pretty much sums up how I've been approaching painting the last few months. To push myself to be more free and expressive with marks, and let color dance all over the surface of the canvas. I'm still painting inside my house, which is limiting, and I often look longingly out at my studio out in the cold anxious for spring to arrive. But it is coming! The days are getting longer, the sunlight feels a little stronger and just a couple of "warm-ish" days is all it takes to start thinking about those first spring buds to blossom and bits of green popping up here and there.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Torch Song

Torch Song - Acrylic on 16" x 20" canvas

This painting was inspired by listening to an unknown (to me) jazz singer's torch song on the radio and wanting to give her vocal pain a visual voice. I may not be in "torch song status" in my life right now, but I can certainly draw from other times in my life when I was.  

What is a torch song? Wikipedia says "A torch song is a sentimental love song, typically one in which the singer laments an unrequited or lost love, either where one party is oblivious to the existence of the other, where one party has moved on, or where a romantic affair has affected the relationship." 

I was raised to a soundtrack of jazz, so there are a ton of ballads/standards/torch songs that move me but there are modern torch songs such as Adele's Someone Like You that take this genre from the past to the present, and I love that. For me, Liz Phair, Jeff Buckley, and Fionna Apple have been the ones in my generation to continue the light the flame, but I'm sure there are more modern performers I'm just not aware of that carry the torch today.  

If I were to name just one singer to define the ultimate torch song singer, it would be hands down Billie Holiday but of course there is Ella and Sarah and and and... Do you have a favorite torch song or singer? What is it or who are they, and if I might pry even further, why?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Good News from Good News

Pure Intentions - Acrylic on 12" x 24" canvas, 2011

My exhibit at the Good News Cafe is officially over today and my paintings are back home again - minus three! I had not heard anything since opening day and assumed that best case scenario, I met some new great people and artists, exposed my work to a new audience, and challenged myself to create a cohesive collection. A sale - let alone three - was a delightful surprise to say the least! If you are curious to know what pieces sold, they were Alive Again, Afterglow and Jazz.

Now that I've got my babies back home, I'll be listing them on my new website The first to be added is this long abstract, Pure Intentions. 

I'd like to once again thank the whole crew at Good News Cafe for providing artists with the space and opportunity to showcase their artwork. It was such a great experience and one that I was proud to share with my family and friends!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

First paintings of 2012

 Midnight - Acrylic on 8" x 10" canvas panel, 2012

 Painter's Play - Acrylic on 8" x 10" canvas panel, 2012

 Reverb - Acrylic on 8" x 10" canvas panel, 2012

Softly Spoken - Acrylic on 8" x 10" canvas panel, 2012

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Fresh Impressions - Color Studies 2012

Fresh Impressions 1 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012

Fresh Impressions 2 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012 

Fresh Impressions 3 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012 

Fresh Impressions 4 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012 

Fresh Impressions 5 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012 

Fresh Impressions 6 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012 

Fresh Impressions 7 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012 

Fresh Impressions 8 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012 

Fresh Impressions 9 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012 

Fresh Impressions 10 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012 

Fresh Impressions 11 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012 

Fresh Impressions 12 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012 

Fresh Impressions 13 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012 

Fresh Impressions 14 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012 

Fresh Impressions 15 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012 

Fresh Impressions 16 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012

Edited to add January 8:

 Fresh Impressions 17 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012

Fresh Impressions 18 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012

Fresh Impressions 19 - Acrylic on 9" x 12" paper, 2012