Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New paintings in progress

November and December, 2011 were extremely busy months for me, as I spent most of my waking hours submerged in my glass studio (freezing cold!) creating hand-made Christmas ornaments, wine stoppers, bowls, candle holders, and other assorted trinkets for the Holiday season.  Besides making the items, I have to "cold-work" the finished pieces; sign them; price and inventory each individual item; and deliver them to the various galleries that I supply.  I was also one of the featured artists in December at Arareity Jewelry & Glass and of course, kept regular hours at my own studio, Bell'Arte Studios which included two 2nd Saturday shows for the masses.

I love working with glass -- I've been working with it in various forms since 1999 and am drawn to this shiny and complicated medium like moths to a flame.  Working with glass is physical.  And challenging.  And can be extremely frustrating....especially when you're working in the studio while the kiln is burning, and you hear a distinct "fffpprtttt", which generally means something has exploded during the firing.'d think after all these year's I'd get the annealing schedules down but it's complicated sometimes.  And this complexity is what keeps me interested.

Now it's January and I've stayed away from the glass studio, gearing up for some future classes and attempting to paint again after a 2-month hiatus.  The painting hasn't flowed like I had hoped it would but the past few days I finally hit a bit of momentum.  Here are some of the works in progress  (just click on the first painting to begin the slide show).  These are rough shots but proof that I haven't been sitting on my lazy behind :-)  I'll post final shots as I finish the paintings.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A New Year and an amazing gift

by JJ Jacobs

I've been revving up the creative juices as I strive to come up with new glass designs for spring and paint some new abstract expressions for the licensing contract I recently signed with All My Walls (my designs are currently in production and should be available around 4/1/2012).  It's been challenging to find balance between my personal time and my "work" time though, and I find that the day is over well before I have accomplished what I set out to do earlier that same day.  Even with a "to-do" list, I feel as though I'm not doing everything I want or need to do, as I table the leftover tasks for the next day. 

It's a rainy Sunday here in Sacramento, and as I was getting ready to do another "to-do" list and mentally flog myself with the proverbial wet noodle for not finishing everything from the previous lists, I stopped and re-read some amazingly profound words of wisdom from my dear friend, Anne Eversmann. 

Beginning on Christmas last year, Anne sent me an email that simply said:
"On The First day of Christmas
A gift for you and me:
An inner serenity"
Every morning for the next 11 days, I received an email from Anne with another phrase (think 12 Days of Christmas song!).  Here are the phrases from those 12 special days:
12 rambling thoughts
11 " hows " to pray
10 " whys " we are called to pray
9 dances for the spirit
8 heartfelt hugs
7 year end musings
6 highly receptive senses
5 reasons for change
4 ways to let go and be
3 insights to joy
2 priceless presents

 On January 6th, the last email from Anne came with the title "Epiphany."  Here's what she wrote:

As we stand before the Light of All Creation let's say,
" We give YOU our best
not only today
but in the every NOW that we live."

Today as I re-read this wonderfully original and fantastic gift from Anne, I had a huge Epiphany of my own.  I'm doing my best right here and right now, and I am doing it every day.  Some days my best may seem more productive than others, but there are different types of productivity.....and my rambling thoughts are actually dances for my spirit, as I watch each and every day unfold into another opportunity.

Thank you Anne for this amazing and wonderful gift of wisdom, words and insight -- you are simply the best.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rolling Stones.........

"Stones #1"
Acrylic on canvas
16" x 20"

I recently did a series of five complementary color studies using some Lukas Cryl acrylic paints.  Here's one of the first paintings completed in that study -- blues and oranges.  These are high quality acrylics imported from Germany, and I prefer to use the more liquid ones that come in a squeeze bottle.