art

SOLD! And Then There Was One. by Mary Jennings

I have two smaller scale paintings (Stream I and Stream II) that were created together.  They weren't created side by side, but they were completed as a pair and within a short time of one another.  I have displayed them, uploaded them, promoted them and even titled them together as a pair.  And now, they will have to part company with one another.  One of these twin paintings has been sold to a collector in Florida. Interestingly enough, the one that has been sold is the first of the two to have been completed.  I guess that makes it the older of the twins. 

I have a particular interest in these pieces.  They were the inspiration for a large painting commission (two works approximately 3'x5') I completed this past fall and were used to demonstrate the image concept and handling of the watercolor medium and technique for the client. I'm thrilled that such a special work is finding a new home with a worthy collector. To view a portion of the commissioned art (one of the two works completed for a local collector) with a description of the inspiration, see below.  Even though is was a larger size and scale from it's predecessor, the source of discovery and execution was much the same.  This particular observation in nature, with the interesting shapes, color and depth found in the stream's reflections will continue to provide me with many new works in a variety of mediums for years to come.  Stay tuned!  

Be Part of Something by Mary Jennings

Don't get yourself caught in a pickle. Join some groups that help you get outside of yourself. I love to be quiet and solitary and that's why I encourage myself to be active with groups and clubs that either help me or I can help them. It's part of being a good society.  

Recently, I have been very busy and have been agonizing about how to manage my work and be in attendance in my groups. One group in particular, a painting group, I keep on being to busy to attend.  I had to scold myself.  First off, it is a privilege to even be asked to be part of an established painting group and second, I need to paint ALL THE TIME.

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A Sketchbook Project Regular by Mary Jennings

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As I age, the more I resemble being regular, the more amazing I feel.  I mean that in every sense of the word. Embracing this regularity is finding ways to spill out into several areas of my work and personal life.  It's comforting to develop a rhythm to life.  I've been regularly getting to the gym by 6am for a daily, vigorous workout for several months. I love the feeling of "making it" to the gym.  Achievement is a beautiful thing.

I get a great feeling when I submit my carefully created Sketchbook Project to the post office for delivery to Brooklyn, New York.  My latest submission marks my forth consecutive sketchbook filled with original art.

It's a really important exercise for an artist to set an intention, meet that intention and follow it through to it's completion.  The additional layer of completely giving away the original creation is not as hard as you would imagine.  It's a bit freeing.

Each year, the books I create reflect the incline of my heart and head for that time period.

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My first book was all about my upcoming fIRST fRIDAY aRT sHOWS.  I had a theme for every month and used the book to almost capture the spirit of the whole year of art before it was created.  It helped get my concept foundation straight for the coming year.

The creative process of the second book was different for me.  I didn't view the sketchbook as a book of separate pages, but as a complete narrative.  While I was in the middle of struggling with some personal issues, creating this book was a way for me to process my thoughts and heal my heart during the process.  I chose to capture the process in a stop motion movie and photo process, allowing me to create a movie of the whole sketchbook creation.  This was very satisfying and proved helpful in letting the very personal sketchbook go; And go it went.  Once I posted the finished movie on YouTube and it's now up to over 1,500 views.  I hope it's helpful for people as they watch it as it was for me to create it.  The power of art amazes me.

My third book was a big push that I waited to complete at the last minute.  I had the complete book organized, page by page.  I just waited too late to get started on the labor intensive task of sketching.  I was nailed to my drawing table for twelve hours STRAIGHT until I barely made it to the post office in time to send it off to Brooklyn, NY.  I didn't like rushing the process.  After all, the process is what it's all about.  I need time to metabolize each page as I create them.  I was able to take photos before I sent it off and that is how I made my second sketchbook project movie.  It doesn't quite have as many views as my first,  but is a solid video in it's own rite.

DSC_8321This latest sketchbook, I elected to have it digitally recorded by the team of superb Sketchbook Project librarians with the Art House Co-op.  This way, my sketchbook can be viewed in person or online.  It can be shared with ease.  I will still make a video for this one because, well, I like to be REGULAR.

 

Please consider joining a gym or sketchbook project this year.  It feels great to be active in every way.  Visiting my blog and sharing with a friend is great fun.

Appreciation is Contagious. Better Catch It. by Mary Jennings

Loving The Rain! I posted a status on my FB account this morning.  I had to.  I couldn’t help it.  I really wanted to share the amazing delight I was feeling at that very moment.  I just knew that others would enjoy what I was experiencing.  Finding the right words to express my moment were also part of the fun.

It got quite a few likes, but it also made me think about how fortunate I felt to be experiencing something so simple and so impossible for me to create by my own hand or skill.  I was wholly appreciative.  I have noticed some other grateful updates being posted by some of my other friends on some other social media sites.

A young photographer friend was prompting people to make sure to take time to stop and notice the beautiful sunrise and sunsets we are blessed with daily.  Such wise advice for such a young girl.  She might have been preaching to the choir, though.  I have seen an increase in stunning sky photos on FB and Instagram with people doing just that; looking up.  Vacation will have that effect on you.  I’ve enjoyed looking at and clicking like on every last post I’m fortunate enough to encounter.

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I also love that I have several artist friends who are able to see the beauty in some not so expectedly beautiful things and are generous enough to share their discoveries (and be thankful on top of that).  This was posted by a friend and former Moore College of Art classmate who made my day with her midnight snack.

So, all of this is to say, look up, stand still, soak in and share.  Appreciation is contagious; better catch it and share.  It might just also be the cure for all that ails.

Feature Friday: Love Locked on the Bridge by Mary Jennings

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A year ago I finally got to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn, New York.  I go to New York City quite a few times and love to walk the city.  I love the long and fully stimulating journeys I am able to make time for during my visits to the big city.  They are one of a kind and have such positive lasting effects. My bridge walk was a on a cold and windy day in January.  I thought this could be an advantage with regard to the number of people on the bridge.  While it was not crowded, it still had quite a few people enjoying their walk over the bridge with me.

There are plenty of helps with directing your placement  and direction during the walk.  It was also under construction or is that a constant.  I met my dear long-time friend and we started on our journey.  She has lived in Brooklyn for several years and kindly agreed to experience this with me.  She was able to point out different points of interest as we made our way across the bridge.  While I was thankful for her guidance, as I would have missed so many important sights, I was looking for the special things that the average viewer would miss, either on purpose or by lack of observation.  With "good" camera in frozen hand, I was careful not to miss a thing.

About one-third of our way across, I noticed pad-locks, combination lock and even luggage locks in very useless places.  I remember looking at one for quite a long time thinking to myself, "I hope this tiny lock isn't holding the whole bridge together."  Upon making our way to the midpoint of the bridge, we knew there was some research to do when we got home.

What was up with all these locks?  Whose initials are those etched on the locks?  Why locks? Why the Brooklyn Bridge?

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As soon as I got back to my computer and thawed my fingers out enough to type, I found out that this was a tradition among lovers.  They show up at the bridge, place the open lock on a spot on the bridge, lock it and through away the key.  With great ceremony, they key gets tossed over the side of the bridge into the deep waters of the East River.  There love is forever locked.  I'm sure there is a super romantic kiss involved in the ceremony.  So sweet.

I also read that this is not exclusive to the Brooklyn Bridge, but can also be seen on the oldest bridge in Paris and I think one in Italy.

I was locked into the idea of creating a series of paintings that captured the essence of what this bridge has meant to so many couples.

This is a green response.  No fish or fishermen have been hurt be flying keys from above.  It's also longer lasting.  When I was on the bridge, the locks were sparse in comparison to what I saw in the article I read.  I found out that the crew responsible for bridge renovation, cut all the locks off and disposed of them in some fashion.

 

I hope you have connected to my story.  When I am feeling all lovey dovey, I will make more of these pieces.   At present, they are still in progress.  I'm excited about their creation and envision them in the hands and homes of many happy couples as a reminder of the crazy, sticky sweet we do when we are in love.  sigh.  You can look at detailed photos of the series individually in my Etsy Shop: maryjenningsart

When my husband supports my art and my artistic passion, I lock up those moments and throw away the key.