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Sunday, December 14, 2014

I've been invited and so are you!!

This has been a week of surprises for me. Some good, and some so, so. But, one of the nicest surprises was to hear from artist Cindy Harrison, who invited me to participate as an instructor on a new website where classes will be offered online by a variety of wonderful teachers.

To say I'm thrilled is an understatement. I look forward to sharing my art work with the many members and participants on the site. Please take a minute to check out the offers that will begin in February 2015. The link is at the end of this message.

It's been a busy and often stressful year, but all is finally going smoothly (dare I say that with confidence?). My daughter was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer a year ago November. Our world was rocked from top to bottom, we quaked with fear and angst over what would happen to her. I'm glad to say that with all the prayers from everyone, everywhere, and the wonderful team of oncologists she has at Rhode Island Hospital, that Kristina's cancer is under control, inactive, and we are all doing well. A positive attitude goes a long way when this type of situation arises. The doctors hadn't expected her to survive a year, but she has done so and at the moment Kristina's outlook is excellent.

That said, I have begun to paint, create, and write once again. My novel publisher and her staff were so wonderfully supportive and still are, that I managed to get the newest book in the Vinnie Esposito series finished and off to them for edits and whatnot. The book is scheduled for the the end of 2014 or beginning of 2015. We are all excited.
An article I had done for The Decorative Painter Magazine was published and I must say, the time it took me to get this project done gave me a break from the stress in my life during that time. Again, the DP editor was marvelous and understanding when I needed a bit more time. It's not easy to ask for more time since anyone who sticks a cog in the wheel usually creates a domino effect that puts everyone in a spot. So my heartfelt thanks went out the that team, for sure.
Two Zentangle books also got to the publishing point and were released in the fall. I managed to stay busy enough to keep my mind from worrying over Kristina's health issues and I'm very thankful for that respite.

This season brings with it many memories of holidays past, fun with family, sadness for those no longer with us, but we can all embrace life, look forward, and pray for the best. That positivity is one of the reasons I was so happy to be included in Cindy Harrison's new venture. Take a peak, see who you'll take a class from, and don't forget to sign up!  www.PurelyAcrylics.com

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

Jeanne


A Zentangle workbook geared to all!


Page Foundry: http://bit.ly/1sdOzPY
In paper at Create space: http://bit.ly/1Eolqdf
 


               Fall for All is a funfilled workbook and color book combined with places to create tangles or embellish those line drawings already provided. The paper version will be available in fall 2015.
Only available in eBook form now at:  http://amzn.to/1udIRSj

Saturday, October 11, 2014

New England Traditions Convention Trade Show & Other Stuff

The day was sunny, breezy, and marvelous in Marlborough. MA. Three friends and I arrived at the New England Traditions artist trade show in great spirits and filled with the need to shop 'til we dropped. (and we did!!) There were so many marvelous projects to choose from, surfaces to buy, and brushed to have, it had a dizzying effect on everyone there. Eyes glazed over, wish lists were produced, and best of all, we got to chat with old friends and new.

First stop was Lynne Andrews gorgeous booth! There was loads of heartwarming artwork, that gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling just looking at it. Lynne told me she's preparing to reopen her studio for classes in the not too far future, too.She'll also be teaching at the Little Rhody Rembrandts Chapter in 2015.

Anne Hunter and I had the opportunity to catch up in between her constant flow of customers. Anne's work is terrific and so colorful, too. She'll be teaching at the Little Rhody Rembrandt's Chapter next year, and the members are excited to have her with us. Anne has a wonderful studio located in Marlborough.

Maureen and Bob Van Herpe presented their new line of lazer cut surfaces and picture frames. Gorgeous pieces, I wanted them all! Had a chance for a quick hello before the were bombarded with buyers. 

The J.B. Woods booth was mobbed! Yikes! So much to choose from, so little time to browse through every single piece. And... the prices were amazing, Mama Mia!!!! Was great to see Mary and Joe! Wonderful people!

Then there were the brush booths! Had an exciting (and difficult) time choosing what brushes to buy. Of course, I wanted every brush in every size, but, really.... I do have enough! I bought a couple sets of angles and called it quits. :)

We didn't have a chance to speak with Chris Haughey, her booth was swamped with buyers and her cash register was buzzing right along. I had wanted to congratulate her on the ezine she just came out with. If you haven't taken a lookie see yet, here's the link: www.pixelatedpalette.net It's a winner, I just downloaded my free copy!

All in all, the day was spent with friends, lots of good laughs and a fun time. I came home with bags and bags of merchandise!

On to other stuff....
Art magazines for decorative painters and crafters are endangered, it's sad, really. Paintworks just closed last month and what a surprise that was! Linda Heller did a splendid job of choosing the projects and there was always something new and different offered in every issue. So, imagine my surprise when artists didn't take the news sitting down, but instead, they rolled up their sleeves and got busy. As I said above, Chris Haughey's Pixelated Palette ezine is out and just wonderful, but today I received an email concerning another ezine for painters that will debut in November of this year. It's called Paintingezine and you can find it at www.Paintingezine.com  Both of these ezine subscriptions are very affordable.

Many of the artists in these ezines are familiar to us all, with some new to the business, but all of them are truly talented and are willing to embrace online publishing. The magazines are available for viewing online, for printing out in pdf form (the entire issue or just an article that grabs your interest) and are in full color. There are also sites to take online classes, so don't fret, there's still full video projects for a reasonable sum that are available to you.

As I come across more sites, I'll be sure to post them here and on Facebook and would be happy if you'd do the same.  
Bye for now!  Jeanne

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Importance of Workspace

"There's got to be a place where I can work alone!" I've heard this from artist and author friends so many times that I've lost count. But... It's true! Whether you're a knitter, crafter, painter, writer, or simply a creative person with more ideas than space to work and store your supplies, you need a space to work in. A space you can call your own. Not the kitchen table, or the living room sofa, or a corner of the den, but a place to go that's all yours, with a door or curtain that you can draw and hang a sign saying  "WORKING! DO NOT DISTURB" and mean it.
As my children moved out on their own, I changed their rooms into work spaces. At the time, we lived in a small home that was filled by the four of us and left little space for my creative efforts. Yes, I did use the kitchen table, yes I stored my supplies in a box under the bed, and no, I didn't have a precious studio. It was a nightmare, for certain! My son, the elder of the two children, was the first to find his wings and fly off to independence. His room immediately became my studio. It wasn't a large room, but it gave me a private place to work, one where I could close myself away and hunker down to create my masterpieces.
Later on, we moved into a larger home and with no children living with us, I had the extra space to myself and opened a studio where I taught classes. Those lovely shelves were filled to the brim with art supplies, paper, surfaces and the like. I was in my glory. As time went on and we moved into another home, there was a one room guest house in the back yard that I turned into a studio. My students came with me to keep painting, playing and having fun in classes. As time went on and interest in decorative painting lessons declined, the cost of keeping the studio open became prohibitive. After all, income must be enough to cover costs, right?
Still, I wanted my own space to work after I closed the guest house up and discontinued studio classes, so I moved into a small room in the main house. It took some time for me to figure out how to fit all that stuff from a 500 ft. square building into a 110 square foot den. I had shelves, book cases, cabinets, and a 6' table to accommodate. Yikes! I finally got things under control, and found that the space I have may be smaller, but cozier. The one issue I have is the coziness keeps me from being a slob, a messy slob. If my space starts to become smaller because I have too much clutter hemming me in, I realize I have to clean the area. Aargh!
My point being, a place of your own is as important as having a bathroom. Literally. While you need that place, you also need a place to create, because creating is an essential part of who you are and what makes you tick.



On that note, I'd like to share a few Zentangle pages from my latest book, Zentangle By the Sea and also the cover of my new upcoming book Heart Strings, an interactive Zentangle and coloring book.
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

For the Fun of it All

After cleaning under the studio counter, I came across this marvelous surface that a friend had gotten from Wood Items and More, a craft shop in the nearby town of Greenville, RI. The surface was given to me to see what I would come up with. Not one to back down from a challenge, I considered the piece, tucked it away and now I'm facing the possibilities of painting and tangling a design on it.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you tucked a surface away and then forgotten you had it? What was your reaction to finding the piece? Surprise? Pleasure at having found it again? Did you get busy with a project design? Did a design come to mind immediately?

As with so many artisans, I tend to buy more blank surfaces than I might ever use. They get packed, or stacked, and then when I'm desperate to paint on something other than a canvas or on watercolor paper, I start searching to find what I've stashed away. Let's face it, most crafters/artisans have a stash. Huge or small, it's part of our being, a need we have to keep owning wondrous supplies, no matter what they are. The same applies to the media we work with, whether it be pen & ink, paint, charcoal, gouache, etc.

This particular piece is destined for daisies, sunflowers, or just tangled leaves. I haven't quite decided yet. What do you think would be the perfect design? Leave a comment and let me know. Thanks.

I'll be back next week with a picture of what has become of this interesting surface.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Art of Creativity

A creative class held at Bella Art, in Johnston, RI, yesterday was completely different from what I generally partake of. The travel teacher, who works in conjunction with Sizzix, (www.Sizzix.com),  taught the group how to make a book using odds and ends and fun things hanging around. Bits and bobs, if you will.

In an effort to make mine just a bit different, I added Zentangle and printed words to the project pages. This goes to show how much tangling has affected my life. I include it everywhere I can, from my shoes, to purses, wallets, t-shirts, pajamas, and I even carry a small journal with me everywhere I go.

When my daughter was diagnosed with cancer last November, the news threw us into a whirlwind of activity that gripped us like a blast of freezing north wind. So far, it hasn't let go and frankly, we're sick of the ride and would like to get off, please. However, that's not possible, so we've hunkered down, taken a good long look at what's important to our family and moved on from there. We have a great deal of support from family and friends, even people we don't know have reached out to all of us. It's heart warming, to say the least. But... my point here is, that Zentangle has brought me peace in the midst of chaos, it has helped calm my worries, soothed my soul, and it's added a bright spot to the dark place I found myself in.

While Zentangle isn't a be all - do all that cures every aspect of angst or what might be going on in life, it sure does have a positive effect, and for that I'm grateful.

The next time you're stressed, tangle for a bit, you'll find it helps!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Day 2 of Countdown to Christmas

I count my blessing daily and at the oddest times. Here are my 5 blessings for today:

1. I have a loving, caring family.
2. I'm blessed to be an American woman with rights.
3. I am healthy.
4. I have great friends.
5. I'm blessed to live in a beautiful place.

What are your 5 blessings for today?

Two tangling books will be shipped to someone who shares their 5 blessings with me today.



Friday, December 21, 2012

Countdown to Christmas

Wally the Swamprat has won a pair of tangled earrings for her comment this week. (I'll need your address, Wally. Email me at authorgriff@aol.com   8>)

As we near the Big Day of December 25th, I will host a countdown featuring a free gift for your comments for that day, so check back daily to see what I have in store for you.

Today is the 1st of the five countdown days. I'm offering a Tangling book to someone who shares their Best Christmas Memory Ever. Each of our holiday memories are exceptional to us, I enjoy reading what made the day special for you. So...share, go ahead.

Here's the book you'll receive:

You can visit the Amazon page for more info on this book at