Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking into the dark corners


I’ve been looking back over 2013 and celebrating successes, but I also know that there are areas that weren’t so successful.  We tend to push our failures to the back out of sight sometimes, instead of really analysing them for what they are and understanding what lessons we can take from them that will help us perform better in the future.

There is an expectation that each piece of work we start with will become a keeper. Unfortunately that’s not always the case.  There are a combination of factors that come together to create something that ‘works’ and that combination is rarely the same twice.

Its a combination of human and environmental factors that make a painting become a pleasing object.  Technical ability, energy or fatigue, silence or interruptions, emotional state of mind, quality of tools, subject matter, and available time all contribute to how well a piece turns out.

Artists beat themselves up regularly over outcomes without really looking at why something did not work and how to change it.   Its the same with any venture in art.  We see an outcome and despair over its failure, but often chalk it up to experience instead of seeing how we can learn from that or do it differently in the future to secure success.
So while I look back over 2013 I hope I learn from mistakes as well as celebrate in the successes.  I made a number of goals at the end of 2012 and its interesting to look back and see what I matched or missed.

From this date a year ago, my dreams were:

Produce a new body of work
I did produce a series of boats and water people  paintings and pushed into more palette knife painting on a larger scale, even venturing into fluorescent colours.

Bright Red

Representation by a new gallery
 gallery 1 sm

I applied and was accepted by Peter Lewis Gallery in downtown St. John’s, participating in two group exhibitions there in July and November.

Deliver an online workshop
workshops 2013 poster1

I didn’t deliver an online workshop but I did offer a series of workshops at my home studio in the fall of 2013 which were successful and all fully booked.

Update my gyotaku book to include more technical information
Sea Jewels 2

This did not happen.  My focus moved more towards painting, though gyotaku still featured in my work in 2013 and will continue to do so with a gyotaku workshop planned for the summer of 2014.

Produce a minimum of three short information videos and ebooks
Online cover 2 sml

I did produce a book on palette knife painting “Introduction to Palette Knife Painting which is available through Amazon in hard copy or Kindle editions.

I produced several video tutorials on  colour mixing that I put on my Youtube channel, along with several other tutorials.  Unfortunately, due to an individual taking advantage of my work, I had to make the tutorials private and available to workshop participants only.  They will be enhanced and made available for a fee or through subscription in the future.

Create a series of reproductions of gyotaku prints
I didn’t get around to doing this and will push it into 2014 for completion.

Experience an art retreat
While I had access to art retreats on the island, time became the challenge this year with visitors, work load and getting an elderly parent into a care facility.  Having said that, I seem to produce my own retreats of sorts by immersing myself into blocks of time regularly for art production and experimentation.  Retreats don't have to be in another place, you can do them at home.

Produce a minimum of three significant drawings in dry media
Breakfast at Cora's sm
I completed only one drawing.  However, getting back into teaching drawing fires up enthusiasm to continue this goal.  The necessity to draw to prepare for classes and demos is also an incentive!

Other projects
Fishy Bits prints
12 months

In 2013 I completed a series of twelve original relief prints of fish found in the waters around Newfoundland and Labrador.  This fueled an Indiegogo project, as I wanted to purchase a printing press to complete the series and continue to develop my printmaking muscle.

bottlejack press

Unfortunately, I didn’t reach my goal for funding, but I did create my own printing press using a bottlejack press that works beautifully and continued to print the remainder of the pieces in the series.

thanks you

Five of the prints from this series were used in the December “Harvest” issue of Highbrau Magazine.

Sketch A Day in March

george st 2 sm

In March I threw out a challenge for others to join me in sketching daily and posting the results on my blog page.  It was a challenge some days to get a sketch done and posted online but I and a number of others managed.  The results can be seen here.

I have progressed in areas and pulled back in others, trying to balance my wants and needs with what is necessary and what fulfils my artistic abilities.  There are always ideas swirling in my head that are stored or written down for the future.  Already, I have plans in progress that lead me into 2014 and I know there will be more areas that will unfold and time passes.

I will be making goals for 2014, but as with all plans, they should be elastic enough to let me be side tracked into areas that pull my interest and offer opportunity.

Lunch & Learn - mini art consultations

I firmly believe that part of the artist code of ethics should be one of sharing knowledge. There are a lot of questions out there and I get asked quite a few, some technical, some about marketing, some regarding the business of art.

The "advice over lunch" concept is one that I use frequently in my business and wanted to extend that opportunity to artists, but online instead of  in person.  In a busy world, one on one conversations are the best way of transferring information.

So I created Let's Do Lunch - an opportunity for artists or collectors to ask questions from the simple to the complex and get practical answers, based on realistic pricing that fits everyone's budget.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 27, 2013

More ears

In between eating,drinking and napping over Christmas I've still been sketching ears, both in pencil and pen and ink.   In a previous blog post I threw out a challenge for drawing ears that's still open until December 31st if you want to add a link to ears that you've drawn.

Be warned, it can be addictive!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Giveaway winner

 Tors Cove - SOLD
30" x 40" oil on canvas

The winner of the Christmas Giveaway is # 4, Dora Cooper. Congratulations Dora and thank you to everyone who joined in.

For chances in future giveaways, you are invited to join my mailing list if you haven't already. Everyone who does receives my 10 Tips for Stress Free Oil Painting. Join from my Facebook artist page Jeanette Jobson Fine Art, here on my blog on the right hand side, or my through my website http://jeanettejobson.com/ 

With commissions done for the year, I had some time to devote to completing this painting of a little dory found in Tors Cove, not far from one of the galleries where my art hangs in the summer.  There's another boat on the easel right now and I'll work on it when I have some time over the holidays.

On the count down to Christmas I am lagging well behind with preparations, but I'm taking it a day at a time, which is all you can do.  Tomorrow will be the push to get things finalized.  A fair bit of snow is forecast over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so its a guaranteed white Christmas, even whiter than it already is. 

Now a song that epitomizes the season, beautifully sung.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lend me your ear

 I'm off on a tangent in drawing after seeing a portraiture post on Wetcanvas all about ears.  Important and unique things they are too with no two alike, just like fingerprints.  I know what I find fascinating may not always be felt the same way by others, but I thought it could be a fun little challenge in those lulls during the craziness over Christmas.

So I'll throw it out there for you to grasp (or not).   Draw an ear.  It can be your ear or someone elses, but it should be a human ear.   Provide a link to your drawing (or painting) in the comment section below.  You have until December 31st to add an ear. :) 

There are no prizes, just some practice under your belt in drawing the uniqueness of the ear.  And most of all, have fun!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

North Under a Star

I've completed the final print in the Fishy Bits series for this year.  I have to admit that its been a push to do this and I was struggling to get that final print out.  The December print is a little different than the previous twelve.  The season, the sea and the call of the wild seem to come together to create it.  I also used a different block to carve with this, much softer, and it felt clumsy under the tools, but I perservered.

Now that commissions for Christmas are complete and the print series done, I've been able to concentrate on my own work again, getting back to a large boat painting and a palette knife again. It feels like forever since I was able to do that. 

You can see or purchase the December Fishy Bits print, North Under a Star on my website, along with the other eleven original prints in the series.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

12 in 12

 Glass - NFS

I’ve borrowed once more from my blogging friend, Casey Klahn, a post idea of showcasing 12 images that I’ve created in 2013.  There is no order or ranking to them, they offer a representation of what I has caught my eye and interest in the last twelve months. 

I hope you enjoy them.

Dead Calm - SOLD

Turmoil - SOLD

Buoyant - SOLD

The Jumpers

Fox Point - SOLD

Capelin Scull - SOLD

Frozen Pond

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Christmas Giveaway

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Snowman relief

I've been busier than a one armed wallpaper hanger, as they'd say in Newfoundland.   Work, travel, commissions, workshops, house issues, you name it, its all come together in the perfect storm.  But I'm getting on top of it now and hope to spend today immersed in working on a commission to make sure its ready for Christmas.

Yesterday, I taught a palette knife workshop. They're always such fun, as people go outside their comfort zone and learn new techniques about paint application and colour theory.  After an all day workshop where I'm on my feet for most of the time, I'm pretty tired.  So I sat down in the living room, one eye on the television and the other doodling in a sketchbook and this guy appeared.  Perhaps the fact that it was snowing outside or the season is approaching fueled the inspiration, or simply the fact that I like snowmen!

Sketching is my relaxant and helps me wind down and remove other thoughts from my head.  But today its back to full steam ahead.  I'm populating the registration links for my 2014 workshops that you can find on my website and as well, my ebook, Introduction to Painting with a Palette Knife is available there and on Etsy, as well as through Payhip.  You can find the link to that on the right hand side of the blog.  And if you share the link on social media, you can get a 15% discount!  Just click the image link on the right to access it or the quick link below.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

They are back!

In the early summer, I retired my small paintings as I wanted to work on larger pieces.  These mostly 5" x 7" paintings have slept in a container in my studio all summer and fall, so I thought it may be an idea to let them see the light again.

I have relaunched my Etsy shop to put a selection of small original paintings, as well as some classic seasonal reproductions and note cards available.  These small pieces make a great addition to a current collection or the starting point for a new collector.  Each original painting in the small size is $50 with free shipping until December 31, 2013.

I'll be adding more things to the Etsy shop as the month progresses, so keep checking back to see if your favourite is there.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Save the date!

It seems as if I've set up my universe to all come together on December 1st.  Its the day that my seasonal offerings will be available from my website, including small paintings, reproductions and cards and it is the day also that my new ebook will launched.

December 1st is when my 2014 workshop list will be posted too.  Oh, and there are commissions of people and animals and my own art production and a couple more workshops to deliver.   Sleep and socialization is a thing of the past til mid December.

But I'm not complaining, its all great fun and I enjoy it immensely.

Here's a short promo for the ebook, enjoy and subscribe to my YouTube channel to find other technique tutorial videos that may be useful to you.

Friday, November 15, 2013

E-book production

I've had my head down over a few projects in the last couple of weeks, one of which is the production of an e-book on palette knife painting.   This came from frustration on my part over the last year or two on not finding any practical resources for palette knife painting that explained the process.   As my experience in palette knife painting increased, so did my frustration at not having something or someone to compare notes with or help me over stumbling blocks.

As I've been teaching palette knife painting workshops as well, students are gasping for a resource that reinforces what they learned in the workshops and that need partially fueled my desire to go ahead with this book.

Necessity is the mother of invention it seems, so I decided that I would create the resource myself.  This ebook is a practical reference guide for painting with knives and covers everything from tools and paint to how the different strokes are created with a knife.  While not a major book (23 pages) I believe it will be a useful one in the arsenal of anyone wanting to learn more about this unique painting technique. 

Creating a resource means I can be selfish and have it the way I like to see art references presented.  Clear explanations and good images always cement the deal for me.  And price.  I want this to be as affordable as possible.  As an artist its important to me to be able to share techniques and ideas and this is one way of doing just that.

I'm currently working on the final edits for the book and then deciding which is the best way to make it available.  It should be ready to roll within the week and I'll have all the details on how to access a copy then.

Excerpt from the preface:

I created the Introduction to Palette Knife Painting as a reference guide for artists who are interested in learning  the techniques used in palette and painting knife to create impasto paintings. It contains practical information on palette knife choice and use, paint use and characteristics, techniques to achieve a variety of surface textures, lines and paint applications, as well as tips for cleaning and storing knives...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Retail Therapy


Its inevitable that the Christmas season is just 6 weeks away and artists, like retail stores are getting ready for shoppers.  Artists do tend to negate the idea that they are also businesses, but its a reality, as we have to eat and pay bills just like everyone else.  Our ability to create visual art comes with the need to show it to the world, so others too can enjoy it and have something beautiful and unique to see every day.

 While I have art available on my website all year round, during this season, I try to become a problem solver for people by making a range of pieces available in several price points.  Not everyone has a huge budget to spend on original art, so there are cards, reproductions, small paintings, workshops and gift certificates available.

On December 1st, I'll be releasing the list of my 2014 art workshops as well as the launch of a seasonal gift suggestion page on my website and blog.   There'll be a few new items as well as some classics, so save the date and perhaps I can help you with your gift list this year! 

Support local artists and local business this year.  Your purchase will help keep visual artists producing beauty and your gift of local art or craft will introduce that beauty into others' lives.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lest we forget

In memory of Canadians and Newfoundlanders who fought and died.

South African War (1899 - 1902)
First World War (1914 - 1918)
Second World War (1939 - 1945)
Korean War (1950 - 1953)
Canadian Armed Forces (1947 - present)

Thursday, November 07, 2013


Bright Red
18" x 24" oil

“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.”
― W. Somerset Maugham

I pulled out an old painting that was started a few years ago and decided to revitalize it using a palette knife and some intense colours.  The colours I had, while quite saturated and intense, still didn't fit the vision in my head.  How to really make them stand out?  Fluorescent paint!

I ordered a few tubes of fluorescent oil paint from Kama Pigments and those colours...oh my, they are bright.  Of course, fluorescent paint is vivid in natural daylight which contains ultraviolet light but  under a black light the paint really become luminous.  I don't have a black light, but may get one just to understand the effect on the paint.

Unfortunately, fluorescent paint does tend to have lightfast issues.  Permanance of paint colour is rated on conditions that would represent approximately 20 years of gallery exposure.  The exact time of fading for fluorescent paint under home conditions I don't know.  But exposure to ultraviolet light can reduce the saturation of the colour, sometimes within an hour.

So why use a paint that is at risk of fading?  The colour. Nothing else has the intensity that fluorescent paints which highlight form and pull in the viewer and I love that those tropical colours and will experiment more with them soon.

The very impermanance of something can also be its appeal.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Fox Point

Fox Point
 30"x 40"
Oil on stretched canvas

I'm interested in the past and always feel a connection with what and who has gone before.

I've spent time reading about geneology and the connections to the UK on my mother's side of the family which stretch back to Dorset.  Not surprising, as so many of Newfoundland inhabitants have roots in either England or Ireland.  Going back into the 1600's was as far as I know and many of the towns in the south of England I knew from my time living there.  Some of the villages I wish I could explore more now that I know their names and the connection with relatives who came from there in the 16 and 1700s onward.

I had known little about my father's side until I started my own explorations which traced back to the 1600s again before coming to a stop - back to Germany.  The roots in Canada came direct from Germany with immigration in the 1700s.  So while surnames altered in spelling over time, the trace from then to current roots was in place and neighbouring towns, Fox Point and Hubbards Cove, about 30 minutes outside of Halifax where families stayed and established life became reality.

I visited the area, walked the shores and beaches and revelled in the fact that ancestors walked there before me.  And of course the water and boats pulled me in and this was one of my inspirations for this painting, which was painted thickly with a palette knife.  The texture for the dory and water seemed to work well for this piece.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

The end of an era

2000 - 2013

BD passed away suddenly on Saturday, probably taking him as much as me by surprise.  In the morning he was out in the garden, taking a bath, having treats, then in the afternoon, was found lying on the grass by the barn.

Just last week I took this photo of him, sitting in a pile of leaves in the garden. He was old, a bit arthritic, but loved slow explorations of the garden with Lucky, his Pekin friend.  He was the magnet in the farm yard for everyone who arrived, curious about who and what he was.

BD (short for Big Duck) was the leader of what was originally a small flock of nine Muscovy ducks that came to the farm in 2000.  He was bigger, stronger, pushier, but never mean.  Muscovies are large ducks, more the size of geese and quackless.  They hiss instead of quack and I will miss his greeting every night when I come home, crest up, tail wagging, hissing, more like a dog than a duck.  Lucky, his constant companion, will have to befriend the chickens more now and I am sure will miss BD.

 BD, on the far left, in his youth,overseeing the "girls" as they explored the car.  These ducks don't display the red facial characteristics until they're a year or two old. When they were young (under a year old) they had a habit of flying up onto cars, looking for interesting bugs to eat.    Not everyone thought it was amusing...

Perhaps its time for an updated portrait of him.  This was a small oil sketch done a few years ago.  I love that Elvis "hairdo" that he had.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Exhibition news

I'm looking forward to a group exhibition called Panorama at Peter Lewis Gallery at 5 Church Hill, St. John's.  With seven other artists, I'll be in fine company and would love to meet you there to see and talk about my art.

The opening reception is Friday November 1st 6:30 - 9:00pm and the exhibition runs until November 25th.

Turmoil (oil, 22" x 28") will be one of my paintings available in this exhibition.