Escape to the Emerald Isle

with Ivy and me

I have the best news to share with you…

I will be crossing the oceans once more, to meet my beautiful friend and fellow teacher, Ivy Newport for another exciting teaching adventure. This time to the west coast of Ireland. We had such a ball teaching together in Italy and we knew we wanted to do it again.

We will be meeting in the Emerald Isle where magic, mystery and myth enchant the very soil.

For 7 nights and 8 Days (all inclusive), we will be sharing this creative time, which will be hosted by The Essence of Mulranny Studio, run and operated by artists Lora Murphy & Cheryl Cobern Browne. All located in the quaint coast village of Mulranny! It’s been an absolute dream for me to visit Ireland for as long as I can remember and I couldn’t think of a better way to do that than by creating together with like-minded souls in a place full of rugged beauty, fascinating history and endless inspiration.

Our 8 days will be filled with a good balance of studio time, delightful excursions and cultural experiences. Of course, there will be plenty of free time for stillness, rest and exploration. Creatively, we will journey through art journaling, creative collage, abstract landscapes, portraiture, sketching, mixing paints, combining mediums and MORE!

September 26-October 3 2020

Once again, I hope you will join Ivy and myself on another creative adventure.

Much love, always

Jeanne-Marie

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Thank you!!!!!!

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No words can express how grateful and thankful I am for the love, support and kindness at my auction.

It is honestly so humbling.

When I work throughout the year like this, I work each piece independently from each other and although there is a kind of theme and I’m usually inspired in clusters. When I’m finished each piece, I pack them away and don’t often pull them out until it’s auction time. I was so blown away at how cohesive my body of works were across the mediums. Like I created them all at the same time. it’s hard to fathom the different influences and seasons in between.

I truly loved this body of works and I felt so connected to it. I can honestly say that a piece of my heart is accompanying each and every package that’s going to their new homes. And once again, all I can say is THANK YOU, THANK YOU a million times over.

The Bearer of Wisdom...

Wow, I can’t even tell you how much I loved finishing this piece. I realised I hadn’t painted one for a very long time and I have to say I have so missed making these beautiful souls.

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I actually made her when I came home from the USA in 2017 and I left her to dry and never got back to her. I decided to take her with me to Italy as an example but also to use in my painting demo of her. So I started painting her there. I packed her in and brought her home to finish and she has brought me so much joy.

I forgot how beautiful painting clay is.

Considering I started her two years ago I can’t believe how much she just seemed to slot right into my current body of works, like she was planned this year. I find that remarkable really.

Her story is that her Birds are the Bearers of Wisdom and they are imparting wisdom in her ear.

Stitched Pouches...

It was always my plan to have at least 3 of these pouches in my auction and I’m so glad I managed to do exactly that. I had to really put my head down and focus to stick to my plan. My very sweet friend, who made the fabric part of my bags for me, Jackie was standing by and really helped me achieve my goals, She was such a gem. These pieces were ready but I needed to finish the frame parts of the image and I was overwhelmed with the task at hand.

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1. FlowrsinherHair; 2. Starry, Starry Night; 3. ReignForest

I’m so proud of us for finishing strong and they ended up more beautiful than I could have hoped for.

I am so happy to share that all three are going to their new homes. If you didn’t get a chance to get one at the auction, I’m hoping to have another 3 finished by the end of the year.

It's almost finished....

I am finally starting to see the fruits of my work.

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When I look back and think about this project… I had no idea that it would take me this long to gain ground and I absolutely had no idea how hard it would end up being. It has taken so much work but more than anything else, it’s taken immense patience. Maybe that has been the most challenging part of it all. Patience is a virtue.

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I am starting to see us having a summer in this space for the first time and that is something I have dreamt about since we moved into this home but have never got quite right. How crazy is that?

Yes, it absolutely has been a game of patience. There have been some things I’ve long since hoped for, like my birdbath and my zen bridge and they arrived last week. I’m giddy with joy with these two additions, not to mention my veggie boxes, my hanging strawberry bush and my granadilla trees. Now I can barely wait for my fruits. We only have a tiny corner left for a patch of grass and that gets sorted out tomorrow and in the next week or so, some outside furniture arrives because in two weeks time, this space will be filled with Corks friends to celebrate her 21st birthday. We haven’t held a party for the girls since primary school, so this is going to be so special time and space for all of us.

My heart is overwhelmed with love for this space, at last. And I just wanted to say thank you for journeying with me as I faced my drought-stricken space of a blank canvas to this peaceful zen garden of quiet that I actually LOVE.

Fresh out of the oven...

It’s been so long since I decorated clay and I must say my evening and process was challenging. I felt out of sorts, exhausted and disconnected to what I was doing and I wasn’t sure I was going to love my plate.

But I always forget how forgiving the clay is and once the color is added (I always end up choosing Cloud Blue), it’s kind of hard to produce anything ugly.

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I arrived at the studio and I couldn’t see my plate and she took me back to the ovens and they were busy unloading and mine was still warm. I was instantly in love. The tiny dots that took most of the night to do was so rewarding now fired and I am so grateful for her flawed beauty.

I totally forgot how beautiful and satisfying the outcome is and now… I look forward to going back to make more.

Solo Auction Time...

It’s finally D-Day!!!

And my heart is ready and so are all my works.

Please come and join myself and Stephanie for my Solo Auction that will run from today, 29th October 12 noon EST until the 31st October where we will close off together just before Halloween celebrations start.

Please follow the button below that will lead you to the Facebook auction floor (be sure to click on going) and come join in the fun and crazy beautiful love.

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Look forward to spending this time with you.

Much Love
Jeanne-Marie

InMyStudio… PaintingLove

I looked back and saw that I had started this painting at the end of January but I got so overwhelmed by the size of my canvas and my over ambitious undertaking that I abandoned it. As I was prepping for my Solo Auction, I was pulling out my pieces from the year and that one found it’s way forward and I placed it on my easel to remind what still had to be done. After painting “Mother of the Mourning Doves”, I thought I wanted to continue working with birds and that piece definitely inspiring this one.

It’s where this piece started but it isn’t where it ended. I continued working and allowed it to evolve and lead me where it was going to. I was so deeply loving working on wood and working bigger, playing with paint and a theme. Besides their beautiful faces and quirky hands and skinny arms, I so loved the plant details. The halo ended up looking more like an archway and the blue leaf to me reminds me of a stain glass window.

So I called this piece…

“Santa Maria del Fiore”, inspired by the beautiful name of the cathedral in Florence… St Mary of the Flower. I have had various feedbacks about this piece and what people have felt and how they connected with it. From 3 sisters to mother and daughters to seeing Italy in this piece. Maybe it’s a bit of all of it. Maybe they are all one in the same person but separate too and maybe they are still birdlike. All in all very enjoyable and I worked through this piece every single day and that was totally wonderful for me.

I can’t wait to get back to my easel and paint some more. My urge and need to paint is still so strong and although my energy levels have been a bit on the low side and I am working carefully, I’m so loving being here.

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Creative Time in Florence

One of the things we got to do in Florence was take a mini-class at a little art school… painting into Fresco (wet plaster).

It was harder than I was expecting and after day 1, I was grumbling a bit and I was wondering if we had made a mistake about signing up for another 3 days of this. But I’m glad we pushed through.

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After day one’s awkwardness and discomfort, I have to say day 2 was much better. Apollo, our Italian art teacher gave us a new recipe for our fresco surface (the sand and lime ratio) and our surface was much better and gentler to work with.. It was the first time I had painted with pigment powders and it was a new learning space for me. I have to say I’m a little smitten with the process. After day 2, things had shifted from discomfort to something we were looking forward to. Plus it was a fun way to get us into the studio each day too.

Other than that, it gave us a tiny glimpse into this process and how challenging it must have been to paint this way. All I can say is I have huge respect for what they did. I feel my heart stretched so much more in terms of understanding.

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I am so grateful that Ariane and I got to take this journey together and that Jackie joined us on day 4. It was something different to do, maybe a perfect thing to do in a foreign town while traveling. There are always great gifts that come out of putting yourself out there, in uncomfortable situation that promotes growth. We really enjoyed our time with our teacher, Apollo. The art studio was an interesting space, for sure and we meet some new people from class.

My favorite was meeting a really beautiful Jewish lady from New York, we had our lunch together on our last day. I was wearing my Hand of Hamsa earrings and it sparked off a conversation between us. She was 83 and traveling alone in Florence, walking everywhere she needed to go and taking an art class by herself. After her time in Florence she was moving on to Luca to take another class learning to speak Italian. She shared about her years of travel and I was so deeply moved by her absolute courage and the gift of travel she had given herself and her family through the years. She utterly blew me away. This little story will be forever tucked away in my heart. I am so grateful for this brief encounter.

I would imagine this would be a great way to get integrated into a community if you were spending some extended time in a foreign place. I really loved that.

St Mary of the Flower…

What could be more perfect than naming your Cathedral, St Mary of the Flower (Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore).

The thing I love most about this beautiful Gothic Cathedral besides her sheer majesty are her exquisite colors of green and rose. She was our touchstone, our landmark to remind us where we were at all times, in the greater scheme of things. By the end our week of walking and discovering we really got to figure out the lay of this land quite nicely.

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Every time we found ourselves coming around the corner to face her, she took our breath away and we got to photograph her almost single day for good measure. She’s absolutely stunning! I am in love with Gothic buildings.

Thank you beautiful old girl for holding our direction all week.

#365TinyCaptures

Can you believe we are already into the double digit days that are currently left in 2019 and as a friend reminded me the other day… down to less than 90 days left in this decade.

Wow that’s a sobering thought!!!

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I am so in love with my images for this year and I’m sooo thrilled to have a bit of my beloved Italy in this years project. How magical. I’m so over the moon!

Stunned into silence...

I’m sorry I’ve been so quiet here but I’ve literally been stunned into silence after my trip.

It was so BIG and I am once again feeling like a deer caught in the headlights. I don’t know how to find the words to express all it meant to me and the sheer volume of photographs, so overwhelming that I am really not sure how to narrow it down. I don’t want to make the experience small and I so badly want to share it all with you in a way that makes sense too.

I’ve been back just over two weeks now, I think. And I have a lot coming at me in terms of things happening in life…

PYHAS 2019 - Mini Lesson is Live

On Wednesday, my mini lesson for PYHAS2019 went live, I hope you find your way there and keep me posted how you go. If you haven’t signed up for PYHAS2019, you can still. I hope you enjoy my mini lesson, I loved putting it together for you!

Have fun!

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ClayPlay

Last night I had a clay class which I was trying to do before I left for Italy. I had completely forgotten I had rescheduled to do it when I got back. Even though it has crept up on me, it’s always a good evening. Honestly, the last time I did this class was when I made all those gorgeous plates as gifts for my hosts when I went to America and I was long overdue a ClayDate.

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AuctionLove

I am so excited to mention that my Solo Auction page is up and running and my auction days are coming at me fast. I have a little left to do to get ready but I am happy to say, I’m quite prepared this year. I have a variety of different kind of pieces from small to big, stitching to drawings and paintings, even a few fabric bags. I feel there is something for everyone and I’m hoping very attainable… I am always mindful of this. I worked strategically with this in mind this year. So I really hope you will come along and join me and Stephanie Gagos as we prep for the days ahead. Please click on the button to join the auction and be sure to press on “going”. Look forward this time with you!

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Painting, Painting, Painting

I have come home just wanting to paint which is a good feeling to come home with. Before I left for Italy I started working everyday in studio again. I was working hard to show up especially after my Stitching class went live. Of course, in Italy everyday was dedicated to creating and touring around art. It was such a spoil to spend my days this way and with likeminded friends. My creative love tank was filled to the brim. I wanted to come home and continue creating this way. My first week back was really good but this week was more challenging, work and life is real. My work days have increased and I’ve been prepping for my auction. I have a creative block weekend coming up and I literally can’t wait. I was so happy to finish this piece. I started her in Italy, not at this place… but she just kept evolving and her story kept unfolding and I absolutely love where we ended together.

Mother of the Mourning Doves… 10”x12” on Linen Canvas Board

Mother of the Mourning Doves… 10”x12” on Linen Canvas Board

This week I also started another class at the Practical School of Philosophy and I’m really loving this bit of time I’ve been applying to expanding my mind and heart a bit.

Now that my images have been safely downloaded to my Mac, I can start letting the story unfold as I unpack the treasures of each moment while I traveled and I hope to share with you as moments come up for me. Here is wishing you all a beautifully quiet, creative and gentle weekend.

Much love, always Jeanne-Marie

Back to my first love…

I am always a little amazed at how I feel when I haven’t been painting for a while… I start to panic and feel like I may completely forget everything I’ve learnt. I have mountains of fear and then when I start… it’s like that old familiar feeling of coming home and back to something so utterly comforting to me. As hard as it is to allow myself to move away from this medium from time to time, I do know the break always does me good. The deep learning in new areas always adds a new depth to my practice and work.

As you know, I dabble in many things but I do believe I am a painter at heart. It was while I was painting almost a decade ago, that I knew I wanted to do this everyday for the rest of my life. Something happens for me when I paint. Good or bad, learning or relearning, it just feels deep, like it’s where I’m meant to be.

I have struggled for years to admit this part of me but it really makes my heart soar.

Sofa Secrets on wooden cradle board… 12”x8”x2”

Sofa Secrets on wooden cradle board… 12”x8”x2”

So after my weeks of stitching non-stop and the busyness of putting a little class together, this felt like a magical time just for myself. I’m so grateful I got to push paint around and just get lost in the layers.

Nothing made me happier than finding these two beings sitting quietly on the sofa together.

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Thank you for your patience and grace around my technical glitches with my mail-chimp class send out on Monday, it was rather stressful. Thank you to all who have been so kind and patient with the process and so willing to help me iron out all the glitches that come out in the first week. I’m so grateful my schedule has been such that I could deal with them as they came up. As for my ambiguous last blog post - thank you for the adorable emails I received, I had a few giggles.

So just a to be clear on that, you would have only received an email from me with the login details, if you had actually signed up for my PaintingwithThreads class.

Thank you Thank you Thank you

Again, I can’t thank you enough for all the love I’ve been receiving this week for my little class. I am so overwhelmed by the response.

Much love, always JM

***PaintingwithThreads - Class is in Session


I have been holding this little class close to my heart the past few weeks and have been sharing parts of my journey with you as I went, but I'm so excited to let you know that my little class is READY. I know it's a little earlier than I was expecting but if you are happy for me to let you in a bit earlier then this is to let you know that the logon details have been sent to your email.

If you haven't received anything from me, please let me know.

Sending much love <3

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(Email sent to those who have signed up for this little class)

It’s not to late to sign up if you haven’t yet - please follow the button below.

Holding my breath...

So in roughly a week, this will be my view and reality. I’ll be immersing myself in art and culture and more. I started searching for an art school where I could take some lessons in Florence and it’s been a tiny bucket list dream ever since. I knew since 2014, I wanted to return to Florence because we had some unfinished business with each other. The last time I was there, they were having a train strike and our time was cut short. I still have so much to see and experience and this year will be this time. I will be meeting up with my dear friends and fellow artists Ariane and Jackie to take this class together and soak ourselves in all of it. I am feeling so utterly blessed right now. I love seeing dreams come to fruition and trusting that even though things take time… sometimes just planting the seed is enough. SoGrateful.

Picture found on Pinterest

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***PaintingwithThreads - coming in to land...

Thank you for the love and support for my little class. I am so grateful and touched by the kindness around this little unusual class. I had a target for this tutorial style class and I have reached it with a few extra and I’ve been so deeply moved by this.

I knew all along it would be a small and intimate class and it’s beautifully so. For all of you who are here with me, I’m excited and I’m working furiously to tie it all together and hoping to release a little earlier than expected. Please continue to hold me up in your thoughts that all goes smoothly and beautifully… to delivery.

So grateful for so much.

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365TinyCaptures continues...

I’ve loved this project equally as much this year as I did last year.

It’s been so pretty and again so comforting. The daily practice continues to teach me so much and perhaps I will continue this practice forever. Well it feels like that today. With less than 140 days left to go - it’s been a breathtaking whirlwind of a year and I’ve been so grateful for these daily touchstones to keep me in this present moment.

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A little journal play...

The other day I met my friend, Liezl at a coffee shop with the focus of meeting together to discuss her trip to Amsterdam and Portugal and my upcoming trip to Italy and to journal together. I was nervous about journaling in a coffee shop but it was actually one of the nicest coffee dates I’ve had in such a long time.

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Thank you my friend for getting me out the house and for such a sweet time. I look forward to doing that again soon.

My beautiful pouch...

I’m so smitten with the outcome of this little pouch.

When Kitty was in Istanbul she brought home a little sling bag pouch for herself and Corks. She was so thoughtful with her gifts and consideration of all. Corks started using her little pouch everyday and said it was the best gift ever and it seemed to become an extension of herself - like having an extra pocket on her body to carry small things. While I was walking past one morning I put my finished stitched square on the flap and I thought it looked so lovely. I asked my friend, who makes bags if she thought it was something she could make for me and she said “yes - let’s try”. And I love the outcome sooo much.

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I will be testing this sweet prototype when I travel now when I don’t feel like taking a big bag with me.

I plan to have a few more ready for my auction when I get back from Italy.

What beautiful responses I had to my pouch - I am so humbled and touched by this!

Thank you!

It hit me hard…

Digz and I have had flu so we have been recovering and I don’t know about you but when I am not well, I get quite introspective. We are quite busy at the moment, with Digs taking Corks out of town for her monster race last weekend, me prepping for my class and prepping for Italy, Kitty embarking on her last two big block exams and her final dance and also getting everything done for her apps for varsity and Corks training and prepping for her exhibit at the Zietz Mocca… it’s been full on. My mind wondered ahead to what things will look like when I get home from Italy and with Kitty finishing school in the next month.

And BAM just like that - it hit me squarely in the chest.

For the past 21 years my days have literally been built around the school drop off and school pick up times and in a months time… we will be DONE. No more school runs…. no more. Gulp!

As chaotic as they were and still are for a moment longer, we have loved them. The crazy car trip, the ridiculous chatter, the radio general knowledge quiz game, all of it. Digz and I often grab a coffee afterwards… we chat, we regroup - so much will change.

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I have been so focused on Kitty' finishing school and being so over all the pressures that comes with it, for her, that I didn’t stop to think about what this means to me in terms of my routine. Over the years I built my working hours around these two time zones and now I don’t have to do that anymore and what does this mean in the greater scheme of things. I got quite chocked up. 21 years is a long routine and I know I’m not alone in what this feels like or what this means. And for a moment yesterday, I panicked and scurried around trying to think of ways to fill those spaces so I wouldn’t feel the loss or the void.

Would I feel the freedom or would I feel lost to myself?

I don’t know the answers yet. It feels like a fine line. I have more than loved my momma job and although I totally understand that will never come to an end, it’s going to start looking a little different. It made me stop and take a moment yesterday, how absolutely blessed and lucky I have been to able to work the way I have - freelancing wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination easy but the sacrifice has been worth it. I’ve really had the best of two worlds, of being a working mom who was lucky enough to be there every afternoon for my girls. it’s something I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Literally, it will be the first time in 21 years that I won’t be bound by other people’s routines… the thought so utterly advanced in concept that I can’t quite fathom it yet.

So yesterday I felt panicked but today I’ve decided to take a deep breath and slow my mind and allow the idea and concept to permeate into my soul and I am going to take a moment to contemplate what it all means to me. The slowing down of my schedule might be the gift of quiet I’m constantly seeking. I have a few things I would like to start thinking about and doing when I get back from Italy and next year but I want to be wise in my choices. I want to be mindful and careful about my time.