6 things on my mind right now.
6 There is no "quick answer" to questions that I occasionally get like: "Hey Jenny, I have a really quick question for you. Can you tell me how to start and run an art studio? Just message me, would ya? My friends and I want to start one too." Well, the question might be quick but the answer is not. And with all due respect, the answer is based on years of blood, sweat, tears, and huge risks that I have personally taken. Though I'm sure there is no bad intent, it's insulting to be asked to just instant message answers to matters that I've invested years of myself into while I steal the time from my other projects to do this for people I hardly know. For those who really want to ask me questions on whatever the topic may be (usually it's publishing or studio-related) ... I have a path that allows for that to happen. And it has been gratifying to know that people who have used that path have found what I share to be helpful. :)
5 Spontaneously and without warning, I've started to cook. It is the most wonderful thing that has happened to me. I wake up every morning excited about coming up with a menu. I feel it's one of the most creative processes and it has so many parallels to the process of painting. I love it and I love life more because I am cooking.
4 You may have noticed through the photos I post that I use things like butter, olive oil, chicken, beef, pork, coconut milk, and of course lots of veggies. I don't use grains, refined sugar, legumes and with little exception, lactose. As much as possible, I cook paleo. To me, coupled with regular exercise (that includes not just cardio but lifting heavy things), paleo is the key to long-term fitness.
3 It makes me happy to see The Mister and my son Andrew enjoy my food. That's actually the best part. Andrew and I had a good talk about it recently. He has a tendency to lose control with portions when something tastes good. Don't we all?! So when he was wanting more and more of something delicious that I had prepared for him, I said "Andrew, tomorrow is another day. I'm going to be making something different but also delicious so no need to consume and possess all of this right now."
2 What I said to him must have resonated because the next day, he mentioned how good food is like good art and the creative process, where we may think what we've made today is as good as it will ever get, and there will be nothing better and so we better hold on tight, and possess, and don't let it go and not think of making anything else. But of course tomorrow is a new day. A new day to let go, and create something different and wonderful.
1 Whether it's food or art, I am happy that I get to make what I want. Sometimes, when someone says they "love love love" a painting of mine, there's this notion that I ought to make more of that thing that someone "love love loves." And when someone hates a painting of mine, there's a notion that I ought not make more in that style. The privilege that is mine right now is that it matters not one Iota to me, whether my paintings garner flattery or criticism. I paint to express who I am, what I see, and what I feel. Georgia O'Keefe said it best: "I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free."
Life Book 2015 is coming!
A year-long online course hosted by Tamara Lamporte of Willowing where each and every week, you learn about the signature processes and methods from talented artists from around the world. This is the fourth year that this amazing course has been offered and I am delighted to be one of the artists teaching for Life Book 2015.
By the end of the year, you will end up with numerous art journal pages made through the online tutorials by the participating artists. These pages will be ones that Tamara helps you bind together to create your very own Life Book 2015 ... an epic piece of work that documents the celebration of you throughout the entire year. Amazing.
Bet you have lots of questions, yes?
Once you read the details, please know that enrollment will actually open October 6th. :)
The Life Book icon button is on this blog's upper right hand corner where you can click and enroll starting October 6th.
In the meantime, I am honored to be part of a Blog Hop to get the word out. If you'd like a chance to win a spot in Life Book 2015, please leave a comment here on this blog post. I will announce the winner for the one spot that I am allowed to give away here on this post by October 2nd. Good luck!
Here is the complete Blog Hop schedule by contributing artists:
8th September 2014 – Tamara Laporte - http://www.willowing.org/
9th September 2014 – Jane Davenport – http://janedavenport.com/
10th September 2014 – Joanne Sharpe – http://joannezsharpe.blogspot.co.uk/
11th September 2014 - Jenny Lee Wentworth – http://jennyleewentworth.blogspot.co.uk/
12th September 2014 - Violette Clark – http://www.violette.ca/
13th September 2014 - Chris Zydel – http://creativejuicesarts.com/
14th September 2014 - Danielle Donaldson – http://danielledonaldson.com/
15th September 2014 - Effy Wild – http://effywild.com/
16th September 2014 - Flora Bowley – http://braveintuitiveyou.com/
17th September 2014 - Alisa Burke – http://alisaburke.blogspot.co.uk/
18th September 2014 - Rachael Rice – http://rachaelrice.com/
19th September 2014 - Jeanne Oliver – http://www.jeanneoliverdesigns.com/
20th September 2014 - Andrea Gomoll – http://andrea-gomoll.de/
21st September 2014 - Kristin van Valkenburgh – http://www.kristinvanvalkenburgh.com/
22nd September 2014 - Jill K. Berry – http://jillberrydesign.com/
23rd September 2014 - Alena Hennessy – http://www.alenahennessy.com/
24th September 2014 - Juliette Crane – http://www.juliettecrane.com/
25th September 2014 - Jenny Doh – http://blog.crescendoh.com/crescendoh/ :)
26th September 2014 - Mati Rose McDonough – http://www.matirose.com/
27th September 2014 - Patti Ballard – http://www.pbsartstudio.com
28th September 2014 - Lynzee Lynx – http://lynzeelynx.com/
29th September 2014 - Roben Marie Smith – http://www.robenmarie.com/
30th September 2014 - Andrea Schroeder – http://www.creativedreamincubator.com/
1st October 2014 - Lynn Whipple – http://www.lynnwhipple.com/
2nd October 2014 - Donna Downey – http://www.donnadowney.com/
I can't seem to keep up with keeping this blog up-to-date with my paintings. I paint almost every day. If I had a magic wand, I'd use it to get everything I paint photographed and uploaded into individual blog posts with insightful descriptions to catalog all of my paintings.
And wouldn't you know it: there is no magic wand.
Oh well. Thought I'd show you one of my recent paintings in this post, just because it's been a while. I adore it for many reasons.
24 x 36 inches
When I first saw a Leslie Duke painting, I was so amazed at how still life objects could evoke such emotion and energy. Once you take a look, I think you will agree.
I am so very happy and honored to announce that artist Leslie Duke will be teaching the very first oil painting class to be offered in Studio Crescendoh this November 1-2, 2014.
Enrollment is NOW open here.
See you in the studio. :)
8 things on my mind right now.
8. I'm convinced that most things that need to be done to the house either costs a thousand dollars or 10 thousand dollars. Like we recently had some plumbing work done. One grand. Carpeting for one small room. Another grand. A new bed. Another. Roof repair. Another. Tree trimming. Another. It feels daunting to just keep up.
7. I almost flipped out after seeing our latest electricity bill. And so we've stopped running the air in the house. And this week, I found myself (a person who loves the heat) actually cursing it becuase it was so hot. I also found myself Googling "dog days of summer" because as I was cursing it, the phrase came to mind and I really didn't know what it meant. Well what I learned is that it is the name for the most "sultry period of summer, from July 3rd to August 11th." Sultry. Interesting word choice. Makes me want to grin and bear the heat just knowing that what I'm going through isn't miserable, just sultry.
6. Speaking of Google ... what's up with people who publically ask questions when common sense would tell them that the answers to their questions are just one Google search away? Hmmmm?
5. Same thing about people who publically ask "where can I buy that?" Uh ... that would be Amazon.
4. I ran into my former cello teacher today at Trader Joe's. She asked me whether I've been practicing. I told her the truth, which is that I've been neglecting the cello and paying more attention to the ukulele as of late. I left Trader Joe's a little dejected realizing how there's never enough time to do everything I want to do. Because the truth is that I've not just been neglecting the cello but I've also neglected a whole bunch of stuff on my "i want to try this at least once in my life" list. Sigh.
3. I was just at a kickoff event for one of my college friends who is running for our local school board position. At the event were some other mutual college friends, one of whom whispered to me "now we have to get you to run for political office." To which I said "Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Dude, I paint boats with vaginas."
2. I really adore Louis C. K. He is so wonderfully dialed into the dark side of life in such a hilarious way.
1. As if I didn't hate toll roads to begin with, I realized a week or so ago that toll roads no longer have the kiosks where you stop to throw payment in. It happened so fast that I knew I passed the usual stop without paying. And lo and behold, the bill for $61 came today. So their new system is this. If you don't have a toll account, you can pay online but only within 48 hours of driving through the toll roads. If you miss that time period, then you get a ticket. That would be me. And as Louis CK would point out, this is complete bullshit.
When I was filling out the customs form during my recent flight to Korea, there was a place to write down my occupation. For the first time in a long time, I found that I did not hesitate in writing down "artist." I didn't write "editor" or "author" or "publisher" or any of the other titles that I'm used to putting down. Titles that have always made me feel more "legitimate."
Actually, the only other word I regret not putting down is the word "working."
That's who I am. I make art and art is my work.
As a working artist, part of the cycle of what I do is to create art, and then market my art, and then if all goes well, sell my art. Creating is nirvana. Marketing is hell. Selling is the step back to nirvana.
Not too long ago, I was in Eric Silva's studio. He's one of my favorite jewelry artists who I discovered through my friend, Amy Hanna. We were there to take a lesson from Eric. During our time together, Eric shared a story about how he responded to a visitor years ago who asked him how he could stand all the dust in his studio from all the sawing, soldering, and sanding that is involved with his work. He told the visitor that he loved the dust because in the end, the dust is evidence of his process, which is ultimately what belongs to him ... and how the actual beautiful jewelry pieces that result from the dusty process go out into the universe, created by him, but ultimately, not belonging to him.
As I've gradually segued into my reality as a working artist over the years, I've noticed that there is a critical mass of people who ask working artists if their work is for sale ... and they do so in a quiet voice, with bodies tight and steps lightly taken, as though there are sleeping kittens nearby that they don't want to wake up. And I've also noticed that I've responded with a similar quiet voice, body tight, and steps lightly taken to quietly whisper "yes i do ... shhhh ... let's not wake the kittens ..."
There are many who say they "love love love" a painting but that "surely it can't be for sale" because I must love it too much to ever sell it.
Admittedly, there are paintings that I love more than others. But I've never felt a pang of regret in letting even the ones I adore (or even the ones that are extremely personal) out into the universe through a sale. With each piece that goes out, I feel a lift, a lightness, where I feel that others who understand my art are helping me carry my load, as I turn yet another corner to find new and beautiful urgency to create my next. This is where I understand with depth, what Eric was talking about. Working artists create and keep and hone their process and that process includes offering their art (that is always and never theirs) for sale.
A working artist who sells her art does so because that is her work. That she sells does not automatically make her a sell out. That happens when she decides to become a creator of the untrue, the hollow, the compromised, the after-thought.
I am a working artist. Managing the scenes I witness both in nirvana and hell through the sales of the things I sincerely create ... through a beautiful process riddled with dust, splatters, stains and all.
I love this photograph. It is of the Wulfekehueler family and the Doh family taken in 1974. It was taken in the home of Ed, Marilyn, Deb, Dave, and Chris Wulfekehuler, in Bakersfield, California. It is the home where I lived with my mom, dad, and my brothers Jim and Jinil for 2 months as newly arrived immigrants from Seoul, Korea.
This photo was presented to me, Jim, and my parents yesterday by Marilyn (who also goes by Lynn) during a dinner that brought our family members together to celebrate our 40th anniversary in the United States. Ed and Jinil are no longer with us but we felt that they were there in spirit.
This photo shows my dad carving his very first pumpkin ... as our first Halloween was upon us.
We shared so many memories.
And make our way we did. After scrimping and saving and with the support of my dad's uncle (standing in the middle), our family bought our first Der Wienerschnitzel restaurant. Here we are with Ed, Marilyn, Dave, Chris, and an employee, and also my dad's uncle, commemorating the new life chapter.
Our family eventually owned additional Wiernerschnitzels. My parents worked very hard making them all successful, and supporting my brothers and I thorugh college, graduate school, and beyond, one hot dog at a time.
With every pursuit, with every milestone, the Wulfekuehlers were there to cheer us on, making sure that we knew how proud they were of us, even in our most humble steps of wrapping hot dogs and dropping fries in the fryer.
And 40 years later, we gathered ... all of us together, with Ed and Jinil there in spirit, to catch up, to reminisce, and express our love for one another.
I want to share one memory about Ed that was shared during this weekend gathering: During high school when Ed was getting ready to go to a formal dance, he went to a secondhand store to buy the cheapest and the most unattractive suit possible. When his date asked why he was doing this, he said that he wanted to make sure that the kid who would be coming to the dance with a crummy suit would not be made to feel bad because Ed would be the one with the worst suit of all. He wanted to make sure that the least among them would not feel the least at all.
The love I feel for the Wulfekuehlers is so deep. And it's deep for Jim and my parents as well. I am grateful that we were able to express the feelings of love to one another during this celebration and I hope that we will find occasions in the future to continue expressing the love.
One extremely vivid memory I have as a child is when my mom asked Marilyn how we could ever repay her for the generosity and kindness and love that she gave to our family. I remember distinctly what Marilyn said to her in response. She told her that the way to repay her would be for us to pass along the same kind of love to a person or family in need with the same kind of love that she and her family gave to us.
This is my amazing friend Tracy Schultz who recently visited Studio Crescendoh to share with me the news about her upcoming trip to an orphanage in Uganda.
Tracy is an ambassador of sunshine. Salt of the earth.
In late November, Tracy will be traveling to an orphanage in Uganda with a group called Hopeline Africa Mission. When asked what they could bring to bring to the 50 children in the orphanage, they requested quilts.
Tracy would like to try and bring 50 handmade quilts, one for each child.
If you want to, I hope you will join me in making one to give to Tracy that she can take to a child at the the orphanage. Tracy will take pictures of each child and the quilt he or she receives and bring them back to share. I join Tracy in believing in the power of handmade and how the children will feel the extra love knowing that someone made them a quilt of their own. Here are some answers to questions you may have:
Q: Is there a size requirement?
A: No. You can make it any size.
Q: Is there a design or materials requirement?
A: No. You can make it as plain or fancy as you like, using traditional motifs or made up ones. You can keep it very very simple like this one. You can make it out of fabric or you can knit/crochet one with yarn!
Q: What's the deadline?
A: November 5th (If you live near Orange County, California, Tracy will make arrangements to go and pick up the quilt from you. If you live far too far for Tracy to pick up the quilt, you can make arrangements to have it shipped to her by contacting her via email at email@example.com
I'm excited to be able to donate to this meaningful project, which I know will be executed beautifully.