Announcing :: Painting by Heart Online (Acrylics Edition)

I am so happy and proud to announce that my Painting by Heart Online class (acrylics edition) is now officially open! Here's the link that you can use to enroll. Thank you to the team that helped me get this from concept to reality and for all the humans who have encouraged me and shown patience with me during this process. I'm very proud of the quality of this product and hope you enjoy it and find it beneficial to your painting journey. If you want to.

With gratitude,


September 20, 2017

Enjoyment without Possession

Not now

In a recent essay by John Lanchester (How Civilization Started, The New Yorker), I am reminded that for most of our modern human existence, we've lived as hunter-gatherers. This way of life was followed by the Neolithic Revolution (AKA: the Agricultural Revolution) where humans segued from hunting and gathering, to planting & cultivating.

With invention of cereal crops, states came into being because such grains, unlike other crops became taxable as they were "visible, divisible, assessable, storable, transportable, and rationable" (James Scott, Against the Grain). Taxable cereal grains also gave rise to writing ... not creative writing, but the writing of lists ... ledgers that recorded the happenings of grains, including divisions of labor, and those divisions leading to societal hierarchies.

Lanchester references a new book by James Suzman titled Affluence Without Abundance: The Disappearing World of the Bushmen. Suzman's research takes him to southwest Africa to study the Bushmen that still exist today ... a people that still hunts and gathers. And contrary to what we the "civilized" might think, these hunters and gatherers live a life fulfilled, with an '"unyielding confidence" that their environment will provide for their needs' (Lanchester). Hunters and gatherers live in the moment ... as they enjoy and share with others their abundance, without scrambling to hoard, tax, trade, and accumulate.

There is this thought in our current world that once we accumulate enough, life will be good and we will be happy. Lanchester points to an essay by John Maynard Keynes (The Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren) that points to the problem when we place value on accumulating rather then enjoying:

ArrogantIt reminds me of Louis CK's funny explanation of why he doesn't save. Because he says saving is "arrogant." He'd rather spend what he has and enjoy life.

It also reminds me of the documentary, Minimalism, where I'm challenged to consider that to live a life fulfilled, all I need is less. I think that the pursuit to enjoy rather than possess takes a hunter-gatherer mindset where what I have now can be enjoyed now. Because tomorrow, there will be more to have and enjoy. And if we are no longer able to hunt and gather due to age or illness, to find ourselves in a world where those who HAVE decide not to lord it over others, but to share.


September 17, 2017

559 Three Brown Eggs

Eggs559 Three Brown Eggs
6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord
Click here to Bid or Buy Now
I boiled three brown eggs, put them in a clear glass bowl, and referenced them for this work. I used the zorn palette for everything except for the green-blue tray. For that, I brought in Radiant Green by Gamblin and King's Blue by Michael Harding. I'll probably eat two of them for part of my dinner tonight and then the other one will be eaten by someone in this household by the time I wake up tomorrow.

 #eggs #zornpalette #dailypainting #allaprima

September 15, 2017

558 Apple Monkey

Monkey558 Apple Monkey
9x12 inches :: original oil painting on arches paper
Click here to Bid or Buy Now
I paired that apple I painted yesterday with my sock monkey doll and referenced the items for this work.

#zornpalette #allaprima #sockmonkey #apples

September 14, 2017

557 One Apple/Three Views

Apples557 One Apple/Three Views
12x9 inches :: original oil painting on arches paper
Click here to Bid or Buy

I referenced a red apple that I bought today and painted it three times, at three different angles.

#dailypainting #allaprima

September 12, 2017

556 Bar and Hurt

Tan556 Bar and Hurt
12x9 inches :: original oil painting on arches paper
Click here to Bid or Buy
I referenced my bottle of #Tanqueray for this work ... which of course made me think of this song by #amywinehouse

Meet you downstairs in the bar and hurt
Your rolled up sleeves in your skull t-shirt
You say "What did you do with him today?
And sniffed me out like I was Tanqueray.

#dailypainting #zornpalette #allaprima

September 07, 2017

555 On Pointe

Ballerina555 On Pointe
18x24 inches :: original acrylic painting on stretched canvas
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I referenced an image by @ballet for this work.

September 05, 2017

554 Summertime Meditations

One554 Summertime Meditations
16x20 inches :: original acrylic painting on stretched canvas
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I referenced an image by @piersparello for this work.

September 04, 2017

David & Goliath :: Matte & Gloss


HighDid you know that Michelangelo (1475-1564) is either the first or one of the first artists in history known to have signed his works of art? He was part of the Renaissance/High Renaissance movement where artists were experiencing a rebirth of classical culture. Instead of the immediate past thousand-plus-year tradition of anonymously making pious art that focused on the hereafter, Renaissance artists focused on the here and now ... claiming their style, championing humanism. 

And rather than remaining anonymous MAKERS, Renaissance artists were becoming named, known, and identified CREATORS. As audacious as this rebirth was, it was a movement that resulted in art that inspired contemplation. 

I feel this contemplation in Michelangelo's famous sculpture: David. The work makes me feel that David (the ultimate symbol of the underdog) is exuding not just courage but also concern, as he is about to use in earnest, his humble sling and stones, to battle the giant Goliath.

The Baroque movement which followed the Renaissance caused the pendulum of art to swing from contemplative to active. Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) is a Baroque artist who also sculpted David. Even though the subject is the same underdog, when I put them side by side, I can definitely feel the difference of the art periods of Renaissance and Baroque. Contemplative versus active. In other words, matte versus glossy.

Interestingly, the Catholic church enlisted Baroque artists to create active, glossy art with more light and less shadow, with the hope that it would inspire people who had veered into Protestantism back into the Catholic church. In hopes that the Catholic church could be considered not just as a passive place, but a stand-up-and-take-action place. 

To me, contemplation and action go hand-in-hand for my life as an artist and activist. Like when I feel I've been thinking a long time about doing something there's a point when I hear myself saying "Jenny: Stop the over-thinking and take action." Glossy.

And then there are times when I'm going a mile a minute and I feel the need to pause and think and make sure the course is either correct or in need of correction. Matte.



August 31, 2017

553 Isolated Showers

Final553 Isolated Showers
30x30 inches :: original acrylic painting on stretched canvas
Click here to Buy
Yesterday I made an ink-on-paper study referencing a photo by @noirboudior. Today, I referenced that study to paint this work as I contemplate the pangs of frequent isolated showers. And then the acute pain of occasional torrential storms. The pangs, the pain, always followed by the faithful sun that arrives to make flowers and hope grow.



August 30, 2017

Houston Strong


Look at this H charm and jump ring I made with sterling silver wire. It's to honor the people of #Houston. I'll make you one and ship it to you if you email me a new screen shot of a minimum donation of $100 to American Red Cross (for #hurricaneharvey ) or Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, Houston Food Bank or Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. Screen shots must be dated from this moment forward (Previous donations are great but this is to encourage new or second donations.) jenny@crescendoh.com /// chain not included///please allow 2 weeks for the charm to be created, packed, and shipped #HoustonStrong #riseup


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