7.18.2014

Monet's Muse...




Awww….Monet…
of all the impressionist artists I think he's my favorite. It's hard to choose but every single painting
he has created takes me to another place. I would love to visit his home someday and paint a long side him, in spirit. I know he's still there…how could he leave? 




Everywhere you look…a painting lives, just waiting for the artist to let it out.
Monet saw the beauty through his own magnificent eyes.








Oh….the bridge that has inspired so many after him. To this day artists paint their interpretation of the bridge at Givenchy

Someday, I will go and paint it.
Can NOT wait! 










Too hard to choose a favorite...






His work has been an influence on mine over the years. When I was going to art school I worked with 
a pastel landscape artist and looking at these now I'm reminded very much of his work. He doesn't have his images available online so unfortunately I can't show you how beautiful they were.




sold







Davis Arboretum
sold



This painting was inspired by the Arboretum in Davis, California. When I saw the bridge my mind immediately was transported back in time to Monet's bridge. The real place is nice but there aren't any flowers.


I'm going to have some great inspiration coming my way very soon! Keep your eyes out for new Parisian paintings! Finally! 


Happy Friday! 

Jen






7.14.2014

Peonies Birthday Giveaway!









It's my birthday and I'm celebrating with a giveaway! You could win this signed 11x14 giclee print just by popping over to my Facebook Page and giving me a "like"! While you're there, if you'd like to comment and like the giveaway post too, that will help me keep track of your entries. Share, share, share (anywhere you can think of)! Thank you! Good luck to everyone! 

You might want to check out my Summer Sale on Etsy, on some of originals too! 
(prices are already marked down) 

Have a great week! 

Jen

Thanks for participating! The winner is Jo Turner! Congrats! 

7.05.2014

Studio News...



Here's the finished piece! Still wet on my easel. This pic was taken with my phone so it's not the greatest. I'll be taking some good ones tomorrow and then send them off for approval! 




It's finally happening! You might remember me mentioning some big studio news about six months ago.  I had been contacted by a restaurant designer and asked if I had any Redondo Beach artwork. She was in search of new art for an upscale restaurant on the Redondo Beach Pier. If you've been following me from the beginning, you'll know what a big deal this is for me! I grew up there, and the pier is always been the first place I go with my daughter when I visit my home. So many good memories there! I blogged about the pier back in 2009 and have done several paintings of it. They were interested in buying this one I had already done, but the size wasn't right. There also needed to be three that went together. 


This was the one she was originally interested in…the one underneath was a smaller version I had painted before I painted a larger one. 


A Day at the Beach 

available as a print…


 The photographer, Randy Ruby, is kind of famous in the South Bay, and I was already familiar with his work. Actually, I was already friends with him on Facebook! It couldn't have been anymore perfect! It's strange how things work out!Fast forward months later to now, it's finally happening! I'm working on the first one now! There will be three altogether and one of them is the largest size I've ever painted (30x60)! I think I'm saving that one for last.

I'll be sharing the progress on here and…if you're in town, maybe you would like to see them in person! They won't be there for about 3 months from now, but I'll let you know when they are!

Oh! I guess I should mention what the restaurant is! It's one of the finest restaurants in the South Bay. It's the place my family goes for celebrations. (somehow, I was never present for those celebrations, and have never been!) Anyway, it's a nice steak and seafood restaurant with a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean. It's called Kincaid's; you've probably heard of them as they have many other restaurants around the country! Now I'm wondering if this will lead to more! I sure hope so!



Here's what's on my easel now! I took the photo with my phone, so it's not the best quality. The sky is more blue than it looks right here.  Since this one was taken, I've done more work on the pylons and boardwalk, and I'm almost done; just getting ready to start the next one! I'll try to post the finished one tomorrow. 





Here's Randy on his kayak...



Here's the beautiful reference photograph from Randy Ruby…

Prints available here...



Good times around here right now! Thank you to all who have made this happen…! :)

Jen

Happy 4th of July Weekend to all my friends in the US! I have to also mention that this is my birthday month and I'm already starting to celebrate! 


6.28.2014

Savoring Summer...


My mom's deck-my retreat



Why is it that Winter is so long and Summer just flies by? I guess that's one of the reasons why I dream about living in Hawaii. It's always summer there. It's a dream that I'm not sure will ever happen and I'm wondering if I might have to do it alone. We're in the early stages of searching for a new place to call home. Maybe in two years (hopefully sooner), but I'm a planner and love to research different places, finding the pros and cons. Weather is number one with me, so that definitely narrows our choices down a lot. Cost of living is a big one too. Lately, I've been thinking about Oregon as an option. It's got the art scene, paintable beauty (for inspiration), lots of GF and organic places, and a moderate real estate market. It does get a lot of rain, but is pretty mild and that keeps everything lush. I think my autoimmune problems have made it hard to tolerate extreme weather, so I'm looking for a place that's not too hot and not too cold, but juuuuust right. The hunt is on! 





I've been busy working on some commissions (very large ones), but took a very quick 2 day trip a few weeks ago to see my beautiful daughter graduate from college! It was the best day ever! I am so proud of my little girl! She's overcome a lot of obstacles and worked so hard to earn her B.S. degree in Psychology. She wants to help people. I'm just so proud! 



Hopefully I'll be able to spend some more time with her this summer before she starts her new life as a pre graduate student, yes she's going on! She's going to be so busy! In the meantime, I'll just be painting, while taking little breaks to savor my favorite time of year. My birthday month is coming up! Enjoy your summer!:)

Jen

6.12.2014

Be Open to Receive


Dance of the Koi


Everything happens for a reason. Be open to receive and all things are possible.


Back when I started this blog, I wrote about my garage sale I was having to earn some money for a move I was making. (moved to L.A. but somehow made it back to this small town…but that's a whole other story) Anyway, at the garage sale I was visited by a local man who I had never met before. He came, looked around, admired a few of my paintings I was selling, then left. He came back a little later and purchased my paintings! He was going to give them to his daughter. We talked a while and I learned that he had owned a gallery in San Francisco. He gave me advice and insight to what galleries were looking for and what might generate more business for me. Looking at my work, he said he could see my passion in the way I painted and that not everyone had this. He saw something special in my work! I was thrilled to hear this and he may not know this but that gave me some confidence I had never known before.

Later that day, my daughter and I went back inside. I think I was painting, she was either reading or playing video games, when there was a knock at the door. It was the mysterious man again. He had a book in his hands; a book from our sale, and said he wanted to purchase it. My daughter loved books and had a hard time parting with them but we needed to lighten our load for the move. We talked some more, he told me to concentrate on one subject, where my true passion was (something I have to admit I still struggle with…focusing on one subject).




He had another profound message. He was a Buddhist and told me about his experience with it. I knew nothing about this religion except for the monks I had seen come into town a few times wearing their orange dress. There's a Buddhist temple in the next town over but he wasn't from there. He gave me a card, which I still have in my purse. It's a regular size business card with the words 
Nam(u) Myōhō Renge Kyō printed on it and a pamphlet with some information about Buddhism. It was his story though, that really got me and I knew then, there was a powerful force in these words. I was in a pretty bad place at the time and had nothing to lose so I started chanting. It gave me a peace I hadn't known. Although I never got seriously into it, I know it's always there and their philosophy is just a great way to live. I still chant when I can and when I remember to. He gave me such a gift that day and if I hadn't taken the time to talk to him I would never have received it. 
I realize you may be wondering what this has to do with art; it may be art for me, but it could be something else for you. You never know. Have you ever read The Celestine Prophecies? I admit I haven't read many books, I read art books and magazines in my free time, but I really enjoyed this book and while reading it, thought it was a true story! I believe! Even after I found out, with disappointment, that it was all made up, I still, to this day, try to live this way. 

So I leave with you these thoughts...Slow down and be open, you never know what is in store for you!

*after writing this post,  I was driving home from the gym and saw the man from my story! I've been back here for 3 years and have not seen him once, but on this day, right after writing about him, there he was! Anyway, I thought that was weird…coincidence? Maybe, but you never know!:)



Jen

6.05.2014

Sharing my latest...



Peonies in Glass
oil on canvas
$650

I just finished writing this long post about my daughter graduating from college next week and how proud I am but deleted it. I realized it's just too personal. Anyway, she is, and I couldn't be more proud. It hasn't been easy for her growing up without a dad and with an artsy dreamer mom, but she's managed to excel and has become an exceptional human being. I love her. 

Jen:) 

5.25.2014

Positive Vibes


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In an earlier post (I've reverted to draft) I spoke about social anxieties and confidence. I need to follow up by saying that I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't believe in myself and my work. We all have thoughts of self doubt sometimes, but you can't let those thoughts keep you from living your dream. Positive thinking (and a lot of hard work) is what got me this far, and I know it will continue to propel my dreams! It's a combination of everything…a positive attitude, confidence, studying, and working every day, taking the steps needed to obtain your goals! It doesn't happen overnight...

When I first started this blog I called it "My Life As a Starving Artist" because I was starving to express myself through paint (I wasn't literally starving but believe me, living the frugal life I lead does give some great incentive to succeed!) I think that may be what sets me apart from a lot of artists. Not all, but several, have had other successful careers and started painting after that, having a nice budget to fall back on. Money is not the most important thing for me, but when you need it to pay the bills it kind of gives you a little push to try harder. Back when I decided I couldn't spend another day not creating art for my life, I was raising my daughter, doing it all on my own, with a minimum wage job I took to start our new life in a small town. Sometimes difficult, our situation didn't leave much time or energy for me to do much of anything else besides raising my beautiful daughter. I managed to create things on the side selling in our local craft fair, but couldn't dedicate the time that it would take for a real business. I always felt like something was missing and had a great desire to express myself with my art. I just had to! After years of living like this, I managed to get one of the best jobs around here (in my opinion). Working with special needs children gave me so much joy and I felt like I was actual making a difference in their lives. I loved my job but still had to create. Working in the school system, I was able to spend more time painting having summers off! So that's when I started painting everyday and posting them on here. I had nothing to lose and so much to gain! Painting almost every day and using the internet to learn as much as I could (for free), I was able to improve my painting skills to better express my passion for the world! It was a big bonus when I found that people actually like what I paint enough to display it in their homes! 

It's taken almost 5 years to get to where I am today and may take another 5 to get to where I want to be...but I won't give up! I have big dreams of making enough money with my art, to, buy my daughter a car and move to Hawaii (or at least back to the coast. Yes…I'm a dreamer! haha!) but I also want to give back! I want to be able to support the causes that I care about, like special needs children, homeless people, and others who are struggling through life like I have at times. I believe we as artists and as humans can make a difference in this world. We have a voice and need to use it for positive causes. I truly believe that dreams CAN come true and with positive thinking, a lot of hard work, dedication and meditation, almost anything is possible. I also am a believer that everything happens for a reason. 

yes, I said meditation…to be continued in my next post! 

Jen

5.21.2014

Palos Verdes View and Poppies!


P.V. View 24x36 oil
$900


This is a very famiiar view of my hometown in Torrance, CA. I had originally painted this scene pretty much how it looks in real life but wasn't completely happy with it. It looked a little bland like it needed some pizazz! So….I added a few palm trees, some bougainvillea, and status (the purple flowers) and a few other minor changes. I like it better now and am inspired to do another in a vertical format. I have several more reference photos to use from my recent trip to Southern California. 
I'm going to be doing more of this area soon for a big commission job. I mentioned it earlier and it's happening!!!!….I just don't know when. haha! Well, right now I have another large commission job for a cityscape! It's going to be a biggy- 30x60 so I've ordered more paint! Don't want to run out (like I did here). 

Now on to the poppies! I took a quick trip down the street to The Highland Art Center this morning for some inspiration. It's a cute little local gallery that I show my work in sometimes. They have the most beautiful garden and picnic there, and at this time of year the Chinese Poppies are blooming like crazy! This town has some history with Chinese people, because of the Gold Rush. We honor them with a Chinese New Year Parade every year, where a few local children dress in a dragon costume and parade down Main Street. There is also The Joss House, an absolutely beautiful Chinese Temple, which is the oldest in California! 








Dance of the Tulips
18x24
oil on canvas
$700

All photos by Jennifer Beaudet Copyright © 2014


Jen



5.16.2014

Building Self-Confidence…not always easy


Dance of the Tulips oil on canvas


If you've been following me for any amount of time you may have noticed that I lack confidence and suffer from social anxiety. I've struggled with this all my life and it's definitely a handicap when trying to achieve my goals. 

I can remember the first set back I encountered at the early age of seven. I was given the opportunity to test for AT, academically talented, now called GATE. I was so excited to be among this elite group of peers, but when it came time to take the test, alone in a room with the proctor, I froze. The questions coming from her mouth were jumbled and my head was spinning. I couldn't focus let alone get the words out. Being put on the spot has always been a challenge, to say the least. I remember standing in front of my 6th grade class in a spelling B, just me and another classmate left. Do you think I wanted to be there? No! I was terrified and remember thinking, 'time to misspell a word and get myself out of this!'. How many times I've failed in order to get out of the spotlight. I can't be alone. Am I? 







This month is Mental Illness Awareness Month. It's something that not only I've been affected by personally, but I have many close friends and family members who suffer from various mental afflictions. There's nothing wrong with talking about it and you shouldn't be ashamed. I believe much of it is caused by nutritional deficiencies and should be treated accordingly. I found out about 2 years ago that I have Celiac, an inability to process gluten. Because I had been undiagnosed for so long, possibly my whole life, I was deficient in essential vitamins which contribute to well being and healthy brain function. I'm sure I have a genetic disposition for anxiety and such, but fully believe that lack of proper nutrition for so long, has played a big role. 

I've researched the effects of these deficiencies,extensively and found that many brain related problems can be attributed to them(such as- anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and some other really scary things). Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 complex, zinc, selenium, and more are needed for healthy brain function. I was having major anxiety and panic attacks but have almost completely gotten rid of them from following my Dr. orders along with adding some other supplements I found through further research. I'm not a doctor, and I'm not saying that it will work for everyone, but it is working for me. I have never taken any medication for anything other than antibiotics, I've done it all with my diet and supplements. I eat a clean Paleo diet, which is not processed foods, and all organic and non-GMO's. Grass fed beef is important although I don't eat a lot of red meat, only because it's hard for me to digest. I was having a lot of other issues caused my my auto-immune issues (Celiac and Hashimotos) and borderline arenal fatigue), like rashes, dizziness, extreme fatigue, allergies to almost all foods, and many other things. Right now, I can say I feel better than I have for years and am almost without symptoms (besides my undiagnosed sjorgren's) I may have other things going on, but I feel good! One other great benefit that I just realized yesterday is, that I no longer have seasonal pollen allergies! Every year since I was 21, come springtime, I've had major allergies for a few weeks; sneezing, headache, dripping nose, drowsy feeling…no more! 

I know I still have pretty bad social anxiety sometimes, but at least I know my brain is getting what it needs now. There's a lot more to it than I've written here because it's so complex, but this is just the very basics of what I've learned. 

Ann Tran wrote a great article about building self-confidence that has some great tips on living a healthy life and developing good habits for building your self esteem. It's based on Allan Loy McGinnis' 12 points about building your self-confidence; a must read. 

So if you're still reading this…(I know, I've gone on a little too long, and said a little too much) maybe there's another person out there who feels the same way as me. Maybe they won't feel so alone knowing they are not alone. 



Jen

5.10.2014

Mother's Day Rose




Roses are just plain hard to paint! I actually think I might be getting better though! After painting the first version, I realized (well, I guess I pretty much already knew)that I need better studio lighting. Our overhead lighting is not very good and I bought a cheap desk lamp at Target, but it's just not cutting it. I do most of m painting later in the day, so I need to buy a real studio light. The other thing I've been trying to do without is a computer display or an iPad to see the image I'm painting. I've been printing it out on paper, but I'm missing so many subtle color changes. I have a laptop but I don't want to get it anywhere near paint…it's a Macbook and I love it! 
I'm glad I did the challenge from Daily Paintworks this week. I haven't had time lately but I'm starting a small commission and am in the planning stages right now, so this was good practice. I should probably do 100 roses so I can feel really comfortable painting them. I still need to figure out how to get that glowing translucent look to the petals. 

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this as your Mother's Day gift from me! Have a wonderful day tomorrow and Happy Birthday Julie! I hope I got it right this time! 










5.07.2014

New Koi Fish and Lily Pad Painting!


click here to view on Etsy
The Dance of the Koi
24x36 inch
oil on canvas

Here's my latest palette knife painting of beautiful koi fish with lily pads and flowers! I really enjoyed painting this one, especially when I broke out my knife! I had originally started this one with mostly a brush,using a knife on the flowers and a little bit on the fish, but soon realized it needed more interest and depth. I use such a small knife that this one took me quite sometime to complete, but it was so much fun bringing theses little guys to life!

close up



Koi represent courage and I need to tap in to this! 

They're referred to as "lucky koi"
Many of the attributes of the koi symbolize several lessons and even trials individuals often encounter in life. The koi fish has a powerful and energetic life force, demonstrated by its ability to swim against currents and even travel upstream. Some of the characteristics associated with the koi include:

Good fortune
Success
Prosperity
Longevity
Courage
Ambition
Perseverance

...all good things we could all use! 





 I tried to take the main photo at an angle because of the glare but it's still there, and now it just looks crooked! I'll be taking it again when it has a chance to dry more. I'll be working on a few commissions in the next few months, so I might not be sharing a lot of new art, but might be able to post some progress shots! 








5.02.2014

Fifteen Minute Conversation With Lori McNee!




I can't believe it's been over a year since I won a fifteen minute phone consultation with world renowned artist,  Lori McNee! She held a contest on her Facebook page and the painting that received the most "likes" would win a fifteen minute conversation with her. I figured I had nothing to lose so posted my latest painting…the "likes" started rolling in and I actually won! I still can't believe it! That was in September of 2012. Yes, it's taken me this long to write about
…doing the walk of shame right now. 
It was so amazing to have a chance to pick the brain of such a successful artist. The only problem was,  I was so nervous that when we got to the end of our conversation, and she said I had a bonus question, I couldn't come up with anything! Really? Yeah, that happened. I still have the notes from our conversation sitting on the table so I can easily refer to her words of wisdom when needed. I had a list of things I wanted to ask, but she ended up covering everything on my list with me even asking! We talked about social media and gaining Twitter followers. 

What did she say? Follow friends of friends, form relationships, make connections, and pay it forward. I would quote her but I was just jotting down notes.

I think she means if someone retweets you, show them the same courtesy. If they follow you, it's nice to take the time to check out their page and follow them back. Find people with the same interests, in your field, and follow them and their friends. That's how I found her on Twitter, all those years ago. I searched for artists on Twitter and she came up. 
From there, I found her blog Fine Art Tips where she and quest writers discuss all topics about art, from creating art, to the best marketing techniques for selling your art. 

Other tips she talked about were to schedule your tweets using Buffer or another scheduling app. It make sense since you definitely can't be on there tweeting all day! You'd never get any painting done!
Also, half the works is asleep when we're awake.


We talked about how to get in galleries and whether or not that's the way to go. Her advice- Focus on your region, paint local scenes and come up with a series of 12-15 cohesive pieces to present to a gallery. (have I done that yet? no) I feel like I'm always trying to pay my next bill or buy supplies so when I paint a piece, I need to sell it asap. I'm trying to come up with a way I can get around this, maybe time to change my strategy. She mentioned making notecards using Vistaprint for advertising. I'm also out of business cards now so that may be my next purchase…when I sell another painting.
We talked briefly about branding and finding that thing that sets you apart as an artist. This is a difficult one. I think many times it just happens naturally. I wish I could do a survey of successful artists and ask if they consciously created their "it" factor or if it just happened. They may have noticed that they had something special that set them apart and then used that for a marketing strategy. Or maybe someone else drew their attention to it. (wow! That would be nice! Please tell me what sets my work apart!…anyone? haha ) But how many artists actually tried to come up with something out of the blue? This is a big topic for another discussion later. Another point a took away from our conversation was to be a success you need to meet people in person. Galleries need to be approached in person and connections must be made. I wish there was a magical pill I could take for the courage to do that.


My conversation with Lori was beyond my expectations! She was so nice and down to earth and full of insightful information, as she always is. She is a gift to other artists and truly a gift to our world! I'm so glad to have had the chance to speak with her and get to know her a little more on the online community. Thank you Lori for all of your support and encouragement! 


So...reflecting back on what I've accomplished over the years, I feel pretty good about where I am, but would like to take things to the next level. I'm thinking about starting art fairs. Many artists start this way, and besides a small local one years ago where I old hand painted address tiles and hand painted furniture, I haven't ventured into this yet. Lori talked about coffee shops, and I have a few pieces in some local shops, but this is a very small logging town (pop. 3500) and the nearest city of a pop. close to 95000 already has its share of artists in their local shops. I'm not considered local there. haha! So, I need to find another venue. I really feel like I need to move out of here again. I came back with the promise it would only be three years, but that's past now. Promises, promises. Thank the internet! I wouldn't be able to sell anything without it! There are several other ways to sell art and up to this point, I've only concentrated on the "online" art scene, which is definitely a great place to be seen and sell your art, but I'm concentrating on larger pieces now. The largest I've sold online has been a 30x40 and I mostly sell 11x14's, but I want to go bigger!…which of course, will have larger prices…more of a commitment for buyers to make. For my clients who know my work, they can be confident in what they are getting, should they choose to purchase a larger piece. But for someone who has just discovered me, I would understand their reluctancy to make such a big investment online, without seeing it in person. If you're one of the later, just know that I offer a 100% guarantee on all my work. Your satisfaction is my number one priority, as I value each and everyone of my collectors! 


Jennifer




4.23.2014

New Tulip Painting!




Here's the finished painting! I asked my friends on Facebook for help with a name. I felt it had a musical quality and Enzie came up with "Dance of the Tulips"! It's the prefect name. I have such a hard time putting my thoughts into words sometimes. I know what I want to say, I just can't come up with the right words. I'm going to retake the photo because the right side had a slight glare which makes it look washed out and grainy.
So for now, it's on to my next painting! I think I'm going to stay with the spring inspiration right now!

Jennifer



4.21.2014

More Progress on the Field of Tulips



I worked some more on this piece yesterday, and am just about finished. I do think the two stripes of flowers in the distance could be broken up a bit, but other than that I think it's done! I'll try to get some better photos later today but it looks like rain, so no sun. Have a great week ahead! 


Jennifer

4.20.2014

New Painting in Progress- Tulips Field of Flowers







HAPPY EASTER!!!

Here's what's on my easel today! I was inspired by the Tulip Festival (didn't get to go) in Washington State. I'm trying to figure out color gamuts and should probably do some small studies before attempting a large painting like this! It's an 18x24, oil on stretched canvas. I toned the canvas with the yellow in the sky because I want it to glow. After I blocked in the red tulips, I realized I should have used another tone instead of the bright red. Now I need to go back and adjust. I'd also like to add some other accents of pink and maybe purple tulips, and darken the mountains, slightly. 
The mountains were inspired by my recent trip down south. So this place doesn't really exist, just in my mind and now on canvas. 
I'm working on drying the eye through the scene with the clusters of tulips but will need to define the path some more without making it obvious. I'm contemplating whether or not to add a little cottage or farm to this one. I know it would work, but it's so peaceful without it. We'll see. 


Jennifer