5.21.2014

Palos Verdes View and Poppies!


P.V. View 24x36 oil
sold


This is a very familiar 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 statice (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
sold

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 also have Hashimoto's.

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