Since coming back from the holidays, I have been in GO mode making new artworks for an exhibition in Redding's City Hall. The opening is Jan 29th from 4p-8p as part of the 'Cultural Cruise' where people cruise around town to different art venues. It's apparently one of the biggest art nights in Redding, CA.
Here is a link to all the press stuff including a brochure with a small statement summarizing my artwork currently...
Photos to come! :)
I've also been planning many classes which I just posted under my 'classes' tab on this website.
This past weekend I set up at O Street Gallery for a big Holiday sale. It was my first time setting up at this particular venue. I got to hang out with some mentors/artist friends of mine and I sold a few prints! It's such a nice feeling to see the accumulation of artwork that has been created since moving out here in March. I've been a busy girl! Lots of experiments and learning going on which excites me for the next chapter or artworks to come in 2016. My artwork is always evolving and transforming One body of work leads to the next....
My goal is to create some purchasable items to sell in the ArtsMart Boutique and on my Etsy in early 2016. Small all natural encaustic pieces, a series on trees and a series of animals. While doing this I will be conjuring up the next semi-conceptual pieces of sculpture work involving natural and recycled materials and finding a venue to show them in. Maybe I'll apply for some residencies. I really want to take advantage of the fact I'm living in California and visit the big cities for art related events. In the mean time, I'm going to take a break and enjoy the holiday season in both CO and Ohio.
I'm on my way back East, family and friends! See you soon!
Located at 244 Hartnell Ave in Redding, this boutique will be open Tuesdays-Saturdays from 10am-6pm. Here are some photos of the opening this weekend, including a photo of my booth.
A lot has happened lately and it's time for an update. What better time than in the morning over a cup of coffee at my favorite coffee shop! Where to start...
Welp, for one we have moved to a new property. It was awesome living at the Mt. Lassen Art Center for 6 months, but due to changing weather and no heat in the guest room there, it was time to move on. We are so grateful that Luke let us be his housemates for so long, and through our stay there, we met an awesome lady named Cindy who wanted to rent out her 9 acres to us! She sought us out, and we love the spot, so we moved in a few weeks ago and recruited a friend from Ohio (Tiger) to move in with us! The new property is gorgeous and sits in the foothills of Mt. Lassen, so we are pretty excited!
I went home to surprise my dad for his 60th birthday which was amazing and definitely needed, I hadn't been home in way too long! I got to hike with my family, have some cookouts, see a lot of my little cousins, get my dress for my sister's wedding, see my pregnant cousin, and see the fall leaves! I also got to surprise all my friends and see The String Cheese Incident with them, one of our favorite bands!!! A long day of traveling and I was back to CA. After a couple days I became settled back into my routine and finally unpacked all my boxes from moving.
A woman contacted me wanted a few sculptures for a "pop-up art show" last weekend, so I gladly installed 2 artworks before going camping at the McCloud River with the boys. Hot apple cider and rum by a fire, with lows in the high 40's...perfect! We made our way back Saturday so I could pop in the art show, and I'm glad I did! I met some really amazing artists from around town and got to present my sculpture work in front of a crowd.
Now I'm working on updating my website, getting my inventory up and a shop directly on this website. I'm also trying to find homeschool mom's who need an art instructor because this school job is so part time that it's hard to stay afloat! If you need commissioned paintings for Christmas, please consider asking me! I'd love to make art my 2nd means of income, and I know it is doable! Organization and time management are the main things, and start up money for prints. I'm putting my work in an art boutique in a few weeks! So excited for that too!
Last weekend was the opening at Brew Craft Coffee on Yuba and Pine in downtown Redding, CA. This sculpture is made from recycled egg crates from JJ's Cafe, where I work on the weekends. The paintings below are from my "Rhythm" series and reflect the landscapes of Northern California, the fires and the regrowth of the forests.
I will continue to explore these egg crates, right after I take a small break from everything. Between school starting, this show opening, working 7 days a week and grant writing, I'm ready for a break for a few days.
Stop in Brew if you're downtown. Their hours are from 7am to 6pm every day of the week.
As I sit in my favorite coffee joint here in Redding, CA this morning, I'm reflecting on how great of a week last week was and knowing this week could bring just as much inspiration....
Last week, Luke invited me to his friend Shelli's house for a "political party" where we streamed the (brief) Bernie Sanders speech, had a potluck and talked about current issues from local water politics to singularity and consciousness. There were 6 of us at the meeting with myself being the youngest by 40 years. What an interesting meeting to be a part of. Such productive, intellectual, and progressive conversation with an array of people.
Shelli herself has a PhD, a BA and is currently writing her dissertation on Cosmic Consciousness. We started talking about how the heart thinks just as much as the brain and how the two are connected. I asked if she has heard of Joseph Chilton Pearce**, and told her about some books Bob and I have bought of his including "The Biology of Trancendence" and "The Heart Mind Matrix." She knew about him!!! Actually, his first book, "A Crack in the Cosmic Egg" helped to inspire the start of her dissertation. We even talked about "The Holographic Universe," another book I read while in a Hologram class at OSU a few years ago. This book is amazing too and presents an interesting theory about how our brains and consciousness work as a hologram. (I'll include a YouTube video link below if you are interested in getting the gist of this info.) Shelly said there is a whole section in her dissertation about the cosmos and our brains working the same way a hologram does.
Other attendees of the meeting included a nice man named John who is a librarian and philosophy professor at a university. Interesting having in depth conversations with a philosopher, they make you think outside of the box and bring an interesting flair to the conversation. Luke was there too obviously, and I fully enjoy his insights as he is well educated, compassionate and is full of wisdom. He has been very involved in bettering our world through art, kindness and making his life's work teaching, caring for others and doing his best to preserve the environment.
The other two women there were very well spoken and well educated too. One of them has been fighting the old set law water rights in the Shingletown/Viola area for 25+ years. She shared some interesting information about her case against the state, Fish and Wildlife and all the effort she has put forth to keep the water in the creeks over the years, but how she never wins due to old laws. I showed her my "South Bound" water cascade sculpture which was inspired by these issues and Bailey Creek which runs behind Luke's house where we are staying. She too lives on Bailey Creek, and has walked the length of it 3+ times back and forth with officials whom have pointed out what is against code. Many different irrigation ditches have been built to steal water for ranchers and man made lakes.
The fish are DYING. It is not hard to see that nobody owns the water, and people shouldn't be benefitting monetarily by stealing H2O from nature. The issue however, lies in the OLD laws that are set in stone and cannot just be changed unfortunately. How can we fix this?! She said she is loosing steam on the issue in her older age & has been trying for years. I told her she can pass the torch to me, because I'm outraged about it too, new to the area and want to help somehow if possible. Part of Bob's job is to rescue the fish that are at risk in streams which are drying up from these water politic issues as well as the drought. The fish just can't catch a break to just LIVE naturally because we as humans are selfish.
I wont touch on politics too much this morning, but this Red or Blue system we have isn't fair. Those parties are run by money, power and corporations. It's corrupt and is a shitty cycle, I hope we can come together and break from it some day.
Anywho, thanks for reading if you made it this far. Hope you all have a great day, and remember, think for yourself instead of letting the media tell you who to vote for(**cough, cough...Grandmaw...cough***)...& be good to nature, the fishies are just as important as us!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMBt_yfGKpU <<<Holographic Universe video
**Joseph Chilton Pearce is an American author of a number of books on human development and child development and is best known for his books, The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, Magical Child and The Bond of Power: Meditation and Wholeness.
July 17th was the opening for the new group show at O Street Gallery on Oregon Street in Redding, CA. Curator Shelly Shively threw quite the party- there was well over 100 people in the room at all times. Music filled the air, beautiful food was presented by "Accidental Catering" and Redding art lovers flocked to see the vibrant various artworks. There are 12 artists in the show, all with a section of wall space. Shelly let me ninja my way into the show with some 3D pieces including installations and small sculptures. I'm very grateful to share a show with such amazing artists, some of who I've been taking oil classes from (Susan Greaves and Chuck Prudhomme.)
The show will run until October at this "happening spot" in Redding, CA. There's an amazing antique mall co-op connected to it, so bring your wallet-there are amazing deals!
Exploring an all natural material list is so exciting! The list grows and grows the more I adventure, spend time in the woods and talk with people. Northern California is a great place to be doing this because of the vast amount of nature and different climates and environments in every direction. Native American culture is still very prevalent here too, and recently I've met some women who do native basket weaving and are offering to teach me.
Pictured below is an encaustic painting the Mendocino Mountains, a trees landscape from Northern Michigan, and a triptych of different Trout. These were created with beeswax medium painted on a wooden panel. I did some research and found out how to make my own natural gesso with rabbit skin glue and calcium carbonate. This homemade mixture is gritty enough for the beeswax to stick to. The encaustic (beeswax) medium is homemade as well and all natural. Beeswax, demar resin and Earth Pigments make up my recipe. The ratios change as I'm exploring this new medium and finding ways to manipulate layers & melting points. Each layer is fused with a heat gun and I'm able to carve into the wax creating texture, collage into the wax and I can even use ink and gold leaf on the top layers.
There is so much to learn and to explore in encaustics. I will be teaching an encaustic workshop at North Valley Art League in Redding, CA this fall. Until then, I'll keep exploring this fantastic and all natural medium.
Jessica R. Willis
Artist of many mediums inspired by nature and philanthropy