Recently I moved even further West in California to Southern Humboldt County near the coast. I will spend this year working and focusing on my art while living remotely. It's been a big project, but moving is finally over and we are getting settled in. I am finding my art flow again which feels good, and setting up a new studio area.
Another big project in the works is redoing my store capabilities on my website, and integrating my social media in a way that works for me. It's hard work and I hate taking away from my painting time with it, but once it's done, I hope to find a flow from finishing a painting, to getting it up online with purchasing options for prints, clothing and home goods. This, paired with a website update and a new camera...I have big ideas in the works and it's been a long time coming, so stay tuned. I'm feeling more geared up than ever to make sense of all my artwork and find ways to release it into the wild.
I often find myself packing up milk crates of art supplies no matter where I am going in hopes of documenting a place in time during my journey. Sometimes I end up doing full paintings- this usually happens when I'm camping. When the boys and I drive to the Bay or other towns for shows, I take a smaller set up like a bag with a few boards, oil pastels, a sketchbook, Faber Castle ink pens and maybe some watercolor.
This example was done in artist markers while approaching the Golden Gate Bridge for my first time. I like the idea of quick whimsical sketches. They tend to be more expressive, loose and fun. At the time, I didn't think this drawing was that great, but after placing it in a red frame and photographing the work, I sold it in 10 minutes to a friend online.
I'm in the market for watercolor pens so I can do more things like this on the go!
It's been a while yet again. The fall season was filled with me being out of town and away from home. So recently I have been catching up on everything. I am seeming to keep busy and productive although I was laid off from my job at The Savory Spoon due to the resturaunt closing for good.
However, I have exciting (recent) news:
- I applied for a grant through TSC for their "Dig It" Program which supports gardens in schools. This spring I will be building a garden at The Independant Education Program School in Anderson, CA. I will document the process and I plan to go to other schools in CA to show them the possibilities. I would love to contract out some freelance garden building work this Spring. Let the manifesting this begin with me stating that it will happen!
- I have been doing some networking for my art and the best always seems to happen organically. Like when I was at a funk show in San Fran and during set break I met some interesting people, who were interested in my artwork. Again, manifesting something happening here by reaching out to them and following through with the contact.
- I sold a painting in Redding! Which is a hard thing to do because there seems to not be much of an economy for supporting art.
- While in Tahoe City for Halloween weekend, I did some networking in Truckee and Tahoe- both places I would love to show artwork. A renound artist in Redding is connected in Ashville and Tahoe and told me I could drop his name when I get to the point of applying.
- When we get back from the holidays, I will be doing an Art Residency at Whiskeytown National Park here in Northern California. My two week stay will involve me residing in the artist cabin on site and working with plein air encasutics! I am starting to get all of my materials together for this. I know it is important as this will be my next body of work- a series of artwork I can apply for shows and galleries with.
_ Yesterday I attended an amazing oil painting class which I went to last year and have missed so badly. I did 2 paintings! Excited to go back next week and do 2 more!
*These are some of the more exciting things going on for me right now! Here is a painting I did on The Pit River this summer while Bob fished. It is finished and available!
Check out my new project:
a blog on teaching science based
art projects, sustainability,
gardening and appreciation for
Sometimes I like to design logos, brochures, flyers or posters for people such as our neighbors who started Inwood Community Farm. They asked me to create a logo, brochure and flyers for events. It's pretty great getting paid to do things like this!
The farm is a non-profit farm helping those in need in the Shingletown/Inwood area. I'm very grateful to help! This is the type of farm I would love to start one day when I have my own property :)
If you are in the area and would like to get involved, please contact the farm manager at email@example.com
Our garden is about to be producing SO MUCH FOOD. We've been working really hard on it and have tons of veggies and melons planted. Anything from Orca Beans to Corn to Luffas!
I didn't even know a luffa grew on a vine until this Spring. I thought it was some sort of sponge from the ocean or something. We are learning a lot. This is the first time we've had the opportunity to garden like this and we really went for it.
Our neighbors have a Community Garden and I get to help out with the marketing- their brochure, logo, flyers and Facebook. It's neat to see how it works because a lot of what they are doing correlates with what I want to do when I have my own property some day. Our garden is sort of the "sister garden" to their non-profit Community Farm. We'll be feasting with them a lot once we start harvesting which is going to be SOON!
At last, a way to organize paints and materials by color that makes sense to my brain! As an experimental painter who uses 4 different mediums, I was brainstorming how I could set my paints up in a way that works for me. I felt limited by all my paints being in different boxes and stations labeled: "oils" "acrylic" "watercolor" & "encaustics."
Step 1: Gather recycled vessels of sorts (I used coffee cans)
Step 2: Prime them with spray paint- use whatever you have.
Step 3: Using cheap acrylics, paint cans the primary & secondary colors, arrange & fill!
Jessica R. Willis
Artist of many mediums inspired by nature and philanthropy