I do a lot of sketching during festivals. And I mean a lot. Sitting still away from your own home allows your brain to wonder places other than to the pile of laundry and things that need to be done. My best inspiration comes while traveling or being elsewhere and forced to just sit.
In a critique group last week, the challenge was given to use unusual placement in a painting. As I sketched some concept pieces, partially obscured faces became a bit of an obsession. Look for several of these to come. In this piece I celebrate the Baleja family (my dad's Eastern European roots) and distinctive noses.
Also heading back to school are the kids from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. I felt so privileged to be one of the scholarship judges for their art students yesterday. As I was approached by one of the comfort dogs at the school, I thought at first "wait, I don't need comforting!" but then became teary as I pet the dog, realizing I was overwhelmed simply by being there. I did need comforting. Posters and signs everywhere show love, support, strength...but those kids! Those young folks who returned to class amidst a massive police presence, guards, locked doors and memories are the strength of our future. I am humbled by their courage, determined to support them however I can.
The winner of the scholarship is a young lady of inestimable talent, whose life has been forever altered by the shooting. She is not only a gifted artist, but a young entrepreneur. Her art will be on display at the student booth at the Coral Springs Festival of the Arts next weekend, but for those of you far away her custom creations can be seen (and purchased) here.
This week I rolled out my website update, including a storefront! Woot! Eliminating gallery commissions by selling direct allows me to offer flat rate shipping of $15.00 for any size painting anywhere in the U.S.A. Take a look - let me know what you think. In the meantime, I appreciate your patience as this website is a work in progress, not unlike a few paintings in the studio. :)
Jen Walls and her imaJENation