Friday, February 27, 2009

"Dinner with the Skinners"

What a delight to see Melva and Ron Skinner again. We met last year at The Carmel Gallery in Washington D.C. The gallery was hosting a show for me, and they had posted an announcement in the Washington Post. Melva's maiden name is "Vranes," so she was instantly curious as to whether or not we were related. She contacted us in D.C., and we invited her to the show. When I first saw Melva, I thought she definitely looked like Matt's side of the family. We must be related! Last week she and Ron happened to be in Scottsdale, and they came to the "Celebration of Fine Art" show. What fun it was to see them again. Later on in the week, they picked me up from the show and took me to a fabulous Italian restaurant where we dined on a Tuscan patio overlooking the desert landscape. What a treat!

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Sweet Argentina!

Last week Miriam Cuello invited us to her home for empenadas! Ahhh the taste of Salta! There is nothing quite like them. It brought back many memories of the 18 months I lived in Argentina. I still can't believe the Cuello family now lives in Arizona! It was so great seeing them again. We spent a delightful evening speaking Castellano, eating empenadas, and of course sipping Yerba Mate!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Art in Embassies Program"

The "ART in Embassies Program" promotes the cultural identity of America’s artistic talents by acquiring original works of art by U.S. Artists for display in U.S. embassy residences worldwide. Each Art exhibition is developed collaboratively between a United States ambassador and their curators. Three of my landscape paintings were selected for the Embassy in Bamako, Mali. For more information on the "ART in Embassies Program", visit their website at:

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Wedding on Valentine's Day"

Debra (Matt's sister) married Blair Carlson on February 14th in the LDS San Diego Temple. What a beautiful wedding it was. The couple were simply radiant with happiness. They really are a perfect match. Very compatible! I was honored to be one of the 7 bridesmaids, and luckily for me, I quite liked the dress that Debra picked out for us to wear. I can even wear it to other non-wedding occasions. Her wedding colors were "honey brown and sage green." After the wedding, an elegant reception was hosted at the home of Blair's parents. It was a gorgeous house set atop a hill that overlooked the San Diego valley. In the back yard was a huge rock cliff where a waterfall poured down into a pool. My children enjoyed very much scaling the walls (much to the horror of the guests), in their black suits. It was all I could do to prevent them from stripping down and jumping in! They had had enough of boring 'wedding stuff.'

Debra and Blair love to travel, so they fittingly picked an "ocean" theme for their reception. The wedding cake was an incredible creation of sea shells and beach sand that was all edible. In the clear, glass stands supporting the cake, swam live, colorful fish! It was created by the same designer who did the cake for Hannah Montana's birthday party. My kids could not wait for the bride and groom to cut the cake! They just stared at it with big eyes and watering mouths. Once or twice, they were caught dipping their fingers in the all too tantalizing frosting! I didn't blame them one bit! It was delicious.

To see Debra and Blair's wedding video, click on this link:

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

LegoLand and the San Diego Zoo!

This past weekend I met my family in San Diego for another wedding...this time it was Matt's sister, Debra getting married. Matt and the kids met me at the airport, and we went straight to "Legoland". What a fun place that was. My boys were in heaven surrounded by life-sized figures all made out of legos! It was the perfect place to take them. The little dare-devils had a ball riding on all the fun roller coaster rides. Even little Addie-cakes enjoyed the ones that made her stomach drop!
It was a whirlwind weekend, but we found time to hit the San Diego Zoo before we caught planes home--me to Scottsdale, Matt and the kids back to Oregon. It was a fun weekend with the family, and when the time came to part ways, it was really hard saying goodbye. I couldn't get enough kisses! In a couple of weeks, we'll fly the kids out to Scottsdale to see me. Two of them have birthdays coming up, and when asked what they wanted for presents, they immediately responded "to see Mom!" And swimming in February was an added bonus!

"Autograph Please?"

"Can we get your autograph?" said a group of kids to me one day at the show. I was surprised. I almost looked around to see if they were talking to someone else. I just had to get a picture with them. Last week I let them each take turns painting. It always amazes me how confident children are with art. They are fearless! Without any hesitation, they grabbed a brush and started painting! Perhaps one day, I'll be asking Emily, Katie, and Nick for their autographs! :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Happy Ending!"

I was thrilled to receive the following two emails from the clients who both ordered the "Aspens in Autumn" giclee triptych. The giclees arrived safely, and this is what the clients had to say about them:

Hi Jen,

The Giclee has arrived! It is already on the wall and under lights. And what can we say but.....WOW! It is jaw dropping! We are extremely happy and can't stop looking at it. I assure you that we will enjoy this piece of art for a long time to come. Thanks for the extra Tender Loving Care you have put into our Giclee. We will cherish it forever!




Got them yesterday and hung them on the wall. They look AWESOME!!! Thanks again for the A/P upgrade.



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Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Lavender for Christmas!"

One of the greatest treats as an artist, is to be invited to the home of your collector! So, when Jeff and Pat Skoglind invited us (Matt was in town that weekend) to their home in Scottsdale for dinner, I accepted with enthusiasm! Pat had mentioned they had hung my lavender field painting in their master bath...and when I saw "The Bathroom", I understood why! It was the perfect space for my lavender field painting. Jeff and Pat had seen my work last year at the "Celebrations of Fine Art Show", and when Pat expressed interest in the lavender painting, Jeff bought it for her on the sly as a surprise for Christmas. She had no idea, until 11 months later, she unwrapped a big box on Christmas morning! Jeff loves surprises, and I think he took the cake (and got huge bonus points) with this one! The wall was even already painted purple! Truly, my "Lavender in Provence" was meant for that exact spot. Pat says when she wakes up in the morning, she loves to see the light from the side window illuminate the painting. It seems to glow! I love that. The evening spent at the Skoglind home was an unforgettable one. It is meeting people like them, that make me happy to be an artist!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Friends from Argentina"

What a treat it was to see the Cuello Family again! I first met them while serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Argentina, and they surprised me by coming to my art show! It has been 14 years since I last saw their beautiful faces. What a family the Cuellos are. Their baby is now 15 years old! Man, I'm getting old. Six years ago they moved from Oran, Argentina to Phoenix, AZ. I couldn't get over the fact that they were actually standing in my studio! It was a delight hearing the pure tones of Castillano once again. Miriam promised to make me empanadas and to break out the mate when I visit them in next week with Matt and the kids!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Aspens in Autumn" Giclee (3 panel triptych)

On the same day, two clients ordered prints of my "Aspens in Autumn" triptych. It is a big and dramatic piece, measuring 90" wide by 40" tall when hung as a threesome. It is really gorgeous! The colors are so vibrant. Both collectors are from Colorado, and love their Aspen trees--especially in Autumn with all the wonderful fall colors! I upgraded their limited edition prints to "Artist Proofs", which I reserve only for my own personal collectors. There are only 10 AP's in the collection...versus the limited edition of 95. So, the AP's are naturally the most sought after numbers. I also more heavily enhance my AP's (truly every square inch is covered with texture!) and do an original sketch on the back. They are pretty neat! After I finish embellishing the prints, signing and numbering each one with a gold pen, and personalizing the back, I roll them up and ship them back to my printer in California. He then professionally stretches the canvas around heavy stretcher bars (like with original paintings), and puts a hanger on the back. The giclees are then ready to be shipped to the client. The whole process usually takes between 2-3 weeks.

Monday, February 9, 2009

"Birthday Painting"

It was the opening weekend of the show when I met Henry and Donna Meilman from Baltimore. They seemed quite enthusiastic about my lavender field painting, "The South of France". I was actually a little surprised they didn't take the piece on the spot! Two weeks later, Henry called hoping the painting was still available, and was delighted to find out that it was! He's giving the painting to Donna as an early birthday present. On the back, he asked me to write "Happy Birthday Donna, 2009". I love doing personalized dedications for my collectors! It always makes the painting more special. Happy Birthday Donna! You got your painting. :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Married in San Francisco!

Last weekend, I met the family in San Francisco for Steve (Matt's little brother) and Becky's wedding. It was a beautiful affair that took place in the Grand Julia Morgan Ballroom right in the heart of the city. Their photographer ("Cara Mia Photography") did a phenomenal job documenting the event in a very artistic, journalistic fashion. You can see more photos on her blog: Cara also put together a slide show of pictures set to music:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"Aspen Trio"

Merle Smith from Burr Ridge, Illinois, is the new owner of my "Aspen Trio". What a delightful time we had discussing art! He is an avid art lover, and was impressed by my interesting use of thick texture. He had never seen anything like it. He loved how the trunks of the aspens literally come out of the canvas three-dimensionally. After deliberating between a couple of choices, Merle decided that "Aspen Trio" was the one for him...the very first painting he had seen and admired in my studio.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Aspen Art for Anniversary!

This is Amanda Leonard. She is married to pro-golfer Justin Leonard who is in town playing in the PGA tournament. Of course, I didn't really know who that was exactly (I'm not so much into golf)...but when I shared the news with my hubby Matt--he became very excited! Leonard, apparently, is his very favorite golfer! How delightful. And what a sweet wife he has. Amanda walked into my booth, and instantly felt a connection with my aspen paintings. It was in Telluride, Colorado where Justin had proposed marriage...and their 7 year wedding anniversary is coming up! Amanda decided to surprise Justin for their anniversary with a painting from Colorado with their initials carved into one of the trees (I did it right after she left), with the date they were married and a heart. It turned out pretty neat! I shipped the painting out the next day to arrive in time for their anniversary on February 2nd!