Its all in your hands…

Photo by Supriya S on Unsplash

As a creator, a working artist – it IS all in my hands. They are the tools of my sculpting, painting, crafting and creating. I am grateful to be able to work with my hands – in creative fields. From teaching art – and seeing the satisfaction and feelings of accomplishment that ripple over a student’s face… to creating art and feeling the pride in my work, the ability to express myself in clay, paper, metal, beads.

Its something that is deeply rooted in me. I have a hard time sitting with still hands. When I relax, I doodle. When I am on vacation – I have a travel sketchbook. There is an increased awareness and appreciation that I feel when I am making as I travel…

Hands are our primary tools. They create, work, construct, build. They control, rend, dismantle, destroy. They heal and comfort and console. They speak and emote, they pray and communicate.  According to Aristotle, the hand is the “tool of tools.” In general it is strength, power and protection. However, it can just as easily mean generosity, hospitality and stability; “lend a hand”. It is used in gestures of greeting and friendship (shake hands).

Let me present a few illustrative hands, may they inspire you to take it to the page!

The Hamsa hand:

The hamsa (Arabic: خمسة, romanizedkhamsa) is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout North Africa and in the Middle East and commonly used in jewellery and wall hangings. Depicting the open right hand, an image recognized and used as a sign of protection in many times throughout history, the hamsa has been traditionally believed to provide defense against the evil eye.

Khamsah is an Arabic word that means “five”, but also refers to images of “the five fingers of the hand”. In Jewish culture, the hamsa is associated with the number five because of the five fingers depicted on the hand, and because the word khamsa is cognate to the Hebrew ḥamishah (חֲמִישָׁה), which also means “five.” ( Wiki)

The Palmistry hand:

Palmistry – practice of fortune-telling through the study of the palm. Also known as palm readingchiromancychirology or cheirology, the practice is found all over the world, with numerous cultural variations. Those who practice palmistry are generally called palmistshand readershand analysts, or chirologists. It is ancient and archetypal; with roots that tie it to Hindu astrology and Roma fortune telling.

Traditional Mehndi designs:

Mehndi is a form of body art and temporary skin decoration from the Indian subcontinent usually drawn on hands or legs. They are decorative designs that are created on a person’s body, using a paste, created from the powdered dry leaves of the henna plant (Lawsonia inermis). Traditional usage would see elaborate designs on a woman’s hands and feet n preparation for her wedding. Pop culture assimilation has Henna designs available at the beach every summer….

Image credit: https://people.howstuffworks.com/culture-traditions/body-art/henna-tattoo.htm

Famous hands in art:

Further inspiration: Pinterest

Further reading:

So this month – on my Weekly Spark videos – let me work with my hands – and create work of hands! Tune in here.

And stay tuned – more posts coming. I’d love to hear what you think – here or on You Tube!

Art journaling into the new year, and beyond

Happy New Year to you all!

As the year opens, I find myself feeling pretty energized, and wanting to dive in to myriad projects. One of these is a new series for my You Tube channel! ( Did you know I had a channel? Check it out here! ) I have been sharing my art journals and my process for the last year. But I will confess, as I became gradually accustomed to this new medium – I was very teacher-y. My default setting, my comfort place after years in the classroom was to interact and explain. I am proud of my Weekly Spark videos – and my commitment to successfully post one each week all year! But this year I wanted a change…

This year I have decided to teach less and return to MY personal practice in my art journal. But I want to share – and hope the videos are still inspirational and informative. So more music and less voice overs! I will be working with a theme each month – a motif to guide my pages… and I invite you all to art journal along with me!

Here is the schedule of themes – some of my very favorite symbols and motifs:

  • January – the hand
  • February – spiral
  • March – leaf
  • April – key
  • May – eyes
  • June – the moon
  • July – labyrinth
  • August – triquetra
  • September – florals
  • October – vessels
  • November – butterflies
  • December – goddess

Each month there will be an introductory blog post for inspiration, and discussion. The myth, the meanings, the symbolism is a major component of my work – and I want to share that with you. Look for the first post this week – on the symbolism of the hand! Each of these themes – I could work with each one for a year – it will be hard to streamline these posts. Oh! And I will have a Pinterest page as well. Stay tuned! Its all in the works!

Image: https://unsplash.com/@thejungalista

One step at a time….

Hello! tap tap tap… is this thing on?

Journal page – early 2020.

September 1st. I just never know what year it is anymore. Time is meaningless – yet it slips through my fingers. I just wanted to stop by – and say that I do have plans to rejuvenate this blog. With Social media becoming more and more advertised and polarized – I want to post on a place that is mine, and free from issues. I hope you will join me here.

I recently advertised my art journal classes on a friends podcast – Dawn Hunt/Cucina Aurora ” Conversational Witchcraft. If you are here because you followed her link thread – thank you and Welcome ! There will be a new limited edition art journaling video for you! Coming soon – it will be emailed to any new newsletter subscribers from now til Samhain!

I work in many materials and mediums – from clay to beads to gems to paper, and I invite you to stroll through my galleries of images. I exhibit at arts festivals and faerie festivals in the Mid Atlantic region. But its my art journaling classes that have really taken flight since 2020.

The special free sample lesson will be a video demonstration/tutorial and a resource packet – all themed with the goddess of the lesson. Stay tuned – and I thank you in advance for your patience!

Kwan Yin – from “Goddess Guides – a yearlong journey” art journaling class.
Oak themed spread from my intro class – “Sparking Creativity”

For the people of Ukraine…

Sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine.

Ukraine has a rich and inspiring artistic history. Pyshanky eggs, petrykivka folk art painting, vyshyvanka embroidery… While my heritage is not Slavic, I have friends who settled here from Ukraine. And I am inspired but this rich artistic heritage.

I wanted to help – and as a full time artist – art was how I felt I could help. I have artwork, and a creative voice to use. I am organizing a small raffle this weekend at the Spring Innovative Beads Expo I have a group of friends helping me, both generously donating artwork, and helping host the show at out “block” of booths. Thanks to Marsha Neal Studio, Diane Hawkey, Staci Louise Smith, and Nikki of Thornburg Bead Studio for their support and donations! Please come see us this weekend and support this grassroots fundraiser.

Here are a few of the pieces we are creating for this event!

Rules:

  1. Ticket can be purchased during the bead show from me! I am at #207!
  2. You can “vote” for the entry/artwork you would like to win by placing your ticket in that item’s box.
  3. Tickets are $1 each – and you are encouraged to buy multiples! More chances to win!
  4. There are two rounds of the raffle: Friday – Saturday noon and Saturday – Sunday.
  5. You do not have to be present to win. ( Items can be shipped to winners. We will donate all shipping costs.)
  6. All proceeds will go to World Central Kitchen to be used for humanitarian aid.

World Central Kitchen was founded in 2010 by chef Jose Andres. Their mission is to provide food for those in need during extreme circumstances. They have “created a new model for disaster relief helping devastated communities recover and establish resilient food systems.”

Because food is not a luxury reserved for the lucky few. It’s a universal human right to live free from hunger. At times like these, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the scale of the challenges we face, and the speed of each new crisis. But many complex problems have simple solutions. Sometimes you just need to decide to do something. Sometimes you just have to show up with a sandwich or some warm rice and beans. You’d be amazed at the power of a plate of food. It can change the world, and so can you.”

Goddess guides – a year long journey

My newest online art journal class is starting soon!

I am so excited to introduce my new online Art Journaling class! This is a theme near and dear to my heart, and a journey of exploration and inspiration that I have wanted to take for years.

My classes are open to all levels of experience. We will collage, and make marks…. and utilize image transfer techniques. I want to foster a practice of exploration and expression, or play and process! I have included a video with my approach to the theme – take a look below… 

Here are the details! 

  • 12 months – 24 lessons. Lessons are emailed on Mondays, twice a month – and include private video tutorials, and PDF’s of information, images, and inspiration. Your access to these videos does not expire! 
  • There will be 2 Facebook live demos per month – for  a chance to connect, have a Q& A session, see new techniques in progress. 
  • 1 ZOOM call/month. Optional – but a chance to connect, to chat, to build community. These will be on a floating schedule. Planning a year out is near impossible! 
  • Schedule – START DATE March 6th. First lesson Monday March 7th. 
    SPRING: March – May
    SUMMER: June – August
    FALL: Sept – November
    WINTER: Dec – February. 
  • Pricing: $65 per quarter/season – that is 6 lessons a season! Each quarter is priced individually. You are welcome to customize the year to your schedule, and pay as you go. (Invoices will be emailed via PayPal, and can be paid via credit card. )
  • If you prefer to sign up for the entire year, you have 2 payment options: 
    • Option A- a single payment of $240 and a free gift
    • Option B – 2 payments of $120 and a free gift.  
  • Sign ups: Email me at Jen.davies.reazor@gmail.com and I will invoice you. Please select a payment option…. (Or PM me if we are connected on social media) 

As to materials and class supplies – stay tuned! More info to come!

Thank you for your interest! Please don’t hesitate to email or message me with any questions! 
Jenny

Are you new to my Art Journaling classes? Are you interested in “Sparking Creativity” my intro class? No worries! I am preparing it for an online teaching platform – and it should be ready in the Spring. The goddess class is open to all levels – so if it sounds interesting to you, please don’t hesitate! ( If you are receiving this newsletter – you will get notified when SPARK is ready! 

Art Journaling with Jenny: sparking creativity.

It started out as just me and the page in my art journal. It was an escape – a place to go play, express myself, collage, splash paint around… and be both distracted and soothed in the midst of a global pandemic. My art journal became a place where I could vent, but also a place I could go to elevate my mood, or take simple joy in art materials, color, image, text…

And then I decided to share it…

Well, my friend Patti (who became my co-facilitator for class) encouraged me to create an online class. We would meet via Zoom. I could film video tutorials – but we wanted an element of camaraderie too – a social interaction we were missing during “Safer at home” times. And thus “Art journaling with Jenny: sparking creativity” was born.

The first session was a learning process – for me – and also hugely satisfying. It surpassed my wildest dreams. Here are some student testimonials:

Jenny’s Art Journal class was amazing!  The presentation of techniques and pace of the class gave me time to absorb, learn, play and ultimately complete gorgeous journal pages – something I wasn’t sure I could do.  The safe space created by Jenny, as well as the camaraderie and community with my classmates grew as we journeyed together allowed me to open up, experiment and go places I hadn’t even imagined.  And finally, as a frontline healthcare worker, “taking it to the page” gave me a healthy release that kept, and continues to keep, me balanced, focused and feeling hopeful.  No kidding.  Ten thousand thumbs up!  Amy T

Jenny Davies-Reazor took me on an adventure into art play and art journaling in her “Art Journaling: Sparking Creativity” online workshop!  It was eye opening for me as I had never done anything like this in my own artistic journey. It was also very cathartic. She is very organized and willing to share everything she knows and truly gives a lot of herself and her time.  Not only did I enjoy learning new ways to play with art materials, I would get so engrossed in the process of creating that time would slip away unnoticed. Jenny is fun, knowledgeable, and is also willing to experiment in front of her students.  It lead to some happy accidents, which was encouraging for me.I am looking forward to her next class! Patti P. 

Are you looking for community, camaraderie, inspiration and fun? Look no further, you’ve found all that and more. Jenny’s class is informative: you learn different techniques, she walks you through her creative process and you’re introduced to new materials to play with and create. You become part of a very supportive group of people: you can choose to share what you’re working on or just soak in the process that your fellow participants are working through. This class was amazing.  I can’t say enough about it. I would give it all the “stars”.  Nikki T

Here’s a firsthand look at MY pages – and the “Hows” and “Whys” behind the class:

As I mentioned – the lessons are NOT drawing heavy, but instead utilize collage, and image transfer techniques. The materials list is provided after enrollment and includes links for online ordering… Each lesson is themed around a symbol or motif and its relevant meaning/folklore/mythology. My style of teaching encourages you to explore. I teach you the technique and show you possible applications. This isn’t the type of class where everyone ends up with a copy of the teacher’s piece… Its you, in your journal… with your preferences and experiences, and choices!

Interested? Here are the details…

Cost: $70 includes a packet of images ready to use in image transfers. ( send via USPS)

Duration: 6 weeks of class. Access to videos – no expiration.

Access to private class Facebook group: intended for sharing images of pages, discussion of techniques, etc.

Each lesson includes:

Monday – weekly email with inspirational PDF, links to private video tutorials.

Wednesday – FB live demo (recorded for any who miss it live)

And the “Spark” Zoom calls – introduction, mid point check in, finale call. 3 calls spaced over the 6 weeks. (Optional and recorded!)

Sparking Creativity will be available late Spring 2022 as an on demand class! Sign up for my newsletter to stay in touch!

To enroll:

  1. Send an email to me at Jen.davies.reazor@gmail.com with the subject line “Spark sign ups”. Let me know you are interested.
  2. I will invoice you via PayPal. Then you will receive your supply list – via email – and can order anything you might need.
  3. Join the FB group!

You can also email me to ask any questions! Feel free to check out some other art journal videos on my You Tube channel~ Until then, stay safe, and thanks for reading to the end. 😉

On keeping a plague journal…

It seemed like the thing to do… when I went into self imposed lock down, and then when the statewide order came, I was looking at the hours in my day. On one hand, working from home was the norm. But I was frozen, stalled by the uncertainty and grieving what my life had looked like in the near past and immediate future.

I thought establishing routines would be helpful to me. Getting up, coffee, shower, head to the studio as I normally would… and the idea of a daily art journal practice came back into play.

The #100dayproject is in April – should I combine my idea of a plague journal with that daily practice? Establishing habits now? The #100day project/ art journal was pivotal to me in 2018 as I was saying goodbye to my mom. So I started with folios of paper already prepped for a daily journal attempt from the past. They are unbound – which I love. Easy to set aside to dry, or lay flat to work on…

There are moody days, and rage-y scribble days. There are simple days of manipulating an art material. there are fast and slow days. There are days that serve as journal of feelings and stressors and shit one is trying to deal with…. and there are days where pretty colors and marks make patterns, where the process took precedence over the product.

I have just about reached one month here, safe at home, not venturing out. And the first folio of pages is coming to an end. I will keep this up – and I wonder how many folios I will fill?

Social connections. Physical distancing.

What better time than now to rejuvenate the blog? I am home. I have been home since March 18th. On one hand – I am usually home, working from either of my 2 home studios. So that’s all good, right?

But it is so extremely difficult to tap into my creative energy at this time. The anxiety and the uncertainty, shows cancelled, revenue lost. Some rescheduled, some gone – poof – in a puff of Corona contaminated air.

How to work? The pressure of production for shows is no longer felt. My part time job isn’t a thing right now… So I started slowly… to take and process pix of existing inventory. Jewelry especially as its easy to ship from home… You can see available pieces on my FB business page. Follow me! More will be happening there in the next few weeks, I can promise.

Ceramic cabochons with labradorite, bead embroidered.

I wanted to share with you an incident of social connection in this time of physical distancing. I was scheduled to exhibit/vend at Sacred Space/Between the Worlds conference in April. It was, of course cancelled and rescheduled for next year.

I was looking forward to classes and workshops in addition to showing and sharing my work. Some of my favorite authors were to be in attendance. To name a few: Byron Ballard, Courtney Weber, Laura Tempest Zakroff

In a recent podcast on That Witch Life, Courtney and her cohorts initiated a feature sharing the info of artists, shops, craftspeople to encourage online shopping. I love the podcast, have listened since its beginning. The trio has started weekly posts dealing with coping, grounding, and the like during the pandemic and resulting lock down. Take a listen.

And I wanted to thank Courtney ( and Hilary & Kanani) for the shout out in the Bonus Episode on March 31! I look forward to listening and perhaps meeting you each one day!

Thanks for reading – I’ll be back soon with details form my (plague) art journal. Keeping me sane as I try to reestablish studio routines.

To Gnome me… the Art Elements theme reveal.

This month was my month. And I had a sudden bolt of inspiration… This is Bifur, he’s been in my family since the 70’s. He flew home with me from Austin in late February. Yes – he found the overhead bin comfy cozy, thank you for asking….

Gnomes!

So March has been a roller coaster, you know what I mean? I started self isolation a week prior to the DE state order. So I spent that first week or so implementing all my anxiety easing strategies: Beading, Time Team on Netflix, coffee, and silly iPad games.

You won’t be surprised that my offering this month is beaded. LOL

The iconic gentleman is small – why not do a brooch? My beaded companion is 2″ tall. As I was working – I confess I panicked. Thought I was out of Fireline with a quarantine approaching. Phew – see below.

550 yds should be ok for a while
He makes me smile!

So after my dapper gentleman was done…. I got thinking… and I still needed some therapy beading time. SO…

The blonde was first. and I was happy with her peaches and cream complexion. But Blondes don’t have all the fun…

Thank to all who joined me in creating during this crazy month we have had! You can hop their creations via the links below! Be well, stay safe.

AE team:

Marsha

Cathy

Jen

Jenny

Lesley

Claire

Niky

Guests: 

Tammy. 

Linda

Hope

Cat

Sarajo

Word to text: the Art Elements theme reveal

I love old dictionaries. The feel of the paper, the old book smell, the different fonts, the pronunciations in italics…. and I use dictionary text in my work from time to time. So when Jen announced the theme for February – I knew what I wanted to do…

I had ideas for book pendants, both leather bound and in brass book lockets. I envisioned scrolls with secret messages of positivity tucked into amulet vials. I saw stamped mandalas made of words of power, incognito as a talisman around one’s neck. And I hope to get to those soon. For now – I wanted to play with the evolution of an idea.

From January 2014 – my offering for the Component of the Month…
(polymer, text, resin and gems)

Six years ago I sent these mixed media talismans out to the team, as component of the month. Molded from an antique belt buckle, I chose words with intention; what I wished for each of my team mate friends. Since them I have made these, sold these, taught these…

I am very drawn to wearing a word – as a mantra, a hope, a dream, a goal, an intention. Words have power. So I am revisiting these “Word Mojo” amulets this month, and this Spring.

Words in bezels, awaiting…
Witchy words selected with care.

This new incarnation takes advantage go commercial bezels, which present a treasure hunt of sorts. What word will fit? How will the definition be cropped – too terse? too verbose? Are the neighboring words an interesting juxtaposition, or unpleasant? Does it create a found type of poetry as things are cropped and altered? The papers are sealed back and front, then glazed.

Another change is the absence of resin. While I still love the look – I don’t like the margin of error, the expense, the short shelf life…. so streamlining and simplifying the process! I am really loving sculpting the bezels themselves, so I am focusing on the process I enjoy!

Barely room to work… watching Time Team!

Each one is completely unique, hand sculpted, detailed and modified. I have limited my polymer palette to metallics, which I find frees me up to add small color embellishments, and created a more versatile pendant…

The finished prototypes, first of their kind.

Sadly I did not finish this batch, but its the first of many…

Please tell me – what would YOUR word of power be?

Paint and patina are next…
The next batch…

I look forward to hearing your words!

And my team mates and our guests look forward to your visit to their blogs as well!

Guests

Tammy 

Karin

Kathy

Evie and Beth

Divya

Hope

Anita

Art Elements Team

Claire

Lesley

Jenny (you are here)

Cathy

Niky

Jen