Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Some Mosaics From My Upcoming Show

It seems so weird to write that. "My upcoming show." Nevertheless, it's opening on Friday, so I guess it's real. Here are some of the pieces I've got hanging. They're quite reasonably priced. And they make great Graduation or Father's Day gifts. I'm just sayin'.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Painting Project

So it all began, as it often does for me, with a book I read back in September. The book was called "Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art" by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo. Great book about a con man named Drewe who convinced an artist by the name of John Myatt to create paintings "in the style of" famous artists, which he then turned around and sold as the real thing. Eventually, everything came out and both Drewe and Myatt were sent to prison, but Myatt came out of the experience a changed man.

At first he wanted nothing to do with art, but he began to paint again, this time, creating work that was like a famous artist's, with his customer's full knowledge. He painted beloved children or spouses into Old Master works, etc. Then he made a series of television programs, with the same theme, rather cheekily called "The Forger's Masterclass".  Click on the link to see Episode One.

Throughout the fall, I watched them all, as well as a few other series he did along the same lines. They were fascinating. I had often thought about painting more, but had refrained because I thought that I wasn't good enough, that I didn't have the right eye, whatever. But in October a funny little idea came to me and I had difficulty shaking it.

See, here's the other part of the story. My family is spread out across the country from Pennsylvania to New Mexico. At Christmas we all want to acknowledge each other, but since none of us is wealthy, we have decided instead to send small, handmade gifts each year, as a way to enjoy the Christmas season, without going crazy trying to figure out what to get everyone (and lets not forget ship to, which can be even more traumatizing.

This year, I had a most delicious idea. I decided that I would paint everyone a painting, based on a family photo and in the style of an artist they either liked or one that was inspired by the photo itself. It seems like a lot, writing it out like this, but at the time I honestly thought it would be a piece of cake. After all, I'd just spent several hours watching John Myatt show people how to do it in a single afternoon. If he could do that, then it couldn't really be that hard, could it?

You are probably already chuckling at my naive assumptions, but I assure you, I did have some idea of what it would entail and I thought it was right in my wheelhouse.

First up:
Kim. Kim and her daughter June inspire me all the time, especially through another addiction we all share, Pinterest. And, in fact, it was Kim's board (Art I Wish I Owned) that was another trigger for the project. One artist we both love is Michael Carson.  An American artist, Carson initially trained as a graphic designer and then began to paint professionally in 2001. He paints primarily figurative paintings.
"The Blue Window" is the painting I used as my primary inspiration. The photo is one taken by my brother-in-law (husband to another sister) when they were visiting Kim a few years ago.

And here is the painting...

I was pretty psyched after this one. I thought I'd done a pretty good job capturing the photo and the general feel of a Carson painting.

Next up then was a painting for my dad. This time I chose the photo first. This is a photo of me when I was about six, with my Grandpa in my Grandma's garden. When I think about my Grandma, that garden is one of the first things that comes to mind. She had an amazing green thumb.

It seemed to me that the most appropriate style for a painting with this subject, would be impressionist, so for my inspiration artist I chose Manet, in particular these:

And here is my painting:
Now, I clearly did NOT manage the impressionistic style of Manet. I was a little too married to the more literal interpretation of the photo to get the strokes loose enough and the color was also not quite there, but what I DO like about it is the way I captured my Grandpa, with his shock of gray hair that always stuck out in front and his baggy working man clothes. I love this painting.

So after these two I thought I was really doing great. It was the end of October and I had two of my planned six pieces done already and I was pleased with both of them. I began immediately on the third, a portrait of my niece June. I'd already done one of her for her mother, but I wanted this one to be a little bit more Junie specific.

I chose a photo that June sent me. I'm ashamed to say I don't even know who took this photo, but it is a strikingly beautiful photo of my very beautiful niece. The color and the pose reminded me of an artist from the thirties, Tamora de Lempicka. This site is her own with a wonderful compilation of her paintings and drawings as well as information about her life. I used this image for particular inspiration.

This is the photo of June...

And here is my painting...

Where the other two went pretty quickly and I was pleased right away with the results, this painting took many, many sessions to bring it to a place where I felt that it could be seen as completed. It took most of November to get this one right. Suddenly, I wasn't quite as on track as I'd thought.

Thanksgiving arrived, along with much of my family. Now my goal had been to distribute those paintings that were done to those family members who were there. Unfortunately, that plan had been devised when I thought I'd have them all done by Thanksgiving. Not one painting was ready for the two sisters who came to my house at Thanksgiving. In typical Jewell fashion however, I couldn't resist and spoiled the surprise for Amy and Kristin by showing them the paintings I had already done.

And then it was December.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Some new mosaic work

It shocks me to realize how long it has been since I've posted something. It's not that I haven't been doing new work. Oh no, not at all! But I guess, what with one thing and another, I tend to forget to make sure this site gets some love. So, here's some mosaic love.
2'x2' "Good-Better-Mine" Jackie Harrison-Jewell

Detail - Good-Better-Mine by Jackie Harrison-Jewell

2'x2' "Stick Candy" work in progress by Jackie Harrison-Jewell

Friday, June 10, 2011

International Bridge Project

Recently I had the honor of creating some posters for a person who works at the International Bridge between Sault Ste. Marie, MI and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. I ended up doing two versions with the idea that they would choose one and was extremely gratified to have my client choose to purchase both.

The idea was to allude to those fabulous WPA posters from the thirties.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Work Updates

Normally I like to post images of my work on this blog but today I'm just posting an update. I'm so excited and proud to announce that I have been accepted into this year's National Mosaic Exhibition, for my entry Beach Umbrella. If you happen to be in Cape Cod during August, stop in and check it out, and then send me a photo because I won't be able to attend in person. *sigh*

I am one of 55 artists selected and I couldn't be more pleased.

And this is the frosting on what has been a very sweet cupcake of professional success this year. I also sold two larger mosaics within days of each other. One, Mysterious Amy, was featured in an earlier blog post on this site and the other I haven't posted yet.

I see now why some artists' careers just seem to snowball. Sell something, or get into a juried show and the confidence boost just seems to reinforce your vision and drive to get back into the studio and continue working. It's good to be able to do that without the external reinforcement, don't get me wrong, but boy, it sure helps.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Some recent cut paper work

More of this to come later. I've been practicing some cut paper stuff for a big project for the library. Can hardly wait to get it done and show it here. But here's just a preview.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

And now, for a little painting...

Last year did a commission piece for a friend's son, who loves dragons. I have to laugh because even though my house is full of stuff I painted on the wall (and by painted on the wall I mean ON the wall) I felt a little guilty starting in on this. Something about scribbling on the wall?

This is right after I finished, but before I cleaned up. Sam put a chair and lamp in that corner and now it's a reading nook. I love that.

Here's a bit more detail. And here is the dragon's face, close up. I wanted to do a dragon that was a bit more fierce than friendly, but I guess I don't have it in me.