Monday, December 1, 2014

Holiday Shopping Haul 2014


Below are the paintings which I currently have for sale.  

If there is something that you are interested in purchasing 
or seeing more images of please email me:

Shipping runs between $10-30 depending on the order.

Im also open to talking about commission work 
or recreating any of my earlier designs not shown here.

Larger Designs:

Skeleton Fluer-de-lis, 18" x 24", Acrylic on Canvas, 2014.

Alligator Skeleton, 24" x 18", Acrylic and Glitter on Canvas, 2014.

Skeletons Under Live Oak Tree, 18" x 24", Acrylic and Glitter on Canvas, 2014.

Deer Skeleton, 18" x 24", Acrylic and Glitter on Canvas, 2014.

Smaller Designs:

Owl Skeleton, 8" x 10", Acrylic and Glitter on Canvas, 2014.

Deer Skeleton, 8" x 10", Acrylic on Canvas, 2014.

Alligator Skeleton, 8" x 10", Acrylic and Glitter on Canvas, 2014.

Skeleton Proposal, 8" x 10", Acrylic and Glitter on Canvas, 2014.

Skeleton Kiss, 8" x 10", Acrylic and Glitter on Canvas, 2014.

Skeleton Carriage Ride with Unicorn, 12" x 10", Acrylic on Canvas, 2014.

Pregnant Skeleton, 8" x 10", Acrylic on Canvas, 2014.

Dancing Skeleton, 8" x 10", Acrylic and Glitter on Canvas, 2014.

Pure Heart/Wild Soul, 8" x 10", Acrylic on Canvas, 2014.

The following pieces are the original painted panels for my forthcoming e-book ABCs of the Heart.

O, 12" x 12", Acrylic on Canvas, 2013.

P, 12" x 12", Acrylic on Canvas, 2013.

Q, 12" x 12", Acrylic on Canvas, 2013.

Mississippi River, 12" x 36", Acrylic on Canvas, 2013.
This is a copy of the original painting I did for my MFA thesis Rivers.  

 Mississippi River, NOLA riverbend with lakes, 18" x 12", Acrylic on Canvas, 2013.

Mississippi River, NOLA Riverbend, 6" x 12", Acrylic on Canvas, 2013.

Mississippi River, NOLA Riverbend, 12" x 18", Acrylic on Canvas, 2013.


I also have copies of my album How To Heal A Broken Heart on cassette tape for $9.

Monday, August 25, 2014

End of Summer Goals

Signs of shifts towards autumn are staring to creep through the heat haze of southern Louisiana.  I haven't been out selling much.  Any day over 95 degrees is too hot for me.  I've been working for a chair massage company to get me through the summer which has been a blessing.  It's just enough bodywork to remind me why I love doing it.  But as we settle more into autumn I'm excited to fill my life up with my art again. 

Plans for the near future:

- 30 day daily painting series "Dance your <3 out" with one dancing skeleton each day

- finishing the painted panels for my ebook "ABCs of the <3"

- bringing my Daily Blossoms out to sell (it's been too hot!!  The sun melts their plastic display bags)

- new rivers :)  I've been working hard to make space for them again in my practice.  I'm ready to do the Seine, the Hudson River and the Chicago River. 

- AND I'm really interested in doing a series of deep sea fish...possibly on black velvet. 

- exploring new ways to work glitter paint, beads and gemstones into my work #moresparkle

Friday, June 13, 2014

Painting-a-day: Daily Blossoms

Im announcing the start of Daily Blossoms.

Spring in New Orleans is a luscious experience of vibrant petals, sweet scented nectar and green, green, green.

To welcome in the season I'm going to paint one painting of a flower growing around me each day for 30 days.  Many will come from my garden but I plan to document the beautiful bounty blossoming all across the city. 

My first offering is a painting of this marigold flower growing in my garden.  

Each painting will be 6" x 6" and done in gouache paint on paper and will be displayed in a velvet covered mat board.  I will identify where I found each plant and what kind it is to the best of my ability.  If its unknown to me then I will label it as such.

Paintings will be available for $75 each on my website and at my display on Jackson Square.  Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing. 

Follow my progress on any of my social media outlets:
Twitter/Instagram @jenelleleighc

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Instagram: @JenelleLeighC

As a child I never liked drawing hands.

Getting the articulations of the fingers right intimidated me to the point of avoiding drawing people completely.

In 4th grade I had an assignment which involved drawing an image of a woman on a piece of poster board.  My dad offered to help me out by showing me how to create a picture of a lady with her hands behind her back.

I was blown away to realized I could work around what seemed like an unconquerable challenge simply by creating a composition what didn't require showing the subjects hands.

This experience helped me to realize a deeper understanding of the problem solving aspect of creating art.  Years later one of my favorite parts of my creative process is the time I spend thinking about how to use the space I have to express what I need to clearly.  Sometimes my intention is to push myself past my perceived limitation (I now totally enjoy painting hands) or simply to figure out a way to work around what I feel like I cannot do by twisting what is within my comfort zone in a new way.  

Crystals, libraries and beginning to learn

Photo by me from Austin, TX

When I was in middle school I starting building a rock collection.  I was in love with the color and texture that came out of the Earth.  The unique beauty of each individual mineral was fascinating to me.  

Also at this time I would often spend afternoons at the local library day dreaming my way through piles of books.  I ended up in the "New Age/Occult" section while searching for images of crystals and discovered the notion of alternative spirituality.  Falling into a discussion of energy healing and experiences of a myriad of spiritual dimensions and practices spoke to the part of my psyche that was hungry for a vision of the world that included and normalized the kind of energetic sensitivity I had always been open to.  

The stories in these books affirmed for me the validity of my emphatic feeling nature.  I loved to say Im the kind of person what can feel through walls.  It was an experience I kept private as it was dismissed as "imaginary" by the dominant culture of the adult world around me.  For years this remained an insular conversation between myself and a few select friends and the authors I could dig out of libraries and other book stores, which were the only options available to me in these pre-internet times.

I found my first spiritual teacher during my senior year of college at Rutgers University.  My mother suggested we attend an afternoon workshop on Feng Shui.  The woman running the class, SuZen Ravenheart, walked us through the basic concepts of this ancient art of working with the energy of a place in a grounded and clear way.  When the lecture was over my mom found out that SuZen was in need of a office assistant in her Feng Shui shop.  For the next 2 years I followed Suzen to all kinds of healing ceremonies, sacred rituals and even received training from her as a Reiki Master Teacher.  I learned to see under the veneer of modern life in New Jersey into the complex and beautiful layers of spiritual communities that were thriving all around me.  

Suzen was a wonderful mentor in learning how to navigate cultural activities in a respectful and open manner.  She taught me how to meet the unknown part of myself in prayer, release what was no longer serving my spiritual development and claim the power of my own voice.

I was very fortunate to be given a mentor who would lead me into the world of holistic healing and empower me to tend the roots from which would grow my own inner spiritual garden.

Instagram: @JenelleLeighC

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sharing time: Jackson Sq so far

Instagram: @JenelleLeighC

Its been about 4 months since I moved my art/life up to Jackson Square.  Adjusting to new rhythms and routines has been good and given me a lot of clarity how well my business plans I developed in the last year are working for me.  Its also challenged me to strengthen the foundation of my work and reaffirm my commitment to it.  

The larger crowd flow that circles through the square brings more exposure and sends my work further into the world.  I love witnessing how deeply my art and creative vision connect with passers by.  Witnessing my creating bringing joy to peoples faces is a daily pleasure which helps to buffer the strain of early morning set up times and the drain of long days in the NOLA heat (which has already begun beading sweat on my skin from dawn till dusk.)

Im learning so much about balancing being a street vendor, a creative artist and a business person from the other artists who set up on the fence.  Generally people are kind, generous, open to sharing their experience and curious about my journey.  Every day people have new creations and plans and I get as excited about my co-workers triumphs and trials as I do my own.

As I walk deeper into the hot season Im looking forward to - 
- screen printing some of my designs through the NOLA community print shop
- starting a 30 day daily practice of painting the blooming local flowers to celebrate the spring
- bigger canvas sizes for Beautiful Bodies designs
- taking time to contemplate the upcoming bends in my creative river
- committing to more frequent blogging about maintaining art and healing practices

Enjoy some of my favorite recent shots from my Instagram feed:

Instagram: @JenelleLeighC

Instagram: @JenelleLeighC

Instagram: @JenelleLeighC

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Click: Lomography has taken my soul

I got a new toy in the mail:

The Tori Amos Lomographic camera box set.

Instagram: @JenelleLeighC

When this deluxe package (which comes with a live recording of a show she did in Moscow) came out a few years ago I thought, yeah, I would love to hear Tori play live in Russia but I didn't need a toy camera.  I saw how this purchase had charmed a friend of mine when she got it but it wasn't something I could bother spending money on at the time.

Flash Forward to a few months ago when I stumbled upon a photography show at the Scott Edwards Photo Galley at the bottom of Frenchman street where Clint Maedgen, a local musician I admire, was showing large prints of members of his NOLA Bingo! Show twirling around Pirate's Alley (which was extra exciting because I was setting up on Pirate's Alley at that time).  I loved the style of the photos which were all dark with rich colors, some images were layered with multiple exposures creating a dreaming and surreal mood in the gallery.  

This is where I learned about Lomography which is an analogue photography movement that celebrates pictures taken with toy cameras that were off kilter, blurry, vibrant "vingettes" of life happening in the moment.  I was intrigued and over the next few weeks did some research into what the movement is all about.  

"It began with a fateful encounter in the early 1990s, when a group of students in Vienna, Austria, stumbled upon the Lomo Kompakt Automat – a small, enigmatic Russian camera. Mindlessly taking shots from the hip, and sometimes looking through the viewfinder, they were astounded with the mindblowing photos that it produced – the colours were vibrant, with deep saturation and vignettes that framed the shot – it was nothing like they had seen before! Upon returning home, friends wanted their own Lomo LC-A, igniting a new style of artistic experimental photography that we now know as Lomography!"

Tori Amos has long been a mentor for me as an artist and as a woman.  Her first album, Little Earthquakes, found my heart in 1992 when I was 12 and Ive stayed connected with her ever since.  Its been years since Ive ridden the intense fan band wagon (I only go to one of two shows a tour instead of taking in more shows that I have fingers to count (and loving each one)).

This year I started looking back over her more recent albums that I hadn't really been paying attention too.  In the last 5 years Tori has written a collection of holiday songs, a feminist opus culled from the history of western classical themes, reimagined part of her catalogue with a full scale orchestra, co-written a full scale musical now being shown in London AND most recently put out an album of original music.  

Listening to her reflections in recent interviews on turning 50 and her journey of becoming the high profile artist she is has been an affirmation for me when I think my own beginnings struggles as an artist in the world.  SO when I stumbled again upon this limited edition (only 2000) lomographic camera Tori Amos box set I grabbed it up.

I use Instagram to promote my art business and I enjoy the ease and flexibility of my digital smart phone camera but Im missing the tactile experience of analogue photography.  I figure I can also easily sell prints of my own lomo shots of NOLA in Jackson Square and through my website.  The Lomographic Society philosophy of being in the moment, shooting from the hip and not worrying about the rules are a good focus for me right now.  Brief moments of lomographic bliss are a tonic nectar to my inner child who needs a does of whimsical and spontaneous photography to balance out the drudgery of my longer commitment projects.

Watch my blogs/tumblr/twitter/FB/Insta for what "develops"   :)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I got my permit to sell art on Jackson Square.

Getting this permit means Ill be able to support myself by selling art.

Coming out of grad school in 2012 I had my sights set on selling art in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  I was able to get a Pirate Alley Permit and spent the last year setting up paintings on the fence behind St. Louis cathedral and selling to tourists and locals.
My Pirate's Alley studio.  Taken by Nick Campion.
While I am deeply fed by compliments that my work was "blessedly not derivative", "the best thing they has seen in the French Quarter" or simply "sweet and charming" I was financially scraping by and had a few side jobs to fill in the gaps.

However, I learned a lot being on Pirates Alley. It took me months to become comfortable selling my work and figuring out the kind of set up I would need and how to get it all down there with a bicycle.  This space became my outdoor studio and I was able to invite anyone walking by into my world.  People bought my work to display it in the most exclusive places in the world...their homes.

Looking into Jackson Square
Instagram @JenelleLeighC
But at the end of the shady and damp alley the sun would be shining on Jackson Square.  There artists were selling up to three times as I was due to the higher foot traffic.  Even though multiple tour guides would leads their herds down my alley touting its "pirate-y” fame the general consciousness was that the "real artists" set up in Jackson Square.

I became hungry for one of the 200 Jackson Square permits and was ready to jump at the chance at the start of February when any non-renewed permit would become available on a "first come first serve" basis.

A brief explication of what happened as quoted from THIS article:

"This year, the permitting process did not go smoothly. The original deadline fell on Monday, Feb. 3, not long after the late January freeze scare that closed City Hall for two days. Because of the unexpected closure, the Bureau of Revenue wasn’t ready to issue permits at the appointed hour of 8 a.m. on that Monday. 

The artists who were unaware of this and had lined up the night before were turned away.  
Despite the inconvenience, the artists lined up again, hours and hours before the new Feb. 5 deadline. Or was it the March 5 deadline? The city had announced that the sale would be held on both dates. The artists assumed the March deadline was a typo. They were wrong. Once again they were dismissed. The city then scheduled the sale for Feb. 12, without giving any special consideration to the artists who had already waited in line twice. Some of the hopeful were forced to drop out due to family and job responsibilities. "

With the new date of 2/12/14 seemingly secure I tried to go to work on Pirate's Alley on Sunday 2/9/14 but the rumor soon arrived that 4 artists were already camped out in front of City Hall.

I had planned to go over there on Monday morning and was already dreading spending 2 nights on their stoop but I found myself unable to think of anything but claiming my spot in line ASAP.  So I took a deep breath, grabbed my sleeping bag and headed to City Hall for a 3 night camp out and became #9 in line.

Sunday Night.  #9  Instagram @JenelleLeighC

Sunday night into Monday was charming as the weather was warm and dry.  The 12 or so artists who had showed up were in high spirits.  I felt like I was on a retreat where the only thing I was required to do was not leave the general area for more than an hour.  Otherwise we all hung out and talked about life and the art we make.

I'm grateful to have had time to inquire into the people behind the art.  When I'm out working it's all too easy for me to stay focused on creating and selling my work.  Some of the artists were people I has spent the last year around and some were new to me.  It was a great opportunity to feel out my new coworkers and make friends.

Me.  Day 2.  Photo by Maria Kramer
Monday night it got cold and Tuesday was even colder...and rainy.  We each had our number in line written on our hands and had a numbered list of names and phone numbers which was updated as people arrived.  There were group meetings to keep us all on message concerning how long we could leave the line and maintain our space, discuss strategies in case people tried to cut in line or became aggressive and did our best to communicate clearly with City Hall officials, security guards and the variety of press people who came by to get our story.

A lot of people took time to show their support and offer solidarity.  The owner of Forstall Art Store brought us doughnuts, some current Jackson Square artists brought us a gas heater and food, others brought sandwiches and water and some employees of City Hall even gave us a king cake.

And we waited, drank coffee, wine and whiskey for warmth and smoked way to many cigarettes.  I played on my ukulele at night and did yoga during the day to keep my body and voice open and moving during this ordeal.

Blessedly on Tuesday night the security people let us sleep in the lobby because the temperature was dropping below 40 and the rain was steadily coming down.  I stayed awake all night as I was too hyped up by my nervous excitement about the impending permit time to rest.

Wednesday morning finally arrived and at 630am we organized ourselves and our belongings into some kind of order, by 730am we were sitting in chairs lined up in the hallway outside the permit office...and by 830am I had my new permit in hand!

I'm so glad it's over and so excited about the expanded opportunities now on the horizon for me and my expanded community of artists.

Instagram @JenelleLeighC
My art hanging on Jackson Sq 2/14/14 with St. Louis Cathedral in the background.