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