Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Beautiful Bodes: See With Your Heart



Since I decided to only share one post about my Goddess Abstraction project that opened up space for another topic in my blogging practice.  Ive decided to write a monthly overview of the different themes that have come up in my Beautiful Bodies series.  I have been doing them for three years now and its been interesting to see how my designs and themes have grown and changed.

I figured I would start off with a post about the piece I often call my thesis:  See With Your Heart.  I feel like a metaphor for my work as a street artist is to be someone who hands out hearts to the world.  This piece most embodies this impulse.

If there is anything I actively want people to get out of my work it is to remember that their heart is there and that it has a special way of seeing the world.  The idea of seeing with your heart to me champions empathy, compassion and listening to those around us.  Its not something that gets enough attention in modern mainstream culture and the healer in me wants to shout this from the mountaintop.  Instead I paint it.  Over and over again.  I sell it, say thank you and paint another one.  And it feels real good each time.

In case you need it today, here is your reminder see with your heart....in the form of a journey through my photographic history of some of my paintings featuring "See With Your Heart".

The first one I ever painted.  It lives on the wall in my studio.  2012
This is the second version I painted.  2012 
2012
I used it in one of the sigs I made for my display.  2012
2012
A version with a third eye....maybe See With Your Inner Heart. 2013

2013

2013

One day a lady asked me to draw something on her purse. 2014

See with your fluer-de-lis. 2014
2014

2014
2015






Monday, November 23, 2015

2015 Holiday Shopping Sale

Hello darlings,



The holidays are upon us again and I have art for sale!!  Im going to post photos of my current creative offerings below.  If there are at that you would like to buy for yourself or someone else simply send me an email at jlcampion@gmail.com.  

Shipping will be an extra $10-$30 depending on the size of your order.  
I take payment through PayPal or check. 

Don't see anything that calls to you?  I'm always happy to talk about commissioning art.  Again email me.  

***************

Many of my larger paintings are on raw or unstretched canvas.  If you are not sure how to display work like this here are some tips:

- Simply pin it to the wall like a tapestry
- Art stores, like Michaels, will stretch it on a wood frame for around $30. 
- Take it to a frame store and get it professionaly matted and framed.  

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PAINTINGS

Mermaid Banner $100
8"x54"
Acrylic on Unstretched Canvas with wood hanging bar and thread


Cosmic Meditation Banner $100
8"x54"
Acrylic on Unstretched Canvas with wood hanging bar and thread


Sun Salute Banner $100
8"x54"
Acrylic on Unstretched Canvas with wood hanging bar and thread



Unicorn Banner $100
8"x54"
Acrylic on Unstretched Canvas with wood hanging bar and thread


Gator Banner $100
8"x54"
Acrylic on Unstretched Canvas with wood hanging bar and thread


Pregnant Mother Skeleton $60
12"x20"
Acrylic on Unstretched Canvas with wood hanging bar and thread




Lovers $60
12"x9"
Acrylic on Canvas



Peacock $120
22"x20"
Acrylic on Unstretched Canvas 



"Aurora the Dragon" $80
47"x23"
Acrylic on Unstretched Canvas


Painted a few years ago, this lovely lady has been sitting in a corner of my studio for too long.  I've brought her back out and am selling her at a huge discount.  

Bison At Night $140
31"x22"
Acrylic on Unstretched Canvas


Earth Meditation $180
19"x32"
Acrylic on Unstretched Canvas



Mermaid Trio $300
28"x22"
Acrylic on Unstretched Canvas


Mississippi Rivier with Lake Pontchatrain
$120
16"x22"
Acrylic on Canvas







Thursday, November 19, 2015

Goddess Abstraction: Persephone and changes in my process


My Feminine Divine canvas became part of an impromptu a Samhain altar.

When I began this Goddess Abstraction project I envisioned listening to two talks on Goddesses each month and doing two paintings and a reflective blog post for each one.  As is common with my plan making process I didn’t account for how long art work can take me.  I need time to sit with paintings in between the times when I work on them to get real clarity on what I want my next choices to be.  Unfortunately trying to make my art process fit into two week chunks was creating more distress than productivity.

Finding balance between life, buisness and making art is a difficult act.  I try to use my times of anxiety about being able to complete my assigned task as an alarm that tells me I have to rethink my priorities.  Making art needs to be fun for me to be working at my best.  Im fortunate in that my marketing schedule is self-imposed and thus I can change it as I need to to figure out how I can be most productive.  I don’t want to constantly feel like I am failing at a painting project I genuinely enjoy.

So I decided to change my approach to blogging about this series.  Instead of having two monthly posts of finished paintings Im just going to write one post a month as a reflection about where I am in my process of creating Goddess Abstractions.  I enjoy this approach more because it reminds me that part of the reason I wanted to start this series was as a way to challenge myself to expand my knowledge of Goddess mythology and explore the way I use color as an expressive force.  So its not as much about the finished work as it is about what going into making them.


Persephone, acrylic on raw canvas, in process, 2015


Right now I am in the middle of a painting of Persephone, greek goddess of the underworld.  It seems fitting for me to be facing this type of challenge to how I use my energy as her presence is a reminder to be aware of my intentions and to keep stress from dragging me down.  In the original version of her myth she was drawn down to the underworld to act as a source of comfort for the dead and would descend to the underworld by her own choice for half of the year.  During this time her mother, Ceres, would mourn and withdraw and cause the winter to come.  Persephone returns in the spring and, they say, her mother celebrates through the blossoming of each flower. (A lovely retelling of her myth can be found here)

The background color are meant to give a sense of descent to the piece and create a resonance with her orange skin so that it seems to glow off the canvas.  The yellow of her dress resonates her confidence which grounds into the dark brown flare of her skirt.  The spirals on her belly remind of the cyclical nature of the seasons.

As she is queen of the underworld I want to add some skulls either on her dress or in a pile at her feet.  I'm still deciding...and glad to have given myself the space to find the right options for this piece.

The Goddess Tele-summit talk I listened to was with Marguerite Rigoglioso, founder of the Seven Sisters Mystery School and author of the books Cult of Divine Birth in Ancient Greece and Virgin Mother Goddesses of Antiquity.  If you are interested in more details about Persephone and the world that worshiped her I cannot recommend better reads that her writing.

Art is a journey into the self and out again.  Persephone is a powerful partner to have join me in my travels.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Holistic Health Spotlight: A caution concerning essential oils



My personal essential oil collection with dolphins

Im sad to write this post but I feel a responsibility to raise awareness about what I now understand about my relationship to essential oils as I have been an advocate for their use in holistic healing work.

As a massage therapist I was taught to think of essential oils as a vital part of my healing practice to help with shifting stagnant energy within a person or to amplify the healing aura of my work space.  Out of concern for people with skin sensitivity I have tended not to used them as much in my actual body work but have often sought these oils out for my personal meditation practice as a way to shift my mood or energy when I needed it.  I would also pour them lavishly in my baths and buy aromatic soaps and creams.

But no more.

Over the last three years I have begun a slow study of herbalism and have come to really appreciate and respect the power of plants.  Recently it has come to my attention that putting essential oils on your body is not the best thing for your system.

It takes alot of plant material to create one small bottle of essential oil.  This has environmental consequences in terms of over harvesting and it means that the oil that is created is a very potent substance.

I was listening to a talk by my favorite herbal guru, Susun Weed, where she told of how some massage therapists she knew began having trouble with their immune systems.  They traced this back to a use of essential oils in their bodywork practices.

What happens is that essential oils are anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and the body responds to them like they are antibiotics.  The daily exposure to these substances was wearing out these massage therapists immune systems.  Also some oils like lavender and tea tree can inspire an excess of estrogen which can have further destructive effects on people for whom that is a health concern.

I keep these bottles near my altar. I use basil as a prosperity blessing.
The cypress is made from local trees.


This doesn't mean that essential oils have no worth, as they are still valuable for ritual and meditation uses, but I see it as time to phase scented bath and body products out of my life.  There are so many herbal allies that we can reach out to for skin care (like witch hazel) and other healing needs.

I'll end with some more words of warning from Susun Weed:

"Use Caution: Test your sensitivity before using essential oils. Put a drop of the oil on the sensitive skin inside your elbow. If your skin gets red or mottled, itches or burns in the next 12 hours, be very cautious with essential oils and certainly don’t use them on your breasts. My cat’s neck fur fell out after I anointed her chin with three drops of essential oil to (successfully) rid her of fleas!”

You can read more wisdom about the use or non-use of essential oils here, here and here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Artistic Inspiration: Witchery

Woman
In
Touch with
Creating
Herself
--my personal definition

Witchy <3 2012="" 6="" acrylic="" canvas="" on="" td="" x="">


My "witchy" practices include deep breathing, yoga, meditation, prayer, seasonal and moon rituals, chanting and singing, cultivating gratitude, eating nourishing foods, maintaining psychic protection, spending time in nature, communing with and learning about my ancestry, moments of rest and reflection, cleansing emotional blocks, setting clear boundaries and goals, learning from teachers and elders, serving my community, listening to my inner wisdom, making art, random acts of generosity and celebrating my joys and successes.

Growing up I was lucky enough to volunteer at the New Jersey Renaissance Faire which was owned and operated by the family of one of the teachers at my high school.  This allowed for a small clan of my classmates to spend our summer playing in this mystical world created by a community alternatively minded folks.  While I was raised Catholic it never inspired me the way that stories of mystics and goddess mythology had done as I had started reading books about wicca and other European magical traditions while I was in middle school.  This led me to read more and more about the different types of shamanism and magic, attend a variety of workshops and rituals and to take on a few trainings in energy healing and the craft of ritual work with various teachers.

Witch riding a Unicorn and Magic comes from my heart
each 8" x 12", acrylic on canvas, 2014

Jumping forward....in 2009 I left New Orleans to live in Oakland California and attend a graduate school in San Francisco called the California Institute of Integral Studies.  I was enrolled in a masters degree program in Women's Spirituality for which I was very excited.  I had originally been drawn to the school's Somatic Psychology department but had changed my course of study at the open house I attended because I discovered that this department existed.  Ive been reading books about submerged histories, pagan spirituality and radical politics all my life and to be sitting in a room with the women who authored many of those book was thrilling.  The first thing we did in the open house meeting was pass around a deck of tarot cards.  Soon afterwards I filled out my application and was accepted to start in the fall.

Throughout my studies that first semester I was shown a visionary way of viewing the role of women and in the world.  We talked about the global existence and destruction of a women's ritual culture which practiced an earth based and embodied spirituality and how that related to modern and indigenous spiritual cultures.  It was through this course of study that I learned about the work of Marija Gimbutas, a Lithuanian American archeologist who is known for her research on neolithic cultures of "Old Europe", whose work opened me up to a visual language encoded on ancient goddess statues.  Dots, lines, dashes and squiggles told the story of cosmological renewal and regeneration.  Read more about her work here and the backlash to her work here.

Follow your star, 8" x 12", acrylic on canvas, 2014

For my artist side this information was an electric current of energy which sparked my ambition to explore my own expressions of connection to the world through an abstracted visual style.  This urge would be part of what propelled me to step away from the Women's Spirituality department in favor of CIIS's Masters of Fine Arts degree in Creative Inquiry.  I developed my thesis project, Rivers, as a way to use the infrastructure of a map of a river to pour my own stream of creative textures onto a canvas to which I then added text and a shelf of found object to turn the paintings into art altars.  Looking back now I can see that my project was a practice in discovering my own artistic language to express and demonstrate my spiritual connection to the earth and my own creativity.


Jenelle Leigh Campion's MFA show at the CIIS Minna Gallery 2012 Photo: Glen Graves



Prayerful, acrylic on canvas, 6" x 8" oval, 2015