Season's Greetings

It's hard to believe that in just a few days' time, Christmas will be upon us, and we will shortly after ring in a new year. I need only look at the cherubic face of my daughter,  a near-18 month old very active toddler,  to find truth in the saying "time flies". Her progress has been great and swift. I can't say the same for my painting or my blog this year, but that is life. I have (thankfully) been busy with some commissioned work this fall and winter, so the studio isn't completely covered in cobwebs. But time has been tight and consequently the blogging has suffered (as it is plain to see). So to the readers who are still with me, I feel like I should offer my apologies.

I can sometimes feel a little sad when I reflect on it, because up until the last year or two I had devoted quite a bit of time to this blog, trying to find things thoughtful or useful or interesting to post that could actually help or inspire someone else. There have been times this year when I stumble upon old blog posts and marvel at their length and how indepth some of them were. I find myself thinking, "Geez, I had a lot of time." Time, now, is an elusive stranger, and I have struggled these last twelve months or so to wrangle it, without, I'm afraid, much success.

The truth of the matter is, that along with motherhood (which, while incredibly rich and rewarding,  still feels very much like a new shoe in need of breaking in) I am also dealing with some health issues. While not immenently  life-threatening, they are nonetheless, significant enough and  have really thrown a wrench in my ability to wear multiple hats. So when push comes to shove and I only have a finite amount of energy to devote to either art or motherhood, motherhood wins hands-down (and rightfully so).

I have to admit, I am not really a heart-on-the-sleeve kind of person and I don't go much for "diary-entry" type posts on my blog. It's supposed to be an art blog, after all, right? I also learned in my "professional artist" training that if you want to be successful, you must present yourself that way. So with that intention, my plan has always been to keep things mostly on a professional level here. But as John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens to you while  you are busy making other plans."  And I just felt that it is better to tell it like it is rather than to have you just think I have neglected blogging because I just lost interest or something.

I feel certain that I'll find a way to overcome the health issues and, in time, get my energy level back. I feel just as certain that I will return to the easel and the blog on a more regular basis, as I am still carrying a very big torch for painting.

In the meantime, I am enjoying being Santa to the  smart, funny, amazing little cherub running around my house inspiring me to be a better person, (and to get to feeling better so that I can chase her around and maybe even catch her once in a while!) And, in addition to my little girl and my wonderful husband, I have another forever-kind-of-love in painting, that is ready for me when I am. My wish to everyone reading this is that your life is equally as rich and full.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy 2012 to all!

Summer Reading

My husband saw this little painting I did of our friends and said "Very Mary Cassat".  Sweet of him to say, and yes, I'd certainly aspire to paint like her! But I think the Cassat reference had more to do with my painting on the beach than anything else. I've often wanted to paint on the shore the way the Impressionists once did, but always felt somewhat restricted due to the total lack of shade and the sensitivity of my fair skin. This year, however it has been possible because we've borrowed a large 12x12' canopy from our sister and brother-in-law. Otherwise I've had fried in my first 30 minutes on the beach!

The canopy allowed me to set up my easel and caputre this little vignette of our friends Esther and Carrie, engrossed in their summer reading:

figurative painting plein air coastal beach scene

"Summer Reading" Oil on Multimedia Artboard, 6x6" (NFS) ©Jennifer Young

This painting was done on Multimedia Artboard. I painted straight on an unprimed surface, and I must say I prefer this surface primed with a layer of gesso for oils. While I was able to build the surface texture up after a bit, I found the board too absorbent without any gesso. Any way, after a bit, it was fun. I felt particularly good about the piece since Esther (the one with the dark hair) got up in the middle of the painting to go surfing.  She was a good sport, but still her vacation wouldn't suffer for my art.

Merry Christmas!

Just a brief note to say Merry Christmas to all. Thank you to my collectors and blog-readers for your support of my art and for tuning into my website and blog. It really means a lot! I will be taking a much needed break from studio work between Christmas and New Years day. I'll still be around, checking email and phone messages from time to time, but I doubt there will be much blogging during this time. I'll be back blogging in full force inearly '08. Enjoy the rest of your holiday season, and have a bright and beautiful 2008!

Family matters

Not much blogging (or painting) this week as my family mourns the loss of my beloved Aunt Sheila. A wonderful mother, wife, and aunt, she was also an amazing poet. For now I will leave you with a painting I did some time ago of her family farm near Warrenton, Virginia.

landscape painting by Jennifer Young

"Waiting" Oil on Canvas 20x24"

We will miss you Aunt Sheila!

In Memoriam

The shocking tragedy at Virgina Tech has saddened so many, perhaps especially here in Virginia where I live. Sending prayers of healing and hope to the family and friends of the departed, and to everyone at the college and in the community.

Thanks to artist Susan Reynolds for sharing her image. Susan is also sharing a sheet of memorializing stamps that people can download for personal use. Thanks to Alyson Stanfield for spreading the word about her project.