The Potted Garden, Pienza (painting complete)

With school out for the Thanksgiving holiday, my studio time has been a little dicey. But now that we are back in session I have managed to wrap up my posting about the Pienza painting from earlier last week. Before I dive into painting the potted plants, I finish up the main architectural features of the painting-- the final touches on the windows and doors, and completing the distant bench.

Tuscany village painting demo by Jennifer Young

 Now let's move onto the flowers!

Pienza Italy painting demo by Jennifer E. Young

Here is the final:

Tuscany Italy street scene by Jennifer E. Young

"The Potted Garden, Pienza" Oil on panel, 12x12" Click here for more info!

The hill town of Pienza is lovely for a number of reasons. First, it overlooks the gorgeous Tuscan valley called the Val d'Orcia. Second, like so many of these small towns,  the whole village is oozing with charm and dripping with flowers, just like the scene I have painted. Third, it is the home of Pecorino cheese! Need I say more?

New Key West auction posted!

Congratulations to Barbara T. for winning this auction!

Key West painting by Jennifer E. Young opening bid $100!

"The Shady Side" Oil on Canvas Panel, 6x8" 20120826-120134.jpg

When things heat up from the tropical sun, a shady verandah is just the thing--especially if that verandah is in Key West, and you can imagine yourself there sipping a nice cool beverage! This little painting of Key West conch houses may help you to do just that.  This painting would retail for $375 (unframed).  Now is your chance to win a slice of sunshine for yourself, at a great price! This original oil painting on canvas panel by Jennifer E. Young measures 6×8" (a perfect size to fit under the Christmas tree!) Unframed, it is signed by the artist, lower right. To begin bidding, enter your bid in the auction module in the sidebar of this blog. Here’s how it works:

  • All auctioned items are offered unframed.
  • The opening bid for this painting is just $100 (a fraction of my retail price).
  • Bids increment by $25
  • Highest bidder at the auction’s end wins the painting.
  • When the auction has ended, I will send the winning bidder a Paypal invoice.
  • I ship via U.S. mail within 3 days or less of receiving cleared payment.
  • Free shipping in the continental USA!
  • Visit my auctions page for more details

New Key West painting auction starts today!

On the auction block today Congratulations to Barbara T. for winning  this little bit of Key West Sunshine!

toweringbg.jpg "Towering Bougainvillea" Oil on canvas panel, 6x8"


Nothing says warmth and sunshine to me as much as the cheerful pastel "conch" houses and tropical flora of Key West. I have traveled there  many times to "chase the sun" when it's cold and rainy back home. This painting would retail for $375 (unframed)  in a gallery.  Now is your chance to win a slice of sunshine for yourself, at a great price!

This original oil painting on canvas panel by Jennifer E. Young measures 6×8? (a perfect size to fit under the Christmas tree!) Unframed, it is signed by the artist, lower right. To begin bidding, enter your bid in the auction module in the sidebar of this blog.

Here’s how it works:

  • All auctioned items are offered unframed.
  • The opening bid for this painting is just $100 (a fraction of my retail price).
  • Bids increment by $25
  • Highest bidder at the auction’s end wins the painting.
  • When the auction has ended, I will send the winning bidder a Paypal invoice.
  • I ship via U.S. mail within 3 days or less of receiving cleared payment.
  • Free shipping in the continental USA!
  • Visit my auctions page for more details.

Small works invitational

There's been a lot happening around here so unfortunately the blog neglect has continued! I do hope to ramp up to more regular posting (and painting!) by early next week. Meanwhile, here are two new little Key West pieces I've done for a small works holiday invitational that opens at the Miller Gallery on November 20th in Cincinnati.

key west oil painting by Jennifer Young

"The Shady Side" Oil on Canvas, 6x8"

Key West oil painting by Jennifer Young

"Towering Bougainvilla" Oil on Canvas, 6x8"

I am so honored to show my work in such a lovely looking gallery alongside artists of such fine caliber. Check them out!

Do you Squidoo? My new lens on hanging artwork.

According to Wikipedia,

"Squidoo is a network of user-generated lenses --single pages that highlights one person's point of view, recommendations, or expertise."

According to me, it's pretty addictive! I've really been enjoying surfing it, and I've also created a couple of lenses of my own. My most recent lens is: Hanging Artwork and Caring for Your Art Collection. While I've blogged some of this information before, I've included new content on my lens that I hope will be of interest to art lovers and art collectors. I've also just updated my other lens on landscape painting with new content, so check them out! And if you enjoy my lenses, please consider leaving a star rating for them at the top of the screen.

Art Sketch: Southern Welcome

Here is another watercolor/pen and ink sketch of yet another Key West conch house. One day I will paint something else when I'm in Key West! But for now I am stuck on these houses and I always feel that it is better to choose a subject that excites me:

Key West sketch

"Southern Welcome" Watercolor/Pen & Ink on Paper Image size 6x8"

I am really enjoying these watercolor sketches. I have always sketched and have done little watercolor/pen and inks for a while. But I haven't shown much until recently because they were really for my own amusement, and, having been so immersed in oil painting these last 12 or so years, I never really considered myself a watercolorist.

At one of our recent openings at the gallery my husband said, "Why don't you show some of these? They're neat!" I have learned to listen to him (sometimes, and/or eventually), so I put some out (eventually). To my surprise they got a great response.

So in light of this I added a new section to my website for the sketches. I hope to expand these small, intimate pieces to include other mediums, but for now I am sharing the little watercolors. I will post them here on the blog as a first offering, and then add them to the website gallery page as time permits.

Art Sketch- Key West Hideaway

This is a little watercolor sketch of the conch houses that have become one of my favorite subjects when painting down in Key West. To me these little bungalows encapuslate that feeling of a tropical getaway. Many are relatively small simple structures but they are adorned with an abundance of tropical foliage that add shade and splashes of brilliant color. Unfortunately a fixer upper sells for around 1/2 a million dollars, so for now I just satisfy myself with painting them!

 key west painting conch house

"Key West Hideaway" Watercolor/Pen & Ink on Paper Image size: 6x8" sold

The Window Above

It rained last night but by morning we had clear breezy air and bright blue skies. I wasn't sure what the wind was going to do, so we took care of some errands in the a.m. and then rented bikes to ride around the island. I am afraid I am not a very good biking buddy, because I kept yelling "STOP!" to Dave every 10 feet so that I could take pictures. That is only a slight exaggeration! Finally I couldn't stand it any more and I went back the room at our guesthouse and gathered up my paints. I left Dave to nap and swim in the pool while I found a nice shady spot with a big wide sidewalk to do a little plein air vignette. The whitewash on the fence and house proved to be a little blinding after staring at it for a while, but I got it down well enough I think. What drew me to this scene was the shadows on the very simple building and of course the vibrant bougainvellia and other tropical flowers and foliage.

key west painting

This piece measures 6x8" and is oil on canvas. For more information, please contact me.

Key West Getaway

Well we have stolen away in the dark of night (actually very early in the morning but same diff!) for a little visit to one of our favorite places. Here in Key West we were greeted with a balmy 79 degrees. We spent the evening watching the sun set near the pier.  Big billowy clouds hovered  but never overtook the sky. If they don't obscure the light too much,  clouds can make the sunsets dazzle, and tonight was no exception. The sky changed in every moment giving us a dazzling array of color contrasts and brilliant combinations. Golden to orange to deep rose. We enjoyed the sky for some time as the sailboats came in, even long after the hour of sunset. The gold horizon lingered even as the sky softened and darkened to a deep velvety blue.

It's hard not to gush and mush after enjoying something so beautiful. But gushing is about all I have energy for right now! No painting tonight... we're pooped. But I did bring my toys, so if the weather cooperates I'll paint while we're here. If my computer cooperates I'll also post here on the blog during our stay!

New Gallery Photos

I thought I'd post some photos of the new gallery space, which officialy opened last Friday night. We were swamped the entire night so I did not get ONE picture of the actual event! It turned out well--hectic but fun. We're both still recovering from total exhaustion, but at least we made it through "phase one". Phase two is still to come--moving my art studio part into the building. We hope to have that accomplished by mid January at the latest. Front room:

This is the wall to the right as you walk in the front door. The flowers on the table are from our new landlord!

Jennifer Young Studio & Gallery

This is the left wall of the same room--A great spot for the paintings in my mini collection:

Jennifer Young artist studio & gallery

This is a view of the right hand wall as you continue on into the middle room.

Jennifer Young artist studio & gallery

Here's a shot of the same wall looking back into the front room:

Paintings by Jennifer Young

Here is the opposite wall in the second room. The picture to the far left is an original oil painting of Tuscany. The pictures to the right are canvas prints on the walls, and paper prints in the rack. People were amazed at the quality of the canvas prints, which looked so much like paintings that I had to tell them they were prints and not originals.


Art prints by Jennifer Young

Heading out from the 2nd room and into the third room. This is where the band played opening night:


Jennifer Young paintings

Rounding the corner into this third room, here is my wall of Key West paintings:


Key West paintings by Jennifer Young

   Key West painting by Jennifer YoungI had these paintings framed differently from the usual gold because I felt like the solid gold was too formal for this subject matter. I like the linen liner and the platinum colored frame with the bamboo motif for these sunny Key West pieces.

   This last room will undergo some changes. The front two rooms with the hardwood floors will remain gallery space, but we'll use this area more for work space (to be determined), though we'll still hang some art here. Down that hallway is a fourth small room and a bathroom with a utility sink.

   Jennifer Young Studio & Gallery is located at 16 E. Main Street, Richmond, VA, 23219. Currently we are open from 6 to 9 p.m. during the First Fridays Art walks, and other times by appointment. Please call 804-254-1008 (1-877-DIAL-ART toll free) to visit the gallery or to inquire about the paintings you see on the website.


I thought I'd write a little bit about creativity today since it has been on my mind a lot lately. Often times people will equate creativity with "production". But for me, a lot of things go on "below the surface" that I would equate with creativity, even if there is not a lot being produced as a result.

Right now I am involved in a lot of experimentation and exploration that doesn't necessarily result in a finished painting or drawing. It's possible that some of these "experiments" may find their way here on my blog if I feel particularly happy about them and want to share, but the real point is to always explore new ways to grow.

Sometimes I go through periods of high production followed by things taken at a much slower pace. I pay attention whenever I reach a certain comfort level with my work. Comfort can be a good thing--a really nice and in the flow feeling. But sometimes I feel so comfortable that it makes me downright uncomfortable, if that makes any sense! That is when I know it is time to regroup, branch out, take a break, experiment, or do a little bit of all of the above.

For example, today I have drawn out a new painting of Tuscany. I've also got an abstract painting underway. Who knows where that will lead me? And "on the side" I've been painting lamps and furniture, just for fun (and because I need some lamps and furniture!) Now I know that there are some art marketing gurus out there who may not like me doing so many different things. You should focus on one thing and do it well! I have heard that over and over again, and I can be, and have been a pretty good focuser. I do believe it is important for artists to develop their voice and a strong body of work. But I also know the value of experimentation, just for the sake of exploration.

So I'm playing with landscapes and different mediums. I'm playing with non-objective artwork. Temperatures have been in the high nineties here lately so not much playing en plein air, but when the weather breaks I'll probably play with that too. And I'm playing with furniture. Since the lamps are the only things I have pictures of right now, I'll post those here:

These were old seventies olive green lamps (the "old" olive, not the "new olive") that were tinted with bronze and had those brown speckles in them that you see in a lot of decor from this time period. I had a "before" picture of them somewhere, but I can't find it. I bought these at a yard sale ($5 for the pair) and painted them a metallic turquoise to match my turquoise pillows. I also applied a silver leaf to the base of the lamps and bought simple linen shades (since I figured there was enough going on with the lamps!) They may be a little too "Liberace" for some folks but I LOVE my lamps! Here is a close up:

The landscape shown in this photo is one I did of a Key West scene. To see more of my Key West paintings, visit my website here.

Tags: art painting landscape painting artist plein air

Postcards from the Southernmost Point

Well, we're back from our Key West trip now and I am getting my bearings again--getting acclimated to waking up to 30 degree mornings again. However, the daffodils are blooming in Richmond, and so we have the promise of spring. In a few more weeks all will be abloom here, so I think I can sustain myself with some Key West memories until then. ;-) The trip was so inspiring and so much fun! I took about 800 pictures and spent my days exploring the island on bicycle with Dave, stopping often to photograph and sketch. I didn't get on the Internet as much as I thought I would, so not much opportunity to blog. But that is okay...I had to make the most of the time I had there, which was much too brief in my opinion (though I can hardly complain!)

Here are a couple of sketches I did on my trip. Along with my photos, the sketches will act as "memory triggers" for larger oil paintings I look forward to creating. This first "postcard" is a view of the courtyard and some of the beautiful gardens in our hotel. Just a quick pen and ink sketch embellished with watercolors:

This next image is a scene I painted in one of the little hidden residential alleys in Old Town, Key West. I visited this alley a couple of times and was drawn to this little scene. The structure looked like a little garden shed but it was maintained so prettily with flowers and tropical foliage. As it turned out this building was actually an artist's studio. No wonder I was attracted to it! I met the artist/owner who was kind enough to show me inside. She is a nice retired lady who lives next door and paints for her own enjoyment, mostly outside on the patio adjacent to this little studio. Don't let the modest exterior fool was a wonderful space! This is a 6x8" pen and ink/watercolor on approximately 7x9" watercolor paper:


I will be working on a couple of commissions immediately upon returning home, but be looking for some new Key West oil paintings on my website in the near future!

To see my oil paintings of Key West, click here.

Key West Conch Houses

I'm finally figuring out how to post pictures! Here is a shot of some "conch houses" near where we are staying:

Ever since our first trip to Key West, I have really admired the colorful "conch house" architecture. These structures have diverse architectural roots, hailing from New England, the Caribbean, and even some New Orleans/Creole influences. I just love the colors, simplicity and tropical influence of these houses, and especially the little shotgun cottages. More sketching today, with a focus on these structures.

To see my oil paintings of Key West, click here.

-Jennifer Young; Vibrant Landscapes Contact

Fun in the Sun

I wish I could figure out how to post images more easily while I am away but the wireless connection is pretty low at the hotel. We are having a great time though and spent the day riding bikes and exploring some more. It is still windy here which makes watermedia difficult for me outdoors, so I am mainly sticking to sketching. I am gathering lots of reference material though and taking a ton of photos for further development back home in the studio. Next time I will definitely want to bring my entire oil setup (I will take my chances with the airlines!) as the oils stay open and workable so much better than watermedia, especially in the wind. Other than that the weather is terrific. Clear blue skies and very little humidity at present. We've rented bikes to get around and it's been fun cruising through some of the lesser known side streets. I could get used to the pace of life here! Here I am sketching in one of the hidden alleys:



-Jennifer Young; Vibrant Landscapes Contact

Exploring Key West

We have arrived! We left Richmond on Saturday with temperatures in the 30's and arrived in a warm Key West topping out at 80 degrees! After stopping off at the hotel we went by the Wave Gallery to visit with the owner. I was a little worried that with the recent hurricanes a lot of the flora would have been destroyed. Key West did receive it's share of destruction from the salt water storm surges, but it appears that the old section has largely been spared. It is beautiful here!

I spent yesterday morning doing some gouache studies of the various plants while Dave conducted important business largely involving lounging in the hot tub. By afternoon thunderstorms rolled in, so no painting.

Weather today is sunny but very windy. I may be able to bring a modified setup to do some sketching, but with these winds I might be limited to taking a lot of digital photos.

As soon as I can figure out how to get my photos downloaded remotely I will try and post some pictures.

To see my oil paintings of Key West, click here.

Jennifer Young; Vibrant Landscapes Contact

Off to Key West

I'm off for a few days to bask in some Florida sunshine! I have determined to bring my gouaches and watercolors to make for a very portable plein air setup. Sometimes it is good to experiment and move beyond the comfort zone. I was extremely tempted just to bring my oils, but the compactness of watermedia is hard to beat. I managed to fit almost all of my art supplies into a small 9x12" pack. If I can get my ducks in a row, I hope to post to the blog while traveling. Best wishes, Jennifer Young; Vibrant Landscapes Contact

Travel Plans

Travel is one of the most joyful parts of my life as an artist. I love traveling to new and beautiful places to paint and gather inspiration, and I feel so fortunate that my business is able to support my adventures. This February we will be taking a much welcomed trip down to sunny Key West. We were supposed to go last Spring, but bad weather caused us to cancel those plans. Here's a scene I painted from photos I took on our last trip to Key West. It's called "Sunset Celebration". It measures 11x14", oil on canvas. For more details about the painting, check out my scenes of the American South section on my website:

I've also started planning for a June trip to Lake Como, Italy! I think the scenic views of the lake regions in Northern Italy are some of the most striking and beautiful in the country. The uniqueness of Lake Como is that it is distinctively Mediterranean, with lush flora, palm trees and cypresses, but set against a stunning backdrop of the Alpine mountains. I am so excited to be returning to this area, since the last time I went was many years ago and my camera broke on day two!

I will be painting on location both in Key West and in Como. I am primarily an oil painter but I'm considering bringing watercolors instead, since they allow for easier cleanup and are more portable. Plus, with the new airline regulations I have heard many instances where other artists have had their oil paints confiscated by the airlines. That's quite a setback to experience, considering the painter has to buy a whole new set of expensive paints at the destination site. Supposedly you can bring a letter from the paint manufacturer insisting that the oil paints are made with vegetable oils and do not contain but a trace of ingredients that would be considered "flammable".

But in past trips since 9/11 I have not wanted to take the chance. If I wanted to paint in oils overseas I ended up just shopping for small tubes of paint in the destination country. This can actually be a really fun experience, because there are so many fine products in the art stores of France and Italy. But it does take a bit of extra planning and time if one is going to be staying primarily out in the country.