“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” – Hamilton Wright Mable
November, 13th – January 3rd: Join us this holiday season at Noodle Gallery for a selection of unique, whimsical and imaginative gift giving.
A number of local participating artists, fine crafters and authors; Cheryll Collins Designs, Josephine Condotta, Melissa Mary Jenkins, kukucaju, John Leenders, Peyton Leung, Katie McLellan, Nicola Ross, Keri Rounding, and Stone Cottage Industry. Find inspiring gifts for all your loved ones and we bet you’ll even be tempted to pick out something for yourself!
For the last two months I have been actively researching how to sell my art online, by listening to pod casts and reading blog posts and articles. The most helpful site by far is the Abundant Artist. http://theabundantartist.com/
I have been listening to success stories from various artists while painting, and my mind has been fascinated, sometimes overwhelmed and yet, incredibly excited. These successful artists are experts at telling the story behind their art. Here is a quote from Lisa Baum in her post entitled “Selling the Experience: Telling the Story of Your Art”
“Whether we like it or not, we’re not rational creatures. We’re emotional, and when an artist touches our raw emotion, by bringing out our shared deeper experience through storytelling, that artist makes a lasting impression.”
October 20 I sat down to check my messages and the most thrilling message came in from Etsy. One of my paintings had been featured on the Etsy Finds newsletter! My shop literally exploded with views and purchases! I went from 300 views to my shop for the month of September, to over 8ooo views in the last seven days!!!
But even though that day was probably the most rewarding day in my artistic “career”, especially after the time and energy I poured into revamping my social media presence, even more meaningful was what my customers taught me. Two women, in particular took the time to tell me that the paintings they chose to buy “spoke” to them in powerful ways. With their permission I would like to share these lovely sentiments.
“Hi Melissa, I really love your art piece ice cream dreams and look forward to seeing it hang in my living room. My husband is dying now and it seems an affirmation of all he was and all our relationship was when it was good. Thank you for making this beautiful piece which resonates so close to my heart.”
This precious lady reminded me of the power that art has to describe emotions and experiences that go beyond words. My goal as an artist is to provide artwork that “touches the soul” and this message verified that I am on the right path.
“I often look for original art on Etsy, but have never purchased. This morning, I opened my e-mail from Etsy, saw your painting, and instantly loved it. Yes, it would be fair to say, ‘it spoke to me’! I always like to know what people ‘read’ in art. I like to know what people see, and how they interpret. Perhaps you’d like to know how your painting spoke to me…. I love water. I crave water. I love the color of water. I dream of someday (hopefully sooner than later at this point in my life!) living on a small quiet lake. When I looked at your painting, I felt as though I was *in* the water, floating underneath the surface and looking up. I saw flowers floating on the surface, and I saw hazy rays of sunshine coming through the water. Surely, it’s the view of a mermaid “.
Now the crazy thing is, Janet actually put into words exactly what I have been dreaming of capturing for years. It is no exaggeration for me to say that “Water” is my solace, my retreat and my “soul”. My favourite thing to do in the summer is to go under the water and look up at the sun, and I have always dreamed of being able to paint that experience. In fact, my daughters and I spend many a day taking underwater photos to try and capture the moment.
I had no idea that the “view of a mermaid” series (many thanks to Janet for the name) that Janet bought, which coincidentally are the paintings that I feel most “alive” painting, had in fact captured my vision of the sky underwater. When I paint the “views of a mermaid” series, it is like I have finally come “home”; like all the stars have aligned and I have found my “artistic voice”.
As I sink back into the reality that I would like to be selling more artwork, and diligently learning how to do that, I feel such gratitude to these two women who reminded me that this is all worth it.
I am so very thrilled to announce that Melissa Mary Jenkins Artwork is now for sale at Snowberry Botanicals, a most delightful local floral shop which offers floral design, rentals and full service styling and planning.
The space is absolutely gorgeous with an industrial “feel”, large windows and glorious light!
Snowberry Botanicals has been integral in inspiring my floral artwork. The moment that you walk through the doors, you are amazed by the space, the creativity oozing from the various vignettes and most importantly, the friendly and vibrant vibe that both Krystal and Sarah fill the space with.
I continue to be inspired by the plants that I have purchased and the photos these lovely ladies post on social media.
To top it all off, my little ones “really” enjoy forming their own cactus creations from the famous “cactus bar”!
If you live in the Erin area, drop in to say hi to Krystal and Sarah and be prepared to be inspired! If you would like more information on their services and/or follow them on social media, please visit their website.
What is life…
Over the past year I have heard several definitions of life. Early on in my health struggles, a doctor flippantly said to me:
“I guess it’s just life” as I stumbled out of the doctor’s office in a daze of nausea, weakness and pain.
As I was describing how I felt to a friend, I made the comment that I just wanted to get back to “my life”. Her well-intentioned response was:
“This is your life”.
I am not sure why this response irritated me to the core, and continues to irk me. I want to scream to these people that, “No. This is not my life!!! Something has taken over my health, and I am not willing to have this be “my life”! I am not willing to be complacent and miss out on the “normal” activities that I had dreamed of experiencing with my children!!! I had worked hard to create a well-balanced and healthy life for both my family and myself. I made sure to eat healthy, exercise regularly, include humour, music and inspiration daily, create a peaceful home both inside and out, and maintain healthy friendships with family and friends.
Another doctor told me (with good intention) that I was suffering from PTSD because of a non-invasive breast cancer diagnosis and treatment a few months prior to coming down with my “mysterious symptoms”. He continued to explain to me that my body was responding to the stress in my life. What he didn’t know, is that I loved my life both during and after the cancer diagnosis. I was surrounded by a calm, wise and supportive husband, loving friends, and dedicated and helpful family members. I am essentially a hopeful person who knows that her “life” shouldn’t be crowded with burning pain and unrelenting fatigue.
I refused to believe the gentle Chinese Medicine Practitioner who said that I had pushed all of my anxiety and sensitivity down into my organs. I refused to believe that I had somehow created this “life”.
And then finally there was the kind doctor who said that he believed that I was in pain but that there was nothing he could do. Well, his complacency was the “final straw”. His lack of willingness to push further is what finally spurred me to follow the advice of a woman who found hope in a Lyme literate doctor in New Jersey.
My “life” has finally pulled onto the on-ramp of hope. I know it will be a long and difficult journey, filled with many road blocks and detours, but at least I have hope. To me, hope is life. And yes, now this is “my life”.
I recently discovered a most inspiring poet, author, artist and photographer named Tyler Knott Gregson. I stumbled upon his poems and was utterly taken with his ability to cut right through the layers of mundane life and speak the yearnings of the soul. In a recent interview he commented on his creative process: “We create what we do out of necessity for ourselves. It’s a way for us to cope… My mind when I am writing one [a poem] usually isn’t even entirely present, it’s more of a frantic rush to get the thoughts down so I can stop carrying them, so when I am done I feel better. I feel empty, but in the best way.”
Well, once again, he spoke my truth loud and clear. Painting is my way of coping through all the medical chaos I have experienced in the past year. It is my way of tuning out the details of life that can overwhelm and cloud my mind. And when I am done a painting, my mind and heart just “knows”. It really is a rare and miraculous experience to feel fully confident for no apparent reason other than my heart says,”I feel empty, but in the best way”.
I have also been attempting a little experiment of diving deeper into the creative experience and blocking out external distractions while in the act of painting. Instead I have been feasting my ears to the sounds of ocean waves, which have always calmed my spirit and inspired me to dream. The musical movement of the waves has seeped into my seascape paintings while opening my creative spirit up to new possibilities.
Here are a few seascapes that have burst forth in this new creative bent.
All of these paintings can be purchased in my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/melissamaryjenkins