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Archive | Licensing and Design

Paddy and the Wolves, an illustrated children’s book

I’m excited to announce the arrival of my newest project…an illustrated children’s book and coloring book! Written by Steve Nagel and published in America by Gracewatch Media, “Paddy and the Wolves” imagines the life of young Paddy, way before he became St. Patrick. Unable to sit still for prayers, his mother sends him out to help Barra the shepherd, where he learns to trust Jesus in all his adventures. The book also contains prayers for children, facts on St. Patrick, a board game (back cover) and a recipe for Paddy’s mom’s oatcakes.

Paddy and the Wolves by Steve Nagel, Illustrated by Jen Norton. Softcover and coloring book edition shown. Hardcover version also available.

Softcover and coloring book editions of “Paddy and the Wolves”

I have a limited number of softcover books and coloring books in my Etsy store. Hardcover editions are also available and I will list them in March.

If you are a bookseller or Catholic school and want to order a larger number of books, please contact Gracewatch Media directly for the best deal. They are good people and will be happy to help you out. They also offer a digital download, and full pdf previews of the entire story on their site.

And you can also buy the titles on Amazon, of course! If you do buy on Amazon, we would love it if you can return and leave a review. This not only helps the book sell, but “unlocks” the book-viewing capabilities for other buyers.

And finally, if you would like to own any of the original artwork, I have listed the available pieces in my Etsy store (original art section) here.

May you find God in all your daily encounters, just like Paddy!

 

A Merry Round-up for Christmas

Everywhere I go, people keep asking if I’m ready for Christmas. I am. What I’m not entirely ready for is for my child turning 18 on Christmas Eve! Boy, did those years go fast. Still, as my business grows, I know it’s time for her to fly and find her own way to make her dreams come true.

Looking back over this year, I thought I’d share a few fun dream-come-true moments from my 2015 art life. First, a thank you to all of you who purchased pieces during my recent 50-50-50 sale. Many works found new homes and because of you, I was able to donate $327 to Catholic Relief Services. The poor and vulnerable people of the world thank you too.

So, a few highlights from my art life:

Catholic Gifts by Jen Norton and Dickson's Gifts

• I had the opportunity to work with Dickson’s Gifts this year when they licensed several of my existing pieces (and commissioned a few others) to create a new line of Catholic gift items. These items will be available to the trade beginning 2016, so you might see them in stores later in the year. More on that as it unfolds…

My artwork appeared in several editorial publications and events all over the world this year. Some of these appearances include…

• “Hail Mary”used in a book cover design for Word by Word by Sarah Reinhard, published by Ave Maria press

• “Beloved St. Francis” graced the pages of the September 2015 issue of Tui Motu Magazine in New Zealand

An illustration for a fiction piece about a modern woman finding comfort in St. Julian of Norwich. She is sitting in a rocking chair by the fire with her orange cat, contemplating the words "All Shall be Well" attributed to the saint. Acrylic on paper.

• Franciscan Media hired me for a commission for a fictional story about a woman finding kinship with St. Julian of Norwich in the November 2015 issue of the St. Anthony Messenger

• Our newest Saint, St. Junipero Serra, traveled to the pages of the Winter 2015 edition of Catholic Extension Magazine. I was originally hired to do a cover image…but then got pre-empted by the visiting Pope! Can’t fight that…

• I also created special St. Serra prayer cards for the San Carlos Cathedral in Monterey, CA to be given at an event surrounding his canonization.

 

Mural art by Heather Gentile Collins at St. Andrews, inspired by artwork by Jen Norton

• Over the summer, Chicago area artist Heather Gentile Collins used my “Sacrifice” artwork as inspiration to create a mural in collaboration with the school children of St. Andrews Parish.

Canticle of Mary event banner

• St. Pius X church in Maryland ordered a “shower curtain” from my Fine Art America store to use as a banner at their Advent luncheon. (I was happy to find out no one was really showering with Mary!)

There were many more uses of my work at church events and on church bulletins and you have all kept me busy fulfilling lots of orders on my Etsy store. But 2016 is already rushing in over here and as soon as the Christmas tree comes down, I’ll be working on inventory and new art to take to the LA RECongress event in Anaheim in February! I have enjoyed all the opportunities and people who have come my way and hope to continue on this path for another year…

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Whether or not your wishes came true in 2015 or flopped spectacularly, know that you are loved right in this moment just as you are. If you have managed to lighten someone’s day along the way, even better.

Happy New Year!
Jen

*all artwork was used with permission on these projects

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Listen to your Mother: Pray the Rosary

The Joyful Mysteries by Jerry Windley-Daoust

Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes. —1 John 2:11

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the darkness? Turn on any news show and you’ll want to run to your nearest closet, lock yourself in, and declare the world a hopeless, evil place. But there is a key to unlock that closet, and it’s held by an unlikely girl, once a nobody, really. But then she was given a great task to become part of the salvation of all creation, and she said “yes.” She did not let darkness overcome her. She walked with it until it passed. And now she wants to lead you to The Way, to her Son. The steps on the path are the beads on her Rosary.

Pray one decade (1 Our Father + 10 Hail Marys + 1 Glory Be) on your couch with a cup of coffee. Pray all 5 decades x 20 mysteries on your knees in a monastery. Pray it on your fingers in the car. It doesn’t matter… as long as you pray it. Why? Because when you spend even a few moments of each day mindful of the feminine strength needed to bring God’s Grace to the world, you will begin to understand your part in overcoming darkness too.

When I was a child I was preoccupied with order and perfection. It’s safe to say I probably had a bit of undiagnosed OCD… and one thing I obsessed about was church rules. I would try to say the rosary before bed, but if I made one mistake, even in the last word of the last prayer, I’d start over. As you can imagine, I did some pretty heavy praying for a kid! My one reprieve was to recite it with my mother. Together, we could make all the mistakes we wanted and it was OK. Her inherent goodness was powerful enough to negate my imperfections. So I would trek down the hall to her room at 10 or 11pm, frustrated by my “prayer failures”, and wake her up from a deep sleep to say the rosary with me. And to her credit she did it. I’m sure her reaction was a mixture of happiness that I was so devout and complete annoyance that I was interrupting her much-needed sleep. Still, she was there for me. She didn’t leave me all alone in my darkness.

I continued to say parts of the rosary throughout my life, albeit less devoutly. Ten “Hail Marys” before bed, an “Our Father” on the way to a college test. No real devotion…more of a comforting insurance policy, really. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I really needed to turn to prayer for a difficult situation that comfort of the rosary became real to me. This time, it was my turn to accompany someone through darkness. In recitation of the simple prayers, holding each bead as I went along, I felt the Blessed Mother walking beside me. I was guided toward the help needed; I was given the strength to think clearly when things got scary. But most importantly, I was provided with an underlying sense of Peace. I was given the mantra “Let it Be”, which I understood to mean that in the end, all would be well. Just what a mother would say. And she was right.

“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:6-7

Recently, two of my paintings, “Hail Mary” and “The Canticle of Mary”, were included in an Illuminated book of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary by Catholic author Jerry Windley-Daoust. From an artist’s perspective, it’s definitely a boost to the ego to be included in a published collection of work with the likes of Fra Angelico, Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli! On a deeper level, I believe this author found me because we both share a vision to provide a new, fresh perspective to timeless traditions of our faith. Artwork can offer a deeper understanding for both children and adults; a good companion to the beads. Jerry’s book offers an alternative way to experience the Catholic meditative devotional to Mary: through the eyes of artists who have spent their own prayerful time at the canvas.

I hope you will consider making the rosary part of your spiritual practice, if you don’t already. They’re simple prayers, to a simple girl. And, quite simply, they can drive out darkness. The devil hates that, you know.

A preview, and copies of the Illuminated Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary can be purchased at www.pbgrace.com/joyful-mysteries 

Prints of my included artwork are available in my Etsy and Fine Art America stores.

The original paintings are part of the permanent collection at the Presentation Center in Los Gatos, CA.

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A Calendar of Healthy Eating

Calendar design © Jen Norton

I wanted to share with you a recent design and art project I completed for the Berkeley Unified School District in Northern California. In an age of school budget cuts, Berkeley Unified has remained committed to providing its students with nutritious, fresh foods, and they produce a beautiful art calendar for their families each year. That’s where I come in…I’ve been lucky to be the artist and designer to put this piece together for the last two years. This calendar features my artwork as well as healthy recipes from the students and staff of the BUSD. I just got my box of samples, so I thought I’d share it with you today!

Interior Calendar Images

The original food paintings below are currently available to purchase or license. Contact me directly with your interest. Individual pieces are $250 each, 9 x 12″, framed acrylic on wood panel. The images are also available as matted art prints ($28). I’ve got four of them listed in my Etsy store… but just ask if you want one I have not yet listed.

 

Images for Calendar Design © Jen Norton

 

Calendar Cover Image

And finally, the cover image I painted is called “Bayside Gardens” and measures 24 x 24″. It is painted with Acrylics on gallery-wrapped canvas, and available for $950. Contact me directly to purchase or license this piece. It is also available as a matted art print ($28) or an aluminum Garden Charm ($45) in my Etsy store.

Bayside Gardens © Jen Norton

“Bayside Gardens” © Jen Norton