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Places where you may view my artwork.

Jen Norton Art at the Sacred Art Gallery, Scottsdale

Jen Norton is one of the featured artists at the Sacred Art Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ

I’m proud to say I am now represented by The Sacred Art Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ. The gallery represents a diverse range of art and artists, from the traditional pieces of Italian artist Peter Darro (If you’ve grown up Catholic, you’ve seen his work) to the contemplative and sometimes controversial work of Janet McKenzie, to your’s truly, circled above between Michelangelo and the “Old Masters”! I am thrilled that the seasoned team running the gallery has chosen to put the time and effort into supporting the religious arts and that they have chosen my work for part of the effort. Our Grand Opening is Feb 3, 2017… I hope you can join us!

Art Box Project #2!

Last year I was privileged to paint one my city’s electrical boxes as part of the Art Box Project San Jose. Recently, I was contacted to paint a second box to reflect the original cherry orchards that used to grace the corner of Hamilton/Pine and Hicks Roads in Willow Glen, San Jose. The patrons who hired me are part of the family who originally owned the farm, and they still own some of the property as well as the beloved family tractor shown on the front of the box! I thought you might enjoy a few pictures of my latest public art endeavors:

Art Box front by Jen Norton

artbox_2

artbox_3

artbox_4

ArtBox Project San Jose!

If you ever find yourself traveling down Curtner Avenue in the Willow Glen area of San Jose, CA, be sure to look North as you cross Booksin Ave and you will see my lastest public artwork. I am one of over 30 artists (so far) who are painting the city’s electrical utility boxes as part of the ArtBox Project SJ. It is reported that the project began when local Metro News columnist Gary Singh pondered whether San Jose could ever back a project like this. He commented to his friend, “idealist” Tina Morrill, “This could never happen in San Jose.” She responded with, “Wanna bet?” and there you have it! They are partnering with neighborhood associations, businesses and business districts and even individual sponsors, as well as local art-entrpreneur Cherri Lakey of Anno Domini, Kaleid Gallery and Phantom Galleries to coordinate local artists with box locations. Here are a few shots of my new ArtBox. I also want to send my appreciation to all the friendly Willow Glen residents who shouted encouragement and thanks to me as I painted out in the traffic for three days, as well as local realtor Holly Barr who added me to the Willow Glen Charm Facebook page! You guys are the best!

Part 1: Sketch and underpainting…

Jen sketching the box design

 And a few shots of the finished work:

Jen Norton's painted electrical box, street side

Jen Norton's painted electrical box, north side

Jen Norton's painted electrical box, south and sidewalk side

A little work in progress

Work in progress in Jen Norton's studio

Summer break is two weeks shorter for us this year since our daughter will enter a school that begins earlier. I’ve been taking care of school supplies, uniforms and, on top of it all, cleaning out my home for a block rummage sale. I bet I’m not the only one out there with those tasks at hand.

Thankfully, I haven’t avoided the studio altogether. I’ve also been busy on some new small paintings…lots of  6 x 6″ wood panel acrylic pieces. I love these because they always provide an element of surprise. I begin by coating the wood with gesso and then carving into it as it dries. I add washes of color to enhance the texture of the gesso. As it seeps into the carved lines, the image emerges! I do very little planning and just explore ideas. Some are moody, some are lighthearted…each one developes a personality of its own.

If you’d like to see these pieces in person, I will be bringing them to my fall shows, beginning with my next event at Wisteria Antiques & Gardens in Soquel, CA on August 18 & 19th, 2012.

I’ve also been beefing up my online offerings on Fine Art America (art prints in custom sizes and formats) and my Etsy store. I was also featured on Turning Art, a service which lets you rent art prints and apply your rental price to any originals you purchase. It’s an interesting idea!

All the details for this, and other events, are on my show schedule page. I hope to see you this fall!

Open Studio 2012 This Weekend!

Strawberries © Jen Norton

“Strawberries” by Jen Norton

I’m all packed up and about to go set my booth up for Silicon Valley Open Studios 2012! Over the past week I have introduced you to a few of my fellow exhibitors. There will be 14 of us in all. The rest of the artists selling their awesome work at this location include: Terri Hill, Judy Welsh, Robyn Crumly, Jane Hofstetter, Sandi Okita, Kay Duffy, Donna Orme, Shirley Motmans and Pat Suggs. All of us have shown in galleries, exhibitions and taught art, so this is your chance to pick the freshest art in the valley! Plus, we’ll be holding a free raffle with work from most of the artists in attendance.

We look forward to seeing you! Print your flyer here if you haven’t already done so, or just meet us at 19880 Lark Way in Saratoga, CA. 11am to 5pm on both Sat & Sun, May 12 & 13.

…And a very Happy Mother’s Day to all my fellow moms. I hope you are appreciated on Sunday and everyday for all you do! From the words of St. Therese of Lisieux, “The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is the heart of a mother.”

Artist Feature 4: Jane Ferguson (countdown to Open Studio 2012)

home portrait paintings © Jen Norton

”Grandma Mac’s House“ by Jen Norton

Hi everyone…You may have noticed that I now do Home Portraits, one of the ways I am using my art to honor and celebrate family traditions and stories. I will have a few samples at my Open Studio this weekend for you to see. The great thing about paint is I can make your flowers look bright, paint your house the color you really want it to be…or keep your house just the way it is. It’s up to you…it’s YOUR story! How about ordering one for your mother? Or purchase a gift certificate so she can commission a home or recipe painting for herself.

Summer Blooms © Jane Ferguson

“Summer Blooms” by Jane Ferguson

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Jane Ferguson who will be one of the 14 artists showing with me this weekend at site 256 during Silicon Valley Open Studios. Jane also knows a bit about making flowers bright. Her joyful personality comes alive in every work she does! In Jane’s own words:

“In creating my paintings I like to use bold colours and a variety of mediums. My goal is to achieve interesting  designs in my work and move away from photo realism. My paintings are more about the use of paint and colour than actually depicting the subject matter. I enjoy experimenting with new mediums and techniques and painting on different surfaces. I want to encourage viewers of my art to find their own imagery with in the pieces. The constant experimental and learning process in Art is what I find so addictive and keeps me loving what I do.” 

The Big One © Jane Ferguson

“The Big One” by Jane Ferguson

See more of Jane’s abstracts, florals and illustrations here. We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

Artist Feature 3: Floy Zittin (countdown to Open Studio 2012)

Garden Charms by Jen Norton

Finishing up my Garden Charms!

Today I’m putting the finishing touches on my Garden Charms® for this weekend’s Open Studio. These are super popular because they allow you to hang art anywhere…kitchen, bath, even outdoors! And speaking of outdoors….

Leafy Labyrinth 2 © Floy Zittin

Leafy Labyrinth 2 by Floy Zittin

I want to introduce you to today’s Featured Artist, my friend and amateur birder Floy Zittin. Floy has years of experience in scientific illustration and uses it to gracefully capture birds in their local habitats, which she renders with a mystical quality using watercolor on both paper and canvas. You can see more of Floy’s work on her website or in her new Etsy store. We’ll both be exhibiting this weekend in Saratoga and you can get all the info here.

 

 

Sparrows © Floy Zittin

Sparrows by Floy Zittin

Artist Feature 2: Andy Ballantyne (countdown to Open Studio 2012)

Coastal House art © Jen Norton

Coastal California Originals and Prints on Wood

It’s going to be hot weather this weekend for our  Open Studio, but maybe my coastal house art will make it seem like a day at the beach! I love my new 6×6″ paintings on wood panel. Each one is painted with layers of fluid acrylic on carved gesso. Plus, I’m making small prints on canvas adhered to carved and painted wood for a fun, giftable option! Originals are $135; Prints on wood are $24.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to another one of my Allied Artist West friends who will be showing his work. Andy Ballantyne is a retired high school art teacher who clearly knows his stuff when it comes to composition, shapes and color. He works in oils, watercolors and pen and ink. All his work is great, but if you don’t believe me, take a look for yourself here.

Goldsmith Seed Farm © Andy Ballantyne

Goldsmith Seed Farm by Andy Ballantyne

Chickadees © Andy Ballantyne

Chickadees by Andy Ballantyne

 

See you this weekend in Saratoga!

May 12 & 13, 2012

Artist Feature 1: Yao-pi Hsu (countdown to Open Studio 2012)

Cool Summer Salad © Jen Norton

“Cool Summer Salad,” 20 x 20", Acrylic on canvas

Hi Art Lovers and Fans…

I’m getting all my art ready and planning my booth for my Open Studio this weekend, May 12 & 13, 2012. Today I put the hanging wire on this fun piece called “Cool Summer Salad”. Doesn’t it just make you want to eat healthy? And one of these days I’m going to design some fabric with this pattern…wouldn’t that be awesome to put on my table under my cool summer salad?

I also want to introduce you to some of the other artists I’ll be showing with this weekend. There will be 14 of us in all, set up on a beautiful property at 19880 Lark Way in Saratoga, CA. I’m going to feature one artist each day this week to whet your appetite. You’ll just have to stop by the show to meet the rest of the artists!

Today’s featured artist is my friend and photographer Yao-pi Hsu. Her work was recently selected for the Chief Curator’s Choice Award by the Chief Curator himself of the Triton Museum of Art, Preston Metcalf. About her work, he said, “It is not always the case that a photographer has the eye of a painter, but Yao-pi Hsu does, and she composes her photographs with a delicate of form and color…”

See you this weekend!

Tulip © Yao Pi Hsu

“Tulip” by Yao Pi Hsu

 

My Relationship with Art

California Coastal vineyard and boat with Pinot grapes

I have a never-ending stream of ideas running through my head. Sometimes it’s a good thing, or even entertaining. Sometimes it’s a stumbling block that keeps me from moving forward.

I’ve always loved pattern. Pattern takes all that chaos and puts in into some kind of pleasing order. As a designer, I always preferred brochure design the best because I could take words and pictures and make something orderly and logical out of them. In painting, I have much more freedom and often too many possibilities, making it hard to start. Thankfully, I have found ways to jump that hurdle. This is how I tackle a painting:

Stage 1: The Anxiety Stage
1. Develop a concept, sketch or at least some basic idea of where I want to go.

2. Don’t think about that scary blank canvas. Just start putting stuff on. I have evolved my painting style specifically to move me out of anxiety and into action. I embrace the chaos.

3. Slowly start to refine large shapes, color themes. I start to tame the beast, which moves me into…

Stage 2: Conflict Management Stage
4. As the large shapes take form, I break them down into smaller areas, make decisions about which will be light or dark areas, develop the “story” of the painting. I have learned both from teaching art and making art that art doesn’t lie. It can’t. It’s creative, from the Creator, pure love. If you make something you truly love, it is truthful, even if some don’t understand it. This is the stage where the rubber meets the road and I use my technical skills make life or death judgements. I should note that this could easily be an area full of self-criticism (I’m not good enough; what if they find out I really don’t know what I’m doing?). All par for the course in the creative process. I have learned to block this out. This is fear, not love. By stepping way from emotion and returning to my practiced skills, I can walk through this wall.

Stage 3: Euphoria
5. This is the stage where I can get lost in details for hours, adding texture, refining colors…all the romantic, emotional qualities that make the piece uniquely mine. I am mesmerized in the making of patterns that have formed from my earlier chaos. This is the stage most non-artists think we makers live in all the time. No, you only get to come here after going through the other stages. Sometimes Stage 1 & 2 can flow more quickly…say if you’ve been divinely inspired. Most of the time, you’ve got to do the work. And yes, art is work.

Art is a bit like life, don’t you think? If we all had the chance to make more art, maybe we’d be better at life. I’ll be showing some of my latest Work at my next Open Studio on May 12 & 13, 2012 and I hope you can come.

The piece above is a sample of one of my paintings…filled with the patterns of the vineyards that grow in the Santa Cruz Mountains near me. This piece is titled, “Coastal Pinot and Chardonnay” and is being used by the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce as their 2012 graphic. With coastal fog and a warm climate, the Santa Cruz mountains are known for their Pinot grapes…and “Chardonnay” refers not to the grape, but to the boat passing by…the Chardonnay Cruise that runs along the Santa Cruz Coast!

You can purchase a print of this artwork here. Please contact me directly to purchase the original.