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Tag Archives | gift for her

Abundant Love

Love Is Abundant © Jen Norton

Valentine’s Day is just a month away, and I have to admit it’s not one of my favorites. Not that I don’t appreciate love, or the efforts of the somewhat ambiguous St. Valentine, martyred in the 2nd century by the Roman emperor Claudius for, among other things, assisting persecuted Christians in getting married. It’s just that the day always seems so fake to me. Overpriced red roses, pre-written sentiments, the expectation that if enough demonstrations of love aren’t expressed on this day, you’ve missed out somehow. I don’t like to be told what to do or how to feel. And I already eat too much chocolate and I don’t wear much jewelry. The traditions that have formed around this day don’t interest me. I’d rather read a book.

But that’s my perspective on something that brings others great joy. And that’s the funny thing about Love…REAL Love. It’s always there, constantly surrounding us, always ready to rain down on us the minute we’re open to it. But often we’re not. Love is always an abundant commodity. Our ability to see it, accept it, believe that it is really meant for us, is often clouded. We hide under our “umbrellas” of fear, judgement, past beliefs. But while this shield might keep the rain out, it will also hide the sun.

What happens if we change our perspective, turn our umbrella upside down, so to speak? Then it becomes a vessel to gather all the Love we want. Sure some rain my fall. Your hair might get wet or your mascara run. But if we have the courage to accept all that is ready and waiting for us, our cup just might runneth over.

Matted prints made in my studio are available here.  Or you can purchase a set of signed Art Cards here.

This original is 9 x 12″, Acrylic on cradled birch wood. To inquire about the original, please contact me directly.

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It’s time for those American holiday sales!

Happy Holiday Specials from Jen Norton
In honor of the great American eating and shopping holidays of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday (yikes!), I’ve got some special Holiday Sales for you. If you’re looking for something unique and art-inspired, I may be able to help you check a few gifts off your list. So here goes…This is the week to find the perfect something at the best price in any of my online stores! Coupon Codes will be active until midnight on Monday, December 2!

20% OFF in my ETSY Shop:

In this shop, you’ll find small original work, 11×14 matted prints and Garden Charms made in my studio. Use Coupon Code “Holiday20” at checkout from Monday, Nov 25 to Mon, Dec 2nd, 2013 to get 20% off any purchase!
Enter here: www.etsy.com/shop/JenNortonArtStudio or use the “Shop” tab on this site.

20% OFF in my Fine Art America Print Shop:

In this shop you’ll find reproductions customized your way. You can even matt and frame here and have it shipped directly to you, ready to hang! Use Discount Code “GLUDTC” at checkout from Monday, Nov 25 to Mon, Dec 2nd, 2013 to get 20% off any art reproductions. Please note that this discount will not apply to any framing accessories purchased along with your art.
Enter here: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/jen-norton.html or use the use the “Shop” tab on this site.

Daily Specials from Zazzle:

Sample Zazzle Products

Here you can shop for pillows, journals, clocks, cosmetic bags, cell phone covers and even matching postage and holiday cards made with my artwork. While I cannot offer discounts directly, Zazzle posts daily specials this week on their home page, or you can sign up on their site to receive them in your email. Applicable discounts are applied automatically to any purchase when you check out.

Entere here: www.zazzle.com/jennortonartstudio.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, if you’re in America. Happy Weekend to everyone else!

Jen

Find Yourself on the Road Less Traveled

Following Your Creative PathOne of my daughter’s friends recently remarked about my daily attire, “Jen, you’re like a pre-schooler. You don’t care what you wear!” It’s true…I’m sure I’m lowering my neighborhood’s property values by wearing 20+ year-old sweats and paint-stained t-shirts. On most days I get paint, food, dog slobber and dirt on me, so what’s the point? Of course there are times I put more effort into my appearance out of respect for the other humans who must come in contact with me or to present an image consistent with my art. But in general, my identity is not tied to how I look. I travel lightly. I have Art to thank for this freedom. Because of my years of making art, I have had reason to shut out the world for a time, reflect on what I believe, put those beliefs into tangible form, and inspire others. My creative path has led me to a place where my identity is tied to the content I want to leave behind, not in how I look.

As you might imagine, my version of fashion sense is a mysterious phenomenon to my teenage daughter and her girl friends. In their newly-forming world view, all questions of identity must be solved by editing one’s appearance. Every day I am confronted with the effects of a world less kind to women first-hand when these otherwise intelligent and beautiful girls are overheard questioning whether or not they need plastic surgery, complain that they’re too fat, refrain from eating in front of boys and spend every cent they have on beauty supplies in hopes of making themselves acceptable. They lack confidence in trying something new, pre-determining that others already do it better. Even in a home like ours where we are conscious of this negative mindset, it’s a hard beast to tame. In the prime teen age of identity development, it’s a daily battle.

I paint subjects of home and family in in hopes of re-addressing our shunned “feminine” qualities in some small way. I believe the things like laundry, daily cooking and nurturing children normally labeled as “women’s work” should be elevated to the place of highest honor, no matter which gender does them. They are the ultimate Fine Art, with a capital F and A. Why? Because they provide the connection that keeps our girls from becoming less than they should be. Because it’s hard for daughters to pursue their own dreams if they valued the work their mothers or grandmothers did in raising them as less important than their father’s paycheck. It’s hard to change the world when you don’t feel you’re pretty enough to walk out the door. These are the lies that stop up our girls, and these are the conversations I hope to facilitate through my art.

There is so much in mainstream life that tries to strip away a girl’s sense of self. We have to choose daily to step out and follow a different path, a more life-giving one where we tell our own stories. Where are you meant to go? There are better roads to be found.

PS: I was inspired to write this blog after viewing MissRepresentation, a film by Jennifer Siebel Newsom about the messages girls inherit from our media culture. Check it out if you relate to what I’ve written.

PPS: Would you like to purchase a print of my Creative Path art? Check my Etsy store!

PPPS: No one ever questions my husband’s fashion sense and his sweats are older than mine.