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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!