Tag Archives | jen norton

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!

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!

*all artwork was used with permission on these projects


Jen’s 50-50-50 Birthday-Holiday Art Sale!

A picture of Jen's 50th birthday cake.

My birthday cake, made by my daughter!

I’ve decided to hold my first-ever online sale to celebrate my recent milestone birthday. I just turned 50…a good age to be. Wiser and more discerning, not ruffled by little things, comfortable with my own kind of crazy. I could do without my inherited saggy chin (thanks mom). But overall, I’m happy to be here! So there’s the reason for the first “50” in the name of my sale.

And the second “50”? As you know I have been focusing on Catholic folk art for a few years, and things are going really great. Hard to keep up at times! But… it has left me with some extra “secular” art pieces that have no home. They are also orphans when it comes to putting together a cohesive show. So rather than subject them to life in my garage, I’d like to offer them to you with a little incentive. Like restless children, they have been begging me to find them a better home…

As for “50” number three…50% of profits from this sale will be donated to Catholic Relief Services which provides relief in disaster areas around the world.


All you have to do to purchase this art from me is to follow me on one of my main social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @JenNortonArt) from now until Christmas to see what I’m offering. Be the first to contact me via EMAIL using the Contact Page on this site if you see something you want! Please don’t try to contact me via social media messaging for this sale because I may not see it in a timely manner.

• I will be posting a new larger artwork for sale each Friday evening for the next 8 weeks (see selections below), with subsequent smaller works posted mid-week (not shown here).

• The sale will run through the weekend of December 12-13, 2015. All sales will be conducted directly through me, with tax and shipping applied only as needed. We will work out convenient payment for you…but no big advance money orders to 3rd-world countries please (sorry spammers!).

• Each piece offered will only be available at the 50% price for one week (or until sold). First come, first served. You may also choose to purchase the larger pieces shown below before their release date for an even lower price (see details below). If a piece does not sell, it will return to my regular inventory at its regular price when its week is up. No exceptions. All sales are final.

Easy and fun! But if you need a few more reasons to purchase art:

• Reproductions are great and more affordable. But there’s something special about an original. Here’s your chance to own one!

• Give someone a unique gift for Christmas or the winter holiday of your choice!

• Help support the great work that CRS does, including the Syrian refugees and those who will be affected by the hurricanes in Mexico.

• Buy it to donate to your favorite cause (you may write off the full amount of your purchase; we artists can only write off the cost of materials)

• Or just for fun!

Below are the weekend featured pieces, prices and sale dates. See you online…Jen


Painting of Sugar Skulls and Pan Dulce by Jen Norton

Week 1: Calaveras Azucar y Pan Dulce

Week One: Posted Sunday, Oct 25. “Calaveras Azucar & Pan Dulce”
Original price: $1200;  Sale price from Oct 25 to Nov 1 ONLY: $600 (includes frame as shown)
Frame outer dimension: 30×38″, Image size: 22×30″ Acrylic on paper

Picture of "Almost Home" a watercolor painting by Jen Norton

Week 2: Almost Home


Week Two: Posted Friday, Oct 30. “Almost Home”
Original price: $350;  Sale price from Oct 30 to Nov 6 ONLY: $175 (includes frame as shown)
Frame outer dimension: 23×23″, Image size: 12×12″ Watercolor and collage on paper
Early Bird Discount: Buy anytime before Oct 29 for only $150!

A painting of Neahkahnie mountain in Oregon by Jen Norton

Week 3: Neahkahnie Sunset

Week Three: Posted Friday, Nov 6. “Neahkahnie Sunset”
Original price: $1200;  Sale price from Nov 6 to Nov 13 ONLY: $600 (includes frame as shown)
Frame outer dimension: 35.5×30″, Image size: 27×21″ Acrylic, colored pencil and collage on paper
Early Bird Discount: Buy anytime before Nov 5  for only $575!

A painting of tomatoes called "Ready for Salsa" by Jen Norton

Week 4: Ready for Salsa

Week Four: Posted Friday, Nov 13. “Ready for Salsa”
Original price: $600;  Sale price from Nov 13 to Nov 20 ONLY: $300 (includes frame as shown. Please note that this piece is framed in glass and will be harder to ship)
Frame outer dimension: 28×24″, Image size: 21×17″ Acrylic on paper
Early Bird Discount: Buy anytime before Nov 12  for only $275!

"Waiting for Miracles" Acrylic on Canvas by Jen Norton

Week 5: Waiting for Miracles

Week Five: Posted Friday, Nov 20. “Waiting for Miracles”
Original price: $900;  Sale price from Nov 20 to Nov 27 ONLY: $450
Gallery-wrapped canvas size: 24×36″ Acrylic on canvas
Early Bird Discount: Buy anytime before Nov 19  for only $400!

"Lines Crossed" original painting by Jen Norton

Week 6: Lines Crossed

Week Six/Black Friday Special: Posted Friday, Nov 27. “Lines Crossed”
Original price: $3800;  Sale price from Nov 27 to Dec 4 ONLY: $1800
Gallery-wrapped canvas size: 36×48″ Acrylic on canvas
Early Bird Discount: Buy anytime before Nov 25  for only $1500!

"Gelato Counter" by Jen Norton

Week 7: Gelato Counter

Week Seven: Posted Friday, Dec 4. “Gelato Counter”
Original price: $800;  Sale price from Dec 4 to Dec 11 ONLY: $400
Gallery-wrapped canvas size: 20×20″ Acrylic on canvas
Early Bird Discount: Buy anytime before Dec 3  for only $375!

"Circle Dancer" framed giclee print by Jen Norton

Week 8: Circle Dancer

Week Eight: Posted Friday, Dec 11. “Circle Dancer” (framed Gicleé print)
Original price: $500;  Sale price from Dec 11 to Dec 18 ONLY: $250
Frame outer dimension: 29×33″, Image size: 20×24″ Limited Edition Giclée print on paper
Early Bird Discount: Buy anytime before Dec 10  for only $225!

And don’t forget to check on social media for some smaller pieces mid-week!


Our Father (The Lord’s Prayer)

Our Father Painted Prayer by Jen Norton

Imagine you’re sitting with your friend Jesus in a local coffee shop today asking Him about how to pray. You have so many needs, so many distractions… Sometimes you just can’t handle it all. Using modern American English, he might offer you prayer advice like this:

Start with a “Hello” to Our (shared) Father, Creator of all, who is above, beyond and through this visible world. Tell Him you revere and respect His great name above all and will only use it with loving intent.

Ask Him to let the work you do bring His kingdom to earth, and not be a futile attempt to try and craft your desires into His plan.

Ask Him for what you and your community or family need just for today, no more and no less (and to be grateful for it);

Ask Him to help you forgive, so you also can receive His forgiveness. No one’s perfect, and sometimes we need His help to see that.

Ask him to provide strength to recognize the things, situations, or people that tempt us away from His will and help us to walk away from them and toward His light.

Finish with your statement of belief and surrender to His will.

But Jesus spoke the words of the Lord’s Prayer, or the “Our Father” in my Catholic tradition, long ago to His disciples on a mountainside in more poetic language, perhaps to allow us to ponder and reflect on the words from different angles and cultural backgrounds over the course of our lives.

So, imagine you’re under an olive tree, along the Sea of Galilee. You are sitting with Jesus one morning while the fishing boats go by and and the sun is rising, wondering, “How should I pray?” And in the whisper of the breeze, under the shady branches, on the banks beside the cool waters, your friend Jesus shares with you the answer to your question:

Our Father
Who Art in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day, our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

“Our Father”  40 x 40″ Acrylic on Canvas. $4800 (Original Sold) Inspired by Matthew 6:5-15

Prints on paper made in my studio available in my Etsy shop here.
Custom prints by Fine Art America available here.


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


This Little Lighthouse of Mine

The reference for today’s Advent Art Mediation is John 1: 6-9

Santa Cruz Lighthouse Art © Jen Norton

This Little Lighthouse of Mine

John is introduced as a man sent from God to bear witness to the light that was coming into the world. It is clarified that he is not the actual light, but merely here to testify. If we continue on past verse 9, we see that not all recognize “the Light”, but those that do are empowered to become children of God.

I have to admit, there have been points in my life where I wasn’t so sure about the light thing. Maybe Jesus was just a great social revolutionary. Maybe he’s just one iteration of many times God has become man. Other indigenous cultures have similar mythology, after all. I’m a painter…I work in shades of gray and alternate possibilities. But then I look at stories of men and women that really walked the earth (in recorded time) and historical narratives that tie together. The bible was compiled over a long period of time by a variety of people. It would be awfully hard to tie up all those loose ends and fulfill hundreds of prophesies without some form of divine intervention, not to mention stand the test of time under the scrutiny of scholars. And then there was that death and resurrection thing, with eye-witnesses. So I choose to believe.

Stronger proof for me has been in the moments when I’ve actually felt God’s presence. The occasion that comes to mind today happened about 15 years ago. We were trying to have children and coming to the realization that it wasn’t going to happen with out the miracles of modern science. I was really down and really worried.

One day, after work, I was “called” to go stand along West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, near the Lighthouse that houses the surfing museum. Called is a weird thing to try to describe (or believe) in an internet blog post. I can only say that I had this intense desire to drive 1/2 hour in the opposite direction from my house, over a mountain, to go stand on the cliff of the sea for no known reason. This wasn’t the first time I’d experienced this phenomenon, so I didn’t question. I just went. I stood by the ocean in the wind with my eyes closed. After a moment, all human sounds around me left and all I heard was the wind in my ears. In the wind, I heard a voice that instantly told me exactly what needed to happen and to not be afraid. It wasn’t an audible voice…it was more like the words were placed inside me.

You may be thinking I’m a bit crazy. That’s OK…I’m an artist, so your crazy might just be my normal. I only know that the feeling I left with that day carried me through the years it took to get my beautiful daughter, born on Christmas Eve. Near the lighthouse, I caught a glimmer of light to come.

This tiny Lighthouse art is available here.

To everything, there is a season*

Singing with Amy by Jen Norton

“Singing with Amy”

This is a story about patience. Like the five years it covers, it’s a bit long for a blog entry, but I wanted to tell it because sometimes the best things are worth waiting for. And sometimes we’re just not ready to receive blessings when we think we are.

I’m not much of a celebrity follower, with one exception. Since the age of 18, I’ve been a huge fan of singer/songwriter Amy Grant. My admiration began with the first note on her 1985 record Unguarded, and 30 years later I’m still a fully-confirmed “Granthead”. Beyond the music, I have admired her connection with fans (she kindly refers to us as Friends of Amy), her commitment to her faith and her growing stewardship of the causes she champions. She has been an inspiration to me in my own artistic journey as I notice over and over that art is merely a vehicle for deeper communication. So many times one of my paintings has prompted someone to tell me their story, my job being only to listen and be present in that moment. So many times, I’ve seen Amy give her fans their “moment”.

So last night, I had MY moment. I got to talk briefly with Amy at a soundcheck, where she exclaimed, “You’re Jen Norton! I’ve been hoping to meet you!”. No kidding, she really said that…but maybe I’d better backtrack a bit…

My first personal encounter with Amy was at a soundcheck in 2005 at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA. I brought my then 8-year-old daughter for moral support. I was a nervous wreck the whole time and could barely get a word out. Felt like I was back at a junior high dance again and vowed to do it better next time.

In 2006, Amy was a awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The stars aligned for me as well, so to speak, and my husband and I made the trek to L.A. to witness the event. Let me just say that this was completely out of my comfort zone. Hollywood is usually the last place you’d find me, but for Amy, well… It was one of those times when you knew if you didn’t do it, you’d regret it. So I went. A few weeks before the trip, I decided to paint her a picture for the occasion. I am a painter, after all. It’s my truest form of expression, and it’s the closest I’ll ever get to chatting over lunch with her. So I painted the picture above. It shows her in a contemplative moment because her most reflective work, the stuff you don’t hear on the radio, is the most meaningful to me. Behind her is an abstract cruciform shape made up of people holding hands (horizontal) and the sun setting in a musical sky over mountains (vertical). Together they elude to both the crucified Christ as well as the risen Christ with His light shining through us. Amy is all about connection, she loves nature, and of course her faith has shaped her career. Working on this piece was also a great lesson in painting what is meaningful to me. At the time, I enjoyed it more than anything I was doing.

So off I went to wait with my fellow fans on the streets in front of the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. I had all the other fan club members there sign the back of the painting so it could be from all of us and then passed it to her son during the ceremony. Because of logistics, I never had the chance to talk to her personally that day.

Lord, all that you have for me, I receive.

Lord, all that you have for me, I receive.

I also made her a smaller piece featuring a meaningful prayer she had shared with fans about accepting God’s grace: “Lord, all that you have for me I receive.” The piece was done in a quilt style because Amy collects quilts, and I put a note on it for her to give it away to someone who needed it. Yeah, I probably overdid it, but that’s what happens when I’m left to battle my own creative energy unedited!

A few years later, she came to the Bay Area and I had another chance to speak to her at a soundcheck. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring a picture of the piece, and she had just gotten up from a nap for the rehearsal, so when I said I was the one who gave her a painting in Hollywood, she thanked me with a very confused look. Inside I thought, “Oh no! It might have been left on the bus!” I have a journal where I write down wishes that seem unsurmountable…the big stuff that requires God’s help. I know this isn’t life or death, but it was big to me. I write down my desires, then let them go. (In order to not drive yourself nuts, it’s good to practice a Buddhist detachment from these obscure goals.) Somewhere down the road, they manifest into another reality. I wrote down that I would like to know if Amy ever got my painting. I didn’t care if she liked it…I was ok if it ended up in a “fan gift warehouse” somewhere (I wonder if she has one!), or even sold at one of her charity events. I just wanted to know it passed through her hands. So I wrote my wish and waited…

Forward a few more years and Amy came back to CA, this time Malibu. Some of the other fans organized a lunch for her. I couldn’t go, but one of them was kind enough to let me include something in a special scrapbook made for that day. This time, I included the picture and I heard later that when Amy looked through the book she said, “I know that picture! I have that picture!” Phew…mission accomplished. I would still love to tell her in person, but I could live with this. Goal checked off.

So another year goes by and now Amy is back to do a concert literally 10 min (and no freeways away) from my house. Of course I must go, soundcheck and all. This time I am prepared and when I get a chance to say hello, I show her the picture and let her know that was my work. That’s when she says she’s been waiting meet me, hoping I’d show up along the way and that she not only has the painting, but it is hanging near her coffee pot in the recording studio she and Vince built at their home! (I know Amy loves her coffee, so that could be quite a bit of mindshare on a daily basis!) After all the years, I am much less nervous than at that first soundcheck, but but I’m still floored. Not only that, but many Nashville artists record there and people like LeAnn Rimes and Alice Cooper have walked by it and commented on it (how’s that for hitting a wide audience?). She even considered using the art on an album cover (wow!) but it didn’t work out. (Understandably, she used one of her own paintings on her last release). As for the smaller painting, she hung it in her cabin where she goes to write. Like the rest of us, she still needs to be reminded to receive God’s grace, and her willingness to share that frailty is what makes her great. Just to be able to look her in the eye while she told me all those details was well worth the wait. And because I had to wait, I was able to receive that gift much more fully. Thank you Amy.

Are you waiting for something big in your life? It takes a little time, sometimes. I hope my story inspires you to keep the faith.

*Ecclesiastes 3:1

The Santa Cruz Grows Seed Library

Seed Cabinet top (detail) by Jen Norton

Seed Cabinet top (detail)

Seems I’m on a bit of a role with this painted furniture work…and I’m having a great time with it! Take a look at my latest art project, the “Santa Cruz Grows” Seed Library. Commissioned by the Santa Cruz Reskilling Expo, this piece will be permanently housed in the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. It features my carved and painted vegetables, herbs and flowers, as well as wonderful poetry by Santa Cruz poet Ellen Bass.*

If you are a local gardener in the Santa Cruz, CA area, you can drop off your properly-saved seeds to the library or pick up any free seeds you’d like to try left by other local gardeners. Don’t know how to save seed? Well then, you should definitely attend the Reskilling Expo, where they will teach you how, plus lots of other sustainable practices. Promote local gardening!

The Seed Library will be officially unveiled at the Reskilling Expo on Saturday, Sept 24, 2011.

Seed Library poem by Ellen Bass

Detail of poetry by Ellen Bass

* Poetry by Ellen Bass for the Seed Library:

And under the earth, the god of roots
Goes on painting the lustrous fringe
With a brush so delicate—
Only one sable hair—as though
There were all the time in the world.


Santa Cruz Grows Seed Library by Jen Norton

Seed Library located at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History

A Serenade in Lavender

Lavendar and Bee Painted Chair by Jen Norton

Win this chair and benefit the Symphony of Santa Cruz County!

Normally my work is confined to two dimensions, but every once in a while I get to expand my flat universe. Such was the case last week when I was invited to submit a painted chair for the Symphony League of Santa Cruz’s “A Rare Chair Affair.” Creative chairs fashioned or decorated by local artists will be auctioned off on August 20, 2011 to benefit the Santa Cruz County Symphony and their Youth and Family programs.

My friend and marketing expert extraordinaire Kirsti Scott provided a nicely-crafted but worn chair from her garden. Its well-weathered character inspired the French country bee and lavender theme I chose. Working with its inherent grain and personality, I carved, stained, painted and varnished it into a piece of happy cottage charm. It would make a lovely place to sit and sip your morning coffee!

Is this chair destined for your home? Bid on it at the Symphony League’s Gala Reception on Aug 20, 2011 at the Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz, CA! Click the links here or call 831-662-8908 or get your tickets to the event. Bee Happy!

—Update: The chair sold at auction, raising over $500 for the Symphony League! It also won a 3rd place prize at the benefit event. —JN, Aug 26, 2011.