Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Fresh from the easel is my red poppy painting titled "Summer's Splendor". The painting is on canvas with the sides painted (no frame necessary) and is 24"x18". Next up is another poppy - this one will be yellow against a similar color background. It might have a bit of a different look to it than my current paintings, as I'm going to try something a bit different with how I apply the paint. I hope it will work! And I hope you all enjoy Summer's Splendor.
Monday, July 30, 2007
That's what I thought of when I got this letter from a customer:
I felt the need to write you a separate letter and tell you why I purchased your Power of a Dream rose print. Let me give you a little background first.
I have 3 best friends. We've known each other since high school, and we all still live here. One of the things we all have in common is we all LOVE purple roses. We all collect things with purple roses - and we all decorate with purple roses in some parts of our houses.
About two weeks ago, I went into Walmart to pick up a few things, and I see this lovely print with a purple rose. It was in a gold frame (which turned out to be plastic "wood", btw), and it was cheap. So I'm like - hey, yeah, that will go in my bathroom just perfect! I paid my $20 and took it home and hung it up. Two days later I'm visiting friend #1, and lo and behold, what is hanging in her bedroom? THE SAME DAMN PRINT! She'd seen it at Walmart and picked it up too. Oh but wait, it get's better...
A couple days later, friend #1 and I go to visit friend #2. Friend #3 came along too. I pay a visit to friend #2's facility, and whaddya know - hanging in her bathroom is the same print AGAIN! I go out and mention it to them and we're all talking about how we saw this print at Walmart the same week. Which at this point friend #3 goes to look at it and she comes out laughing...she had ALSO bought the same print and it was hanging up at her house, too!
Now I've always prided myself on having UNIQUE purple rose art and collectibles. Suddenly that was all gone. It had all disappeared in a mere week of Walmart shopping. After that visit I went home and stared at that print in that plastic gold "wood" frame - which kind of ticked me off btw, 'cuz I didn't realize until after I got home with it that it wasn't REAL wood. And at some point, a desire to stand out from the crowd overwhelmed me, and I knew I couldn't keep that print. Up until then, all the collectibles and art I'd purchased had been different than my friends - with the exception of one rose figurine (friend #2 gave each one of us the same figurine one year for Christmas). Now a piece of art is a BIG thing to me - it's bigger and more noticeable, and I personally didn't have a desire to visit my friends and see the exact same art I'd bought hanging on each of their walls. It sort of "killed the thrill" for me, if ya know what I mean!
So I marched back to Walmart with that print and returned it. Then I got online and started looking at purple rose paintings. Somehow I ended up on your Ebay page, and from there I went to your website and saw your purple rose print. I knew that was the one! After the print arrived, I took it to the local craft store and bought a REAL wood frame in gold and had them put it under a black mat. It looks terrific! Just this weekend I ordered another print from another artist I found online. And from now on, I'm going to make the buys for my collection from artists I find on the web. Two of my friends don't even have the internet, and the other one does, but she's hardly ever online. So this assures me that I'll have a better chance of being different with the art I have in my collection. :)
I just wanted to let you know - keep on keepin' on! Those of us out there who want to set ourselves apart from the rest of the world need people like you to keep producing new creative things so we can continue to fill our homes with designs we love, and we can be unique and different while we're doing it. I will never again buy a "mass market" piece of art like that. And at some point I hope to be able to afford to purchase original paintings. This print is amazing and I know the original must be spectacular! Maybe I can even commission you to do a personal painting just for me someday! Hey, a girl can dream, right? Once again, thanks a TON. You've made me a happy camper!
Sheila B., a purple rose chick through-and-through!
P.S. Friend #2 called earlier and said she took HER print back to the store last night. She wanted to know if you might be doing another purple rose design in the future? Let me know if you do!
PS2 - I ordered some of your coffee note cards from your online shop as well - those are too cool! I'm going to send one to each of my friends - it's totally obvious we need to get together more - especially for SHOPPING! LOL!"
Note from Jai: Yes, I'll be painting more purple roses (as I love them and have painted several of them. I'll get on that after I finish these two poppies and a horse painting I'm working on!
Saturday, July 28, 2007
"Cornered" is the first painting shown - click here to see more.
"Latin Dance" is the second painting - click here to see more.
And "Winter Visitor" is the third painting - click here to see more.
Be sure to stop in at The Silajai Gallery online to acquire this art on a variety of products, home decor, and apparel.
Friday, July 27, 2007
"Deja Vu" is the title of my newest painting, a romantic, figurative piece of art, size 30"x24" on 1 1/4" wide gallery wrap canvas. It's up for auction on Ebay this week only for a bottom line price! Check it out here.
Still no word on the stolen painting in Florida. It has not been returned to me or the buyer.
Tonight is the coffee art show at the gallery here in Jackson. If you live in the area, stop by and say hello! I'll be there drinking coffee which will be provided by our new downtown Starbucks.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
More details: The painting is small - size 12"x12" and it has identifying information on the back - the name of the painting, the size, the price, and © 2007 Jai Johnson. The tree frog jewelry piece is signed on the front, and the Mardis Gras Happy Hour jewelry piece has my official stamp on the back.
Comments from Jai: My goal with this posting is the recovery of these items. What bothers me is not the money/value. It's not the buyer's money. What bothers me is that when someone chooses to steal, that is a very personal violation to me. I have seen more theft in our world in the past year. Specifically in MY LIFE. I've had someone go into my car TWICE - once at a personal residence and once at MY personal residence. Now someone has stolen my personal work. My blood, sweat and tears are in those pieces of art and art jewelry. What gives these people the RIGHT to violate that with their despicable actions? NOTHING. And I don't care if people "need the money" - let me tell you about "needing money"...After 10 years of working my butt off to create the best art and jewelry I can, I STILL cannot support myself or my children. There's been many nights, especially in the past year, when my children and I had nothing to eat. Am *I* out stealing? NO. I respect people more than that. A short time ago, my dog and I "convinced" a man to turn over a stolen vehicle. I was so angry at what he had done, and I made no bones about it that he was going to bring that truck back, and hand me the keys. He did it. And I think the only reason why he did is because of my conviction that what he was doing was NOT RIGHT - it was NOT FAIR. It's the same with this artwork and jewelry - whoever took these items has personally violated myself and the buyer. That is not fair. And I want them to do the decent thing and turn them back over - either to the buyer or to myself. I want them to wake up and realize their actions are wrong. I certainly cannot change the entire world, but if I can convince one person at a time to wake up and change their ways, that's a start, don't you think? -- Jai
Even though I'd heard before how coffee comes about, I'd forgotten the process it goes through. From what I understand, the coffee trees present these wonderful fragrant white blooms, then green berries, which then turn red. When they are deep red, that's when the best time is for picking. If I remember correctly, each berry contains two coffee beans inside. The beans are removed and then roasted, and then made into the coffee we drink!
This is one piece of art which worked well for me from start to finish. I'm very pleased with how it turned out.
Today I'm geting ready to deviate from the florals (except there will be one flower in the painting). I'm going to attempt to paint a romantic themed piece, with a semi-nude female and a single rose. Wish me luck!
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Need more than 10 cards? We also have a package of 20 available!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Hope you like it! "Hot Flashes" is on Ebay this week only for a low price. It's a size 12"x12" canvas, with the sides painted (the design extends onto the sides). Perfect for that spot in your house where you want to add a little heat!
I finally feel as if I'm finding my style. Take a look at the new JaiArt.Com and let me know what you think. It's unreal I've had to go through so much to get here with my work.
Basically I've tried it all! I've tried every medium (except oil, which I cannot use) in painting, and several techniques and mediums in jewelry work also. I finally feel a sense of "letting go" and just being ME. Painting the way *I* want to paint, painting what I want to paint, and using the colors I choose to use. Maybe this means I'm figuring out, it's okay to just be ME. And just because someone says "I wish you would do this or that, or use this color of that color", etc, doesn't mean I have to do it. I think subconsciously I thought if I DID switch what I was doing, or do that one thing, I'd have a sale - or maybe even many sales - as a result. WRONG. All of my sales have come from things I allowed myself to just be ME with. So from now on, I'm going to try something different...just being ME. Which is okay. :)
P.S. How do you like the new blog look? Yep, I'm "back in black". :)
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Tiny Miracle, my newest painting. Sometimes miracles come in tiny packages, and if we're too busy with life or too buried in worries, we might overlook them. The message here is to always stay alert to the miracles and to not overlook the small things in life which can make such a huge difference. (click on the photo to see a larger version)
Saturday, July 14, 2007
It didn't happen.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Hope you all like it!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Now it's time to start my next one! The next will feature two simple tulips and will be on the 12x12" square canvas like my purple rose painting.
Passionate Dance is on Ebay if you're interested in acquiring one of my originals for a good price!
Hope everyone is having a good day. I need to get back into the studio - I have to put in 4 more hours today or coach will get angry! :)
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Jewelry is not what I need to be doing. When I made my huge glitzy rhinestone pieces, and my seed beaded pieces, it was. Even though I never got a true market value for the work, all of them have been sold and are in private collections. And they were BIG. I've always liked to work big - make a statement, I guess you could say. It's my way of trying to convince the world, and myself, that I do exist. Feeling like I exist is something I've always had an issue with. I've had so many people treat me as if I do NOT exist and by creating work that made a statement, it helped me personally, since I've never been able to work out the "issue" with the people in my life. (family, friends, spouse, etc)
There came a time when I could no longer make the rhinestone pieces (due to poisoning from the toxic chemicals) and the seed bead pieces became difficult because of eye-problems which have been slowly getting worse over the years.
Recently when I began making my painted polymer pendants, I developed a love of the acrylic paints. Acrylics are something I've never used much of, mainly because some of them are toxic and I am so sensitive to toxic chemicals, I was paranoid. Now that many years have passed, and I've stayed away from all toxic chemicals I could, my sensitivity to toxic substances has lessened.
And when I painted my purple rose painting this week - even though it's not HUGE (12"x12") - I noticed something else. First of all, I didn't tense up when I was doing the painting as I do when I'm doing the tiny jewelry pieces. One wrong move on a pendant, and I have to fix or re-do the whole thing. One wrong move on a painting, and it's just a small area to fix. I also noticed my eyes respond better, and I'm sure it's clearly because of the larger size of the work.
As I worked on it, I remembered my true, long-time (since I was 5 years old) dream...it was to be an artist and create paintings on canvas. I remember going to an event when I was that young and there was an oil painting on canvas - I remember touching it and thinking how COOL it was to "feel" the paint. I remember thinking, "I want to do THAT!". Over the years, I allowed others to tell me what to do with my life, and I allowed a lot of things to get in the way I shouldn't have. It's only over the past 10 years I've been exploring my creative talents more diligently.
In painting "The Power of a Dream", I realized I haven't been giving my TRUE dream the attention or the power it deserves in my life. Why have I been spinning my wheels making jewelry? Because it's smaller, can be lower priced, and will sell more quickly? Yep. And I've only been in that frame of mind because I've needed the money so badly over the past several years. I've been asking myself after I finished the rose if I feel confident that my larger works will sell and bring the prices I desire. The answer to that is no, I have not felt confident of it. But then, my previous larger works were colored pencil, watercolor, and watercolor pencil. Those mediums were not really where I wanted to spend my time, but I did so because I was so afraid of anything toxic. Now that my sensitivities have decreased, I feel better about working with the acrylics, and I feel my work in acrylics will be the best work I've ever done, and I feel it will eventually bring the prices I desire and I'll be able to realize my dream of making a living as an artist.
I just came out of the studio from painting two more pendants. As I worked on them, I was thinking about all of this, and as my eyes water from the strain of working so small, I thought, you know what? It's time I stopped working against the grain (on tiny pieces that bother my eyes so badly) and it's time I started believing in ME. I guess I've been looking to others to believe in me, when I should have been taking care of that myself all along. I've also been looking for a type of artwork which helped me believe in me. "The Power of a Dream" has shown me the type of artwork.
Not only has this painting shown me the medium I like, but it's also freed up my mind to feel okay about believing in WHAT I want to paint. I've tried to do EVERYTHING, and you know, there are certain subjects and viewpoints of those subjects that I prefer. So I'm going to do those...my favorite subjects and viewpoints. Surely everyone in the world will not like them...but I think I've finally come to realize, I can't be everything to everyone. Landscapes - which are touted as being the best selling artworks of all time as far as subject matter - are not my best. There's no point in me doing them. I like animals, flowers, birds, and I like to do close-up and personal views of those subects rather than something in a "scene". Maybe others do big flowers and animal and bird close-ups like I enjoy doing...so WHAT! My way of doing it is different than theirs...and that is OKAY! It is okay to be ME and paint the way I want to paint, what I want to paint, and the color scheme I want to paint it in.
I've come to the realization it's okay to be me, and to do the kind of art I want to do. I've also come to the realization it will sell for fair amounts, and I'll be able to keep doing it. At least I'm back in an area I feel comfortable in, which is on Ebay. I'm tired of going against the grain - all I'm doing is fighting my true self, and there's no point in that! So my rose painting not only turned out really beautiful, but it unfolded my own dreams right before my very eyes, and it gave me the hope and the courage I need to follow the right path for me.
Friday, July 06, 2007
This is my newest work - acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas with the sides painted. I have enjoyed doing my art pendants using the acrylics and decided to see if I can translate the same techniques to canvas. Now I'm hooked! :) Hope you like it. You can view more close ups here.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
I've just put up two new art pendants on Ebay - the first is a Tiger pendant and the second is a Chow dog pendant. Hope you like them! Have a happy 4th of July. :)