Monday, July 31, 2017

Making a Statement

During one of the Planned Spontaneous Trips we take bi-yearly 
with our dearest friends in the world,
we found out that Vintage Market Days was going on in the town we ended up in, Knoxville, TN. It was definitely an event that we all wanted to go to, being all four of us love antiques and fun vintage finds.  I was so excited when I first entered, I could hardly breath and was definitely waaaay too giddy.  Can you tell these events make me happy?!?  

Booth after booth held sooo many wonderful, old, vintage things that it almost was overwhelming. But, we found this one particular booth there sold handmade metal signs.  We thought it would be fun if we each picked out a sign that had special meaning.  
I found the perfect one. 
The sign I chose said it all...
Live simply.
Dream big.
Be grateful.
Give love.
Laugh lots. 

Like most of my projects, they usually sit in my art studio for quite awhile before I get around to working on them, but this one needed to get up on my wall quickly because it was so awesome!  I knew it had to be mounted on something special but finding that "just right piece" could be a task.  I searched many local antiques stores and then found this gem of a chippy old barn door, that still had a nice rusty hinge attached at the top.
 It needed some work but, 
 Oh My was PERFECT!!  
I couldn't wait to get it home and work on it.  

Being it was pretty old with lots of peeling paint, I didn't want to loose any of that chippy goodness, so after gently cleaning it, I glued down the paint pieces that were really coming off.  Then I sealed the whole thing with Minwax Polycrylic (clear matte) to make sure it stayed just as it was. Next, I cut 1/8" pieces of wood and glued them on the back to raise the sign off the door a bit, just so you could read it easier.  It was my first time using Gorilla Glue and man, the stuff works like, well, a Gorilla! 

Now it was time to find that "just right spot" to hang that beauty.  I'm funny about placement of things.  The Feng Shui has to be just right or I get that obsessive?? (Ok, I admit I have a problem, people even need to sit 
in the "right place" around a table and such.) Aaaaaanyway..... 
I think this spot beside our stone fireplace is perfect!! 

These simple phrases are so true. 
Now I can be reminded of them 
each and everyday.

Live simply.  We don't need alot of stuff or happenings to be fulfilled.  
I don't need 10 pair of shoes.  Stay in on a Friday night, sit on the porch and listen to the wonderful sounds of nature.  Turn off the TV and talk to each other.  Pick wildflowers.

Dream big.  God has put dreams in my heart, and I'm sure yours too if you think about it. He's a pretty big God, so why shouldn't they come true?

Be grateful.  We ALL have been given SO VERY MUCH.  Always be grateful, even in the little things!

Give love.  No matter the belief system, race, color, those who disagree with you, 
tall, short, pretty or not... ALWAYS LOVE!

Laugh lots... especially, at your self. 

while on the little trip with our friends, 
I picked up some new goodies that just might help me 
get back into the painting groove.  I haven't painted in awhile and definitely need a boost.  I'm finding out that if I don't have a goal or a purpose in a certain area, I just don't work at it.  I need to get it though my head that it's OK to create just for the love of it, 
even if no one will ever see it but me. 

As always, thanks for taking the time to see what I've got going on and sharing in my creative journey.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Old, the New, and the Old wins.

It seems that I typically write a blog entry after I've given a person my business card and sheepishly say, "It's way outdated".  I let that be a good motivator to update, and hope I get that new entry written before they actually look me up!  lol

So today, to set the stage, I grab NOT the yummy cheesecake that's sitting in the frig, which is loudly calling my name, but know summer and the beach are fast approaching. A dotted banana wins.  And so I write. 

Spring is in the air!  I just love the new life that is emerging from the earth and the sound of the birds with their songs of joy that winter is almost over.  And the warm air!  Gosh layering clothes is all cutesy (and a bit more flattering), but give me those warm days to put my Birkenstock want-to-be's and a t-shirt on! And...that warmth is a gift to me to be able to spend a little more time in my studio without having to thaw it out each time I feel like creating.  Using half of the gargage is nice for getting messy, but who has central heat out there?!?    

Photo: True dedication even when I can see my breath & my hands hurt from the cold.            (I since then have a heater)  Working on Joy Comes in the Morning.  

Before I get into what I've been up to lately, I wanted to share a few of the photos that I got back from my photographer (my wonderful son and daughter-in-law) from the solo art gig at Old Town Public House.  It was such a special time, one memory that frequently, still plays out in my mind.  

Below:  Sitting in front of "I Found My Way Back Home" I & II  30x40 
             And the second photo, being serious, like I own the place and think I am famous.    

I love this photo.  It shows me, standing in front of a crowd, talking about my art.  For those that know me, those things in and by themselves, were a true miracle!  
And....what a fun night this was! 
I'm so grateful for the opportunity to display my art there for 3 whole months 
and to also have so many people come out and support me. 

When I did this show, I created a body of work (14 pieces!!) where I soley used paint.  I wanted to try and simplify my work and to just let the paint speak for itself, without relying on textiles, wax, and so on.  Trying this was a challenge, since for me, it's so much easier to build a work of art around a certain obvious and tangible theme.  Putting a pictue of, say a boat, or a page from a book, and letting that be what anchors the piece and causes it to take on life from that certain thing, I feel is so much less challenging and less stressful.  So to paint with only paint, for me, was much more stretching.

Well, my big night was over,  I took a break from painting, the show came to a close and I brought all my art home.  A break though doesn't last long as the hard pull to get 
back in my art studio is ever present. 

That mixed media love is starting to 
emerge again!

With most of my work, I ususally have about 3 paintings on one board.  I paint something, hate it, cover it up with something else...and so on. Those are the ones that end up as some of the best due to all the cool layers and little bits of awesome color that peak through.  This one is no exception and ended up as something I really like! 

"Joy Comes in the Morning"
24x24 on wood 

Close up of the book page with 
a great little message on it.  Light

The urge has been strong for me to get back to what I really love to do, create again with different mediums.  I went rummaging through all the stuff I can't help but collect like papers, pages, photos.  Then, I got out my wax pot.  Gosh, just the smell alone of that delicous wax was makes me so very happy! I just love the feel of that warm wax as I brush it over the board and the way it causes unique textures and fun little surprises. 

"Rest Easy"
24x30 Mixed Media


On this piece, I felt to write 
"Come...And I will give you rest". 

A cool little piece of a page with a message that ultimately holds the key to peace... 
real, lasting and true peace, and that friends, is Jesus.

Another FUN Happening!!

My dear friend suggested that we each put a piece in the Home Grown event at The Cornelius Arts Center.  I love this place and so I quickly agreed.  Below is opening night.  I entered one of my Mina Blommor pieces.  This night was so special as our little group was all together, something that is hard to do these busy days. 

In my next blog entry, I'll be writing about The Breath and The Clay gathering that my friend and I are attending next weekend. I'm so, SO excited!!

Thanks for taking the time to read where I'm at in my creative journey.

Be blessed!!  Jen

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

My First BIG Thing!

It's been a few weeks since my solo art show at Old Town Public House.  I was overwhelmed my the many people that came out to see my work.  Something for me that was definitely a Be Bold and Courageous moment, besides sharing my art with the world, was giving a 15 minute speech about my journey as an artist.  But I did it!!!

Since then, it's been a busy time...Thanksgiving with all my wonderful family, enjoying fall in all it's glory, traveling some, and working on a couple of commission pieces.    Here's a few pics from that awesome night...more will follow when I get them back from my photographer.

ALL my work for the 
passed year ready 
for hanging at OTPH!!
(on the wall is a work in progress) 

At my install.  
Needless to say...I am THRILLED!

Wednesday, November 2
That's me!

What a sweet night.  I was beyond happy to have my dearest people there that night...
so many friends and family.  

Pictured in the background are my mom, our long time and best friends Scott and Amy, 
and my wonderful and always supportive husband Dean.   

...and my speech.  
My theme for this year as my dear friend Sandra spoke over me.

"Geraniums Were Her Favorite"
"In the little red house
by the big vast sea,
They grew, and she loved
Forever in my heart"

Where would I be with out you?
Two of my very best.
Sandra and Karen.
I love you immensely.

Our wonderful friends 
Paul and Rena'.
Thank you for supporting me 
and loving The Cottons.


thank you Old Town Public House for loving my work and hosting this special night.
I love you guys!
I am most appreciative for Melissa who is one of my biggest fans, 
arranged all the food, and encourages my heart in what I do.  

It's not the end...
only the beginning.

Until next time


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

It's a New Season

"Welcome Back Jen", I tell myself, then, "Hello to a NEW SEASON"!  

What an amazingly busy, hectic and life rearranging time we've gone through these passed few months.  My emergency surgery, packing up our house, getting our log home back from tenants after 8 years being then doing massive clean up and fixing of that home, to then, moving in and all that entails.  Whew...trying to create during all that was scant to say the least. Now we're in and mainly settled, even though we're still a bit tired from all that craziness and there is still much to be done to this house...we're happy, so happy!!

One of my biggest and long time desires was to have my own art studio.  Painting in a small dining room in the middle of our house was probably the worst place for me, as I'm not the neatest person when I create, and I never felt the freedom to do what was really in my heart...and I love freedom! So, with us moving back to this bigger home, I was given such a massive gift...

I was given the gift of my
very own art studio

When we lived in this amazing house years ago, we turned half of the garage into an office for my husband.  Since coming back, we tore out the carpet so I can get as messy as I want and NOT WORRY one small bit about it.  This is simply wonderful for a artist like myself, as paint usually goes flying when I randomly throw it most on my pieces.  

This is the first piece I started since being in my new space, which is still a work in progress.

It seems that what is coming out of me right now, are abstract landscapes and flowers, something I swore I'd never paint.  But they are flowing out of me pretty easily.  Nature and all it holds with it's beautiful colors, lay of the land, creation itself, are giving me inspiration to put paint to board and let all that God has made, come to life in my own unique way.

Keeping it real 
and remembering WHY I do what I do

I'd love to be a world renowned artist, selling my pieces for high amounts.  I can dream right?!?  But God recently reminded me of one main reason why I create. 

This blogs name, Borders Be Gone Art, came about at the beginning of my painting journey.  I felt led to help others GO OUT to minister to people in a variety of ways, thus the subtitle "Create. Give. Go Love." To accomplish that, one main way was to donate a piece to be either sold or auctioned off.  This mission has been quiet for a while, not that I purposely put it on a shelf, but the opportunity hasn't been there really. 

Fast forward to now.  I was asked to showcase my art at a local establishment for an extended time. I WAS ECSTATIC!  I've never done anything this big and was so honored that my work spoke in a way that it was actually loved and WANTED.  So during this hugely busy and stressful time in our life, I was needing to paint and get ready for this huge endeavor.  Coming up with at least 12 pieces seemed like a mountain with all that was going on with me.

Then...I was asked if I would be willing to donate a piece in the midst of all this.  At first, my initial reaction was NO WAY as I needed all the pieces I had for this BIG EVENT coming.  My philosophy has always been to not add stress to my life so why would I give away one of the pieces I so desperately needed?? I mean, come on...really??

My husband gently reminded me of one of the reasons WHY I create, to help...TO HELP OTHERS. Wow, was ever I humbled and so very grateful that I was brought back to this realization and now, is  keeping me focused on one of the main reasons I have this gift.

Then God spoke, I love when He does.  He said that He'd bless my work because of my willingness to do that thing that I originally set out to do years ago.  Promises being fulfilled.  These words brought peace, knowing I'd have enough, kind of like when Jesus blessed the loaves and fishes.  There's always enough, and then some.   

Mina Blommor &
  Mina Blommor 2  
(In Swedish~My Flowers)

The piece on the left is one that I am donating to the silent auction that will benefit Make your Mark, a wonderful organization what helps children around the US and abroad.  The roaring '20's gala is this Saturday in Charlotte and should be so much fun! The link for Make your Mark is below if you're interested in finding out more!

I'll definitely post a picture of the the person who ends up with my version of flowers, 
1920's apparel and all!

I'm so very grateful for this moment in my life. Time, space, the ability...they've all been given to me to explore and dive into this avenue of creating that God has awarded me. 
I feel very blessed, to say the least. 

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

“A world where every child has the opportunity to grow in a loving family environment”

Monday, January 26, 2015

Old School Kona

Gosh, it's been awhile since I've written, let alone painted anything.  With moving a few months back, the busy holidays, distractions that keep me away from what I love doing, and well, life in general, painting has kind of taken a back seat.   But last week, the urge became too great, so with none of my beloved wood frames made, 
I went and actually bought a few canvasses.  

Sooooo, here I go!  Dang, to be honest, a blank canvas is intimidating and really scares me.  Starting, is the hardest part.  But as I get going, letting my imagination 
and brushes run wild, 
it then becomes easy, joyful, and I love it.  

Viewing this photo reminds me, draws me back, to where this piece will eventually take me.

Start.  I just wanted to get some paint down. Calm colors just start flowing and dripping, creating an almost muted sea.  Here I go again with the sea.  But it's always in me. 

 I wish I had some photos of more than just the beginning and the end result, I suppose I just got too absorbed and forgot.  Added here and there were pencil markings, little paint dabs to create colorful mountains, and wax, always wax.  

I had this really great old photo of Kona, Hawaii from pretty far back in the day that I thought could be nicely transferred on this one.  I love that town, not just because it holds my daughter, son-in-law and pretty soon, our next grandson, but because with the visits we've had, so much joy, God moments, revelation, and beauty has been given to us.  The sea, it sits on the coast of the big island, the beaches and little coved areas, the blue water.  

It's magical.
 I hold this place dear.  
"Kona Winds"

Beautiful hibiscus flowers, and how fitting for them to go on this piece!

 I can just imagine the summers lived here, vacationers from long ago in their bloomered bathing suits and umbrellas.  On the pacific, soaking up the glorious sun in this tropic land.  It really is a gift, this place.  It's mountainous regions, desert areas, sand and lava rock covered beaches, winds, the people, our God.  
It calls.  I hear it.  

There are these certain birds there that flock the trees and dabble the ground.  Hawaiian doves.  I grew to love the sound of that sweet coo, that calm call like the colors on my canvas.  Along with the sound of the waves, they would awaken me in the early mornings.  
I hear that too.  I can't wait to go back.  Soon.  

Although this little guy isn't a Hawaiian dove, 
I thought him fitting to sit on a branch on this piece.
Little bird, so beautiful. 

Aloha Pumehana
~Warm love~  

Friday, August 15, 2014

Hunting Island's Way

A few months ago, some friends took us to Beaufort, SC for a delightful weekend filled with good food, cozy bungalow accommodations, many laughs & warm conversations...and the beach.  What dear-hearted friends we have, one's that will always be in our lives in the most special way.

While visiting this one particular beach, we were met with a most unusual sight. Erosion created this amazing display of fallen trees on the sand, some far reaching into the water at the shore's edge.  We mingled in and out of the giant and seemingly lazy creatures, being absorbed by the oddness, yet magic of it all.

The treasures one can find, 
if only we slow down, and look.
 While there at this unique spot, I found the shore covered in abundance with the most unique bounty of driftwood, all different sizes, shapes and textures.
Could I go back to the car empty handed??  Not me.  
 These glorious wooden wonders awaited to be reawakened, needing a new display, not left to be trodden underfoot, carelessly. 
So my little mind went to work, wanting to find just the right display.  
I seem to recycle a lot, so I found an old board, scraped, reworked.
Then, layed my little gems in their place, creating a driftwood type of "Stone Stacking".
The sea with it's perfect surroundings always give me life lessons,
if I just look, listen, absorb.
This created piece represents discarded little leftovers of which can become beautiful again,
if just given the chance. Balancing out life, reaching high, yet of course,
 never forgetting where they came from.
This one now hangs by my breakfast table,
to remind me of those things each and everyday.

A little "pop of color"
which my good friend says every outfit needs.  
Why not splash some color on a piece of boat canvas?  Very Appropriate indeed. 


 "Hunting Island's Way"
Mixed Media on Wooden Panel
Created with a longing heart for the sea and all it holds.

Have a Beautiful Weekend!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014


These noble structures captivate me.  Partly because of where they are located, by the sea where I was birthed and lived for so many years, but also there is something strong, dependable, silent- holding so many stories of ships kept on course, and the relaxed, vacationing  people enthroning them in awe.  They hold history, they embrace beauty.     Over and over I'm drawn back to them, in my mind and   
as well as myself physically, on those many, many road trips. 
So for me to create works of art which adorn them, 
I get very, very happy.  

This painting, called "Days Like These", was done over the passed few weeks.  It was during all the frigid weather, so it was a nice escape, bringing me to my beloved shore, 
even if only in my mind and through my brush.      

I was asked to hang this one at one of my favorite little cafe/art galleries in Huntersville where hopefully, it will grace the home of someone who has the same love as me.
(and if you'd like to view it in person and want to purchase this one,
it's at Cafe 100 on Gilead Rd. in Huntersville) 

Summer is approaching, I can almost smell that salty air as it flies across my skin.

 And on to more....
Last year,  I participated in an Art Exchange, 
receiving some beautiful pottery for one of my pieces.
It seems as it was time for that again, as a lady who I went to high school with, who is also a talented artist, liked the idea of doing one with me!   She works with felt, doing a process I have no idea what it all involves, but knew that it was lovely.    When asked what she loved...well, to my joy she said "Lighthouses".   So to work I went, creating something special for her, causing each little detail to hold something special in meaning. 

I couldn't decide which lighthouse to do on this cupboard door which a friend gave me, so I opted to put both on it.  After adding some paint, I did an ink transfer process for the lighthouses,  added more paint, then bees wax and a darkening agent to give it texture and an oldish look.  Combining these specific techniques are probably my favorite way to create.  It always has a hint of surprise on how 
the finished piece will actually look.  

Here is a couple of shots to show the detail surrounding each lighthouse.   I of course, have to throw hidden particulars on my work, such as the 5 tally marks representing "grace", and a red splotch, reminding me of the Blood of Christ that was so lovely poured out for humanity.  Little things like that speak volumes, at least to me, and lets me leave a mark of my deep rooted beliefs, wherever my work may end up.   

My dear friend from long ago, 
the day she received 
"Where I am Free"

This was the beautiful felted wall hanging that Dawn sent to me for the exchange.  Photos don't do artwork justice, and of course my cell phone camera doesn't help.  There are shiny fibers that are woven throughout, making this so delightful.  

I am grateful for art, which brings people together, and paints color on a sometimes gray world.

To view my other NEW blog, which encompasses an array of writings, food in all it's glory, and things interesting to me in doing this thing called "life", you can find it at: