Thursday, April 10, 2008


Yesterday I spent a large portion of my day beginning work on my largest commission, to date. The stack of boxes full of canvases stretching from floor to ceiling has been a bit intimidating, but it felt good to finally get started on it. For the next couple weeks I will be taking a side-step away from my pet portraits and will be focusing on a series of 25 (18"x18") canvases, each with a letter of the alphabet inspired by vintage wood, metal, and Las Vegas boneyard signs.

The finished piece will hang in a nearly 8 foot x 8 foot square on a huge beautiful wall of a designer's studio/office space. Wanna know the best part? My artwork will be sharing a home with THREE Bloomsbury orginals!!! And if you're not familiar with the Bloomsbury Group, they were the wonderfully wild group of artist and writer friends who Virginia Woolf hung out with. I realize that this makes me a complete and utter literary geek, but someone please pinch me! As a grad student I spent an entire semester intensely studying the Bloomsbury Group's work and writing essays about the influences that occur between visual art and writing. And now my art is going to be next to their art?? In my book, that counts as a compliment to the highest degree!!

Anyway, when all is said and done, I'm looking forward to having giclee prints made of the letters and trying my luck with them on Etsy. I'm enjoying this feeling of having several baskets full of eggs (versus having all my eggs in one basket). Although the commission alone is enough to make me happy, it would be nice to have a gift that keeps on giving, so to speak. That is, a source of income that doesn't require me to be constantly producing new work--especially at times when I need a break, am working on a project that doesn't produce instant income, or when I get backed up with other commissions.

One thing I'm learning is how to manage both my flow of energy and flow of income. Maybe it's because these endeavors feel so fresh and new and exciting, but I'm having a lot of fun with this--mostly because I'm beginning to realize just how much I get to create my own reality. I realize that I might sound like I'm regurgitating Law of Attraction philosophies, but (holy cats!!) it's FOR REAL!! Ok, ok, in all honest, I occasionally start doubting myself, my art, my dreams...BUT the second I let go of those thoughts and simply get back to work, things start flowing again. It's down right weird.

Granted, I find it difficult to simply turn off my negative thoughts, as though they were a light switch. However, every time I just set my thoughts aside and return to my studio or do whatever needs to be done, the ball starts rolling once again. On Tuesday I went and talked to my boss about hiring another employee because I wasn't sure how much longer I would be able to work there and I don't want to leave her in a pinch during her busiest season. Mind you, I've been putting that conversation off for months now because I was, well...afraid. Now that all is said and done I'm left wondering what I was really so afraid of. She was absolutely understanding, thankful, supportive, and hopeful for me. I cut back to 2 days a week in May with the understanding that even that might not last much longer.

When I got home I found an email for a new commission in my inbox. Later in the day I met 3 dog trainers, 2 of whom want me to paint their dogs and know of several other people that would be interested as well. It amazes me how taking a step forward, no matter how big or small, is all it takes for the Universe to crack open and rain gifts.

These days, I am growing--as an artist, a dreamer, a thinker. I have a new word in my active vocabulary and it is: entrepreneur. I don't know why, but I'm really loving that word these days. I barely even know how to spell it! But I love the way it feels, the way it sounds, the way I have to consciously make my mouth muscles move through its unfamiliar word shape.

There were certain concepts that struck me most deeply during the past 3 months of participating in Circe's Circle. They are:


And that is what the word "entrepreneur" represents for me. It is an avenue, an opportunity, a path. The part I love the most is how I get to make it look any way I want. Well, actually, we all get to do that. I just didn't realize it until recently. ;)

(Louis, my studio-mate and business partner)



martha said...

Wow Jesse you are awesome! I am so proud of you :) and to think I have a painting that was painted by the lady whose other painting is hanging with paintings from the bloomsbury group!!

Kate said...


This has all been so incredible to witness. I love how you share your journey. It is wonderful to hear of your successes. Its inspiring to all of us.


megg said...

Hooray!! What a pile you have waiting for you!!!! WOW -

Well personally I can't wait to see what your 'M' letter and your 'W' letter look like - I might just be a customer!!!

love to you!!!

GreenishLady said...

Oh... Just spotted what Martha said! I'm joining that group of people who have a painting painted by the lady whose other painting.... Wow!

"Trixie" arrived today. I've emailed, but I also want anyone else who reads these comments to know that if they have a beloved dog, you are the person to paint that portrait, because you have a facility for finding the soul, the essence of the animal and conveying it to the canvas that is a wonder to behold. I can only say that the painting of Trixie has healed my heart of the grief I held at her loss. I will miss her forever, but I can bear the missing now that you, Jessie, have brought her home to me again. Bless you.

Jessie said...

dear imelda, i think that is one of the sweetest comments i have ever received.
big hugs to you,

Anonymous said...

my heart is just bursting wide open for you, jessie.

Annie said...

I can't wait to see the paintings when they are done :-). Big happiness for your move to drop a day at work! I love your helper too, and Wolfie is beautiful!

Deirdre said...

This is so exciting - all of it. I'm looking forward to seeing every letter of the alphabet.

Sacred Suzie said...

It's amazing to watch your life transforming and the success is definitely coming your way, how exciting. I'm so happy for you my friend and I'm a literary person too and find that super exciting! You deserve each and every one of these successes.

I AM said...

Oh Jessie, I have so much to say...

this is big, HUGE and so is that stack of boxes!!! :) What a powerful visual representation of all that you are about to embark on.

I have quietly, secretly started my own 'alphabet' project. It will be interesting to see if/how ours will intersect.

Keep growing love, keep growing...

Colorsonmymind said...

I am clenching my fists with my arms bent-close to my body doing a frenetic shake a shake, shudder, dance move that would be so embarassing to have seen, with a huge, almost painful, grin on my face. This is how you make me feel love-you get my inner feelings and beliefs all riled up and ready to tackle the adventure of creating my own dreams. That is just so spectacular. I am so fucking happy for you!!!!!!! Go Jessie, your a bad ass, go Jessie, your a bad ass!

I find that sometimes-like after reading this post the second time, trying to figure out the details of what I need to do I end up getting a bit scared. Then I go back to how you said just moving in the direction helps.

The other day I was feeling a bit....short on time so to speak and my friend told me to make a "I am so happy and grateful now that...." list while at the dermatologists. I did, and within 48 hrs I had sold like 12 things on etsy, and made an inquiry to a mag about an article idea that was accepted! Yesterday we looked at our dream house-that just went on the market, but it is much more$ than we think we can pay right now. So this am I stayed in bed an extra few minutes-tried to invision myself in the house-in the pretty anthropologie clothes, on my cute bike, riding to the post office with a huge stack of orders to send out.

So much doubt springs to mind about this dream house coming now-being so expensive-any suggestions on how to approach this in my head?

Ok girl-longest comment ever will end now.

smooches and snuggles
your my shero!

Joyce said...

Hi there,
I just happened upon your blog randomly through a google search on "one thing that scares you". Very inspiring blog! I don't have time to read your entire blog, though I'm tempted to! Just wanted to say thanks for sharing, and I'll prob be dropping in on your blog regularly :)

bella said...

Wow. Amazingingly good things are coming your way, my dear. I'm so happy to read about all of these great opportunities.

Melba said...

i am still on vacation but it is monday at 7 and i just haaad to check in with you!

i love love love this post. i must get that book!

i am so proud of you and dedication to growth.

love you!

laundrygirl said...

I don't know how many times I have come back to this post! Just the sight of all of those boxes of canvases makes me smile. I am bursting with joy for you! You are truly incredible!

Loralee Choate said...



I will be there 10 days and get in on April 26th. PULLLEEEAAASSSEEEE say you and I can hang out again!!!!

Wuv you.

Amber said...

Jesse! This is just so wonderful! Look at you living your dreams! Man. You are an amazing woman. And you show us all, by sharing this journey of yours, that it is possible to do this. It IS possible to live the life WE want.

I am wishing you all the love, all the peace, and all the joy.

oxox :)

attainingcreativity said...

It is amazing how so much of our success is already within us, and we can keep being afraid of things, that once we attemp them, are no hurdles at all.

Congratulations on your success, not only the success of your commission, but your success in finding how "simple" it can be to do what you want to do.

madelyn said...

such a rich warm bursting at the
seems post jessie~girl ~

i can't wait for those letters to
show up on your etsy ~ i will
be waiting not so patiently in line:)

and Jessie~ just lOOK at all the
beautiful things happening to you~
you are igniting your dreams in this
universe and everything is coming
to you!

I am just so filled with love and
awe and appreciation of your energy and spirit and shining heart in
this world ~ aaaaaaaaaaaaand
I adore my new etsy banner so
thank you thank you thank you~~~

caroline : my pocket said...

What a pile! The stuff that dreams are made of... That is pretty darn fantastic, your work sitting alongside the bloomsbury group! I love the sound of your new projects, enjoy sweet friend xoxo

Vedrana M. said...

wonderful, i'm so happy for you :) i love grow mug, xoxo

January said...

Just wanted to come by and say I love your blog. Congrats and best wishes for your good fortune! Very cool.

kj said...

where have i been? always nice to stop by, jessie. you inspire me!