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...jen o'connor's...Artful Adventures & Daily Inspirations

I Love Art, Adore the Handmade and Treasure the Vintage. I am the Fun Mom, the Silly Friend and the Writer who wants to make more room for beauty in the everyday.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Art & Friendship Goes Downtown















































....and then we took the party downtown.
"Bounty" is the first show Earth Angels will host at
The Country Life Gallery in Warwick, NY.
We are just 50 miles North of New York City, but off the beaten track where the rural lifestyle of the Hudson River Valley persists.
Flora, fauna and farm are celebrated in this exhibit of original paintings by Jennifer Lanne and hand-thrown pottery by Jill Wiener aka Earth Girl. The artwork suits the mood and spirit of the town
and folk art enthusiasts alike.
This is such a big and bold new venture for us...
we were especially thrilled to open the show among great friends, collectors, cronies and neighbors...just 30 of us gathered, mingled and anticipated the excitement that awaits at the formal
Gallery Reception on September 15th from 2-7
...we hope to see you there!
xxoo Jen

Monday, August 27, 2007

Art & Friendship
































































































First Annual Art & Friendship Weekend...

Art & friendship...what better combination can I conjure....
Thanks to Jill Wiener for hosting us and serving up a perfect day.
After breakfast at my home in Warwick, we drove caravan-style to the Earth Girl Studio and Jill's fabulous home and grounds in Sullivan County, New York. There, the 30 of us had a chance to get our hands dirty and learn the process to pottery-making. Jill did demos on her wheel, while her darling hubby Rich finished cooking our lunch. We ate pond-side, grateful for the shade in the 90 degree heat.
Shoes came off and toes were dipped to cool the soul... gardens were wandered and our art projects were finished just as Jill's pal Lisa served homemade cupcakes.
I cannot think of a more wonderful group of people to share a day.
Thanks to Earth Angels artists Kitty B, Nicky Bowen, Laurie Meseroll and Jennifer Lanne for being there to play with the clay and spend time with our collector friends. And thanks to our pals Gary and Dominic for tipping me off to Jill's booth at that craft fair so long ago!
Jill's work has an infections cheer, and through it she has helped us to celebrate art and friendship.

...more about our weekend together in the next post!
xxoo Jen

Monday, August 20, 2007

Artistic Bounty




























































I am utterly thrilled to announce our new Gallery venture...and I want to thank Jennifer Lanne and Jill Wiener, my friends and artists extraordinaire, who have bravely pledged to lead the parade! They have created a bountiful body of work to open the show.... 182 paintings and more than 80 pieces of pottery...I am humbled by their efforts, and overwhelmed with their talent.
Our first show, “Bounty”, celebrates the rich and textured harvest of the Hudson River Valley. Not only the fruits of the natural world, but the history of a rural people living and working in the region. Inspirations for these artists, both of whom reside and maintain studios in the area, are the lush sentiments of their surrounds.


Jennifer Lanne’s paintings echo the rhythm of the seasons on our undulating landscape and life in the farmyard. Condensed, rich color with bursts of brave brushwork offers classical appeal with a decidedly modern twist. Happy, bright and fragrant with familiar scenes, I am captivated with her canvases.


Jill Wiener pulls magic from clay in her exceptionally crafted, wheel-thrown, and hand-decorated pottery. Her use of form and color tell a playful story of enthusiasm with flowers, fruit and animal friends. Her glazes are deep and delicious, pushing back hues that spark the imagination. This is happy stuff.


We hope you can join us for the Gallery Reception on
Saturday, September 15th from 2-7pm.
Help us celebrate these artists and our new venture in the realm of the Gallery Show. All are invited to attend.
....Thanks to our work crew yesterday...my Dad, Jennifer's hubby Dick, and my niece, Sara...you made it all possible. And many thanks to our hosts, Debbie and Ken of The Country Life Store, for the fabulous opportunity to show out artists in downtown Warwick, New York.
See you there!
xxoo Jen

Friday, August 17, 2007

Cuteness Counts



























































































Winsomely sweet and oh so charming, Jennifer Murphy's designs top the charts of cute. Never twee, her tiny bunnies, birds, bears and beasties are absolutely darling.



Perfectly balanced, her original creations are among my first loves in the realm of folk art. Her workmanship is exceptional. Her creations are tiny and tidy, perfectly decorated and balanced. They are never overdone, never wanting; sublime. The four new ORIGINAL pieces that arrived this week sport spiffy polka dots and juicy summer colors...
It's hard for me to choose a favorite among them.
(...you can see them in this post...email for details on size and pricing...)
...And likewise, I am loving her line of decorations produced in conjunction with Midwest of Canon Falls. What a grand partnership it has been, and a great chance for Jennifer to have so many of her cheerful designs produced at such tempting prices for so many to enjoy.
The Halloween and Christmas Collections, along with the just released images of the Spring 2008 line are featured on Jennifer's decorations page on out website...Halloween and Christmas are all here and shipping...
I am planning a tree for the holidays encrusted in Jennifer's clip on cuties!



Jennifer learned to sew at her mother's knee...she inherited not only her talent with sewing, but a fabulous sense of texture and hands that fill and sculpt her pieces with an intuitive touch.
Pat Murphy is a tremendously talented teddy bear artist...her skill with the needle and great artistic vision (not to mention a fabulous sense of humor...) have been passed along to her daughter. How wonderful this mother and daughter share a love for old toys and creating new animal friends. Pat and Jennifer's work is throughout my home and I love seeing their creations and thinking of them...I miss them both. Their work fills me, cheers me and extracts chuckles...their creations are memories of shared moments and the promise of future fun!
Jennifer has been a wonderful friend for about 4 years now. It has been my joy to watch her work develop and to collect it with abandon! Her career as a soft sculpture artist has taken a well-deserved star studded trajectory across magazines and television!
(I daresay Jennifer, you were a natural and I am sure they will want you back to share more lessons and inspiration with Martha.) I am forever grateful that she is one of our Earth Angels artists.
And remember, cuteness counts!
xxoo Jen O'Connor

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mud-Cakes on the Hudson
















































Laurie Meseroll has been in Woodstock, NY for the summer.
She wanted to come back to her roots to paint for almost 15 years, but she wasn't ready. Now that she is here in her beloved Hudson River Valley, the work she is creating has come from some place deeply buried and freshly renewed.




Her new creations are in the spirit of the tonalist painters. These revolutionary painters of the 1890's were a part of the Hudson River School of artists. Like her forebears, Laurie is creating the art of our age. Their work was ....evocative, ethereal and true, with a brave rawness in shape and texture...unified in palette.
This is not dissimilar to so many of the sentiments we feel in 2007, and that Laurie is working to capture in her paintings with the decidedly feminine twist that was missed in the last Century.




Her exhibit will go up at "The Country Life Gallery" in downtown Warwick on November 3rd...
....the title of her exhibit...
"BENEATH THE WILLOWS"

....under their frond like branches she has found peace and renewal...
Her new work is imbued with a palette of hope and light that surpasses any prior work I have seen Laurie do...
Her new studio and workspace are water to the willow of her soul.
Her new work is deep and mystical, borrowing dreams and singing songs
from the past Hudson River Schools.



She will maintain her studio in Woodstock and will split her time between New York and Ohio. For completely selfish reasons, I am thrilled to have my friend Laurie nearby and ready for adventure. It's also wonderful that she is able to work on some pieces and drive them over for us to look at together. It's a new way for me to experience the story of her work and it allows Laurie to see my reaction to her latest creations...


Congratulations to Laurie on this new adventure and we wish her the very best in her new studio space. We hope you can join us at her upcoming gallery event, and please e-mail us
if you'd like a sneak peek of her new work.
xxoo Jen O'Connor

Monday, August 13, 2007

Very Ferry Debbee

























































Debbee Thibault in my town, now that's a treat.
Debbee in town to show the world her new line for Fall 2007...well, that's just 3 words FAB - U - LOUS...her new blown glass ornaments are divine, the new sculpts for her papier mache creations are magic...
Her work is something to behold, and our friendship is a rare and wonderful gift I treasure.
And like all friends, we have our traditions...one is to have dinner after the shows at the Javits Center where Debbee premiers her line to retailers...
So, Laurie Meseroll and I headed in to see Debbee at the New York International Gift Fair and my oh my, we walked our feet off...
(I should mention that Laurie wore cunning 5" platform, velveteen and oh, so strappy sandals for the occassion!)
There were many new creations and old friends to see throughout the show...Jo Packham,Darren, Danyel and Gianna of FG&Co, Caramia and her Hotcakes, Elaine from Atchoo, Jill Schwartz, and Lynsey Waters and of course, dearest Debbee. I'll have to post some more images from each of the artists to the website and blog to keep you in the loop!
At the end of the day I let the gals know we had tickets to ride...the FERRY! The busy day became sweet evening with the skyline behind us. Debbee, Carolyn, Laurie and I headed across the river to Ro's beautiful home on the Hudson for collections galore and more silliness than our fair share. Thanks so much for a wonderful get-together Ro...
and thanks to everyone for an inspiring day, a wonderful tradition
and new ideas...

Wish you were all there.
xxoo Jen O'Connor
PS...with so much going on I anticipate posting three times each week...Monday, Wednesday and Friday. My goal is to keep this blog interesting, inspirational and intimate. Let me know what you think and keep those comments coming.
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