Friday, July 31, 2009

Lazy Summer Days Coming To an End

I have to admit, I've been a little lazy when it came to arting and blogging this week. It's the last week of July....The last full month of summer vacation. In less than a month, I'll be back to work. Ugh.

This is my newest piece. "Need to Know" measures 5" x 5" and was created on blue cardstock. I was feeling the need to move away from the neutral color palette I've adopted this summer and I'm happy with the results.

This weekend my artwork will be exhibited in the Culture Tent at Festa Italiana in Rockford. Festa is a yearly celebration of Italian culture that my family and I have been involved with for years. My brother Kyle and I were founding members of the Amici Italiani Youth Dance Troupe back in 1989. My mom was the co-director of the group and still is. Its fun to have a connection to your heritage like this.

There is an artist "meet and greet" in the Culture Tent on Saturday, from 4-6 pm if you'd like to come out and meet the artists. I'll be there!

Happy weekend all!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weighing In on "More to Love"

Last night "More to Love" premiered on Fox. As stated on the Fox website, " MORE TO LOVE, the new dating competition show from Mike Fleiss ("The Bachelor"), follows one regular guy's search for love among a group of real women determined to prove that love comes in all shapes and sizes." OK, so this premise sounds noble enough to me and I will admit that I have been known to watch The Bachelor, so I turned on "More to Love" last night. The new bachelor, 26-year-old Luke Conley was milling around the first cocktail party, meeting his new dating prospects. As each new woman was introduced, her name, height and weight appeared on the screen. I promptly changed the channel.

Why on earth was it necessary to reveal the height and weight of each woman? You don't see this on The Bachelor and Bachelorette. This doesn't seem to jive with the stated intentions of the show, that all people, no matter what their size, want love. What does their weight have to do with finding love? I wonder if the women who are participating in "More to Love" were aware that their weight would be revealed. Would any woman want their weight revealed on national television? The whole thing just disgusts me and brings to light some of my own insecurities.

Like most women, I obsess about my weight. I know that to most people, I look healthy and normal. But at 5'3" and 144 pounds, I am in the "Overweight" category of the BMI scale (Body Mass Index.) (I can't believe I just wrote that and am about to post this on the internet!!) I've got a gut that bothers me to no end. My boyfriend thinks I'm nuts and tells me that I look great. That doesn't seem to appease me, I still obsess. I work out on average 5 times a week and watch what I eat and drink. I feel like I'm always on a diet or thinking about a diet. I've been trying to lose 10 pounds for 2 years.

I wonder if I will get to a point in my life where I will let this obsession go, and be comfortable with my body. I don't know if that day will ever come. My cute and tiny mom who weighs less than I do obsesses about her weight just as much as I do. I know that part of the reason I obsess is because she does. (Not blaming you mamma, but it's the truth!)

I hope that someday I can embrace myself as is. I hope that someday our national obsession with the perfect body will turn into a national obsession with health and happiness. Someday.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Fun One

A Fun One - An ACEO, originally uploaded by Jennifer Mullin.

There are times when I make art and I am just satisfied with the end product. There are other times when I'm just plain thrilled with what I made.

Meet "A Fun One". There is just something about this piece that I love! I don't even know exactly what it is, but it works. This isn't my favorite color scheme (the red, yellow, and blue triad can be difficult to pull off) and the flowers themselves aren't particularly novel. But it all comes together to create a very pleasing little piece.

"A Fun One" is available in my Etsy Shop.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Go Cubs Go

Cacciatores and Cubs, originally uploaded by Jennifer Mullin.

My parents took my boyfriend and I to a Cubs game yesterday. What a great day!

Pre-game festivities commenced at Goose Island brewery, eating ballpark fare for lunch washed down with some 312 brews. We met up with my uncle Joe and aunt Chrissy here, who were also going to the game.

Wrigley Field may be ancient, but there's just nothing like the atmosphere there or the Cubs fans who love it. So much tradition in that place!

The weather for the game was perfect - upper 70's or low 80's, a little overcast, and a breeze. We had great seats and watched the Cubs win 8-5 over the Cinci Reds. 4 home runs, lots of action, and good company.

Lets see if the Cubs can pull off another win at home today. Go Cubs Go!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Delve Onto Canvas

For quite some time, patrons have been asking me to make larger sized pieces. I resisted, there is something very endearing to me about tiny art. Eventually I decided to try out a bigger format and using a support other than paper.

I had a set of 8" x 10" stretched canvases sitting around my studio for years and decided start with those. I forgot how much fun it is to glue with gloss medium and really how much easier it is. I don't have to worry if it oozes out the edges like I do with my PVA glue on paper.
Instead of using a micron pen to add the detail, I used paint. It had been ages since I had painted and I was worried that I'd lost my mojo. But, the more I did, the better I got. I remembered how nice it is to be able to repaint something that doesn't quite look right, which is just not possible with ink and paper!

Stretched canvases don't necessarily require framing, which is major plus for me.They look great as is, especially with 1.5" or 2" stretchers like I've been using. I haven't yet found a good and economical way to frame my paper pieces.

I quickly worked through my collection of canvases and have since then purchased a bulk order from I got a great deal and fast shipping. I'd certainly order from them again!

My next support adventure will be cradled hardboard. A few of my Flickr friends have inspired me to try these!

What is your favorite support? I'd love to hear.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"Theres No Sunshine When She's Gone"

Goofy title, I know. Its been a particularly cool and gloomy summer in the Midwest. Unlike most people, I haven't minded it. I can have the windows open, don't have to turn on the air conditioning, and don't have to water my plants as much. But today, the gloom is finally getting to me.

Even with all the lights on in my studio and using both my desk lamps, its still hard to really see color. Thats a particular problem with my work as its all about color! For this same reason, gloomy skys also pose a problem when photographing artwork. I was going to shoot pics of and blog about my newest mixed media on canvas, but mother nature thought otherwise.

So instead, enjoy one of my sunny favorites, "Summer Blooms". The original collage was sold to a local collector, but it is available as a print in both ACEO(2.5" x 3.5") and 5" x 7" size in my Etsy shop.

Rain, rain go away. Come back some other day.

Monday, July 20, 2009

What's In a Name?

What should I call this?, originally uploaded by Jennifer Mullin.

I just finished up this ACEO and I'm struggling to title it. I need your help.

I've done dozens of these tiny florals, and named many of them "Floral Improv # " I've grown tired of that naming system and started picking out titles from bits of magazine text I found on my desk while making these pieces.

I didn't want to add any text to this one, it looks fine on its own. So, what do I name it? The color and use of stripes lend this piece a playful, almost "Suessical" or "Wonka- like" quality. The petals themselves remind me of those candy corns (worst tasting candy ever !)

So, I turn to you my bloggies. Suggestions?

And the Winners........

Thanks so much to all who participated in my giveaway. I've contacted the three winners and once I hear back from them, I'll make an annoucement here.

Check back soon for another giveaway. I've got one in the works for late August.

Cheers, Jennifer

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Love Affair With the ACEO

ACEO stands for Art, Card, Edition, Original. Funny name, I know. These tiny pieces of art measure 2.5" x 3.5" and are the same size as a trading card. I have grown to love working in this compact format.

The ACEO grew out of the ATC, Art Trading Card. Born in the 1990's, the ATC is a piece of art meant to be traded, not sold. ATC "swap meets" were organized and artists traded their wares just as children traded baseball cards. As their popularity grew, artists did start to sell their ATC's and called them ACEOs.

I was first introduced to the ACEO when I started selling on Etsy. One of my fellow Etsyians suggested I try the format as I was already working quite small. The size is perfect for my tiny collage work, and because they are so small, I can sell originals at a very reasonable price. I quickly became hooked on the ACEO!

You will notice that most of my ACEO's have rounded corners. I found these card blanks on ETSY in the shop of Fanshefolds. Frances handcrafts these blanks, which are available in many different colors and finishes.

ACEO's have become the top seller in my Etsy Shop. Once an original sells, I will offer it as a print. I don't make prints of all the pieces I sell, just the ones I really like. Because these ACEO's are so detailed, I can even enlarge them to 5" x 7" and they still hold up.

I hope that you enjoy your weekend. Not much in the works for me, which is just the way I like it.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Going Home to Roost Interview!

Hi! Another beautiful summer day here. Sunny and bright and a refreshing cool breeze in the air. San Diego weather! This must be why my brother has no intentions on moving away from his Ocean Beach, San Diego home.

Just wanted to let you know that I was interviewed by
Bonnie Forkner on her beautiful blog "Going Home to Roost." Thanks so much Bonnie!

Click here for the direct link to my interview.

Enjoy the day friends.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bounty From the Farmer's Market

I am an admitted farmer's market junkie. I adore the freshest of fresh, locally grown goodies I buy there each week.

My love of the farmer's market really began in 2006, when I spent the summer in Portland, Oregon. The climate and overall "greeness" of Portland make it a Farmer's Market hotbed. I was astounded by the number of different fruits and vegetables available. And the artisanal cheeses! Some of the best goat cheese I've ever tasted came from the farmer's market.

I came home later that summer, ready to shop at Rockford's farmer's market. But in 2006, they left much to be desired. Unfortunately, many of the vendor were selling produce they'd bought from the wholesaler. There were very few actual vendors selling locally grown goods. It was disappointing.

The farmer's markets have come along way since then. Gone are the "faux" farmers, now replaced by dozens of local farmers producing anything from garlic to beets! Today I bought garlic, carrots (I love how they look with the tops still attached!), organic mixed greens, cucumber and rasberries. Yum. I purposely scheduled a dinner with my parents for tomorrow night so I could buy what I need from the farmer's market. Can't wait to cook with my yummies.

If you haven't already, be sure to enter my giveaway. Have a great day friends!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Yeah! A Giveaway!

Hi Friends.

What a better way to celebrate my new blog than a giveaway! I'm offering up three of my favorite prints to three different winners.

  1. A tiny ACEO (2.5" x 3.5") sized print of "Love Sweets Love".
  2. A 5"x 7" print of "Floral Improv Number 8".
  3. An 8" x 8" print of "Work With What You've Got".


  • Visit my Etsy Shop and pick out your favorite item.
  • Leave a comment on this post with your favorite and your contact information.


  1. Following my blog.
  2. Twittering about this giveaway.
  3. Blog about this contest, and link to the post.

* Make sure you let me know if you've done these things, so I can give you the extra entries.


  • Midnight, Sunday, July 19th
  • The three winners will be announced on Monday Morning.

Good luck!

Gray. Yellow. White. Black.

Gray. Yellow. White. Black.

I am currently enamored with this color scheme. I've used these colors in my last three pieces, and will continue for a bit.

Yellow is not a color that I usually embrace in my work. In fact, its probably my least favorite of colors on a regular basis. There's just something about yellow that works with gray, mellows it out or something.

I've also been trying to work on simplifying in these last few pieces. Throughout my artistic career, I've had a tendency to over-embellish, do a little too much. I'm really working on that and embracing the fact that "less is more". You'll hopefully notice more negative space and less pen in these works. I'm letting the cut shapes speak for themselves.

That's all for now. Happy Monday.

Top: "A Good Vibe" - Mixed Media on paper. Available in my Etsy shop.
Bottom: "Attack of the Killer Consonants" - Mixed Media on Canvas. Available in my Etsy shop.

Friday, July 10, 2009

WallBlank - Sending Summer to You

I'm very excited to be working with Wallblank. This is a Rockford based company (my hometown) that works with many different artists to offer a different print every day of the week. The prints are very sharp and affordable.

Yesterday (Thursday) "Sending Summer to You" was featured at Wallblank. This is a piece that I originally made for my friend Sarah and its one of my current favorites! This 12" x 12" limited edition print will be available for a week or until its sold out on the Wallblank website.

While you are there, check out the work of my former students, Cari Wayman and Jay Schaul. Both are very talented photographers!

Happy Weekend.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Little About Me

I just got home from a fabulous yoga class! That is one of the many things I love to do during my summers of freedom. One of the joys of being a teacher is indeed June, July and August.

For 9 months out of the year, I am a high school art and art history teacher. I so love passing on my passion for art to the students! The highlight of my day has become my Advanced Placement Art History Class. I love talking about and looking at art and am so challenged by my students. Its a little unnerving when someone asks a question that I don't know the answer to, but I've learned that telling the class I don't know is OK. Sometimes I do a little research and report back the next day, sometimes I ask the students to do the research themselves. I'm learning right along with them! I've been teaching for eleven years now, and cannot believe how fast the time has gone.

A charcoal drawing from one of my graduated students, Cari Wayman.
She is an amazing artist and photographer. Check out her Flickr Photostream

During the summer, I get to catch up on all the parts of my life that get neglected during the school year. I spend a good deal of time working on my art that I sell in my Etsy shop. I'm also stockpiling work for a big art fair that happens in Chicago in September that I'm hoping to get into. I'll know in August if I'm accepted. Cross your fingers for me!

Though its easy for me to spend the entire day in the studio, I try to get out and enjoy the summer weather while working in my yard. This year I've expanded my vegetable garden and am just starting to reap some of the benefits of my work. I've eaten some of my lettuce and made pesto with my basil. I can't wait for those heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers to be ready to eat. I'm big into locally grown food and like to frequent the farmer's markets which are becoming bigger and better stocked every year. (More about that in another post.)

Well, I'm getting tired of writing about myself, but I swear there's more to me than art and gardening. More next time!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hi! Welcome to My Blogging Adventure.

I've been thinking about starting a blog for quite some time now. I enjoy writing and knew that blogging would be another way to boost my online visibility.

I'm not quite sure exactly what shape this blog will take. I'm sure it will evolve over time. I will be writing about my life, my art and the art of others, with some tidbits on food, wine, and yoga thrown in.

The image up top is an original mixed media collage I made for a school fundraiser. Its very like me to use many different media as I did here. You'll see old book pages, cardstock, magazine, colored pencil and gel pen. I love to work in layers. More about that in another post.

Welcome to my world!