09 Apr Artist Spotlight :: Jenny Grant
Welcome! Every Tuesday and Thursday Tonia Jenny, the 21 SECRETS Creative Director & Course Manager, interviews one of the talented teachers in our 21 SECRETS program for an Artist Spotlight.
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Hi there, Artistic Seeker!
Did you ever imagine making faces would be so fulfilling? 21 SECRETS Face Time is seeping into the creative practice of all of us here and the excitement is spreading like a big grin across our faces! Today’s Spotlight Artist I’m sharing with you is Jenny Grant.
Jenny’s Face-Time lesson is called The Eyes of the Soul and in the lesson, she guides you through a lovely process for tuning into your intuition. I can relate to what Jenny says here in the following interview about giving herself the gift to persevere through the “ugly” stages of her art enough to come to trust the entire process to deliver something she loves. Read on and I’m sure you’ll find other inspiring gems her for yourself, as well.
How have your creative pursuits morphed or changed over the years?
I have not always painted alongside mixed media and certainly not always painted faces. I have always been creative and have painted since I was a kid. For many years, I painted with almost only watercolors. I always had a picture in my mind when I started and I almost always got disappointed that I could not transfer the picture from my head onto the paper in a good-enough way.
I have long been very fascinated by mixed media. Ten years ago, I got the courage to start to experimenting on my own and I just loved it. When the media stopped setting the boundaries, something opened up inside me. The braver I got, the more intuitive my process became. I started to let the painting decide what it wanted to be and tried to stop the pictures in my head from deciding. I started to see eyes everywhere in the paint. I was very hesitant but decided to be brave and actually draw what I saw. It was a slow but very rewarding process. I used to be very critical of my own drawings and paintings and especially faces that I “knew” I could not draw. But when I started to let my heart and soul steer my creative process and I dared to continue even though I didn’t like what I saw, something magical started to happen.
I am so happy that this transformation took place and that I started to trust the process and be brave enough to let my paintings get into “the ugly” stage without putting me off. What I found was that if I continued, even though I hated the look of it, I could push through and end up with something that I really liked. The more I practiced, the braver I got; and the more I pushed the boundaries, the more I loved it.
Is there an element in your process that you’re especially passionate about?
I LOVE two phases—and I cannot choose only one of them. 🙂
One is collage!! Collaging is a very meditative process for me and a way for me to create the base and background to paint on. I do my collage in a totally random manner where I just glue pieces of paper onto my substrate without really thinking or having a thought about what the final piece will look like. I often start my painting session with collage to get into a flow and if I get stuck or get a creative block I grab my palette knife and some paper and start my meditative process of gluing papers. It almost always helps.
The other phase is “grunging.” I love muddy colors and grunge. I love old rusty things, that have been used and worn. I love when history has left marks. This passion comes through in my creative work as well. I have so many techniques to grunge-up anything that looks too nice and neat. I really like when the early stages of my painting remain visible in the end—even the parts that I did not like and tried to move or cover up. I think that a lot of the soul in art is in the imperfections.
Name a time when the art you were creating inspired another area of your life.
The more conscious I got about the effect the intuitive process had on the result of my paintings, the more I started to focus on listening to my intuition in other areas of my life. I have always been very analytical and tried to optimize everything, but I slowly realized the positive effects of letting my intuition be part of decisions—big and small—in other areas of my life.
I now know, I am not here to optimize life . . . . I am here to live life. My art taught me that.
If we were lucky enough to see your workshop’s “outtakes” or “bloopers” video, what would be the scene?
You would be SO board looking at the parts that I cut out. Most of which includes when I just look at and touch my painting, trying to feel what to do next and find inspiration for the next step. I need to feel what the next step is and when I do my art really become soulful. When I “push it” and my brain decides the next step, it becomes quite flat and not much magic happens.
The other thing that I do cut out is all my “uhmmm” noises. When I do not know what to say or I do not find a word I make this silly noice… very annoying… and very time consuming to cut out and get the cuts to be seamless so you do not see them. :)) Dose anyone have any tips in how to get rid of my “uhmmm-ing”?
Share something very few people know about you.
I have a Master of Science in Physics. I had been working twenty years in the tech industry before I decided that I wanted to do other things in life as well. Over a span of five years, I slowly cut down on my tech job and I started to build my art business in parallel. For the last two years now, I have been a full-time artist with my own studio space and I travel around the world and run workshops. When you set your mind on what you want, you will slowly work towards it and it will happen!! I am a living proof!
I got a little happy shiver when Jenny said that a lot of art’s soul is in the imperfections.
And oh my gosh, how I can also relate to a process of editing a ton of “uhmmms” out of my videos! To find the soul in your art, check out Jenny’s lesson in Face Time.
About Jenny Grant
I am a Mixed Media Artist living in Stockholm, Sweden. I am on a mission to inspire people to be brave, to use their creativity and to do more of what they love.
I paint in many layers and create my art based on an interesting process where my imagery emerges while painting. I work with mixed media – acrylic paint, wax, ink, oil pastels, color pencils, fabrics, paper, photos… anything that comes my way.
My work is very rich with many layers that add depth and texture to my work. There are no limits, nothing is wrong and there are no mistakes. The process is the fun! My paintings evolve as I paint and I have no plan and no goal. It is my inner voice, my inner guide or wizard that guides me. With layers on layer I create depth, texture and details. People often find my art very peaceful even though it is colorful and full of energy.
I exhibit and sell my art and run both in-person workshops around the world and on-line workshops, both painting on canvas and creating art journals.
Jenny Teaches The Eyes Of The Soul In 21 SECRETS Face Time
Trying to create a face with a specific feeling or expression can feel challenging, especially when we try to fix “problems” we’ve created, that then end up looking angry or deformed, bringing up negative feeling within ourselves. In this lesson, I will share with you a couple of tricks for creating faces that don’t lead us into this trap. By focusing on the eyes, we will let them speak to us throughout the process, leading to more encouragement for painting faces.
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