“Fresh Start”

Hi there! Hope you’re enjoying this beautiful summer weekend!

Today I’m happy to share another of my recent journal pages, which is featured in Kim Rae Nugent’s newest book, Journal Starters: Nature Backgrounds, Textures, & Collaborations.

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This page is entitled, “Fresh Start,” and it was created just a few days after the last page I presented here on the blog, in a period of time that was highly challenging for me at my job. There were many days that I woke up at the sound of the alarm clock, remembered the excruciating stress I’d certainly be facing that day, and wished I could press the “reset” button and start over. I think many of us feel this way at some point in our lives, like we desperately need a “do-over.” Our daily struggles become exhausting, and we want to transplant ourselves from where we are to someplace new, different, and better. Thankfully, not long after this page was finished, I made the decision to pursue a change, and have now been placed in a new position in a different setting, far removed from so much of the stress that had been dragging me down for so long.

At the time I created this page, I was feeling a need to do a lot of writing as an emotional outlet, and so the first layer of this page consists of handwritten journaling, which I covered with collaged book pages. In addition, gesso, spray inks, acrylic paint, stencils, pigment ink, stamps, masking tape, Washi tape, rub-ons, a date stamp, India ink, pens, and an image from the Journal Starters book were used.

The image of the eggs in a nest really spoke to me, because it signifies the beginning of the miracle of life, and also calls to mind birds, which to me have always represented the idea of freedom. I mean, who doesn’t feel like they want to fly away from the chaos of their life at some point? I used a lot of bird-themed rub-on images and phrases to embellish certain areas of this page, and found that it all came together well.

Journal Starters: Nature Backgrounds, Textures, & Collaborations can be purchased at Amazon.com.

Have a great week!

 

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“Storm Clouds”

Hello to all! Hope you’re having an awesome week!

Today I’m happy to share one of my recent journal pages, which is featured in my friend Kim Rae Nugent’s newest book, Journal Starters: Nature Backgrounds, Textures, & Collaborations.

This page is called “Storm Clouds,” and was created earlier this year in response to a highly negative and stressful situation at work. I really don’t know a kinder, gentler way to describe what was going on, except to say that the proverbial sh** was about to hit the fan, and there was no way to hide or escape from it. I knew I had no choice but to take a stand for what was right, and it tied me up in knots for a long time. Thankfully, asserting myself gave me the confidence to fight for the opportunity to leave the chaos, and today the future looks significantly brighter.

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This page was created with vintage book pages, patterned paper, gesso, acrylic paint, stamped punchinella and bubble wrap, rub-ons, stickers, found poetry, a date stamp, pigment ink, pens, and an image from the Journal Starters book.

Kim’s book is now available for purchase at Amazon.com.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my work with you! It is indeed one of my most favorite and enjoyable parts of being an artist!

Have a wonderful week! 🙂

 

 

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Recent Publications!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Hope you all had a marvelous 4th of July!

I spent much of the holiday weekend in my studio, working hard to meet some upcoming publication deadlines.

I’ve been fortunate to have some of my work published this summer, including an artist’s book called Die Geister (The Ghosts) that I created back in 2014 after a study-abroad trip to Berlin, Germany. The journal, which appears in the Summer 2016 issue of Somerset Studio Gallery magazine, is now available on news stands and at Stampington & Company‘s website right now!

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In addition, <meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”0; URL=/jenny.petricek?_fb_noscript=1″ /> my friend and fellow artist Kim Rae Nugent’s latest book, Journal Starters: Nature Backgrounds, Textures, & Collaborations also just became available for purchase! This book features amazing photography and thought-provoking prompts to inspire one’s art journaling practice, and I’m honored to be one of the contributing artists. Eight of my pages are featured in the book, and I look forward to sharing some of them here very soon! To purchase the book, please visit Amazon.com!

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Have a wonderful rest of the week! See you soon!

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“Rediscover Your Heart”

This is a page that I completed yesterday in my art journal, and it’s called, “Rediscover Your Heart.”

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For me, 2016 has been a year of reclaiming my health, one small improvement at a time. This summer, I’ve set a goal of losing ten pounds and have established a daily exercise regimen, which unfortunately isn’t something to which I’ve been greatly committed in the past few years.

Back in 2010-11, during a period of great anxiety and uncertainty, I gained 60 pounds after being prescribed the antidepressant Prozac. The excess weight took a major toll on my small frame, and strenuous activities such as running (which I’ve loved my whole life) put a lot of stress on the joints in my legs and became exceedingly difficult and painful. In addition, the extra pounds caused me to experience more issues with my asthma. Consequently, I pretty much stopped exercising and my fitness level suffered greatly. In 2014, when I stopped taking the medication, I quickly lost 40 pounds, but up to this point have been unable to drop the last 20. While I don’t feel terrible about my current weight, I know I could still stand to lose a few pounds. I also know I could and should get back into some semblance of good physical shape, because I’ve always been healthier and happier when I’ve been active. Exercise is beneficial for one’s lungs and heart, and that’s of the utmost importance as I get older, especially with my family history of cardiovascular disease. 

I started running again a few weeks ago, and even though I struggle with some old injuries from my days as a high school and college tennis player, it’s been going well. To prevent pain in my hip joints caused by frayed cartilage, I wear compression stockings and shorts and run only short distances; I augment my runs with low-impact biking and swimming. I can feel my strength and stamina growing, and my breathing is getting better. I’ve even lost a couple of pounds already!

This page, which celebrates my rediscovery of my love of exercise and the importance of being heart-healthy (both physically and emotionally), was built upon a collage of old book pages, paper napkins, ephemera, and Washi tape, and also includes spray inks & stencils, pigment inks & stamps, tape, stickers, die cuts, and pens.

What is a goal you can set for yourself this summer, to improve your health? Take one step at a time, one foot in front of the other, and you can make it happen!

Have a great week! 🙂

 

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“Don’t You Forget”

Hope you’re all having a wonderful Father’s Day weekend!

Yesterday I completed the second page in my new art journal, which is entitled, “Don’t You Forget.”

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The page was inspired by some free-association writing that I’d completed on the paper prior to creating art on it. I’ve been doing a lot of this lately; it allows me to get some thoughts off my chest and at the same time provides a nice underlayer of texture that can peek through subsequent layers of paint.

The page was created with various collaged papers, Washi tape, acrylic paint, spray inks, stencils, pigment ink, rubber stamps, bubble wrap, India ink, alcohol ink, stickers, found text, pens, a cutout from a magazine ad, and a portion of a vintage photograph.

I’ve never been an individual enthusiastic about change, especially when it comes to my family relationships and friendships. Unfortunately, change is the one constant in life. People undergo change as they pass through life, and sometimes when we love and care deeply for them, it’s very difficult to understand and to accept that things are not as they used to be. What we thought we knew and what we fervently believed to be true about them can suddenly turn out to be very different in reality, and we are caught off-guard. Consequently, a valued relationship may be altered in a manner in which we never anticipated, in a positive or negative way–or may simply fade.

Somehow, the uncomfortable, almost shocked look in the woman’s eyes seemed ideal for this page, as did the pocket watch, which was clipped from a magazine and represents the element of time, a powerful change agent in all of our lives.

I hope you all have a great weekend, and that you are able to enjoy it with people you love!

 

 

 

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“Baggage”

Happy Thursday to all!

I’ve been on summer break for a week, and slowly but surely I’ve returned to the studio. It feels wonderful to be back, and to have long, uninterrupted stretches of time in which to create again.

Today I began working in a new art journal, and thoroughly enjoyed getting lost for a couple of hours in the process of finishing its first page. It’s called “Baggage,” and it started with a free-association writing activity in which I reflected on some issues and emotions that I’ve been hauling around with me, which have been weighing me down for quite awhile. I first jotted down some musings on the blank page, and then proceeded to cover it with colorful layers of collage, paint, and ink.

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I think each and every one of us has “stuff” in our lives that we hold on to and are prone to carry with us from place to place, even though we understand it probably isn’t in our best interest to continue doing so. This “stuff” may even get in the way of us moving forward in our lives. We know we should let it go–but of course, this is always much easier said than done. The “baggage” consists of the remnants and residue of our past experiences, good and bad–and it’s been with us so long, that we feel it’s indeed part of who we are. The memories, marks, and scars attached to our “baggage” may never completely disappear–but sometimes we can change how we perceive them. I definitely could change the way I look at certain circumstances of the past–but admittedly it’s really hard and slow work. This page is about that struggle within.

This page was created with collaged paper, acrylic paint, spray inks, stencils, dye and pigment inks, rubber stamps, Washi tape, rub-ons, stickers, a date stamp, pens, and a magazine image.

Can’t wait to start another page–and to share it with you here! Have a great weekend!

 

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More Workshops and Retreats

Happy summer everyone! The school year wrapped up this past Wednesday for me, and now I’m officially on summer break! Couldn’t be happier–or more relaxed! I’m definitely looking forward to getting back into the studio and resuming my art making, which was unfortunately put on the back burner the last few months.

As I’d shared in my last post, I was able to squeeze in a few workshops and retreats during the month of May. I attended Art & Soul for the first time over Memorial Day weekend, and took a great day-long workshop called “Translucent Triptych,” which was led by instructor Caitlyn Dundon. In the class, we created a series of canvas boards with collage papers, translucent Gelli-printed tissue papers, stamps, fluid acrylics, and gel medium image transfers. While I wasn’t able to finish the pieces in Minneapolis, I brought them home to complete. The triptych has found a home on the wall in my house. Here it is:

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Within the last week I also took to my studio to finish a long-awaited assemblage piece I’d begun working on at Crystal Neubauer’s Wax Assemblage workshop back in February. It started out its life as a vintage spice rack, but my plan was to create little collaged vignettes and canvases within each of its shelves. I’d become ill at the end of the first day of the workshop and wasn’t able to attend the second day, and thus the piece had been sitting on a table in a state of limbo in my studio since then. The finished piece is now hanging in the hallway outside the door to my studio:

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I hope everyone’s summer is off to a great start! I plan to begin posting more work as it is completed!

Have a great weekend!!

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