I noticed some foundational cracks around me just about a year ago. But being 50 years old I've seen them before and have a personal foundation in a God that has walked many rough roads with me before. My theology expanded and grew in directions this year for which institutional frameworks are much too limiting for.
When the foundation fails everything fails with it. My family and I watched it all dismantle and crumble this year. But after the storm it is interesting to see what remains.
My youngest daughter and I are now back in Salem, the home I moved to when I was 12 and seem to continue to return to. I've discovered a root system here that was a truer foundation, with people, trees and place that have welcomed me home.
This fall I'll be working at Queen of Peace and Blanchet, a place where this protestant has found a rich and beautiful view of God and been able to embrace the lessons of Mary that were thrown out in the religious structures I grew up in.
I've continued to draw and finding mixed media a good place for my mixed emotions of this last year. This is one of the first summers I haven't run summer camps and I'm enjoying oodles of travel with my daughters. My oldest and I drove to Carmel and I spent three days soaking up art and conversation. My youngest and I traveled to New York and Virginia learning, art, and history. After reading "Ninth Street Women" this spring it was wonderful to tromp the streets of Chelsea and the West Village". Discovering the missing women of the Modern Art movement has been enriching. Not sure I'll finish the 800 page book, but what I have read has greatly expanded my understanding of art, modern art and the roots of feminism.
My third trip was this weekend and all three of my daughters accompanied me to Montana and the homestead of my maternal grandfather. Log cabins, piles of rust and history, and family that have our knees, noses and laughter. Driving home along the east side of Washington and down into the Gorge, I am awestruck that I get to live here. Here in the midst of the desert that is beautiful and stark and that flows into the valley that is lush with green and trees and water.
This is where I live and where I paint. This landscape holds my stories and our stories. The stretched out flat desolate land where tumble weeds roll across the road, the powerful flow of the Columbia, the ancient cliffs of the gorge and the rolling grass seed hills of the valley. These images are language for me that are truer than words.
Some artists paint to make art, or make a pretty picture or to render an image of nature. I paint to think, pray and speak. Colors, forms and line communicate so much better than words for me. My art is my voice and my heart and grounded in technique and discipline that I'm always working on.
I'm not an extroverted artist personality that shows off the magic of art technique on YouTube or Instagram. Though to be honest at times it feels that would be easier....I'm an introverted artist that speaks through her paintings, using the images and metaphor of nature and color.
This is what I know. It is simple without "tags" or "links" or "boomarangs". It is my life.
Thanks for joining me.
and yes more current updates are on Instagram @Julie_Jeanseau
Currently I am offering workshop style classes through our local art store The Art Dept. here in Salem. For now classes are offered via Zoom, so they are also accessible wherever you are living!!
I often get asked if I do "those painting parties"....well yes I do but not many. I just did this little party for my sister in law.
If you are interested in a party I charge
75$ and then 12$ per person with a minimum charge of 100$ in total.
The project time is around 2 hours. I need access to the space for set up 30 minutes prior. I do all the set up and clean up.
You provide tables, table coverings, chairs and your friends...
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
All work in presentation 250$ for the month of June 2020
Yes class lists are coming! There are too many moving pieces at this time for me to commit my fall schedule yet.
Typically my classes run 15$ per hour, per person, for small groups
45$ an hour for private lessons and bonus work time is allowed.
I teach drawing, and painting to all ages.
and yes I will do Paint Parties, but mine include some color and composition understanding. They run 12$ per person plus 100$ for supplies.
I rent my studio in a small church here on the East side of Portland. Recently I have been asked to find more artists for 5 more spaces that are available currently. Because these spaces are within a small church the artists do need to be "religion friendly and tolerant". The church is empty most days and the board are very kind open people. They are just looking for ways to pay their rent! Rent runs between 250$-400$. You will be welcome to paint studio white if needed, studio will have a bathroom access down the hall. Studios have a separate entrance from the church and are ADA accessible. Arte Soliel is also on the same property, it is a growing creatives collective run by Kris Bella. Please fill out the contact tab for more info and a visit. This will be a lightly juried studio.
This week I saw children with dyslexia, adhd, autism, sadness, perfectionism, low self esteem all come around the art table and find their center. We put our hands on our hearts and remembered our selves, our center, our place where energy can pile out of us uncontrolled or be pulled down into ourselves and out of our hands into creative work.
I saw children create. They lost all of their labels, disabilities and struggles and found a place to focus and just be. A place where we all belong together. They were delighted, surprised, frustrated at times, but they created into our world images and colors that have not been here before. They joined the creative energy that moves our world and draws us to awe at the sand dunes, beautiful leaves and reflection in a puddle. I wish you could have heard the shouts of joy as they created tints, tones and hues. Truly a miracle had occurred!
Their art skills grew, but also their understanding of being part of something larger than themselves. I am so deeply proud of the 160 students that I was able to come along side of this week. They struggle, because learning can be hard, because working from our center can be hard, because encouraging ourselves to keep going can be hard. But my students can do hard things! Containing our energy can be hard when it spins around, but oh when we do and it comes out our soul and fingers it is truly a beautiful thing.
Being their "teacher" is a humbling beautiful experience. Thank You my dear students.
Fall classes are now open.
With the help of my daughter Miss Hannah, this fall I'm offering Pre-school, youth, adult and homeschool classes!
Classes start the week of Sept. 11th. Youth classes run 10 weeks and Adult classes run 5 weeks.
Registration fees are 25$ per family.
Class fees runs between 90$-160$ for the session.
There is a small supply list dependent on the class and skill level.
Mondays are drawing and Painting
Tuesdays are adults
Thursdays are Homeschool
Tuesday and Thursday is Preschool with Miss Hannah.
"Daily life seems to exhaust my child." " My child is a slow warm up and quiet, but loves art and really wants to learn more." "My child can be very nervous when starting something new." "My child loves spending hours drawing and lost in their imagination." "My child is just like me."
I have a line on my registration form that asks what I should know about your child that will help them enjoy class. These are some of the comments, many repeated, many similar and when I share them with the class, that I'm am this way too, sometimes I see the whole class take a breath. I always let me studio mates know the current class schedule so they know when students will be coming or going, but often the classes are so quiet and engaged that they don't even notice us.
For an introvert that has had to negotiate kids at school, recess and a bus ride home, doing much else is overwhelming. As an adult negotiating work, children and marriages can pull the same energy from us. When pushed to step out for an evening activity, anxiety sets in because we are just done. The battery is empty. Then their is the guilt which is a whole other topic.
The studio is a respite from required social extroversion that is expected in our culture. It is why we are called The Abbey. It is a place to plug in and get refreshed, renewed, re energized. A place to communicate with line, color, shape and composition and for many of us introverts this is just a much easier way to communicate. A way that doesn't take so much from us, a place where we can give and still have reserve.
This is why I do art and why I teach and why I've created the Abbey. A place to be still. To find language beyond words that communicates how much I think and feel and see.
If this sounds like a place in which you or your child would find energy and joy, then join us this fall and see how some art and stillness can change your sense of being.
After taking a year long break in teaching at my studio and in the community I am fully relaunching my youth studio and adding more adult classes.
Why do we want to create and yet look at creating with such self doubt and fear? It is wonderful to see a young one create and we are inspired by our 4 year olds eager rapture with crayons and paper. Yet. For adults we think "we can or we can't", "it's something I love to look at, but can't do mysellf", "I've always wanted to do but I can't draw". Oh the reasons we make to avoid that uncomfortable vulnerable place that creating draws us to. We spend our money on classes for our little ones, but can't find time or money for ourselves. We pick up a flier about a class for ourselves, again and again.
I encourage and employ you to take the risk to be vulnerable. Come with your stick figure drawings, your awkward uncomfortable feelings they are welcome and safe. If you stopped drawing in second grade then you will draw like a second grader. You are an adult now though and you will grow and learn faster than you can imagine with a safe supportive studio to work in.
This fall I will be offering a class in the Elements of Art for adults, a class that I learn from every time I teach it. This will give you the tools and understanding to start your journey in understanding of how art/creativity works, or help you continue your building in reviewing these foundations. Following will be a second class that will be an hour of embracing our creative selves. I will be drawing from the The Artist's Way, Big Magic and several other books that have been instrumental in my journey in embracing myself as a creative being. Fear wants to speak, it needs to get in the back seat and shut up(from Big Magic).
Let this be the fall when you take the step past excuses and skirting the edges and dipping your toes. It's time for you.
I am a teacher, a mom and an artist. I have my BA in Arts Education from U of Oregon and my MS in Curriculum and Instruction from Portland State. I've been teaching for 25 plus years in a variety of settings. Teaching private lessons, in community centers and as a classroom teacher. This has given me a wide view of teaching art and what it does for our lives and our students. I have found creating to be a place that we can all meet, find our humanity and surrender to process.