Artist Profile- Jenny Grant

Why do you create art?

I create art because it is something deep inside of me that tells me that this is the right thing to do. Making art stirs my soul! This process is hard to describe but when I find my flow I just paint and when I step back after a session in flow I often get surprised by what I have created. The feeling and energy I get when the painting is taking shape is magical. It fills me with energy and can energize me for several days.

Tell us about your journey to become an artist?

I have always been creative and painted, since I was a kid. For many years I painted with almost only water colours. I always had a picture in my mind when I started and I almost always got disappointed that I could not transfer the picture onto the paper in a good enough way.

I have always been very fascinated by mixed media. 10 yours ago I got the courage to start to experiment 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 to decide.

When I got pregnant with my third child I got a leave of absence from my job and we moved a couple of years to New Zealand. I decided that this was the time for me to pursue my hobby of painting and start to build a business. I painted a lot and I started to call myself an artist. I started to exhibit my art in real galleries and I started to run art workshops for kids.

When we moved back to Sweden two years later I went back to work part time and I continued to build my business in Sweden. 2017 I left my part time job and I started to run my art business full time.

Share Jenny Grant
What is currently inspiring you?

I get very inspired by other artist. I love following artists on-line, both how their art develops but also how they develop their art business and how they develop as humans. I love the energy in galleries and museums but the best is working together with other creative souls and be creative together and collaborate in the creative process. The energy around creative people is what inspires me the most at the moment!

What does your creative Practice look like?

When I start a blank canvas I very seldom have a picture in my mind. I start with adding paper collage as a meditative practice; I write words and poetry that pop into my mind, onto the canvas. These layers and words inspire me through the process. I add each layer based on my feeling at that moment. I am big advocate of Jackson Browns sayings “Don’t wait for inspiration - it will find you”.

I let my feelings and the layers guide me through the process. I might see something in the paint or I get an urge to paint something special. The images might take a major part in the final painting or it may not. I continue the next layer and focus on what I like. This process is hard to describe but when I find my flow I just paint and when I step back after a session in flow I often get surprised by what I have created.

I work in many layers that ad great depth to my art. When I get stuck, I just keep going, I grab a colour and I work a lot with my own stencils and stamps to push through the obstacle and bad feelings. I work hard to concur my inner critique. My imagery and colours grow through the process.

I let my work-in-progress hang on the walls in the studio so that I can see and feel them. When I get inspired or see something I grab the painting and add paint to it, in the middle of something else.

I work with mixed media - acrylic paint, watercolour, ink, colour pencils, wax, fabrics, paper, photos... anything that comes my way. With layers on layers my work becomes very rich with every layer adding depth and texture. People usually find my art very peaceful even though it is quite busy and colourful.

Brave soul Jenny Grant
How do you keep your creative practice fresh and inspired?

One of my favorite ways to relax, learn new techniques and just play is in a handmade junk journal. Not a bought nice art journal with white clean beautiful pages or a precious art journal where every page is perfect. But in a grungy, “ugly” junk journal made out of scrap paper. A journal where the process is the important part and the result and outcome is secondary.

For me art journaling is my resting place where I give myself time to recover. My art journaling process is totally free from requirements, rules, results or obligations. For me it is a way for my creative soul to be totally free and a way to find the unique creative source within myself. Art Journaling is a very important part of my creative process and it also allows me to relax, to let go and to find my flow. I feel safe working in my art journal. For me art journaling opens up the magic of what is unique within me.

What sort of creative walls do you hit and what do you do to move through them?

I usually start my painting sessions and every new canvas with paper collage. I do this to get going and to get rid of the white surface which I find very intimidating. It is a very meditative process and gets me into my flow.

One of the hurdles in my process is the “ugly phase”, this is somewhere mid through the painting when nothing works and I have no clue what to do next. I let my paintings hang on the walls so I can see them all the time even though I do not like them until I feel what to do next. I try not to use my brain too much in this phase but only feel what I want to do without analysing the consequences.

Another thing that I found helping me through the process is to not finish any part of the painting at an early stage. If I do a face I move between all the parts throughout the process, I do not finish anything until the last couple of strokes. I also leave the eyes “open”, I do not paint the iris or the pupil, until the last couple of stages. I have found that that gives me the opportunity to ”see” the soul of the face throughout the process.

Another key is to trust the process and just continue and be brave… all through the ugly phase … and when I do I usually come out the other side with something that is soulful and has some magical beauty in it.

My Power Jenny Grant
How has your process evolved?

I have not always been painting mixed media and certainly not faces. I have always been creative and painted, since I was a kid. For many years I painted with almost only water colours. I always had a picture in my mind when I started and I almost always got disappointed that I could not transfer the picture onto the paper in a good enough way.

I have always been very fascinated by mixed media. 10 yours ago I got the courage to start to experiment 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 to decide. 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 to 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.

Jenny Grant Book of Flow
What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your creative journey?

I would have liked to really feel and follow what I enjoy doing. When I really listened and followed to the things that makes my heart tick and I incorporate and work with these things I started to find my own voice and get that into my work.

I believe that we can reach very far if we do listen to our hearts, our intuition, our inner voice or inner Witch or Wizard. And I do believe that by doing what we love and enjoy doing our soul gets into our work.

When we use the processes and techniques, rules about color, values and composition that we have learnt, we can make great paintings. BUT when we listen to our heart and use our feelings, to steer us, we find our own voice and our own language and the soul gets into our work!

Let go and just do it!! This is the most important advice to find my own flow. As soon as I get stuck for one reason or another I just have to let go and just continue. I think this is not only a good advice in my art process but also a good advice of how to live my life. Let go of the past and just do what I need to do to go forward!

Do you have a Creative Self Care Practice?

For me art journaling is a resting place where I give my self time to recover. My art journaling process is totally free from requirements, rules, results or obligations. For me it is a way for my creative soul to be totally free and a way to find the unique creative source within myself. Art Journaling is an important part of my creative process and it also allows me to relax, to let go and to find my flow. When working in my art journal I feel safe. For me art journaling opens up the magic of what is unique within me.

Where can we find you?

Mail: jenny@flowbyjenny.com
Web Facebook Instagram Youtube Pintrest

Jenny has created 2 wonderful lessons for the Make Create Express Workshop- here is a peek at one of them:

art journalling workshop with Jenny Grant

The Path is the Goal

In this lesson I will bring you into my magic world of art journaling and give you an input in how I practice to find my flow and my creative spark. I will create with collage and paint on a spread in an old book. For me, art journaling is my resting place where I give my self time to recover. My art journaling process is totally free from requirements, rules, results or obligations. It is a way for my creative soul to be totally free and a way to find connection to the creative source within. Art Journaling is a very important part of my creative process and I’m excited to show you how it helps me to relax, to let go and to find my flow! Ultimately, art journaling opens up the magic of what is unique within me! The process, the path, is the important part, the result is secondary.

Galia Alena

I’m a visual poet working in just about any medium I can lay my hands on although I am a professionally trained photographer and a so called “self-taught” artist (of course there have been many teachers on that path). I’m in love with the creative process. I’m a beauty unveiler, light huntress, moment caresser and visionary poetess. Ultimately, all of my work is about helping people peel back the layers to experience the intense beauty of each moment allowing access to both their intuitive wisdom and a deeper connection to spirit and self. (Because the beauty of this life cracks our hearts open and it is through the cracks that light can flow both in and out and connect us back to our divine selves) That is what I do and I do it through photography, art, journaling and teaching. I live in the insanely beautiful Blue Mountains, just shy of Sydney, with my family, our cat and all the winged ones who frequent our garden. Each day here is a wondrous delight of tiny miracles through either the glorious light or magical mists. I would love to work with you, have a look around and see where you are called... "Where I create, there I am true." Rilke