Sunday, November 11, 2012

Security and Stability in Unlikely Places

Today's Fall Fearless & Fly challenge is all about feeling safe and secure.  Here are the prompts:

Headline Prompt:  Security:  What makes you feel safe and secure?  What rattles your sense of security?  Where do you go for comfort and refuge?
Color Prompt: 
Cool colors (blues, greens, violets, etc.) 
Quote Prompt: You can't make a place for yourself in the sun if you keep taking refuge under the family tree.  Helen Keller 
I decided to go with the first two prompts, which were challenging to contemplate after seeing my states (New Jersey and New York) devastated by Hurricane Sandy.  My sense of security was badly rattled.  Normally, my home, or my cabin at the lake, are where I feel safe and secure, and where I go for refuge.  But I've been rethinking that. 
In the past two weeks, I found stability on my meditation cushion, where I connect to all that exists.   I found strength in the community of my yoga studio, where we dedicate our practices to freedom from suffering and its causes.  And I found refuge in my path - knowing that creating art, teaching yoga, and being a good friend, mother, daughter, wife, and citizen of the world, give me joy and peace.

All of these thoughts went into the creation of this 12 x 12 mixed media canvas.  
As I worked on it, I thought about how having electricity does not necessarily confer the feeling of power -- how often do we feel powerless despite all the comforts in life?  And yet, how many feel strong and stable, even without traditional sources of power?  Weathering an outside storm can be quite easy compared to the storms we weather within.  
I started with a canvas prepped with blue, green and turqouise sprayed paper towels that had been my placemats for lots of fun with spray inks at Joanne Sharpe's class at Art is You.  As I scraped paint and glazing medium around it, I began to see this woman appear, standing in a storm, saying "bring it on."  I created all the circles with layers of Maya Road kraft doilies and layerable flowers.  Among the many stencils I used were Balzer Designs' Leaf Frame Stencil, and Stencil Girl's Swirly Floral Stencil.  I made the winged heart embellishment in Laurie Mika's fabulous class at Art is You -- I knew I'd find a home for it!   

I hope you'll go to Artists in Blogland and see the wonderful piece that Maria McGuire, our guest designer for this challenge, created.  LuminArte has donated two $35 gift certificates so we'll have 2 winners over at AIB.  I also can't wait to visit my co-host, Carolyn Dube, whose art always inspires me.

AND...the winner of my giveaway for FF&F #3 is Joanna, who wrote: 

BEAUTIFUL!! I love these pages on the black background, they really stand out!  Would I like to win one of your paintings? Hell yeah!!

Joanna - send your address to me at jessicabethsporn (at) gmail (dot) com, and I will get "Joy" right out to you. 
MY GIVEAWAY FOR THIS CHALLENGE:  Leave a comment below, indicating that you would like to win this Butterfly watercolor/zentangle design, and I will pick a random winner in my post for the 5th FF&F challenge.   Indicate whether you follow my blog and/or my facebook page too for extra chances to win!

Linking up to Artists in Blogland, Inspire Me Monday, and Art Every Day Month.

Thank you for visiting! If you are so moved, please leave a comment. Hearing from you means the world to me.
PS - Please consider purchasing my 2013 calendar.  Called "Living With An Open Heart," it features 12 of my mixed media designs.   All proceeds go to Hurricane Sandy relief.  Thanks!
PPS - A few more of my stencil designs are live at Stencil Girl Products!   The Hebrew lettering is a beautiful ancient prayer:
May God bless you and keep you
May God cause the divine light to shine upon you and be gracious to you
May God turn toward you, and grant you peace
(Numbers 6: 24-26).
We can all use a little of that!
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  1. Jessica you continue to amaze and inspire me! I love your canvas, and seeing your process was so much fun! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Very nice! Your sentiments and art are beautiful.

  3. This heart with the lady in this piece gives me a strong and solid feeling. I think her fearlessness brings the beauty. Very nice piece indeed.

  4. Your winged-heart is gorgeous, oozing with light :). LOVE LOVE your canvas, many details yet still in harmony. I feel as if the mandala-flowers are LOVE that you're giving out to community & the world around you. Beautiful prayers indeed :). TFS!

  5. Beautiful! I love the feel and the peaceful flow...I want to get back to meditation...

  6. This post if so full of life. I just love your "POWERful" lady. The colors, her face, her attitude. Of course you know I love the clay pieces, too. ..and that butterfly... me likey. Your stencils look great. Can't wait to get some.

  7. Jessica, as I thought about the prompts for this challenge, I too was thinking my home is my refuge, as Maria, and you with electricity and homes were thinking. But if my home were taken away like many of the victims of Sandy, what would I do. I see some thinking and soul searching will be required on this one. Thank you for your thoughtful post, for the steps to your inspiring artwork, too. I would love a Zentangle art piece done by you.

  8. I just love this canvas! Every time I look at it I see something new. All of the layers and texture are beyond words... I wish I could reach out and touch it. Your stencils are fabulous! Can't wait to own a few!

    On another note, I sent you an email with my mailing address. Did you get it?

    Thank you so much for your inspiration and creating FFF!! I'm so glad I joined! Thank you for your kind words on my blog as well!

  9. WOW Jessica...I just left a comment Home being my refuge as well and your post has set to rethink! Yes, I know how badly it would have affected! The thoughts behind your art and your art itself is gorgeous!!! Love each element used.

  10. good friend, mother, daughter, wife, and citizen of the world

    I love this - brilliant, beautiful work! xoxo

  11. Absolutely wonderful - and I love the butterfly design (hint hint) - I think it would fit right in my art room! Your designs are inspiring! Joining from Inspire me Monday -

  12. congrats on your stencils-very cool looking! You know I understand where you're coming from on this post... we must be thinking much alike on this. I completed a page with very similar thoughts in mind and my focal point is a red heart. Haven't put it on my blog yet but I also found that I can't find a link under the new challenge for FF & F. I'll keep checking.

  13. Oh Jessica this piece is delightful, heartful and so secure to me. And your words echo so true. (bought a stencil of yours today!!!) (And a platter yesterday)...Nice work lady. xox

  14. What a beautiful post and interpretation of the prompts Jessica! My thoughts and prayers go out to all who were affected by the hurricane.

  15. Your canvas is beautiful with a very strong message. Great work. And of course I would love to win your beautiful butterfly-zentangle.I am already following your blog, but I can't seem to find your Facebook-link ...?

    1. Thanks so much. You should be able to access it at Let me know if you have a problem. xo

  16. Love all the goodies I look at on your wonderful piece :) can´t get my eyes off of it ;)Love how you made her hair and the yummy textures rounds all over the place :)

  17. Your mixed media canvas is marvelous, Jessica! I love the color combination and the way you incorporated the writing into her body.

  18. The mixed media canvas is beautiful, I enjoyed reading of yous safe places. Beautiful post

  19. I love the art you created for this challenge and I would LOVE to win your butterfly!

    I follow your blog (unfortunately, I'm not as of yet on FB!)

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful art on Inspire Me Monday at

    Create With Joy

  20. A wonderful touching piece again Jessica.. I am praying with you for all the victims. Your piece is so meaningful. The one thing that never wavers when we experience loss and trials in life is the spirit in us. The unwavering spirit. We will remain strong despite the lack of basic necessities. I truly believe that God is working in us always and He won't give a burden we can't handle.

  21. I love to win your piece! Love it:)

  22. I have followed you in fb way way before:) Have a nice day!

  23. What a beautiful piece.... I love how the woman just appeared to you.

    Of course I'd love to win any of your art!



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