New Year, New Look, New Work – Happy!

white pine 12.2018
White Pine, 2018. I’m taking a lot more photos these days.

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the new and improved, shiny and fresh Jen Fries Arts website for 2019. Naturally, it’s still in progress, with more to come throughout January. But it is open for reading, viewing, and commenting as of this first day of the new year.

What has changed?

Pages: You’ll notice some of my pages are gone. This is only temporary as content is being updated with better images and new projects. Look for more pages coming soon as well, including online projects.

Navigating: All of the information about me is now found under the Home tab in the site menu, including About, Contact, and the Dedication to my late founding partner, Gomez Addams. There’s also a spiffy new FAQ page, since so much of what I do makes hardly any sense. Feel free to send me questions. If they are asked frequently enough, they’ll get added to the page.

Site Title: “Instant Elixir Cures All” is only temporarily out of sight. It is evolving into the name/title/imprimatur of a new venture. Follow and/or visit often to keep up to date.

Update Schedule: I’m shooting for an update every ten days or so this year. I know I don’t have an excellent record that way, but the times they are a-changing and so, hopefully, will my habits. It’s the new year, people – resolutions and all that.

Exciting Plans: I am fairly champing at the bit for the work on my calendar this year, including:

Writing: I will integrate my writing with my artwork in this site. Look for books, challenges, and prompts, as well as illustrated projects.

That Dollhouse I Was Building All Last Year: Is finally becoming something. I’m so up about this one. Wait till you see what I’m doing. Look for progress reports as we go.

Learning and Sharing: I was stretching my wings a bit in 2018, and I’m eager to share in 2019 what I’ve been learning about printmaking, wildlife spotting, and home-made art supplies.

And so much more…

Please enjoy the new site. As I say, it’s under construction, so if you find any errors, broken links, etc., please let me know. One thing I know isn’t working at the moment is the email account, but please use the Blog comments to chat, correct, or critique, until that gets fixed.

Thanks, everyone. I wish you all the best. Let’s have fun this year. I think we deserve it.

And here’s a hello from my two studio Assistants:

Studio Assistant Leah
Senior Assistant Leah. She looks like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth,
but we know better.
Studio Assistant Scipio
Junior Assistant Scipio. Chair of the Staff Morale Committee.

Paper Decorations, Website Changes, and Feeling Eager for a New Year

I am spending this week making holiday decorations. There will be more paper bows like the first ones I made last year, plus paper mushrooms to make a “forest floor” around our tree and paper stars to twinkle above it and amongst its boughs. I’m having lots of fun playing with paper forms and surface treatments.

Also this week, I am working behind the scenes on an overhaul of this website. The new look will be brighter and livelier, with better organization. It will go well with some big projects coming up in 2019, including new books, dollhouses, toys, more of my Cities series of collages, and lots of art and writing experiments.

It’s been a crazy and distracted year, but I feel excited about the holidays and the new year. I’m ready to buckle down and get to work.

By the way, the new background image for winter is my own photo of white pines in Charlestown, at the Lower Mystic estuary.

mushrooms in progress
Paper mushrooms in progress on my work table

Dollhouse, busy projects, and the old camera gives up the ghost

Work progresses on the dollhouse. I’ve been putting up very small clapboard siding. It’s made from card stock file folders, cut into strips, folded and glued. The paper is easy to handle and shape around things like gables and window frames, and the effect is quite realistic. I can hardly wait to get to painting it.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on life projects, too, including reorganizing much of the house, preparing for Open Studios in November, and clearing the decks to have our bathroom painted, hopefully this week. Maybe I should try installing the dollhouse bathroom at the same. 😉

Sadly, my Canon camera seems to have died. It was old and had lived a full life, but it shall be missed. These photos of the dollhouse were taken with a loaner, which I haven’t quite mastered yet. Still, behold:

Front siding
Clapboarding the front of the Orchid House.

Windows and door frame
Window and door frame details

A peek inside
A peek inside

Back extension
The back extension under construction

New Site, New House, New Projects

Welcome to the refurbished Instant Elixir Cures All! It’s not drastically different from the original version, but it’s much better organized, pulls my artwork together by thematic projects, and brings my writing into the mix. More features and functions will arrive in the next several weeks, including a shopping section.

Best of all, it has its own domain name now – http://www.jenfriesarts.com. I hope you’ll enjoy this virtual portal into my studio.

I mentioned projects. I’m excited for what this winter will bring. On the drawing board are a series on the urban environment, explorations of dream castles, and stories told in pictures, the first of which will be set in a dollhouse I am building from scratch, which turns out to be fairly demanding work.

Here are some photos of the house in the early construction stages.