Flower of the Week: Hawthorn

Hawthorn by Jenni Haikonen

The start of the new year feels like the right time to both introduce a new(ish) project and resume what will hopefully be a consistent blogging season once again. In the back of my brain I've wanted to hop back on the blogging train once more, but it seemed that there was enough going on that it became just another thing to do (not to mention that my camera broke on me and started a series of events that I will go into much more detail about on another day...). So to begin, an introduction to a painting series called...

Flower of the Week! I've been following the work of fellow botanical artist, Ron Nicole, for a while now. Although she works in a different medium than I, her dedication to exploring plants has been so inspiring to see from afar. She creates her art in plaster, working to preserve the details of live plants by producing both small and large artifacts of beauty. She has been doing a project under the name, Flower of the Week (which you can find on her site)I approached her and asked if it would be alright for me to borrow the name for my own plant study project. She enthusiastically agreed and we both liked the idea of it becoming a community building project as well.

For me, the basis of the project will be to explore a new plant each week through the studying of its practical uses along with the aesthetic qualities and unique details that each plant holds. I hope to create a small series of watercolour botanical studies that will reflect my learnings. These studies of different sizes will become available for you to purchase right here on my site! 

Hawthorn by Jenni Haikonen 2

Week 1: Hawthorn

Allow me to share the first plant of the project- Hawthorn. As it is mid-January, it seemed fitting to focus on the berries, rather than the flowers that this plant produces. Hawthorn varieties are native to much of North America, but the varieties native to Saskatchewan are Fleshy Hawthorn (crataegus succelenta) & Black Hawthorn (crataegus douglasii). (Note: Because this plant is an endangered species in SK, it is not recommended that it be picked or disturbed, should you come across some!) 

Hawthorn is a relative of the Rose (rosacea) family and shares many of the same characteristics. The leaves, flowers and fruit have been used as medicine and food for centuries and are most often connected to the healing of the heart. They may also be used as a nervine or anti-inflammatory.

Head on over to the shop to see the pieces that I've created and maybe nab one for your own! They will all be sent unframed, with instructions for framing so that you can choose a frame size and colour that suits your home. If you are interested in seeing more of the project on Instagram or taking part yourself, head over to Ronni's Instagram or my Instagram . (There will also soon be a hashtag that you can follow and join in on).

Studio Scenes of August

Wow. I'm not so sure how August went by so quickly, but somehow we're into September already. Sigh. I was hoping to hold onto summer a bit longer but it appears Fall has decided to come to the west coast without much warning. So many things happened this summer, especially in August, so I would like to share some of those with you! I'm finding it difficult to update the blog regularly with how busy I am, so you can expect small updates here and there, as I continue about my busyness. Here are a few things going on in my life: 

Jenni Haikonen's studio.jpg

Studio Work: I don't have a picture for this one, but this summer, I started working in the studio of Grace Lee of Eikcam Ceramics as a studio assistant! I've been wanting to work as a studio assistant for a while and this job just kind of happened upon me (God was working behind the scenes on that one!). I have never done ANYTHING with ceramics, so being hired was kind of a miracle and I feel so grateful for the opportunity to learn a new skill (all while being paid!). So far, it's definitely been a real learning curve- my hands are learning to work in ways they haven't before and I've made quite a few mistakes, but I'm confident it will become more natural the more I do. If you're interested in seeing some of Grace's beautiful pieces visit her website or follow along on instagram!

Illustration: I haven't been working as much illustration this summer while I've been focusing more on acrylic canvas paintings, but there have been a few projects on the go. I submitted a piece for Maker's Movement magazine which will be coming out in January. It feels really exciting to know that I will be seeing a illustration of mine in print for the first time. I have also been working on a submission for another print publication. At this point, it's just a possibility, but even the possibility feels pretty darn good. I have also received a few requests for commissions, but my calendar is still open, so if you would like to have a custom house portrait done or if you have another idea for commission, I'm all ears! Throw me your ideas and get on on the bandwagon. Hint: Christmas is a-comin'....

Paintings: I've been moving in a new (or old?) direction and working on a ton of paintings over the past while. I'm finding a whole lot of freedom in my painting days. After starting my 100 Day Project, I began to realize that I have missed expressing emotion through paint. I'm thankful that I felt nudged to start again. I've been experimenting a bit with combining watercolour and acrylic and I'm loving the effects that are forming. All of the current canvas pieces I'm working on are for sale and I'll be posting them in my shop as I get around to it. If you are interested in anything you see here or on my instagram, shoot me a line at jenni.haikonen8@gmail.com and I can give you the details. 

100 Day Project: Speaking of my 100 day project...I've currently got some prints on order for the above paintings! They've been selling like hotcakes (and I'm not even sure what that phrase means). I've been taking pre-orders on these ones, but the listings should be going up in about a week in my shop. These are limited edition 5x7 prints which means that there will only be 10 prints made and once they are all sold, they will not be re-printed. They will be printed on 310gsm watercolour acid-free paper to have the same quality of the original painting. Each will be signed and numbered on the front. Please contact me if you would like to place a hold on one of these prints before they are listed in the shop!

Etsy: Other things selling around the Bottomley Cottage shop- these 5x7 Morning Glory prints and I just sent off another 8x10 Sailboat Print last week! One of my favourite things of the whole online shop process is packaging each print off to send. I'm always looking for new ways to make my packaging prettier - it makes it so fun to send out mail. Let me send you some mail- I'd love to do it! :)

Other Studio Scenes:

Limited Edition Prints

order limited edition prints

If you've been following my #100daysofpaintingsbyJenni project on Instagram, you may have wondered if I would ever be selling any of the pieces. Well, I'm happy to announce that I've decided to make 10 limited edition prints of each of the paintings! Because this is a special project, these prints will only be offered as any of the prints are available and there will be no reprints. Each of the paintings will be printed on a heavy 5x7 card and will cost $30 plus shipping. 

I'm now taking pre-orders for these special pieces and would love to hear to hear from you if this is something you would be interested in supporting me in! To have a look at each of the pieces, head over to my instagram or facebook galleries and then send me a line letting me know which one(s) you would like printed for you. You can reach me at jenni.haikonen8@gmail.com or send me a private message on my social media accounts. 

100 Days of Paintings by Jenni

In case you have missed it, I just thought I would share a little project I'm working on (if you follow me on instagram or facebook, you might already know this!) There's a challenge put on by The Great Discontent to do something creative for 100 days and post about it. I had heard about it through another instagram account I follow about a month ago and was intrigued, but didn't think much on it until a week ago or so. I'll share what I wrote for my intro post on instagram as an way to introduce you to my project:

I've been feeling a lot of pressure the past two weeks... Pressure to perform, to create for others, and if I'm honest, to create for money. But the funny thing is, no one is expecting that from me- I'm putting that pressure on. I'm hearing voices that don't exist, telling me to do better, make more, succeed. 
So. I've decided to take part in#the100dayproject despite being over halfway late. But this won't be for any purpose except to simply create- to challenge myself to make something everyday simply because I want to and enjoy the process. Also, an act of worship, because this gift is not my own. 

So far, it's been such a freeing experience and I'm finding that creating with no pressure at all is giving me more passion about what I'm making! It's a little daunting to think about making 100 paintings in 100 days, but I'm giving myself some leeway because for me this isn't just about the challenge, but the removal of pressure in my creative life! If you would like to follow along, follow me on Instagram and to see all of the paintings together at any point, just follow the hashtag, #100daysofpaintingsbyJenni

Etsy Update: The Language of Flowers

goldenrod and lilac

In case you missed it on my Instagram, I just added a few 5x7 and 8x10 prints to the shop! These are two of them but so far there are a total of 4 different flowers. The series I've been working on is based on the Victorian tradition that every flower has a meaning. In that era, flowers were often chosen very carefully when given to others. I think there's something so very beautiful about that idea- it becomes more than a thoughtful gift of flowers and turns into something extremely specific and meaningful! I'll hopefully be making more as time goes on but to start I've focused on these four:

Lilac- meaning "joy of youth"
Goldenrod- meaning "encouragement"
Lavender- meaning "devotion"
Morning Glory- meaning "affection"

Send them to someone special or keep them as a reminder to yourself, but I hope that these bring some sort of heartfelt message to those that receive them. I'm also developing some other flower themed products from these same paintings which will be added to the shop in the coming weeks. 

Now onto more designing for me before a busy weekend of 1 year old birthday and wedding celebrations! What does your weekend entail? 

p.s. did you notice the slight change in my site logo? I'd love feedback on it!