Painterly Layers and Layers of love.

Mixed media painting in visual journal, rich with layers and layers of paper, tape, paint, pencil.

Painterly Pleasure.

Man, oh man, I just love this piece. I am so in love with all the layers and layers of paint, paper, tape, pen, pencil, writing and images. In Mexico they have these wonderfully saturated acrylic paints that I used in this piece. You can buy them in little jars at the art store in Puerto Vallarta. They turn out more like a tempera paint with a chalky, matte finish than the plastic type of texture acrylics can often have. I think this would make a great card or poster. Hmm…maybe that’s the next step for this piece. What do you think?

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Altered books turn me on!

"At The Water's Edge"

At The Water’s Edge ~ 2012

This is one of my favorite pieces that I’ve made in a long time. I used half of the pages from a book off my shelf. It was a hard bound book, so I removed the stiff cover and folded the pages in half vertically. After that I used a pair of fancy 4 blade scissors to cut through all the pages. As I cut, the pages naturally fluffed out to create this wonderful effect, almost like a book pom-pom. I attached the cut and folded book onto a slip of wood. I then brushed white encaustic wax on the wood. Next, I transferred an image directly onto the wax using acetone and rubbing furiously. I had that old black and white picture for over a decade and finally found a use for it. Although the image is blurred, you might be able to make out the image of a boy standing at the water’s edge. 

It is so satisfying to make things. More to come…

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Mixed-media collage turned into a card by Jenna Rizzo


I’m truly chomping at the bit to get my newest card off the press and into my hot little hands. It’s taken a little longer to work out the details of the layout, paper selection and the like but it is going to be truly gorgeous and fun when it arrives. As a little teaser I’ll let you know that the envelopes are going to be a choice of hot pink magenta and metallic gold. WAHHH!

In spite of the bumps in the road, I am still truly grateful for so many things. And since the upcoming card is a gratitude card here’s a short list of things for which I am grateful:

The sun has finally graced us in Seattle.

I have amazing friends who care deeply.

I am alive and healing everyday.

I have supportive family around me.

My husband is infinitely supportive of my creative endeavors.

I will eat a kale salad for lunch today. (Gotta give a shout out to my kale salad of the day)

I have a huge capacity to feel and see other people, for real.

I love the work I get to do with my therapy clients everyday.

I am loved.


That’s all for today. What about you? What fills you with gratitude?



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Sometimes what we build falls down: Deciphering Surrender

Sometimes what we make falls down.

I got back into the studio today for the first time in months. I often don’t really know what I’m going to make or do, I just know I need to put the brush in my hand and see what happens. Today a friend came over, I opened  wide the studio door, fresh air moved through. After catching up a bit we slipped into that delicious zone of quiet togetherness, my favorite way to make art.

I picked up a canvas that I had previously played with. There was some different shades of white and cream colored paint on the surface, but nothing else was visible to stir the next step. So I did what I always do: Begin again. This method has brought me into the present moment. And in that moment I am required only to respond to each moment, each layer of paint, paper and pencil. I even make art I don’t particularly like at first, but making something I like isn’t always the purpose. (I tell my students you have to go through the ugly parts.) Keep going. The art will change. Your perspective will change. Put it aside. Come back to it. Begin again.

I am practicing this not only in my art process but in my life process.  I am learning about surrender and being. A lot of us are. With all the fast paced, immediate lives we have, healing, recovery and surrender happen much slower than we are accustomed to and it can get frustrating and mind-boggling when I can’t control what’s happening to me.

For the last 6 months, my husband and I have been dealing with major life hurdles from surgery recovery (his) to adrenal fatigue (mine). I cannot force anything: bodily and spiritual recovery, changing other peoples’ opinions of me, feeling like my old self again. Major life lessons for Jenna Rizzo. There are gifts upon gifts in this time and circumstances, but they are not always easy to accept or make room for.  Making art is almost always an exact metaphor for how I’m living my life and what I need to remember. Sometimes what we build falls down.

Whenever I try to control the art, it’s no fun. Whenever I think what I’m making sucks, it doesn’t serve me. Whenever I think I know where I’m going, something happens that changes that. Whenever I hold some part of a painting too precious and I’m unwilling to lose it to find out what else may be coming forth, the process becomes constipated. I don’t need to cut out the life lessons in cardboard for you. Let’s just say, art making has brought me back to a place of peace once again.

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Let’s Begin Again.

It is a good afternoon in Seattle. The blue of the sky is actually showing through the clouds. Amazing. We may get a summer after all.

Welcome to my blog on art; mine, yours and whatever I may stumble upon in the world. Here you will see my latest creative endeavors, works in progress, my thoughts on the art making process and other things I find amusing or inspiring that might shed some light on creativity and how we express ourselves.

My art cards are almost available on this website.You can buy them in person from me, so if you live nearby and are looking for some beautiful, one-of-a-kind arty cards, contact me and we can rendezvous in Seattle. So far the fans are loving them, as am I. It’s been a grand journey to go from a hint of an idea to real paper cards in my hands. Check ’em out below.

A sample of my cards!

That’s all for now. Just a quick note to get this blog rolling once again. Thanks for tuning in and let me know what you think from time to time. You can find me on Facebook at “Make Something That Matters: Jenna Rizzo’s Work.”

Enjoy the sun and make something that matters to you!


Posted in Art, Art blogging, art for sale, Cards, Creativity | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment