River West Artworks
Original Art, Artisan Works and Photographs by Jan Jenkins and Brian Erickson


(posted on 24 Aug 2019)

I had this idea to make bookmarks, using acrylic paints and my gelliplate, for our community's upcoming Manitoba Culture Days celebrations which take place the end of September.  A dear friend who works at a local paint store responded to my request for old paint swatch cards and gave me a bunch - thanks so much!!!  In my mind this would be easier and more visually interesting (a gradated colour base under all those paint layers) versus cutting and using plain cardstock.  

I played for 4 days with acrylic paint, my gelliplate, a brayer, stencils and created more than 125 bookmarks - I experimented quite a bit - some I liked more than others. A good learning experience. I also tried embellishing some of them with paint markers.  For the most part I did not care for the look of the paint markers atop the gelliprints, but found they did add a nice tinted border around the bookmark.  My first time playing with paint markers - they are problematic and I have to find out why they keep drying out and how to get them flowing again...exactly how does one keep acrylic paint from dry coating a fibrous nib??? I have to research that, otherwise they are a waste of money.  I've read that you can use them to paint right on the gelliplate which is what I want to try next time if I can get the tips flowing again.  

After my bookmark creations were done, I was curious to see how they would look scanned side by side as a collaged image, playing with their placement like a brick layer might with bricks. I quite like the end result!!  I've titled this series of collages Boho.  They remind me of patchwork quilts, colourful tapestries of varying hues and patterns, bohemian eclectic, and especially of Dolly Partons song "Coat of Many Colors" (see below for song lyrics). It never occurred to me these might be the end result of my desire to make bookmarks. I think I will be creating more of these with a view to collaging them together into permanent artworks.  What do you think of them?




Coat Of Many Colors

by Dolly Parton

Back through the years
I go wonderin' once again
Back to the seasons of my youth
I recall a box of rags that someone gave us
And how my momma put the rags to use
There were rags of many colors
Every piece was small
And I didn't have a coat
And it was way down in the fall
Momma sewed the rags together
Sewin' every piece with love
She made my coat of many colors
That I was so proud of

As she sewed, she told a story
From the Bible, she had read
About a coat of many colors
Joseph wore and then she said
Perhaps this coat will bring you
Good luck and happiness
And I just couldn't wait to wear it
And momma blessed it with a kiss

My coat of many colors
That my momma made for me
Made only from rags
But I wore it so proudly
Although we had no money
I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me

So with patches on my britches
And holes in both my shoes
In my coat of many colors
I hurried off to school
Just to find the others laughing
And making fun of me
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me

And oh, I couldn't understand it
For I felt I was rich
And I told 'em of the love
My momma sewed in every stitch
And I told 'em all the story
Momma told me while she sewed
And how my coat of many colors
Was worth more than all their clothes

But they didn't understand it
And I tried to make them see
That one is only poor
Only if they choose to be
Now I know we had no money
But I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me
Made just for me

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Dolly Parton

Coat of Many Colors lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

(posted on 24 Jul 2019)

What a sweet surprise to come home to after returning from our 4week westcoast road trip - a lovely writeup in our local paper about the Russell arches project that will include 2 designs by me. Thanks Dauphin Herald!

(posted on 13 Jun 2019)

I'm thrilled to announce that Le Galeriste out of Montreal has just designed and released premium Canadian-made fashion products for one of my artworks "Terra".  "Terra" is an original 8x10" monotype handprinted using acrylic paints on a gelli-plate.

These wearable art products are live on my personal page: www.art-a-porter.com/jan.jenkins   

My dream is to one day have my wearable art on the runways of New York, Paris and Milan through LeGaleriste!!!

If you wish to to support more of my art being made into designer clothing, please scroll down on my art-a-porter page and click on the artworks you like best! 

LeGaleriste is also offering a 20% off to my clients & fans. The promo code is: JJ06gift. It can only be used 10 times for the Terra product line.

Brian and I spent Thursday travelling through southwestern Manitoba and it was all about the art. Our road trip first took us west to Russell, MB where the town recently replaced the deteriorating wooden arches adorning their main street with new metal structures.  Russell had issued a call for submissions last October for designs suited to cutting into 18"x10ft decorative metal plates to weld to the arches. I'm so very delighted that two of my designs were accepted!!! The photos are sample bits of my "Bees and Flax" and "Pickerel" works that will be used for two of the metal plates on the Russell Arches. We stopped in at the Tin House for a lovely lunch right across the street from where the artist presentations were taking place. A nice surprise was running into my artist friend Arlene Thickett whose design was also chosen. Next step is for Russell's metal worker to collaborate with each of us on tweaking our designs so that they can be cut into the metal plates. I can't wait to see what they look like when they are installed!


Our next stop was south to Souris and a visit to Lagasse's Studio of Fine Art to deliver different artworks and braided necklaces for display and sale there. Check out the cool Piano Bar for sale there!! Laggase's is a delightful gallery/studio/giftshop filled with beautiful handcrafted works by Manitoba artists and artisans. I am thrilled to be part of that! While there I learned that my "The Messenger" oil pastel sgraffito had found a new home. A big thank-you to Lagasse's Studio of Fine Art, the delightful Kathleen and her patrons. If you are in the Souris area, stop by Lagasse's to browse! 


And our last stop for Thursday's southern Manitoba Road trip was in Brandon for dinner and to stop in at Artist Heart Studio & Gallery to see my artist friend Linda Tame and pick up the beautiful painting by local artist Douglas Brolund that we had purchased on a prior visit. If you haven't been there, Linda's gallery is at 1108 Rosser Ave. I'm thrilled that my artworks are part of a group show there for May and June.  If you get a chance stop in - the artists works on display there are lovely. Linda had Artist Heart Studio & Gallery open for Thursday evening while the vintage car show was on along several blocks of Rosser which was closed off to traffic and turned into a promenade for the event. Brian aquired a stylish new hat, we saw some beautiful old motorcycles and cars that had been restored, and chatted with some of the owners. 


It was a lovely day for a travel adventure and a huge thank-you to me darlin'B for taking the Russell photos and doing all that driving - 577 km over 12 hours!

(posted on 28 May 2019)

When we go on road trips, me darlin' B does all the driving (I am driving challenged). As the co-pilot I stay alert by braiding cords of varying colours and composition together - hemp, silk, nylon, metallic, cotton. Today I took some of those braids and made neckaces with copper and brass finish pendants and clasps. The perfect accessory for tie-dye t-shirts! Enjoy your week everyone!

(posted on 6 May 2019)

I am thrilled to be part of the "Resonate" group art exhibition on display for May and June at the Artist Heart Studio & Gallery - 1108 Rosser Ave in Brandon.  It is such a delight to have my pieces hanging alongside the lovely works created by 11 other talented artists. Opening reception is this Friday May 10th at 7pm!  The gallery is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 11-4pm.  "Dreamtime" one of my gelli-print collages that is part of the show! *happy dance*





(posted on 28 Jan 2019)

One of my bucket list items for a few years now was attending the linocut workshop Australian printmaker and artist Shana James has been instructing in Ubud, Bali each January at the Arma Resort. And January 2019 I was there!   

This was a truly memorable experience staying at the ARMA Museum & Resort and participating in Shana James' Ubud Art Workshop and her Linocut Gardens Art Exhibition. Shana provided each of us with a lovely supplies kit, her comprehensive linocut instruction book, plus the ink and paper supplies we needed to execute our designs, inspired by the beauty around us.   She demonstrated her techniques and guided us through her creative process step by step.  The Arma grounds and facilities are beautiful, the staff so friendly and helpful, the food delicious, the Balinese culture and history, learning experiences, museum art gallery so memorable. It was an honour to meet Mr. Agung Rai and his family, to have Mr. Agung Rai personally guide us through the museum, to see the positive impact he and Arma have made for their community, to meet other artists and creatives.




The Arma Museum & Resort is closely connected with the Arma Foundation which provides economic and learning opportunities for people in the Ubud area.  It was founded by Mr. Agung Rai and his wife based on a vision he had since his youth.  With dedication, persistence and hard work step by step year after year he turned this dream of his into a reality. The Arma Resort is a gorgeous large estate with 2 restaurants serving delightful food, a spa, a vast museum art gallery, an arts centre for arts lessons, workshops, performances, a performance stage, an employee training centre, 2 swimming pools, stunning buildings and temples, lush cultured grounds, with rice fields, gardens and walking paths.  An amazing variety of spa services, tours and craft workshops are available directly through the Arma, with free shuttle to/from the nearby mainstreet market area.  Shana informed me the Arma Resort provides a free venue for children to learn traditional Balinese dance and gamblen lessons (like a Balinese xylophone) and the owners also run the ARMA foundation, a charity, which by staying there we are supporting all that too. That was in part why she decided it had to be the place for her Linocut workshops, also the people are very lovely to work with too.





What a pleasure it was to meet and create alongside the other lovely ladies who attended the workshop - such talented and inspiring women!!!  A big thank-you to them for sharing their time with me - it was a wonderful experience.  





And huge thanks to Shana for the opportunity to participate in both the workshop and the exhibition and connect with other artists at the lovely Arma resort, including Japanese woodblock artist Comeon Komatsu.  Such an amazing and enjoyable learning experience in beautiful Bali. 




Please click on Linocut Gardens Video to view the Video of the Linocut Gardens Art Exhibition and Opening Reception.


The ARMA Museum lobby is a large space divided by a water feature down the centre and a bridge. On One side Shana James and Ebony Russell exhibited Linocuts and on the other side participants of Shana's Linocut workshop in Ubud exhibited their linocuts created during the workshop. The work was beautiful and well received by locals and tourists.   Exhibiting artists for this show included:  Shana James, Ebony Russell, Tracy Black, Adele Frankle, Toni Gorkin, Jan Jenkins, Sonya Honey, Andrea Brown, Barbara Douglas, Yve Janssens Poucet.


You can see More of Shana's artwork at www.shanajames.com or find out more about the up-skilling linocut retreat in Bali at www.ubudartworkshops.com.au

To connect with the Arma Resort, please visit their website  and / or their facebook page. 

Photo credits: Jan Jenkins, Shana James, Adele Frankle








(posted on 25 Jul 2018)

I have had a most amazing 10 day artist residency Jul6-16 in Kelwood MB, home of the Harvest Sun Music Festival. A big thank-you to organizer Nadia Kuhl, artist Kathy Levandoski and their families, what a treat to get to know these amazing Kelwood folks. I stayed at The Tiny House On The Prairie with large studio space set up in an adjacent empty character home.  It's been on my bucket list for a while to stay in a tinyhouse and also do an artist residency!  I spent my time creating gelli-plate prints plus a pen and ink inspired by the plantlife on the ground around there, painted a 4x4" barnquilt to hang in the community, wandered around taking photos, demo'd gelliplate printmaking for some folks, toured artist Kathy's studio space, accompanied her to Wasagaming Art Gallery to see their latest exhibitions, and more! I encourage anyone who is interested in artist residencies to apply. A great way to be able to focus on your craft. If you are interested in experiencing an artist residency, check out their webpage and online application here:  https://www.thetinyhouseontheprairie.com/





(posted on 25 Jul 2018)

Blog catchup!!  Its been a delightfully busy and creative spring and summer.  Poor Michaels in Onanole opened for the season in April and set up a lovely display of my artwork and artcards available for purchase there.  In May I was thrilled to be part of "Unearthed" group show with my Rural Arts Mentorship Program artist friends at the Wasagaming Community Arts Centre in Riding Mountain National Park May25-Jun12.  In June I attended Arts West Council's annual artcamp at the Riding Mountain Conference Centre and learned traditional Japanese woodblock printing with Winnipeg artist and printmaker Peter Graham.  I love my creative life!! 

Poor Michaels  Parkland Juried Art Show

Unearthed Group Show  Unearthed Group Show  

Moku Hanga  Moku Hanga  Moku Hanga

Key Block  A week's work!

(posted on 3 Mar 2018)

Wow what an amazing experience and privilege to have my art displayed at the beautiful historic 12th Street Studio/Gallery/B&B with such gracious hosts Amy and Peter Buehler.  I was thrilled to connect with other creatives and meet new friends at the open reception last night.  And a big thank you to my darling husband Brian for his support in participating in my adventure, driving me and my art here and there and taking photographs.  Here are a few photos of the lovely display of my art set up by Amy.  My art and the creative adventure I am on is bringing me such joy I am filled with gratitude and truly blessed!  My work is on display at the 12th Street Studio/Gallery/B&B until April 25th.



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