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

Blog

(posted on 8 Oct 2017)

Spent yesterday readying my artwork for Dauphin Art Group's upcoming member show and sale on at the Watson Art Centre for November and December! It was difficult choosing which ones to go with, plus I had to switch out other artwork to free up frames as I didn't have spares of what I needed. All done!  Enjoy your thanksgiving weekend everyone!


 

(posted on 3 Oct 2017)

I spent yesterday hanging my "What If...?" exhibition - a collection of over 30 original artworks I have created.  Alongside each art piece are write-ups explaining what inspired the work, the processes/techniques used, poems, stories and other info relating to each.  Creating art is much more than just sitting down and drawing, I love the time I spend researching the subjects, learning about their symbolism, etc. This work will be on display at the Dauphin Public Library until Nov 30th. I will also be giving an artist slideshow presentation October 18th at 7pm to talk about some of these artworks. Look forward to seeing those of you who can make it!  Here's just a few of the works on display...

 

Artist Statement

“WHAT IF?” reflects my recent journey as a visual artist and poet.  I love expressing myself creatively in a variety of ways - I’m a generalist at heart and it shows!   

The designs I create are inspired by my love of repeating patterns and my need to establish order from chaos, to make art that gives me, the creator,  a peaceful and meditative experience, where I lose myself in creating.   My artworks emerge through a tranquil, meditative process that frees me to explore and experiment with line, shape and colour.  Time has no meaning when I’m creating and the artwork takes as long as it needs to take.  Each is an adventure in “what if...?” and I get such joy from researching subject matter, discovering its’ symbolism and the legends written about them.   The whole creative process, from walking around taking photos and finding inspiration - to contemplating  ideas and turning a thought into a physical reality, all of it gives me great satisfaction.  If I like the visual end result, well that’s a bonus!

This collection of work spans four years and is only thirty out of the many artworks I’ve created during that time.  There’s several art forms displayed here– pen and ink zenworks, oil pastel sgraffitos, linocuts printed in a variety of ways, mixed media collage, monotypes, a monoprint and a photograph.  Each piece has its own story on how it came to be, and every medium I use seems to have its own signature look and feel when I work with it.

I am very grateful for the artistic support and learning opportunities I’ve had here in Dauphin with the Dauphin Art Group, the Watson Art Centre, and others.  It’s been a delight to connect with so many talented Manitoba artists and arts-related organizations.   Collaborating and working with other artists and instructors, sharing insights and ideas, has been a marvelous and invigorating creative learning adventure.   What a wonderful way to make new friends!

Artist Bio

Jan Jenkins grew up west of Montreal where the Ottawa and St. Lawrence rivers meet.  After early retiring from Alberta’s energy industry, she moved to Manitoba where she now pursues her life-long passion – designing and creating original art for smaller spaces and wearable art for that unique look.  A generalist at heart, Jan works in a variety of mediums – pen and ink, oil pastel, printmaking, mixed media, photography, tie-dye and penny and wire-wrapped stone jewelry.   Her training includes MFA-instructed art classes, workshops and retreats.  Jan is connected with the Manitoba arts scene through her membership and participation in a number of arts-related organizations and juried competitions, where her original creations have received recognition and been displayed in group exhibitions at fine art galleries in Manitoba.  Jan occasionally teaches art classes in Dauphin, and volunteers with The Watson Art Centre and Dauphin Art Group.  She sells her artwork through arts and artisan outlets in Manitoba and Alberta.  For more information about Jan and her creations, please visit her website www.RiverWestArtworks.com.

 

 

Yardfringe 2017 took place all around Dauphin September 30th as part of Culture Days celebrations.  We were one of the hosting venues with an art related activity for the cyclists who participated in this cultural adventure.  So what do the following have in common? 61 Yardfringer created unique styrofoam designs, 16 different 'favorite' colours, and one silly artist (me) .... Why THE GRAND HUMAN ART EXPERIMENT of course! Stay tuned for when the collaborative result is ready for viewing at the Watson Art Centre!! Thank you to all of our community members for participating in Culture Days and Yardfringe and to all of those who volunteered their time and energy to make it such a marvelous community experience!!! Remember its the joy of the journey, not just your destination, that counts!

 

(posted on 3 Oct 2017)

What a wonderfully inspiring and educational adventure this "PATH" has taken me on! Our rural arts mentorship program group show is on until Nov4th in the Meet Art Agsm Community Gallery. A huge thank you to mentor Chris Cooper, sponsors MAN and MAWA and AGSM for making this all possible! And such an awesome supportive group to have been part of with fellow mentee artists Derryl May, Arlene Thickett, Morag Schonken, Jenna Alexander and Rosemarie Peloquin...

   

   

(posted on 14 Sep 2017)

I am thrilled to be part of "PATH" our Rural Arts Mentorship Program group show now on in Brandon Sept 14-Nov4th, with open reception September 28th.  I'm very grateful I was given the opportunity to be part of this program and kudos to our mentor and curator Chris Cooper for being so supportive and caring and encouraging us to explore new ways with our creative passions.  It will be interesting to see the work of the last year all hanging in one spot!   I also just finalized the poster for "WHAT IF...?" a solo show and artist talk I'm having at the Dauphin Public Library during Oct 2-Nov30 - this show reflects my creative journey of the past 4 years in pen and ink, oil pastel, printmaking and more.   No such thing as retirement for us artists!!! Enjoy your Thursday everyone!

    

(posted on 28 Aug 2017)

This year has just flown! Where did it go??? It's been a super creative year for me, thanks to being one of 5 artists invited to participate in the Parkland Rural Arts Mentorship Program led by professional artist Chris Cooper from Brandon and sponsored by Manitoba Arts Network and MAWA.  I never expected I would grow so much creatively, the support and encouragement from both our mentor and the other group members has been so inspiring.  Seeds were planted and ideas I'd been wanting to experiment with - such as my art as a repeating pattern and my art on fabric - is becoming a reality this year.  The mentorship program included one on one sessions, studio and gallery visits, group meetings, planning sessions covering artist statements, grant applications and more, and culminates in our group having a show in the community gallery space at the AGSM in Brandon this September.   

This past weekend was all about finding artistic inspiration in Riding Mountain National Park.  My Parkland Rural Arts Mentorship Group and I spent the weekend in the Park gathering inspiration from our surroundings on Saturday and then chatting with and demonstrating our craft to the public on Sunday.  A big thank you to our mentor Chris Cooper for facilitating this marvelous experience, to Wasagaming Community Arts for hosting and collaborating with us, and to Manitoba Arts Network and MAWA for providing Parkland rural artists with this amazing mentorship program opportunity.  I have met so many interesting and supportive people since embarking on this journey.  Now it is nose to the grindstone to ready my artwork for our group show at the AGSM in Brandon mid-September!!

Finding Inspiration   Rosehips on Wildrose Bush  Riding Mountain National Park

Tree Bark Beauty  By The Artists Cabin Explaining the creative process Hammered Bow on Art Table

Rosemarie with her needle felted neighbors  Clay artists Arlene and Derryl

I was very fortunate this fall to be accepted as one of six Parkland Region artists to be mentored by professional artist Chris Cooper of Brandon, Manitoba as part of the Manitoba Art Network's Rural Arts Mentorship Program. Chris is active in the Brandon arts community and works at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba. Chris is an inspiring mentor whose insight and feedback is making me rethink my artforms and process and encouraging me to integrate them into larger format bodies of work. I'm so excited with the possibilities and direction I'm now envisioning for my art. Chris also encouraged me to become a member of the AGSM. The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba is a premier gallery located in Brandon, Manitoba. I'm thrilled with the opportunity to have 3 of my recent linocuts "Climbing High", "PeaceMaker" and "Gone To Seed" on display at their annual member show and sale taking place this December. A portion of the proceeds from sales of members work at this show helps fund the AGSM and its programs.

(posted on 8 Dec 2016)

I was invited by Bev Morton to participate in Wayne Arthur Gallery's annual December group show, the theme this year was "How Does Your Garden Grow?" with 50 artists participating. Set-up was scheduled for December 1st with the show opening reception on December 4th. The Wayne Arthur Gallery is located at 186 Provencher Blvd. in the historic St. Boniface district of Winnipeg, a quaint gallery with beautiful original art, hand-made original prints, pottery, glasswork, and more. Wayne Arthur Gallery also carries some of my unframed original linocuts and artcards.

The drive into Winnipeg from Dauphin can be very iffy in wintertime with unexpected snowstorms closing highways. As some of you know, I don't drive a car as I'm unable to multi-task as required for safe driving. Me darlin' B was very supportive and said he would drive me in and we lucked out on good road conditions. I and others assisted Robert with the show set up, and I enjoyed chatting with artists and others during the reception. I met some wonderful people and while at the gallery I couldn't resist buying a beautiful glass dish hand-crafted by glass artist Angel Calnek.

While in Winnipeg we stayed with family and visited with them and other Winnipeg friends - a big thanks to those who hosted our stay and invited us for suppers. A dear friend also gifted me a beautiful eternity scarf she knitted. Our return home was just right as the day after we returned home a storm closed the highways from Winnipeg to the Saskatchewan Border. I am so fortunate and very grateful!

It's here! "More Than Just The Art....." opening show! I am so pleased to be part of this group exhibit now touring Manitoba. My diptychs "Connections I and II" are amongst 50+ artist works being showcased by this touring exhibition. This project, driven by Pauline Braun and Audrey Lute, invited over 60 artists to secretly participate and be challenged by creating work within structured guidelines, not knowing who else was involved. A 'hand' of creative cards were pulled for each artist, the cards' instructions used for inspiration and incorporating into their artwork. With much imaginative interpretation and artistic license of course!!

Here's the creative guidelines I was assigned:

Technique: Collage
Layout: In the form of a diagram, chart or map
Text: Abstract, non-verbal, gibberish
Paper: Pre-treated (crumpled, dipped, textured, decorative, etc)
Colour: Favourite
Image: Found Image
Adjectives: Quiet or subtle, encyclopedic, non-sequential, monotonous, ordinary or mundane.

So happy I was invited to particpate in this group project, the result of which is now touring Manitoba! This exhibit will be on display at The Watson Art Centre here in Dauphin a year from now and I can't wait to see in person the other pieces created from the randomly drawn creative instructions we were each assigned!

I don't often blow my own horn, as a matter of fact I'm rather uncomfortable with it, preferring instead to just knuckle down and spend time creating. As a result it can be a bit daunting putting yourself out there on social media with blogs and facebook posts and doing the self promoting thing. I was thrilled and honored when Corinne and Gary of ArtsQuest.ca approached me wanting to include me in their schedule of artist interviews while on their road trip across Canada this summer. Wow - someone else interested in promoting moi! way cool - me like!

Brian and I really enjoyed connecting with Gary and Corinne, very thoughtful and creative people who have a real knack for condensing hours of interview and filming into meaningful well-crafted written and video snapshots of the artists they get to know. ArtsQuest has an exciting mission - to promote Canadian Artists via their website through artist interviews, creating and posting write-ups and video on Artists across Canada as well as creating a marketplace for Canadian Artists and art lovers. A huge thank-you to Corinne and Gary for their delightful work. We look forward to working further with ArtsQuest.ca when their marketplace launches next year!

Click here to view ArtsQuest.ca's interview and video with me. Also they've a Treasure Hunt and you can win a lovely hand-crafted art piece by playing along!

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