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


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!

It sure has been a busy summer - from an artistic perspective I'm still catching up from being away at art camp in June. Some of the "hand-pulled original prints" I created then still need to be written up with certificates of authenticity, then custom matted and packaged. In the next few days I'll be away touring the Alpine regions of Austria, Germany and Switzerland with my sister. I'll be leaving behind a few works in progress to finish up on my return - an oil pastel sgraffito "Juniper", a pen & ink zenwork "Bouquet", design/color scheme plans for a new batch of tie-dye tshirts and woven cord braids for some new cord necklaces. Before I go though, I'll need to use my digital printer to print some limited edition art reproduction prints. If I don't, the print nozzles will clog when left unused for too long. Last year I invested in a lovely high-end Epson Stylus Pro 3880 printer that uses Epson Fine Art paper (100% cotton rag, acid free heavyweight paper) and Ultrachrome K3 ink, which is rated archival and lightfast. I've been making reproduction prints of my zenworks with this.

What is the difference between a "hand-pulled original print" and a "limited edition reproduction print"? The difference is a limited edition reproduction print is created by digitally scanning an original artwork and using the resulting digital image to make multiple copies using an electronic printer. A "hand-pulled original print" is created by carving a design into a surface, such as a piece of linoleum, then hand inking it, laying a blank piece of paper over it and either hand pressing it or running it through a manual press to transfer the ink from the design surface onto the paper.

One therefore is a machine made reproduction print of a photo taken of an original artwork, and the other a hand-made printmaker's original print from an inked plate carved with designs.

As an artist, I not only create original works of art such as my oil pastel sgraffitos and my pen&ink zenworks, but I also make quality reproduction prints of these, and distinctly different to that I also design and create hand-made original printmaker's prints. Each comes with a certificate of authenticity explaining whether it is an original, a reproduction print or an orginal print.

Reproduction Prints Hand made linocut print plate Pulling an original print

(posted on 7 Aug 2016)

Becoming a full-time artist has been quite the adventure and journey, one of the most satisfying experiences of my life. It's been a journey filled with meeting new people, connecting with other artists and learning about product presentation and packaging, setting up my website, approaching retail and gallery outlets, self-promotion and more. I could not have done it without the support of my partner Brian and a number of Manitoba organizations along with their owners, staff and volunteers. Uniquely Manitoba is one of them and a great place for artists and artisans to gain product presentation and marketing knowledge as well as exposure for their works. I have been a Uniquely Manitoba member since 2011. Their new catalogue will be coming out soon, meantime the 2015 one is worth a view! Notice how part of the province graphic on their 2015 cover page is sourced from one of my Zenworks "Butterfly Effect"? Thank-you Uniquely Manitoba for helping me grow as a Manitoba artist!

(posted on 3 Aug 2016)

I'm so very pleased to announce that Bev Morton with the Wayne Arthur Gallery has accepted my framed oil pastel sgraffito "Wild Roses" along with a number of my monotypes, linocuts, limited edition zenwork prints and artcards for sale in her lovely gallery space! They are located at 186 Provencher Blvd, in St. Boniface - Winnipeg.

Our camping-road trip in our little hippy van over the August long weekend was a lot of fun, the weather sunny. We headed east and south to Winnipeg, camped at Stonewall, attended the Icelandic festival in Gimli, visited friends in Winnipeg and Fisher Branch and made it within 80km of home before the poor old Westy broke down. Her alternator went and we were very fortunate it happened at the end of our trip so close to home. She's being fixed now in preparation for attending the Dauphin Manitoba Mud Run. Brian will be mudrunning, I'll be staying clean and relaxed, taking photos, making art and handing out cold beer!

(posted on 16 Jul 2016)

I was thrilled when Understorey Magazine advised me they had selected my photograph "Chosen" to accompany writer Susan Cormier's "Three Keys" fiction piece in their latest online issue. Understorey Magazine, a non-profit relying on public support and private funding, publishes literary writing and visual art by and about Canadian women. Each issue of Understorey Magazine has a specific theme and this Issue Eight is about Women and Justice... My photograph "Chosen" is was originally created by me to illustrate my hand-braided charm bracelets. Thank-you Understorey Magazine!

(posted on 28 May 2016)

My 3x5" linocut "Gone To Seed" celebrates the Dandelion, a hardy medicinal plant with a bright and early bloom our bees rely on after wintering.I've always loved bright cheery dandelions and remember as a kid blowing on their fragile gone to seed halos. In support of bees, the environment and our own health, I'm delighted we're no longer spraying herbicides to eradicate these hardy enduring plants. I chuckled when I saw my neighbors lawn this morning as they certainly have a bumper crop gone to seed! And they mowed just 3 days ago! That being said, we've ordered some white clover seed to spread on our lawn - offering biodiversity and a bit of competition to our cheery yellow headed friends...!! Also the jack rabbits running wild around here will love eating the clover. Hopefully some great photo opportunities will result and inspire yet another linocut!

This artwork was created by block printing with a linocut onto dampened paper and run through a press to achieve an embossed effect. Block printing is an ancient printing technique where the artist carves a design into a solid block of material (such as wood, lino or styrofoam) much like a stamp. Once the design is complete, the block is inked with a roller and the block is then applied to paper, fabric or other surfaces. The carved areas will not show in the final product, while the raised portions left behind will print.

(posted on 11 Mar 2016)

(posted on 19 Dec 2015)

My "Peace Maker" hand-pulled original prints have been patiently sitting between layers of paper drying for a few days now... i'm looking forward to embellishing each of these and the others printed a couple weeks ago with individual finishing touches... I designed and transfered Peace Maker outline onto vinyl flooring, hand carved it and then applied ink to the image and hand-printed each onto paper hand pre-tinted with watercolour. I'm having a lot of fun with my new print press, and using the Caligo SafeWash Inks means easy cleanup with soap and water. Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Peace Maker Linocut Peace Maker

Thrilled to get my copy of "More Than Just The Art" ... that's me on Pg 31!!!
What an honour to be one of 61 Artists who participated in this collaborative project, and so many of them I've become good art buddies with. This all started in 2014 when I was invited to take part in an art challenge project called "More Than Just The Art" founded by Manitoba artist friends Audrey Lute and Pauline Braun. The concept for this challenge along with the creative results of all participating artists is delightfully laid out on a dedicated website as well as in this lovely book form (available on blurb.com). It's an amazing story: "This is the culmination of a year-long project. We wanted the project to be fun but more importantly we wanted fellow artists to stretch themselves creatively and work outside their comfort zones. It was also about leveling the playing field between artists from different geographical areas, different lifestyles, and varying levels of art education and experience..." To read more about this project and see the individual artists creative works please visit the website: http://itsmorethanjusttheart.weebly.com/ Enjoy!!

There's this awesome freecycle artisan supply store in Winnipeg called Arts Junktion on William Ave. People and businesses donate items rather than garbaging them - and artists, students and teachers are welcome to come and take what they can use.

I was there last week for the first time and found some interesting freebies to use for printmaking, collage and for braiding the cord for my penny necklaces. For example the old thread spool in photo #1 makes a lovely design when used in gelli plate printing - see photo #2. For this particular gelli-print's patterning I used styrofoam meat tray (washed of course), the thread spool, a piece of bubble wrap, and cardboard texture to create this layered design. This print will now be used as backdrop for a linocut design i'm going to print ontop.

Arts Junktion freecycling is an awesome concept! So in future, before we garbage anything that can be used by creatives for artisan projects - fabric art, visual art, jewelry or installation art (think sewing, paper, old art supplies, wood, lino scraps, beads, string, plastic, storage items, tables, old frames, wall paper, etc.) we all should see if there's an artisan freecycle depot near us. Check out the "Arts Junktion" nearest you today. Enjoy your day everyone!

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