Meet the artist – Jennifer Lynn

Finding Home, Robin’s debut novel

The cover of my debut novel is so great I want to introduce you to the artist, Jennifer Lynn. I met Jen through mutual friends online. At the time I was displeased with the cover offerings and felt none represented my story at all. I jokingly said to Jen that I wished she would design a cover for my new book. Imagine my surprise when she said yes and jumped on it!

I was still in the process of correcting some edits in the final manuscript at the time. As a result, there wasn’t a good copy of the book ready for her to read. She was okay with that and suggested we Skype and talk about it. I gave her a brief description of the book without suggesting anything particular. The cover you see above perfectly fits the book. In addition, her painting reminds me of my Grandma Poplin’s home, but in a mirror image. Jen knew nothing about this. Her intuitive sense of design and color made this book a work of art.

Jennifer Lynn, or Chef as her friends call her because of her extensive culinary skill, is an award-winning artist and illustrator for 40 years. She studied fine art at Wilfred Laurier University in Ontario Canada where she studied under 3 different artists in residence including the great Canadian Artist Michal Manson whom she studied under for 7 years. She then travelled extensively and developed key elements from many artists around the world. Today she has returned to Canada and has re-established her work in Ontario. She is also a member of Federation of Canadian Artists.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jenniferlynngallery
Webpage: www.chefjencanada.com
Twitter: @chefjencanada
Instagram: chefjencan
Email: jendechef@gmail.com

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Happenings in my Writing

Fiddle GuitarsThis was supposed to be a photo of my puppy. I clearly clicked on the incorrect icon. Web design and writing blogs takes a lot of time. So does writing books. I’m excited to say however that my muse has been busy!

Last year, I came out with my first CD, Ordinary Miracles. It was a dream come true. I may have rushed it more than needed. The death of my dad at the beginning of the year muddled my thinking in unanticipated ways. I wanted him to be able to hear it, but at least he knew that I had won an artist’s grant to get it completed. Dad was the one who first helped me start guitar.

 

I’m not sure where my love of writing comes from, although I know another cousin who loves to write poetry as much as I do. I recently completed my first novel and excited about it truthfully. It’s only taken me twenty years to get it finished. My characters are as stubborn as I am. When first starting it, I had a love story in mind. You know the type, typical girl meets girl and life ends happily ever after. Ha! If only that were the truth of it all. Then a character took over my book. I mean really, who

CC0 Public Domain Pixabay
CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay

knew that could happen. The characters and I kept arguing about how to proceed until finally all of them went on strike. The characters wouldn’t talk to me until after I completed the memoir and the poetry. Okay, so I decided to do it THEIR way! It’s a pretty neat story that will be told. I have two more readers’ edits to complete and then it’s off to the publisher.

Of course, the main character is not as young as once anticipated. There are no sexy scenes because, well…it just didn’t happen. The one place I had tried to make something happen seemed forced. That’s just not right to do that. Who wants to put in gratuitous sex anyway. I always want to write about love and how we can be better humans together. I’m hoping that happens in my new book. Check back here to see when you can get your own copy.

If you’ve been to my site, you have noticed that I’m also working on creating a place about music. I’m calling it Robin’s Radio.

Learn Guitar
Learn Guitar

When I get finished creating Robin’s Radio, it will be a place to learn about music and hear tunes that make you happy. Support women musicians. That’s the other thing I hope my new “station” (I use the term loosely) will foster, love of women’s music. Life is too short not to hear women singing about other women.

Creativity is an energy that gets me moving. Whenever and wherever creativity is involved, is the place where I want to be. It’s exciting to be able to focus more on my art, music, and writing now that I’m older. A life lived creatively is the only life I’ve ever wanted. How amazing that it’s now MY LIFE! Because I also support creativity in your life, here’s a cool article I’m going to read when I finish this blog: How to Unleash The Great Perfection of Creativity by Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.

 

“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”
― Rumi

 

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Drawing a Blank

Speedy's Pizza, Sylva, NC
Speedy’s Pizza, Sylva, NC

Every time I come to write, this blank page causes me to draw a blank. If I was as devoted to the practice of art as my artist friend Robert Rhodes, I would draw something (besides a blank). Another artist friend of mine tells me to just draw anything. Of course, Pamela Haddock is a prolific and great painter who encourages anyone who wants to paint. She doesn’t say to compare my art to hers, only to show up to the canvas. Any writer teaching about writing says to just sit down and write. Show up! The same is true in all art, you have to show up. When the artist, writer, musician, believer, etc. doesn’t show up, nothing can happen.

The artist Degas, said that when he was beginning his craft, his master painter talked to him about drawing lines. Always draw lines. Or in Degas’s own words:

“Make a drawing, begin it again, trace it; begin it again and trace it again.” (Edgar Degas)

We all have to start where we are. What am I here for in this place, now? If there is an art I want to pursue, what does it mean for me to show up to that art? What does it mean to show up for my vocation? My family? The goals or people that matter most to me?

While this won’t be one of my best posts, I had to start to blog again. I needed a picture and chose one that was fun. While I’m not brave enough to share my doodles, I even drew some items on a blank sheet of paper after mentioning Rhodes’ name. He inspires me because he is consistently showing up for his art AND he’s brave enough to share those drawings/paintings with us. I also found out that he writes! More inspiration. Who are the people who inspire you?

One of the reasons a blank page is so hard is that a blank page forces us to reach into the depths of our being. Sometimes there’s nothing to be said. That’s okay. Write it, paint it, pray it, and let it go. It’s the process of showing up that matters. We don’t all want to be famous and success is only a “success” when it makes you happy or fulfilled. To be faced with a blank anything causes us to feel vulnerable. That’s not a bad thing, even if it’s a scary thing. All we have to do is be brave and show up. Okay, and START.

I had no idea what I was going to write when I started this blog. I only knew that I had to be brave enough to start it with something and also have the courage to let you see that I don’t know what I’m doing. Yet, it makes me happy to write. Even if no one reads this blog, it makes me happy. Why? I didn’t just show up to this blank page. I showed up for myself.

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
― Brené Brown

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

 

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