Jacqueline Sullivan's Studio Letter

The 2013 Love Letters Edition

sometimes the heart sees
what is invisible to the eye

~  H. Jackson Brown , Jr.

Jacqueline's Studio Letter

February 2013

Dear Fellow Artists & Friends,

Be still my heart ...... it's Valentine's Day ! And this week is also madi gras ....ash wednesday and our last 3 day holiday weekend of this winter. 45 days into the new year and while it may be snowy and cold in many parts of the US in the northern hemisphere at least we can see the sun beginning its long passage north along our western horizons. 

This love letter edition was to be a brief list of arty likes + loves kissed with images of hearts and flowers, reds and pinks to share and perhaps spur a list of your own to ponder what drives the artistic muse. However, last week Jacqueline received the sorrowful but expected news that her long time teacher and mentor ~ Jenny Hunter Groat had died in Lagunitas California. So we will begin this love letter with Jacqueline's  remembrance and appreciation of Jenny .........

Jenny Groat was my friend, teacher and mentor. She passed away earlier this month, moving on to, what she called,” her next adventure”. She taught me so much about art, calligraphy, creativity and life! In my first workshop with her, here in Detroit, MI, she showed slides of herself leaping and dancing. And then she had us leap and dance with a brush in our hands, making movements in the air and then we attempted to put those movements on paper. This is when I learned that calligraphy was not just about making pretty letters ~ it was about putting our energy and movement into those letters.  I was able to give my letters life and my calligraphy has never been the same.

And Jenny taught me that it was not only okay to nurture my creativity, but that it was most likely essential for me to do it in order to maintain my mental and physical health.  Jenny’s passion for her work was great and very inspiring. She encouraged me and many others to follow our passion. Even though her heart was failing, she made the walk, with cane in hand, to her studio most days.  When she could not get to her studio to paint, she would carve small pieces in erasers. She danced, she did beautiful calligraphic works, made wonderful books, carvings and painted passionately.
Even though, she is physically gone, she lives on in me and my work. Thinking about her life and her passion has inspired me to “get busy”.
I have been too complacent in recent times.  In her honor, I vow to get to my studio much more often !

left to right: Jacqueline, Pete {Jenney's husband} & Jenny ~ Summer 2012 @ lunch in Lagunitas       

Click this link to view Richard Jett's short and inspiring video of Jenny, her work and studio ~ it is breathtaking !

A lovely gallery of Jenny's paintings -

Another of Jenny's students ~ Susan Gaylord wrote lovingly of Jenny Groat in two blog posts, Feb 6 & 7, 2013 and captured so many lovely images of her paintings, drawings, calligraphy and dance  -

Heading Photo credit: True Heart ~ 2004  by Laurel True created for the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation annual Hearts in San Francisco exhibit and fundraiser. Photo on FlickR credited to Donna Cleveland's Photostream. On permanent exhibit in San Francisco - Yerba Buena Gardens across from SF Museum of Modern Art. Laurel True's gallery of her wonderful mosaic work @

art stuff I love.....

  • Calligraphy pens: Hiro Tape Nibs
  • Everyday writing: TUL Retractable Gel Pens, Fine needlepoint
  • Paper: Arches Text Wove 300lb. for paste paper + books
  • Fabriano Artistico 300lb. cold press watercolor for painting
  • Blank Book: something hard bound that I have gessoed or painted the pages
  • Tool: 2" flat brush - not too soft + not too stiff; Old Master brand is cheap and takes abuse!

inspiring reads & views & listens....

  • Journeys To Abstraction: 100 Paintings & Their Secrets Revealed - Sue St. John, 2012 - for stimulating painting ideas
  • The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women - Gail McMeekin, 2011 - for nurturing creativity 
  • Pollock [2000] a wonderful film about Jackson Pollock played by Ed Harris
  • Art Video: Georgia O'Keefe - Women in Art [VHS, 1997, WGBH]
  • Canyon Trilogy, Native American flute by R. Carlos Nakai, 1999

blogs & websites - sweet as candy ....

other loves.....

  • San Francisco - it IS a work of art. Everything is unique ~ eye candy wherever you gaze. Great art store, great museums, great music, delicious food, an art deco bridge, wine sublime ! - you name it they got it! And if wonderlust calls... head out to Yosemite, Marin's sea shore + Muir Woods, Monterey, Big Sur, the Wine Country of Sonoma, Napa, Anderson Valley and Mendocino's breath-taking vistas.......all an easy sweet drive away from the Bay.
  • museums for art: The Tacoma Glass Museum and for a burst of absolute creativity - The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston

winter's grip is still upon us ~

one last quote to warm your heart......
"Let the Beauty we Love,
Be what we do" 


Instructions for various types of transfers are everywhere but have you been successful ? Join Jacqueline for a the 2nd of her full day workshops to learn new transfer techniques and to improve your skills ! The hands-on workshop will be held at the Goldner Walsh Nursery on Sunday, March 10 from 9:30am - 4:30pm. See the Workshop Invitation Card for full details, registration and location information.

I cannot do without....

  • Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold - add a few drops of raw umber to kick it back a little
  • Golden Fluid Arcrylics - so versatile
  • Texture with molding paste, paint it then use pan pastels to emphasize texture
Jacqueline Designs, Inc
A Studio Letter
February  2013
Vol. 1  #4
Written & Published By:
Jacqueline Sullivan
Chris Wachsmuth

bubbly & vino to make art by.....

deep reds like Bogle Petite Sarah - Italian bubbly - Proseco [try LaMarca long lasting nose tingling bubbles and not too sweet!]
Chris in SF recommends trying varietals from the following:  Husch, Merryvale, Markam, bubbles from Roederer Estates, Chandon, Gloria Ferrer
and Louie Martini's Sonoma Cabernet. The San Francisco Chronicle publishes an excellent annual west coast wine guide - The Top 100 Wines is on their site - worth a bookmark for when you are looking for something new to try.

quick look

Jacqueline's complete 2013 workshop calendar can be found on her website but here's a quick look at upcoming events for the next 4 months

Feb 26 - Discovering the Magic of Acrylics - online

Apr 6 -  Totally Transfers  Pontiac Michigan -
Mar 16 - Chicago Calligraphy Collective
Apr 9 - Needlework & Textile Guild of Michigan
Apr 18 - Artiscape Artists Gathering

May 4 & 5 - Whispering Woodlands
May 21 - 23 - Village Brush Strokes, Hot Springs Arkansas
Jacqueline's Video
Art Workshops

Mixed Media Textural Collage - See Jacqueline's blog post [Nov 13, 2012] for complete details on the DVD's content and ordering

Acrylics, Textures, Layers, Metalics -Jacqueline's very popular class continues to be available from CCP - see Jacqueline's web page for a link to CCP for ordering and to view a preview of the video workshop

New titles in production for 2013: Simple Metal Etching and Go for the Gesso!
Copyright © 2013 Jacqueline Sullivan Designs, Inc, All rights reserved.
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