The COVID-19 crisis has shaken the foundation of businesses across the board, from the largest to the smallest (like me, just one person wearing all the hats), demanding we figure out how to adapt in order to survive in this ever-changing environment. It also provides impetus to evolve and an opportunity to let our light shine the way ahead.
When all the norms of business abruptly came to a standstill, I hit the ground running energized with ideas of a new way forward that blend creativity with a core value of well-being, and began exploring channels beyond brick and mortar to share these items. Art isn't just for the walls anymore- I'm excited to expand into applying my painting, photography, and graphic design work to all sorts of useful products for your stylish home and healthy lifestyle... good vibes by design! More on that to come, but here is just a peek at a few of the new items on the way!
Fine art to add style to your space
Workout wear for a healthy body & mind • Weekend gear to get outside & unwind
Behind the scenes has been a paint-flying, product-designing, picture-snapping, keyboard tapping whirlwind of creative activity! Although you haven't seen much evidence on the surface yet, everything is in a state of constant forward motion with developing merchandise, researching print partners, testing products, and building a brand new online store (which will replace this website).
Like any massive undertaking, this one is not without a myriad of challenges to navigate, and of course the complicating ripple effects of COVID-19 are felt in every aspect of life and business as well. While I can't yet predict precisely when the whole package will be ready to premier, I wanted to be open about the process of getting there, and let you know I'm really looking forward to the day I can share it with you!
In the meantime, Arts by the Bay Gallery has re-opened, and I'll be the FEATURED ARTIST for their next show! Busy creating, painting, printing, framing... doing everything I can to make your visit to the gallery an uplifting and enjoyable experience in this time when we can all use a little art therapy! Mark your calendar- "Good Vibes" debuts JUNE 26! Check out the events page for details!
I hope you too are finding silver linings in these challenging times, and never forgetting to let your light shine!
Mark your calendar for the Upper Bay Art Festival August 5th on the beautiful waters of North East, MD! Along with a great variety of artisan vendors, I'm excited to exhibit a fantastic collection of nautical-themed fine art, and premier some brand new, never-before-seen pieces! Enjoy a fun day of food, beer, wine and boats too! Free admission!
While I'll be showing photographic fine art at the festival, I've also been lending a creative design hand to marketing the event. The 4' x 30' banner I was hired to design (pictured above) can be found stretched across Main Street in North East! Also keep your eye out for the large Upper Bay Art Festival sign on the "Welcome to North East" event board (at the corner of Rt. 40 & Rt. 272) and another festival sign below Galahad Marine's sign near the entrance- all designed by Jessica St. Clair Studio!
"Journey" is a piece that is especially dear to my heart, so I thought I'd share the story behind the artwork.
Each time I walk this path, bare toes in the sand, connected to the earth, I reminisce about all the life events that have journeyed with me here. From countless joyful hours spent building sand castles in my childhood, to soaking up the sun and surf as a teenager, to seeking solace here during life's more complicated challenges as an adult, this place is timeless to me. Throughout these different stages, perplexing questions like "is this relationship working," "is a person I care about who has passed away okay on their new journey," "is moving the right choice," and "can I succeed in starting a business," just to name a few, have also accompanied me over this path. The answers always seem to be softly revealed here, the place where I can quiet my mind and just listen.
One of the most pivotal moments of my life also occurred here. I made my way up the path, across the dune, toward the sea as a single girl- just like so many times before. And then, there on a beach blanket, the man of my dreams dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. My heart exploded with so much love and excitement it filled the sea. Now this journey wasn't mine alone, but ours together.
Hopes and wishes for our future are as infinite as the horizon we gaze out upon. Nostalgia for a lifetime of memories made here is imprinted in each grain of sand and carried in every particle of the salty breeze. And with every cherished visit, this path is a precious reminder to be present in the joy of the journey at this very moment.
Perhaps this image will resonate with you as well, reflecting the many paths you've traveled to become who you are today, and the joyful anticipation you have for the journey ahead unified by the strength and support of a companion by your side. Or maybe there's a completely different, wonderful way you personally identify with Journey? Now that you know my inspiration for creating the artwork, I'd love to hear how you connect with Journey in your own experience! Please feel free to comment below!
Prints of this image are available in a fantastic variety of sizes and styles, and make a particularly thoughtful gift for weddings, anniversaries, and just to let someone know what a special part of your journey they are.
Find this image in the Fine Art Photography/Nautical section of my website to place your order today! http://www.jessicastclairstudio.com/nautical (Be sure to scroll down to "See All Products" for the complete selection, and choose a size that complements the rectangular shape of the image.)
More great ways to find my artwork and support the Shop Small movement:
Find show pieces that will make a beautiful statement in your space on exhibit as well as signed matted prints at Arts by the Bay Gallery (Havre de Grace, MD), The Palette & The Page Gallery (Elkton, MD) and a special addition for the holiday season, Oxford Artisan Gift Shop (Oxford, PA). For a peek at some pieces available at these locations, check out the As Seen on Exhibit page. Interested in a particular exhibit piece? Contact me and I'll let you know right where to find it!
Excited to share "Napa Valley Sunset" was awarded Third Place at the Cecil County Arts Council 17th Annual Photography Show!
"Napa Valley Sunset" by Jessica St. Clair
The exhibit's Opening Reception was held in conjunction with Downtown Elkton's First Friday Art Loop, a wonderful mingling of those who enjoy and appreciate art with those who create it! Below are some pics from my travels to a few of my favorite stops on the loop: Cecil County Arts Council, The Palette & The Page Gallery and The Gallery at 122 Main. If you are in the MD/DE/PA area, mark your calendar for the First Friday of each month- see you on the Art Loop!
CCAC's 17th Annual Photography Show will be exhibiting through November 30, 2016. Visit http://www.cecilcountyartscouncil.org for more information.
If you'd like to own a print of award-winning "Napa Valley Sunset" please visit the artwork's portfolio page here to place your order!
My life-long love of Halloween is a passion (ok, bordering on obsession)! From the feeling of nostalgia that flickering jack-o-lanterns, crunching leaves and the smell of pumpkin-everything stirs up, to imaginations being energized to get creative, I love everything about this horrifying holiday!
Turning Halloween into a home-made event has always been my specialty. As a kid I remember pounding on the low keys of my mom's piano while my Fisher Price tape recorder rolled, making my own horror soundtrack to set the mood. I loved drawing haunted castles out of construction paper with little doors that opened with ghosts lurking inside, making Halloween cards and writing themed poems. I even won first place in elementary school art class for a little girl pumpkin I made. At 10 years old, receiving recognition for my artwork and an award of an assortment of art supplies meant more to me than that teacher will ever know.
While we outgrow all sorts of magical things that enchant us as children, I'm thankful the Halloween spirit still lives strong within me through adulthood. I'm grateful to have an awesome husband who encourages me to unleash my passion and creativity, and the party-ghoulers who embrace celebrating this hair-raising holiday with us! Here is a video I made for our friends who dared to visit St. Clair Asylum this year! Enjoy! (Be sure to watch with the sound on.)
St. Clair Asylum • Halloween 2016
Recently at Arts by the Bay Gallery six of us were invited to sit down with Harford MagaScene host Kristy Breslin to discuss our artwork in a variety of mediums! In this segment by Harford Cable Network (which has been shortened to fit within the max capacity of this website), meet Gallery Director Pat Fair and get to know artists Jessica St. Clair (photography and digital art), Jane Lang (mosaic), Susan Amadio (sculpture) and Jay Stutman (jewelry). Also featured in the full length version of this segment are Justin Woytowitz (painter) and Lorraine Haggard (mixed-media).
Visit Arts by the Bay Gallery (307 St. John Street, Havre de Grace, MD) to see our work in person!
Check out my events page for additional current and upcoming exhibit locations!
** For the best viewing experience and easily readable text, please click the video player's settings icon, choose 1080p HD and view full screen. Images can also be individually viewed in the portfolio here. **
HOORAY for NATIONAL DOG DAY! Let's give our incredible companions the appreciation they deserve today...and every day! From amazing service pups who can offer the disabled freedom, to canine police partners who put their lives on the line, to the drooling furry mass that melts into your couch cushions, dogs touch the lives of their humans in amazing ways. Give your pup some extra love and thanks today, and consider opening your heart and home to a furry sweet soul in need of the joy and comfort of a devoted family.
As I type this entry I'm listening to the precious little breaths of slumber coming from my fur-kid Molly on the other side of my desk, and thinking about all the amazing things she has inspired me to do. I started photographing her the day my husband and I brought her home as a tiny pup, almost eight years ago. Working together I learned to get the shot quicker and just let her do her thing, and she learned to be patient with me when it took extra tries to get everything just right (although I did catch some of her exasperated eye rolls on film, haha). Some of the fun photos turned into holiday cards for our friends and family over the years, and then Molly and I decided we wanted to give dogs who weren't fortunate enough to have loving families some of the spotlight.
So, I began photographing shelter animals and learning their stories (many of which were heartbreaking), and working them into original creative designs for greetings of all sorts of occasions. I wanted to present homeless pups in a fun, entertaining way that would help draw positive attention to the plight of shelter animals. When I had enough artwork compiled, Bark Remarks™ "doggone funny greetings for a great cause" were launched with the very special mission of featuring and giving back to dogs in need. On the back of each greeting, the recipient gets a personal note from the star on the front thanking them for their support, and letting them know a donation is being made that makes their tail wag. The Bark Remarks™ collection is currently available on my website and in six locations in MD and PA, and I strive to continue growing their reach.
With the success of Bark Remarks™ greetings, I was asked if I could come up with a solo art exhibit complementary to the theme and mission of the cards. My mind was whirling with ideas because I am passionate about the subject matter, and I poured myself into creating every design from scratch (just like the cards)- from photographing rescues and other special pups, to illustration, to graphic design to the words that flowed from my heart. "Something to Bark About," a colorful exhibit of 12 poignant designs, welcomed dogs into the gallery opening night, sparked a community-wide celebration of four-legged friends, raised awareness for shelter dogs in need of forever families and amassed a kind donation for them from patrons and sales of my artwork.
Large framed posters of the artwork can now be seen coloring the walls of Toby the Golden Hero Gifts, a special store with a pay-it-forward motto, established by Debra Parkhurst, who's life was saved by Toby, the Golden Retriever she rescued. The artwork flows into her second shop next door, Fred's Too, lovingly named for Toby's beagle side-kick. Artwork from the "Something to Bark About" collection is available for sale in a variety of sizes from greeting cards to matted and signed prints to oversized posters. I aim to expand the reach of this collection as well, so it's message can be enjoyed by many and it can continue to give back.
We celebrate National Dog Day at the studio today, and every day! I'll close with a quote I had written while working on my art exhibit and reflecting on the love and inspiration so many precious pups have blessed me with:
"May all the dogs I've ever loved leave their pawprints on my heart,
their virtues in my soul and their fur on my pants."
-Jessica St. Clair
• Visit the Bark Remarks™ card shop online: http://www.jessicastclairstudio.com/barkremarks
• Visit the "Something to Bark About" collection: http://www.jessicastclairstudio.com/dogs-inspirational
• Visit Toby the Golden Hero Gifts and Fred's Too at 114 S. Main St. North East, MD 21901
• Read about Bark Remarks™ greetings and "Something to Bark About" art exhibit in the news: http://www.jessicastclairstudio.com/in-the-news
Interested in purchasing a piece of artwork in this video? Please CONTACT me for more details. Or visit The Palette & The Page Gallery and Arts by the Bay Gallery while select pieces are on exhibit. Matted and signed prints are also available, and images can be customized to your size needs by contacting me or ordering through my website.
Thanks for taking the outdoor studio tour with me today!
With a contemporary take on the traditional family tree, artist Jessica St. Clair interlaces flora photography and delicate textures with the names of your loved ones to create a custom-made family heirloom specially for you! Whether giving The Leaves of Our Family Tree as a warm and thoughtful one-of-a-kind gift, or treasuring this personalized piece in your own home, this special artwork exemplifies the unity of family.
Featuring an organic, hierarchy-free design and the ability to accommodate up to 62 names, The Leaves of Our Family Tree uniquely offers a harmonious arrangement for even the most complex family trees!
For lots more information and to place an order, please visit the Custom Heirloom Art page.
Zoomed in section of artwork to show detail
Bam! In the first two seconds of looking at this public figure's Facebook cover image you’re probably thinking: "There's a busy mom who has figured out how to be healthy and fit! Wow, she looks awesome, I need to follow this page to learn how she does it! And I value her expertise because her professional presentation tells me she's intelligent, hard-working and accomplished."
And that is the incredible value of investing in a well-designed cover image to represent your business.
In her initial cover image, my client had given it her best shot, clipping and pasting and adding text and colors and shapes, but felt the image she was using didn't represent her business and her message in an engaging and professional manner. So she came to me for help. By simplifying the layout and focusing on visually conveying the two important elements of her business, her message instantly became clear. And the tone of her page became professional.
So take a look at the cover image on your business page and think about your visitors' two second reaction. Do they get it? Is it interesting enough to linger on for a few more seconds? Are they so impressed with the quality of images, content and presentation that it's worth a scroll down to see what you're posting? If you answered "yes," fantastic, you have an outstanding cover image that conveys you pay attention to detail in everything you do, and tells customers and clients they're in for a great experience working with you! But don't fear, those who are shaking their heads and saying "no way, my cover image is a hot mess!" I can help you step up your social media presentation with a powerful cover image that conveys the creativity and professionalism your business deserves!
To request a quote to have a social media cover image custom designed for you, please contact Jessica St. Clair Studio today!
Visit Jessica St. Clair Studio on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaStClairStudio
Visit Christie Roberts' Beachbody coach fan page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/realfithousewifeofnj/
Martinis with Monet: An Evening Soiree to Benefit Arts by the Bay Gallery
at La Banque de Fleuve, 321 St. John Street, Havre de Grace, MD 21078
Delicious cuisine, live music, silent auctions, cash bar and specialty martinis
Friday, January 15, 2015 - 7pm to 10pm
Tickets $50 per person
Where to Purchase Tickets:
Arts by the Bay Gallery- 307 St. John Street, Havre de Grace, MD (410) 939-1818
The Laurrapin- 209 N. Washington St., Havre de Grace, MD (410) 939-4956
Havre de Grace Tourism Office- Pennington Ave., Havre de Grace, MD (410) 939-1800
Keep an eye out for my artwork in the silent auction, and enjoy lots more available just a few doors down from this awesome event at the Arts by the Bay Gallery!
Featured Artist (pictured above) Barbara Love • Video by Debbi Granruth
A peek at some of the artwork currently exhibiting in the Artfully Festive show at Arts by the Bay Gallery! Painting, illustration, photography, sculpture, carving, jewelry...you'll find all things artful here! Hurry in, pieces in this show are available through January 16, 2016!
Plan your visit to the gallery Wednesday, January 13th (11am - 4pm), and I'll be there to personally welcome you!
Visit Arts by the Bay Gallery at 307 St. John Street, Havre de Grace, MD 21078 or call (410) 939-1818