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What I Did On My Broken Brain Vacation

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Hey everyone! I wanted to have a Buffy recap done this week, but it didn’t pan out. I’m not pushing myself hard on anything right now, which is like…mildly panicky for me? Because I don’t know how to be when I’m not working from the moment my eyes open to the moment I drag my ass to bed at night?

The truth is, I’ve been doing the bare minimum. Which isn’t great because I have a deadline coming up for Where We Land and I’m definitely not going to make it (the release may be postponed, we’ll see what happens and how much padding I built into the schedule), but right now I just feel like I absolutely have to take it easy on myself.

So, I’ve been making art. For example:

I made a ouija board. It's watercolor stained with pink and orange and brown and has gold lettering and embellishments like a keyhole and a watch face and various crystals.


An abstract painting of a woman holding a human heart.

and also

A pocket watch with a glass lid. Inside is a photo of Herman Melville. An ivory whale charm is affixed to the front edge of the glass.

and now I’m working on an oil painting that has sparked a huge fight between me and my teen son about whether or not my use of negative space is “wasteful” or not.

The negative space is part of the damn piece. When it’s finished, I’ll show it here and everyone can debate whether or not it’s “wasteful”.

This is why educating children is a bad idea, by the way.

Any how, I just wanted to update everyone on what’s going down on my end. I know some people were freaked when I said I needed to reconsider my career or whatever. I should have been more clear with my hiatus announcement. I needed to restructure and reprioritize, not sit and think about whether or not I should still write and blog. But it’s not like I can just quit my job and be an artist and live off wishes and dreams. This ain’t an episode of House Hunters.

So, things on the blog might be slow for a while. Drunk Tarot keeps on happening (it’s moved to Twitch) and I’m still writing, just more slowly than I used to. Which is already slow, but I can’t let that shit stress me out. Right now, the most important thing I can do is focus on myself. I’m getting into a good place and things are going dandy.

Although I am, perhaps, inhaling too many various fumes.

Before I end this, I want to put in a product plug that is in no way sponsored. I paid for this product myself and it’s the best money I’ve ever spent. It’s Ranger Multi Media Matte and it is like…the most supernaturally amazing glue/sealant I’ve ever found in my life. Those metal and crystal embellishments on the spirit board? They’re not going anywhere. That whalebone charm (legal whalebone, it’s an antique pendant that was a gift from my mother-in-law years ago, the whale has been dead a long time) is glued to glass and I’ve wrenched on it and wrenched on it to make sure it won’t pop off. I don’t know what it’s made of, but if you work in mixed media, you have to have this product plus, a little goes a very long way; I sealed the spirit board and planchette, did other gluey stuff with it, and I still have half of a 3 oz. jar left. Again, I say, mixed media artists, get some of this if you don’t already have it. It’s a game changer.

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  1. Mike

    Your art is amazing, and I am forever jealous of your talent in all creative fields. Were I a petty person I would hate you for it, but instead I choose to simply want to be you when I grow up.

    January 18, 2019
  2. Amber Rose
    Amber Rose

    I’m glad you’re in a better place. And making pretty art! I lack painting skills but am attempting to learn crochet because art is such a good way to chill.

    I’m gonna try that glue. I have a broken wizard staff (it’s a LotR replica I bought from Weta, for context) and not much I’ve tried has managed to hold it together. 🙁

    January 18, 2019
  3. Kylie

    I am in awe of everything you did, I feel pretty confident I will be defending your use of negative space based on your resume so far. I love the colors and style of the painting(?, the one in the middle). I really like the lips (the shape and the color contrast), the hair, and the eyes are cool, and for some reason I’m really drawn to all of the tiny dots on the scarf.

    Also I love keys so the board is really speaking to me too. I really like the design of the gold borders too.

    tl;dr: everything’s so pretty <3

    January 18, 2019
  4. tanya loika
    tanya loika

    thanks for sharing your art. i didnt even know you were an artist, on top of all the other creative and cool things about you! art is such a healing and wonderful hobby, and i wanted to do some mini-painting but walmart was out of stock of the mini easels. i have one, now. i feel like i definitely screwed myself by not having a creative hobby all these years, since high school really. i even fixed up my clarinet for loads of money, and never played it. i was waiting to move. still waiting! what a rough time. i hope i remember to try to paint or draw something soon.

    January 18, 2019
  5. Ldot

    I love your art, too — thank you for posting it! (I especially like the bottom two.)

    You know, it’s a real gift that you keep letting us behind the scenes of your life like this and show us how you grow and change, how you make your decisions, etc. It’s a big deal to put out that kind of stuff publicly (even though with social media we might be forgetting exactly how much of a big deal it is) and as someone who’s still figuring a lot of things about themself and trying to find their way, I really appreciate it.

    January 18, 2019
    • Ldot

      *figuring out

      January 18, 2019
  6. Shannon

    Long time reader and lurker, first time poster…

    Glad you’re feeling better, Jenny. You do what you need to. Was worried about you. Love from Ohio!

    January 18, 2019
  7. Ophélia

    Dear Jenny

    When I see the spirit board, I get concerned. What do you think of The Other Side of Darkness?

    January 18, 2019
  8. many bells down
    many bells down

    I really really love that second painting.

    January 18, 2019
  9. Tami Marie Alexander
    Tami Marie Alexander

    You and I are so similar. We have multiple creative outlets, we both struggle with depression, we’re survivors of people with NPD…I really would love to hang out with you someday and just kick back, talk, laugh, and make art. I’m slowly getting back in touch with that part of myself and 2019 is the year for it. I have you to thank for getting me to pull out my Tarot cards for the first time in 10 years. I’ve also started smudging again, too. We always forget or neglect our self-care until we reach a point where we collapse. That’s why I identify with Phoenix — I am always burning and rising again, reinventing myself from the ashes. Hugs and love to you, sister!

    January 18, 2019
  10. Karen Skedgell-Ghiban
    Karen Skedgell-Ghiban

    Your spirit board is awesome! Have you seen the latest drawing I did that I posted on FB? I stopped writing for a few days while I finished that up and now that I’m back to work I’m finding it hard to get back into wanting to write/draw again. The day job is just too exhausting. It kills my mojo. The ten days off was nice while it lasted.

    January 19, 2019
  11. Nadia Oliver
    Nadia Oliver

    Can anyone help me find Twitch so I can watch drunken tarot tonight???? Please!!!!!

    January 19, 2019
  12. Rachel O'Riley
    Rachel O'Riley

    Those pieces are beautiful. Do you ever sell your artworks?
    If Mari Kondo had a ouija board, it would look like that 😉
    (that’s meant as a compliment, in case you were in doubt).

    January 20, 2019
  13. Fuck You Jenny
    Fuck You Jenny

    You know what? Saying ” with full respect to the transgender community and apologies for borrowing your term” doesn’t change the fact that you were fucking disrespectful to the trans community for co-opting our term for your melodramatic bullshit.

    You need to stay off social media completely, because you can’t be trusted not to cause harm to people who did nothing to you, like your trans readers.

    February 18, 2019
    • JennyTrout

      You’re right. It was a bad comparison and I shouldn’t have used it. Should I delete it to minimize harm or leave it so it’s not like I’m trying to disavow that it happened?

      February 18, 2019

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