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- AboutJenny Floravita was born to be an artist. She began her studies in painting, drawing, music and dance as a small child, excelling in all. Her life in the San Francisco Bay Area afforded her great exposure to the arts. Jenny won numerous awards as a young artist including four California Governor’s Medallions and four California State Seals, two each for art and dance. After receiving several scholarships, Jenny went on to study and receive her formal art degree through University of California, Santa Cruz. She lived and worked in Santa Cruz as a graphic designer and fine art painter for several years before re-locating to her family’s home town in the Delta. Since 2000, Jenny Floravita’s fine art career has blossomed. She has exhibited in numerous galleries and high-end art festivals. She paints island scenes and tropical flowers in both oil and watercolor. Jenny’s journey in reverse glass painting began in the early summer of 2007 and since then she has added her beautiful custom glass painted chandeliers to her line of oil and watercolor paintings.
- ExhibitionsMarch 10-13, 2011 La Quinta Arts Festival for info and to purchase tickets: 706-564-1244 www.lqaf.com Please check back in the spring of 2011 for additional events.
Flower of the Coast is a new reverse hand painted glass chandelier. It is 24″ in glass diameter and it is photographed here in my hand forged fixture, Contemporary Swirl…though my floral chandelier would definitely lend themselves naturally to my more scrolled and more formal chandelier fixture styles. Most of my clients who choose my Contemporary Swirl fixture style do so because they have very contemporary surroundings.
Prior to moving to the Delta which flows into the San Francisco Bay I lived in Santa Cruz and Aptos—both two colast town here in California that will always have a part of my heart. One of the things that I liked to do best and found very soothing to my mind was to walk the many villages and beaches. Sunflowers, chrysanthemums, roses are very popular as are ferns and other wildflowers that will grow in such a temperate climate. These walks were very meditative and allowed me to fully enjoy life and the outdoors. I learned to greatly appreciate the blessings that have been bestowed upon my life in general and as an artist.
Artists need to gather inspiration for their work and the coast and it’s flowers and essence have always been my primary inspiration. It makes sense, as I was born in the San Francisco Bay Area. Everyone has a place that they gravitate towards. As I began to travel I discovered that visiting islands and other coastal communities fill me with continued inspiration for both my oil and watercolor paintings and my reverse hand painted glass chandeliers.
It’s a true blessing to be able to live life and work as an artist. There are only a few days each year where I do not have the desire to create…and on those days, I rest. For a few other days, I travel to my galleries or I travel with my husband to our getaway in Hawaii. The longer that I live as an artist, the bigger my body of work. If I could give everyone a sense of what it feels like to live a dream (that I work so hard for) and feel the same blessings, I would.
That said, it’s Saturday and I need to begin my studio work for the day…to see what my brushes create.
The process of letting a work of art go and how Jenny Floravita does that with her reverse hand painted glass chandeleirs
The process of letting a work of art go—be it one of my reverse hand painted glass chandeliers or be it an oil or watercolor painting of a tropical flower or a Hawaiian beach is challenging. It is challenging for me because I invest so much of my life’s energy into each work. When I was young, just out of college with my bachelors in Art from University of California, Santa Cruz, it was in my mind that I could paint two versions of the same painting. One I would sell and the other I would keep. Working with an art coach who specialized in professional aspects around an artist’s career helped me break that cycle in my mind.
This may seem like a very odd problem but we all know that all people have their quirks. And when you consider what an artist puts into their work in terms of time and thought, it’s actually quite easy to understand. Over the course of my career I have now sold a few hundred paintings—I have lost track and have no desire to count anymore. I simply create. Becoming a prolific artist was necessary in order to make a living. I had to learn to create a lot of oil and watercolor paintings in the years that I sold them through fine art festivals here in California. That is how artists live—it is very expensive to be in business as an artist, to buy materials and to take your work to market bet it galleries or festivals. Travel is still a huge expense for me. I’d like to point out that it’s far more expensive to create chandeliers than it ever was to create and sell ‘wall art’.
To get back to my point, becoming prolific helped me to slowly let go of my fears of knowing that I’ll never see that precious original again. There was a very specific point in time where I had created an over-sized watercolor for a client in Walnut Creek, California in which I can point to having broken that fear. I delivered the painting and realize that I was able to walk away and not look back. I loved that painting. Just recently I came across it in photos from the early part of my career in the early 2000s. It was a surprisingly good painting and I remember the entire process like it was yesterday.
The picture here is one of three tropical flower and parrot themed revers hand painted glass chandeliers that were created for one client. This is my favorite of the three. I took a lot of photos of this piece in order to preserve the memory. When my painted glass chandeliers leave my studio, the go to be packed and then travel on their way to their new home. As an artist, I know that I’ll never see these pieces again so I send them with ‘light’ and prosperity. I hope that my clients will receive the same joy from their reverse hand painted glass chandeliers as I did in creating them. That said, I now need to go up to my studio to move a large tropical flower oil painting towards completion…and yes, I’ll be photographing this time-consuming labor of love before it travels to Oregon!
Evening Oasis is one of my abstract reverse hand painted chandeliers. It’s different because of the vast areas that have cool aqua colors. It’s a gorgeous piece and yet very different from so many of my abstract themed painted glass chandeliers.
Personally, my home has a lot of aqua colors. I’m always accenting with watery blues—ocean colors whereas my mother always chooses hot fiesta and fall colors, a color palate that has been all the rage for a few years as it is energizing and cheerful.
What I like about blues and water colors are their soothing effect. Most of the rest of my color palate in this piece contains cooler versions of hues. Magenta colors are cool as are the violets that I am using.
All of my reverse hand painted chandeliers are painted by me, Jenny Floravita, and are originals. A lot of time and thought goes into the painting process. My form of reverse glass painting requires the ability to both plan and yet be very spontaneous. It is like being fluid in a language. People have often asked me how I was introduced to this art form: and it was through an interior designer many years ago. Since then my style has blossomed. I also cannot emphasize enough that my fixtures are my hand forged designs and my glass bowls are fired and created here, my my studio—these are not big box lighting fixtures that I’m simply painting with. A lot of work goes into each of my reverse hand painted chandeliers before my brush ever hits the glass. At this point, a lot of years have also gone into the way in which I now create my work. Art is an evolution.
La Quinta Arts Festival
March 7th— 10th • 10am—5pm
Booth # 319, La Quinta’s Civic Center Campus (78495 Calle Tampico La Quinta CA).
Though I have exhibited in fine art festivals for the past decade and used to carry an exhibition schedule of 15+ shows per year when I was exhibiting more of my tropical oil and watercolor (wall) paintings, this will be one of the only shows for 2013. As you can all imagine, showing chandeliers outside is a challenge so these days I’m doing few festivals. This show will have some of the top artists in the country. It is not a craft show, this is a fine art show. I will have my gorgeous reverse painted glass night lights there as well as samples of my art form—they make great gifts!
If you are in the Palm Springs area or Southern California—most cities are within a two hour drive—it’s well worth the effort to come over to this show. You will see artists who do not participate in the local shows. Do bring an umbrella, we could have some slight showers here and there, possibly on Friday. If you have favorite artists at this show, it’s actually best to come on Thursday so that you can have first picks!
And to all from out of town, safe travels!!!
Yes, my art form has it’s roots in a very old art form and yes, it is rare—these are realizations that are not groundbreaking to me. There is a lot of blood, sweat and tears behind my work, especially in the earlier years. It is a very challenging calling to choose to pursue the life of a professional artist, let alone choose an art form that has a lot of industrial elements included. Today I am very successful but I think many people would be surprised to realize my climb in the art world has be very long coming and it has been filled with many years where I did well enough to support my budding (expensive) business but not well enough to thrive. So my success is very well earned.
I have spent my youth on my craft. I went directly to college to pursue an art degree at age 17. I was already accomplished as an artist by age 15/16—having been awarded 4 California State Seals and 4 Governor’s Medallions by the age of 17. These were (and might still be) the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a high school student in the arts in California. In college, I completed my undergraduate courses and unrelated major courses by the end of my freshman year—by spring quarter I was taking the upper division courses. Where many waited until their senior year to take advanced drawing, I did it as a freshman and in fact took a year’s worth. By the time I was a junior I had done so many upper division classes that it was time to try the graduate program of Science Illustration—where I took classes for a year, maybe completing 2/3 of the classes that the real graduate students took to complete their degrees.
Well, those years were long ago now, and I do consider myself still young…but they are the backbone of who I have become today. My middle years through college and right after were also spent working as a graphic designer—a skill set that I use almost every day as I am my own marketing machine. It took a lot of work to get to the point where I was able to walk away from the securities of graphic design to launch and feed my budding fine art career. And yes, I sacrificed not having a family early—that is another big distinction in me and it was a sacrifice.
So I write this open letter to all the artists who look at me and wonder how I arrived at where I am today. I am flattered when artists contact me but I am also very busy and my time resources are scarce as are my emotional energies (and of all people, I do love speaking with artists). My work in creating and showing my chandeliers is very demanding. This is a most rewarding life that I have and I wouldn’t trade it but it has demanded sacrifices thus the literal blood, sweat and yes, many tears through the years. Heck, I could have a lot of those elements between now and the end of next week, depending on the wind conditions at La Quinta, if I hurt myself setting up my massive booth, knocking myself out getting in and out of my trailer (and I’ve fallen out, too), the dozen dolly loads of display equipment and weights, steaks, rebar for wind.
To artists and with much kindness and Aloha (as I know others would not be so kind): please understand that my work is my livelihood and this is true for any working professional artist who has a unique and innovative art form. Because my work is special and because it has a part of my soul it’s like giving a part of myself with each chandelier and I do think most people require a part of the artist to invest in their work, I do understand this and give as much as I possibly can. Good thing we are creative people with abundance of soul!!! For now, I feel the need to hold my work’s creative soul and energies close. I think having expressed my life’s journey in this light, it will be easier to accept.
Woodsy Green is a new reverse painted chandelier with green and earth tone colors. It’s a very lavishly layered painting that features grasses and ferns and palm fronds and a warm gold colored bottom. The flowers that are interspersed with the greens are accent colors. White daisies, columbine flowers, Texas blue bells, sage, Indian paint brushes and sunflowers are just a few of the featured wildflowers.
I love creating hand painted chandeliers with this general theme—it’s a chandelier concept that I can paint endlessly. All of my reverse painted chandeliers are originals. It’s a very enjoyable subject matter for me to paint. There is another take on my ‘green’ theme on my website that features lush exotic, tropical green leaves and tropical flowers in pink and white hues. It is called Lush Waters and I may elaborate a bit more on that piece next. It is also a brand new chandelier.
This reverse painted chandelier is crafted here in my studio. The glass is formed and cold worked here and my fixtures are hand forged and welded—these are not Home Deopt type fixtures, they are entirely hand crafted and my glass bowls are much stronger and thicker than what you see in the glass bowl fixtures big box stores, it’s a huge difference in terms of quality. And my work is about quality, attention to detail and artistry.
The forged fixture style that you see here is called ‘Standard’ and is about 20″ tall plus the length of the chain. My ‘Ornate’ fixture has more curves and is 29″ tall and goes well over dining tables and in rooms that have a more formal touch. My ‘Contemporary Swirl’ is 23″ in height and features my infinity/vortex swirl and straight arms—is simple yet contemporary, thus the name. All of my reverse painted chandeliers come with however much chain you need and if you need a really long drop, I will custom wire a fixture to your specifications. Also included is the ceiling canopy and the lights—so my reverse painted chandeliers arrive installation ready.
This is the second custom reverse painted lamp shade that I completed via commission for a couple in Florida who had broken one of a pair of treasured painted lamp shades. The shade that broke was a mass-produced type of shade, not done by any particular artist and probably done in a factory overseas but it’s Middle Eastern imagery had sentiment to my clients. It was really important to me to capture the concepts that represent desert life for my fellow Mediterranean friends.
As this was one of two shades that would be illuminated in the same room, we had determined that both would be in the same color palate. I had just completed a reverse painted shade with grapes, their cat’s face and two red birds and now it was time to use the same colors for this desert shade. We incorporated a camel and an oasis scene and palms and those flowed onto a side that had close-up pictures of my client’s flowers from their yard. The overall effect was both exotic and modern—there was nothing stuffy about the painting in this glass lamp shade.
The picture above shows an inside view of the scene. I think the hardest part about these two pieces was waiting for the paint to dry! Oh, and I should mention that a lot of time and thought did go into this reverse painted lamp shade and I think that it shows!
These two shades are good examples of commissions that arose out of tragic circumstances, being the breaking of a beloved lamp. At one point my clients exclaimed that they were almost happy that the one lamp was broken because they had a chance to design and create these two special reverse painted lamp shades. That made my day and I was very happy that my clients were please with their lamps. One more thing, these were installed onto two matching bases that the clients owned and I provided the decorative and functional hardware needed to fit and secure the shade. So if you have a lamp base that you’d like to use, send me pictures and I’ll let you know if it’s possible and what I can do to help make it work.
Just released a new Geisha reverse painted chandelier in my Honolulu Beauties Series. This is a 24″ diameter piece and features one ‘Geisha’ face. My Honolulu Beauties are inspired by the picture brides that went to Hawaii in the early 1900s. They left everything they knew behind in their homelands—their family, their foods, their climate and ways of life to start fresh with a husband that most of them had never met. All they had were the pictures that were sent over from prospective men who had toiled for years in the sugar cane plantations. It could take many years to save up enough money to send for a bride so most men were not as young as their pictures suggested and this was, of course, distressful for many brides.
Some would turn around and go back to Japan and others would stick it out to carve a new life in Hawaii. The tropical flowers that I’ve painted in this piece are lush and exotic and pay homage to a new life in the islands. I think that with time, many of these women did find happiness in this new world and many settled in and with them, they brought the traditions of their land which are now intermingled in the islands. Hawaii is a land where many peoples of the Pacific Rim have come with dreams of a new life.
A favorite section in this new reverse painted chandelier is to the left of the Geisha face. Exotic orchids, plumerias, gingers and leaves create a burst of energy and movement. Cherry blossoms shower our Geshia. Plumerias line the bottom of the chandelier. This is a very colorful reverse painted chandelier. Stay tuned for another Honolulu Beauties Series release, a 28″ reverse painted chandelier drying now!