I first came across Jeanne Oliver‘s work on Pinterest, I had pinned a few of her Feminine Portraits. Then as I often do when I am moved by an artists work; I typed her name into google, in this way I discovered the plethora of goodness she had to offer. From E-courses about painting with the masters to home schooling. From connecting with a tribe of woman to purchasing really lovely hand made bags. She really makes it her mission to make every aspect of her life an artistic expression.
Jeanne Oliver is married to her dream maker, Kelly, and the mother to three funny and creative kiddos. She home schools her children even though she has tried to get out of it a few times. You can often find her hiking in her state of Colorado, making creative messes in her studio and finding an excuse to have another cup of coffee. She speaks and teaches all around the country and sometimes she even gets to cross the pond. She was told that she needed to find that one thing but she doesn’t like listening to directions so she embraces many loves and that has given her a sweet mash up of family, art, decorating and fashion. Connecting with women and sharing that each of us has been creatively made is one of her passions. The Lord is showing her each day to trust in him.
Lets start with the most fundamental question why do you create? What do you create?
I create because it is like breathing to me. It is a part of who I am and when I don’t create and make time for it I don’t work as well. Creating for me has never just been the time in my studio. Creating is how I put our home together, loving on guests and making them feel welcome, the music playing in the home, the way I put my outfits together, the garden bed out front, fresh flowers in the home, the books I read, the meals I create…
All of life is art.
I guess what I am really trying to say is that I want my whole life to be my art. I want to live a creative life and to authentically have that resonate with those I love and myself.
What would you say are the major inspirations for what you create?
I love texture, a specific color palette and vintage ephemera. These three things are usually the jumping off point for me. Throw in some good music and a hot cup of coffee and I am ready to go! I am just like all creatives… The whole world is inspiring and sometimes you see something in nature, in a museum, words in a book or a conversation with a friend and you have to come to the studio and create. So many times the major inspiration for creating is that I just NEED it. I need to get into the studio and do something and it doesn’t matter what comes of it.
How has nature played a part in your life? When you work within nature how do you feel?
I don’t include nature in my paintings but nature has influenced most of what I do. Walks bring me clarity and direction. Creating outside makes me feel like I did when I was a child and I would pick the shade of a good tree and lose time with sketching or writing. My whole The Living Studio series and retreats is all about getting outside your studio and making the whole world your studio. There is so much waiting for us creativity when we step outside our front door.
For me your home dance between comfortable and intimate as well as magical and elegant. You have an amazing gift to fancy things up and yet it still looks like I can build a fort right in your living room. The same with your art, It feels like Jane Austin. Perfect!
Can you tell me a bit about this balance, this dance?
Thank you so much. What a sweet view of our home and life. I would like to give credit for this to my Grandma Jeanne. She had a profound impact on my love of art, music and entertaining from a young age. She was southern and much more formal than I am but I learned a few key things from her. Her home was filled with beautiful art, floor to ceiling. But she would say never to buy art because of who painted it but because of your connection to it. Because of this she had everything from a Picasso; to work by local college students. When we came to visit she never put away the beautiful things in fear that we would break them (and she had a ton of grandchildren) but showed me that anything you have out should be enjoyed and used. I once broke a glass sculpture and she didn’t shame me even though she could have because of my carelessness. I come from a large family and when we would sit down to Christmas dinner she would set a table with mismatch china and crystal and create such casual elegance. I learned early on that things don’t have to match and that you should use what you have. Music was always playing in her home because she was a composer herself. Her life was art. She wasn’t perfect and I learned as many things from her about what I didn’t want to do or be but she was a creative force and showed me to make your life beautiful.
What supports your authentic self? Your true expression of yourself?
I would have to say my faith. My whole life is based upon my faith and from there is goes out to impact my marriage, how we raise our children, our relationship with friends and family and how important it is to honor the gifts and skills that you have been given. My faith is my touch stone. It is what directs me and grounds me. My faith helps me to see that I have been given this life to make everything a part of my creativity and the things I love.
Tell me about the love you give to yourself, to the world to your students?
When my youngest was a baby I was in my laundry room folding clothes and honestly feeling sorry for myself. I am sure I had not done something for myself in days (or longer) and I was having one of those conversations that we can all have in our heads. Mine went something like this, “I have to do everything. My whole day is around other people. What about me? I just want to get into a car and drive…”. I was having a moment. Let’s just call it that. I was feeling sorry for myself and then I was gently reminded in my spirit that I have everything. EVERYTHING I had ever wanted. I had a beautiful home, a loving faithful husband, healthy gorgeous children and so much more. If I didn’t have them I would be searching for them and my life would be about making them a reality.
Life is busy and complicated and messy.
Sometimes we are our own worst enemy in not seeing the beauty of the day to day and changing HOW we live.
That day was a turning point in my thinking and I hope I never forget that. I may not always get to have coffee with a friend, or have a clean house or even have all day in the studio. I do get to choose how I treat those around me, show my creativity in the day to day, fill our lives with the little things that make me happy, the books I read and the conversations I have with my children. This is my stage in life right now and if I was focused on what I wasn’t getting to do I would miss it all. Miss it all.
Don’t miss it.
Make it prettier.
Make your life your art!
All of it!
Our stages in life change quicker than we are ready for but if your heart and mind are focused on what matters your life will be so much more lovely. Have your eyes open, make a few changes that help to make it easier to create and never feel sorry for yourself that in the midst of the day to day it is not just about you. My friends that no longer have children at home would be the first to tell you that days all about you are not all you think they are going to be.
Young creative moms…don’t miss it. Make your whole life your art and it will change your heart.
Lastly, tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
Love! Love my husband, my children, my friends, my family, my creativity, my Lord.
I have a lot to learn and lots of ways to grow but I want those around me to know how deeply they are loved.
Looking for E-course heaven? Look no further than Jeanne Oliver.
Have you ever taken an online course, gone to a retreat, purchased an art technique book and were taught an artist’s techniques and mediums? Have you ever been worried about what is your style and what is “their” style? Have you ever been afraid to create art that was inspired by another artist? This course is for you!
Studying Under The Masters III: There is a lost art of studying the works of others to find your own style. All of the “masters” were first apprentices.
Join six artists as we become the “apprentice”. Through discussion and technique videos, each artist will share their week with a “master”. (This will be the LAST ONE. So sign up while you still can.)
I signed up for The Living Studio Series: Join her for a FREE art video series! In The Living Studio you will have the opportunity to watch technique and medium videos from some of your favorite artists. Once a month you will learn what practices different artists use to make their art a daily practice and how they create their studio wherever they go.
You can find many more HERE.
So then there is this beauty. She has a yummy selection of bags and jewelry, but I am maybe just a little bit in love with this one! Check out more bags and other goodies HERE.
Connect with Jeanne Oliver on Pinterest, Facebook , Instagram, her shop and her blog!