About

Hello, my name is Jen and I live in Melbourne by the Yarra River with my family and  Ruby the Pugalier. I like to paint and make stuff, it makes me happy.

In 2009 I spent the year being ill. Hours passed dreaming in the winter sunshine, not completely unaccompanied though. An owl and it’s mate sat for days in our old apple tree. The three of us studied each other intently. Owls have become a symbol of life and hope for me and when I paint, I feel at peace, turning back to those dreaming reflective days when for the first time in years, I had time to be completely still. I think that calmness and sense of joy inhabit The Owl Paintings.

Recently, we moved from the suburbs into an apartment in an old silk spinning mill. I managed to bring with me lots of my vintage stash. I upcycle old blankets and linens to make stuffed animals and other little treasures which you can find here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/WinterOwls

Curiously, my boys are not excited by the above, but I would love to share them with you…

152 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Jen, I just stopped by to say thank you for ‘liking’ my post “Inspired by a Fellow Blogger.” I’m glad I came over because you have a beautiful blog. It’s such a peaceful space over here. Keep painting and sharing!

  2. I don’t think I have ever read your “about” page, but I’m certainly glad I did. Very happy you’re back to feeling good again and I am so thrilled to have found your blog – I adore owls and I love whimsy. Your blog is the perfect blend of both 🙂

  3. Thanks for stopping by my little corner means I get to discover all these fabulous blogs and stories all over the world. It’s been said umpteen times but, damn it, I am going to say it again, a lovely inspirational story. Well done for committing to virtual paper, as it were. I have a slightly similar story, not illness, but a great loss that has set me on a whole new path full of wondrous things.

    • Such lovely words, I’m so sorry to hear about your great loss. It sounds like though, that it has made you very resilient, which is what my breast cancer has done for me. There I’ve said it, I have been too scared to say what my illness was.

      I too am about to be set on a new path as my job teaching young adults with intellectual disabilities is about to go due to funding cuts. Your path is very inspiring 🙂

      • I’m not sure I would use the word resilient but you certainly are. It must have been awful for you but you know, saying it out loud always makes it better… or something like that, anyway! You’re a talented lady and even though cuts are a real bummer, you’ll make it all work perfectly. We’ll both be earning millions, soon, and still have enough time to collect the kiddos from school… Something I could never do as a teacher.

  4. Thank you for visiting my blog. I thought of your blog when I posted about the owl I found in the chicken coop — I’d just visited your blog for the first time the day before, after you liked another of my posts.

    You have a lovely blog, and your artwork is adorable. Thanks again!

  5. I will be blogging an owl post for you soon!! Your owls are soooo cute. I too have boys who have no interest whatsoever in my preoccupations and call me crazy regularly!! Love your dog too!! How did the ;stall go ? I am thinking of trying to sell some of my miniature books since I am creating a collection and have nowhere to keep them!

    • Oooh, an owl post, something to look forward to! My stall started off very slowly, no sales for two hours. I felt a bit down and I was in a poor position in a gloomy foyer. Luckily I had a lovely woman next to me, who wasn’t selling anything either, so we drank coffee together and chatted. But then we both sold something and continued to sell and the day ended up being worthwhile. The best thing was meeting other stall holders and getting lots of encouraging comments about my work from customers. I would love to see some of your books, do you have them on your blog? I have just opened an Etsy store(yesterday). Nothing has sold yet. Do you think you would put your books in markets, stores or an online store?

  6. Hi Jen,
    Nice winter owls you have there! They are my friends, for I am SoundEagle from Brisbane, and would love to welcome you and your owl friends as well as your family and Ruby the Pugalier to http://soundeagle.wordpress.com.

    On the 10th day of October 2012, SoundEagle would like to wish you all the best for the rest of the year.

  7. Thank you for stopping by my blog, An Attic in Brooklyn. I like yours! Have subscribed.
    Owls also are symbolic of wisdom. The Goddess Athena was often depicted with an owl.

    • Do you think it is their expressions and their forward facing eyes that made people think they are wise? Thank you for subscribing to my blog. I had a look at your family history blog and it is fascinating. It’s a bit like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces, researching family history. We only found out that my great grandfather had a whole other family before he married my great grandmother, at my grandfather’s funeral. I would love to know if he knew this, but probably never will…..

  8. Jennifer,
    I stopped by to see your artwork and say thanks for liking my post about Christina Bothwell. I am so very new to blogging, but hope to get better. Love your blog and will be following it…I also favorited your etsy shop. Such cute art. You and I are a lot alike in that we both love to use antique and vintage items in our work. Hope to stay in touch with you!
    Peace to your heart,
    Sara Windsor

    • I would love to stay in touch Sara! That has been the best thing about starting this blog, chatting with, and getting to know people who like similar things to me. Your jewellery is lovely. 🙂

  9. Jen – what a beautiful blog you have. Thank you for stopping in my Blog 3 Wishes Studio and liking my post Artsy Chick you Rock. I look forward to seeing what you are up to. Good health to you. Cheers! Kim

  10. In the culture of my youth the owl has long symbolized a guardian to guide one through the night. How fitting they came to sit at your side. Perhaps they were sent.
    I agree with Anna, you are sharing a beautiful blog. I am glad I found it, through Anna’s recommending it.

    • I think in modern life it’s too easy to forget how healing nature can be if we let it. I now take the time to fully appreciate it. Thank you for your comment on my story. I have been enjoying reading your blog.

  11. Love your owls and your art Jen. Wonderful story; everything happens for a reason and if we stay patient and strong, it makes us better. Take Care and keep up the good work.

  12. hi Jen – I used to live in Melbourne (one of my daughters was born there). For some of the Melbourne years – I lived in Ashburton where an owl took up residency across the street and hooted to me for months. Even before that I loved owls but since then, like magic, owls have appeared at every critical juncture in my life. Fully understand your owl-love!
    Lovely blog….
    Lindy

  13. Hi Jen , I love your owls,they’re really cool! and it’s nice to read your owl story – they are strangely symbolic and certainly have a presence about them.
    I’m not a city person, but if I had to live in a city – I would choose Melbourne , I’ve had some amazing times there. 🙂

      • I last visited, in 2008 for a month . I also spent a few months there in 2001 (blimey,that’s a long time ago!) and will surely return again sometime, when I can afford it!!

      • Yes 2001 is a long time ago when you think about it! It will be interesting if you find Melbourne much changed when you return, I think it’s got busier.

  14. I used to collect owls, as the Chinese say they are significant of wisdom, and it sounds like you have it in abundance! Was born in Melbourne, but have to live up north in the Sunshine state. Also have two boys who don’t share my passion for craft, so it is done mostly for friends and myself. I will check back again. I am glad to have found you.

    • Hello fellow Melbournian! (Once a Melbourne girl, always a Melbourne girl). It sounds like we have lots in common with our owl collection, uncrafty boys and birth city. I haven’t lived in the sunshine state but I love to visit it after Melbourne’s winter! Thank you for visiting my blog, I popped into yours and I love the mix of Australian and Scandinavian influences!

  15. Hi Jen! I just wanted to thank you for visiting my blog and liking my post! 🙂 I enjoyed visiting your blog and reading your story. Your owl illustrations are so very cute! I love them, and hope to see some more soon! 😉

    • Thank you, your New Year’s post was just so happy, I loved it! Thank you for liking my owls, I’ve had a little break from painting, so really must get my act together and paint some more soon.

      • Thank you for the compliment Jen! 🙂 And yes, as soon as the inspiration comes back, quick, quick, quick, we ( as in I’m sure all the people that follow you too) would like to see more of your lovely paintings and those adorable looking owls! 😉
        A bientôt! 😉
        Morgane

  16. Greetings Jen,
    I really enjoyed reading about your lovely story, it kind of reminded me of picking up a beautiful children’s book, and starting reading something that would prove to be very special indeed.
    God bless you

  17. Hi Jen,
    Developing a sense of calm and unity with nature does something for the soul. I am so very glad you took the time to visit my little blog and I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  18. Lovely blog, thank you for visiting mine! The owl challenge has continued all week, we’ve sewn a small toy one, drawn, coloured, collaged owls and now I have just read about your blog. Brilliant!

  19. Hi, I love your blog, beautiful art and you must really have a passion for owls. I am born in Germany, but live in Namibia (neighbor country of South Africa) since 1981, though Australia is one of the countries I want to visit someday, even if people say it is similar to our nature here in Namibia.
    Good Luck.
    Claudia

    • Hi Claudia, thank you for visiting my blog and for your lovely comment. My uncle and aunt live in Germany so I don’t get to see them very often. I’ve never been to anywhere in Africa but my parents in law have and they said it was absolutely beautiful. I hope you get to visit Australia one day, it is a big and very varied country.

  20. Thank you very much for taking the time to visit my blog and “liking” my “Melbourne’s White Night” post. As I’m new to this whole blogging experience, your visit is much appreciated. It also gave me a chance to check out your blog, and so far, I’m already in love with your “about” story.

  21. Pingback: GOT AN AWARD TODAY or I am glad you like my blog « DAILY LIFE IMPRESSIONS

  22. Hi, I’ve seen you around and not sure why I haven’t checked out your site until now, but I’m glad I did! Your art is wonderful and I like your about, AND that you have a furry friend! I had to look up what a pugalier is 🙂 The fact that you teach those with challenges alone makes you A-OK in my book 🙂 I look forward to following your blog. All the best ~Scott

    • Hi Scott, thank you for following my blog. It’s funny that you mention you’ve seen me around but hadn’t checked out my blog yet, I just thought the same thing about you! I loved reading about your artistic journey so far and am looking forward to seeing more of it 🙂

  23. I would like to say I love your blog and the wonderful and beautiful things you share as well as the inspiration and smiles you bring in doing so! Thank you for being you and I hope even if you do not accept awards you will accept the sentiment expressed as I honor you with one. There is no prize that comes with the award other than my appreciation and being grateful you are part of our world and making a difference by sharing in such a positive way…
    I have posted the award and link to it here I hope you will accept it or at least the sentiment behind it! http://artisticlyxpressedthoughts.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/awards-and-shared-gifts/

    With love,
    Joe

  24. I just found you through Etsy, you liked a treasury of mine. I love your work especially the green wombat. I had a fright the other night, there were all these huge moths taping at the window because of my lamp, and then there was a huge bang on the window. It was a powerful Owl eating the moths!! I thought it was the boogie man!! Love your owls and your blog yvette

    • So pleased it wasn’t actually the Boogie man banging on your window! How lucky you were to have a powerful owl come to visit instead. Thank you for coming to visit me. I just went to your blog and I see you are a fellow nature and bird lover, your photographs and ceramics are lovely…

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