Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My book, "Visionary Landscapes," featuring Drawings from the Genesis Collection.

Front cover of Volume 1 edition of Visionary LandscapesDear Collectors, friends, and first time visitors,

If you're already aware, Visionary Landscapes, the long awaited coffee table style book featuring thirty-one hand selected master drawings from my Genesis Collection, has been published for quite sometime. We are proud to offer the world this 160 page full color published book through the independent publishing source, Lulu. Our vision for this exclusive volume edition was to have a high end collector style book that features many drawings from my chess, anatomy, mind, spiritual, and abstract collections. We decided on a 7.5"X7.5" format that is suitable for many table styles including most coffee table settings. We have published this through my publishing division at Imaginative Pencil called Imaginative Pencil Publishing. You can visit the storefront for our publishing division at Imaginative Pencil Publishing

Back cover of volume 1 edition of Visionary LandscapesVisionary Landscapes fuses the insights, critiques, and reviews from various artists, critics, and scholars from all over the world with the intimate perspectives of each work by myself. We collected numerous sources from around the world with regard to my style and approach and organized the book in such a way as to portray each drawing from various perspectives. The goal of this exclusive edition is to give hidden insights that would otherwise go unnoticed by many viewers and create a collection of reviews and critiques by selected artists and scholars with a large portion of the deeper understanding coming from myself. I want each reader to explore this large selection of drawings that span many of my collections and to become more aware of what I am trying to achieve both in meaning and message. My hope is that readers will be rewarded with not only the secrets of how I came to certain conclusions and how I achieved them and why, but essentially the core meaning of each work will be revealed in the simplest terms by showing each drawing as a separate analysis within the overall meaning of the book. The intimacy of the book centers on my deep critiques and viewpoints of each drawing featured which gives the reader access to me on a more personal level like I am in front of them explaining each work.

Book Preface

This first volume will approach the latest drawings from the studio of award-winning artist Justin Jenkins with a fresh and insightful point of view. With the help of the artist, we have compiled a small volume that will contain thirty of his most recent drawings taken from five unique collections. The artist will give us his insight into each work of art and the hidden meanings behind the symbolism's and objectivity that lie beneath the color and forms.

This book attempts to give viewers, collectors, scholars, and historians an ambitious and fresh examination into the mind, soul, and overall vision of the artist. We have collected various critics, essays, and feedback from numerous people about the approach and style of artist Justin Jenkins and organized it in the pages ahead along with a gallery of works. We hope this book will give each reader a broader understanding of what the artist is trying to accomplish within the bold shapes, twisting forms, and surreal settings. We also want to shed light on the message his work tries to convey to the world.

Now that you have a basic understanding of what this book will attempt to accomplish, let’s begin our journey and exploration into the surreal, visionary, and inventive world that lies deep in the corridors of the artist’s mind with the hope of finding the truth and inspiration behind his style.

Imaginative Pencil Publishing came to Lulu because the company wanted to be in control of the publishing process and found Lulu’s print-on-demand tools to be fast, easy and, most importantly, free. Visionary Landscapes is available for purchase at Lulu, in a marketplace filled with other unique and wonderful surprises. Independent publishing and print-on-demand is the wave of the future, and the future is now. The Lulu process allows me to cut out the middle man (i.e. a separate publisher) and get my work out there the way I want it. My book, Visionary Landscapes, is much like Lulu itself  - it puts control of my destiny in my own hands.


Imaginative Pencil is a company I founded in 2004 that specializes in the sale, distribution, and exhibition of my surreal pencil art.

Justin Michael Jenkins was born in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. to George and Carole Jenkins. Besides his professional status as a full time artist, he is also a writer, designer, and webmaster. His hobbies include studying the game of chess and collecting Civil War memorabilia.


Founded in 2002, Lulu is the world’s fastest-growing print-on-demand marketplace for digital do-it-yourselfers. Please see for more information.
For more information about selling this book in stores or to order a copy for yourself, please visit our book website at Lulu or contact Michael Retla at publishing or call 1-304-376-0762.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Mysterious Landscape of the Mind depicted in My Surreal Drawings

The dark and mysterious caverns within the mind lead us on a scientific journey that always reveals a new treasure or wonder that we stumble onto. With the addition of new technology and cutting edge mental practices our exploration has been more revealing and our findings become ever more interesting and promising. This complex and splendid terrain within our mind has been compartmentalized in many ways and has been labeled such things as the subconscious, conscious, and unconscious realms of this smooth, bumpy, and unknown landscape. The bridge between our mind and the structure of the universe and life here on earth is a connection that could lead to humanity tapping into unknown reserves of mental powers. This inspiring notion has also been the catalyst for various depictions of this unknown world and its connection to the scientific laws of the universe in many mediums. Many artists have challenged this notion and set out to visually explore this connection and the inner mind, both on personal level and universal level, in their approach to their style of art in whatever medium they choose. I personally find this vast landscape to be a worthwhile journey into the deepest caverns of our mind and through my own psychological terrain and the familiar mountains of known study of the human mind, I wanted to reveal some facets of this amazing and powerful source of infinite potential in visual form.

With that in mind, I have compiled a collection of dynamic, surreal, and symbolic drawings using my analytical and surreal approach in an attempt to reveal some fascinating worlds that I have created from the various scientific, biological, and psychological studies. I wanted to combine my personal journey through my own internal structure that has been sculpted over the years from my own experiences and fuse that with humanities universal knowledge of this mysterious world to create twelve colorful works of art. I approach these questions by asking what the link is between the capability of the mind and our forward progression here on earth both in industry and in the materialized world. I have featured a few examples of the end result of my visual exploration within this article to give you an idea of the various angles in which I approached this collection. Each angle was viewed with a different point of view and unique idea in mind so the journey could be explored on many avenues as opposed to just one road.

The first example at the top of this page, "The Ripening of a Lucid Psyche", explores the relationship between the beauty, poetry, and subtle forces of nature and the link to high creativity within the mind of humanity. I wanted to fuse both worlds and did so by representing the heads as flower pot structures where the beauty and majesty of nature would grow and sprout. The second example, "Supererogatory Cognizance", explores the invisible scientific properties of energy transference between a crowd of people and between a few people. Within this work, each face has a unique personality yet all our tied and fused together by the collective energy of their minds and the activity on a supernatural level between the force within their minds and the harmonic structure of the universe. The third example on the left, "The Esoteric Force of Molecular Mentality", explores the molecular and biological power of the mind and this hidden source of infinite growth within all of us. I decided on shell like heads to open and create repetitive effects that symbolize this collective consciousness that we all share and that tie us all together on earth. The orbs of light within these heads represent the seeds of this unknown collective power that will soon grow and plant themselves among us all to sprout and eventually fill our souls and minds.

I hope you enjoyed this drawing collection based on the mind.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Compelling Dynamic of the Human Body in Relation to Life and the Universe

About five years ago i set sail on a voyage through the deepest caverns of the human body and plunged forward into a world of immense mechanical construction through late night study in my home studio and laboratory/office. The forms, shapes, and various parts of the human body and anatomical structure that i began to discover on my voyage began to remind me of various structures we see in everyday life. I began to clearly see this connection between the human body and how it works like a machine and its connection with the complex interactions and workings of life on earth. Even before this journey , i planned my study around the ultimate goal of achieving a collection of anatomical drawings that represented the amazing complexity of the human anatomy and body in relation to our life. I knew this would take me deep into the mysterious corridors of the body and every detail would have to be considered. These small intricate details that possess the human body would eventually lead me through many doors and vivid insights and correlations that would shape the nucleus of my drawing collection using human anatomy but ultimately incorporate the human body and life in unison.

"Accommodating the Inner Facade"
 Justin Michael Jenkins

When i started the collection of twelve anatomical drawings in color after intense study of the human body, i began to immediately fuse objectivity with the internal structure creating mirrored illusions of what are made up of with what me actually create from our finished product as human beings. In "Accommodating the Inner Facade" (shown left), I created a room from the inner structure of the human head and skull along with tendons and muscle. The actual inner and outer parts of the head become an invitation to reside among it as a way of connecting the outside world. I wanted to elevate the human body out of the realm of the obvious distaste we sometimes have for our own tendons, muscles, veins, etc., and see this glorious creation as a mechanical masterpiece that relates to the outside world. If we turn our bodies inside out and study the entire process of how it functions, we would find a lot of the various parts and cellular structures have a certain resemblance to life and the objects around us. I wanted to reflect this connection in my surreal interpretations using bold color and symbolisms. 

My Anatomy Art Drawing Collection is my visual answer to the beauty and intrigue of the human body and the masterpiece our creator designed and its overall relationship with the bigger picture and dynamic of the universe and life. More importantly, the way the human body regenerates and adapts to certain circumstances both on the outside and inside leaves me bewildered and amazed. We all need to appreciate our brains, heart, lungs, and every organ right down to the cells that keep us alive and moving. In the end, i hope everyone appreciates the amazing beauty we possess within us and hopefully as a collective whole we can learn to use the bodies complex inner mechanics and somehow incorporate that into our daily life and life on earth.


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Stay True to your Own Unique Path and Style.

"The Anatomization of the Laws of Chess" from my
Chess Art Drawing Collection.
Nothing important in this world ever took shape without a little risk involved. The same holds true for an artist who searches deep within and explores the heights of their personal visions. However risky and crazy these visions may be to the outside world, no worthwhile and innovative break through has taken place without someone taking a complete nose dive off the cliff of what is considered normal and plunging head first into a deep ocean of unknown ground and darkness. If they survive, they will have a great story to tell and the inspiration and courage gained from it is priceless. When I sit down to create a work of art, the thought of creating work for someone else rather than my own unique vision of the world never crosses my mind. I have never considered compromising my artistic integrity for the sake of what could be more popular or what could be considered the "trend" of the day. I believe if you stick to your style and remain true to yourself, the rewards will far outweigh the risks!

If we look at past artist's who have struggled to make a big difference in terms of their art surviving the test of time, a consistent trend seems to be these figures in art stayed the course with their approach, even in the face of critical adversity, whether friendly or worldly. Some examples that pop into my mind are Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, where at the time, his approach was considered radical to a degree and the immense complexity of color and forms dancing around the ceiling made way for one of the most influential works of art ever created. I also recall the struggle Pissaro went through (and the impressionists), where his pointillist technique never caught any attention at first, even though he had children to feed and became poor for a while, he sacrificed because he believed in himself and his vision so much (some to this day still are in criticism of the way he handled that with children - i will share my opinion at a later time). His technique and paintings, after years of struggle and enduring poverty, finally became an overnight sensation and he was rewarded with financial freedom and security beyond his imagination.

The moral of this story, in my opinion, is that the norms of society will gravitate their opinions toward that center nucleus based on what they have perceived through mass marketing channels and through their own sense of understanding. A majority of people (this may be changing now) share the same core ideas of what is considered normal and acceptable and these beliefs tend to shape our reaction to certain styles and approaches by various artists and in every industry. Easily recognizable objects will always take precedence over abstract forms by the majority due to the fact that our senses have been socially and biologically constructed over the course of evolution to gravitate towards these recognized forms and it pleases our senses much more easily. Abstract forms that are broken down into dynamic reflections of the underlying scientific properties challenges people on much deeper levels and for those who aren't the cerebral types, this could be the end of a new beginning in their search for the truth.
One of my abstract drawings compared to my equine portrait drawing.

Whether you are an artist who loves landscapes and portraits, or an artist who likes a more surreal or abstract bend to reality, both approaches have concrete messages and challenge us on different sensory levels. The common denominator for all artists is the emotion and intuitive feeling we all put into our creation, regardless if its recognizable or not. But in the end, are you challenging yourself enough to break free of the limitations and demands of society and peers to create work that speaks to your vision or work that meets you halfway between what is expected and what you expect. We all have something unique to offer as creative beings, so why not explore your own independent way of thinking and seeing the world without worrying about what others will think or say. Set yourself free of those limitations and you will find a world inside you screaming to swim around in the darkest confines of your imagination. Let your mind, spirit, and soul take that plunge from the cliff of expectations and plunge into the unknown. Go to the deepest levels of your ability until you there is no more room to swim around. Just remember, the ocean is vast and exploring even the darkest areas of your imagination could take a lifetime. Have fun on your journey and I hope you find the heights of inspiration.

Justin ~~~

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Creation of the Universe Parrallels the Creative Process

"Pulsating Ripples of Cosmic Gray Matter"
from my Mind Drawing Collection. 
For the longest time, i have been under the impression that abstract and dynamic composition begins with many approaches that could be seen as parallel to when the universe and life was created long ago. Many theories related to the beginnings of life and our world we inhabit now are linked to organized chaos (Big Bang) where chance , probability, and many invisible particles all came together at the right lace at the right time and synchronized into what we call Earth and the Milky Way Galaxy. This process, although devoid of any human intervention, can be a symbolic representation of how we all create and the entire process we go through. Every artist experiences this zen like state of focus where they contend with a flood of feeling, emotion, and the flow of color and form. When we stumble onto breakthrough moments where we are in sync with everything filtering into our minds, heart, and soul, it allows us to create a work of art that goes beyond our control into the unknown and transcends our world.

When i begin a new work of art, mainly my abstracts, i attempt to view the entire subject matter as how it would be perceived under the scope of a complex Kaliedescopic x-ray machine. The challenge lies in actually perceiving these small particles of matter that actually create the physical entity that is before me and fusing these particles into harmonious patterns that reflect geometric foundations that parallel the universe and its foundations. When i approach this idea from many angles, i also have to maintain the integrity of the overall composition and the color patterns within it while creating the dynamic from the objects underlying foundation. The entire process is a flood of color, shape, and forms that filter in and become reworked within my mind sort of like the Big Bang theory of creation where everything becomes unified and analyzed like putting a puzzle together.

The complexity of abstract art (even surreal art) and the ideas behind a piece are very unique to each individual abstract artist. Some artists choose geometric simplicity, while others , like myself, use geometry within the framework of the overall dynamic and design. Much like the intuitive self reactive and creative tendencies that took place long ago in creating the universe, the creation of abstract art also takes on this recognized energy and technique. As an artist works and becomes more and more engaged within the composition, eventually an outside force of unexplainable magnitude and guidance will begin to assist on a cosmic and intuitive level helping the artist fuse all the ideas into one. Just like the universe probably at a certain phase became self creative and everything began working together collectively to expand, the work of an artist also takes on these fundamental characteristics that ultimately lead to transcendence and a connection with the mechanics of the universe.

Whether you are a portrait artist or abstract artist on the most complex and cerebral levels, we all have one thing that we share as artists. The process of creating involves basic understanding of space, form, color, and the challenge of putting all these together into a unified and harmonious composition. This requires analysation and understanding of these elements together and processing them all at once while forming a work is very similar to the scientific laws of the universe and the magic that takes place to create such worlds. While we work to create and make all the color and forms work together, we are also relying on our intuition and feeling to achieve a desired result from all these. The magic starts when our process exceeds the reality we intended and everything comes together and flows without our total control. This is perhaps the most amazing part of being an artist as we explore the unknown and tap into spiritual territories that we cannot explain.

Justin ~~~

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Essential Tips & Advice for Artist's

On my website i give a number of tips that i used when i started my goal of 144 works in 12 collections back in 2004. Before i started this journey, i decided to keep all the works the same dimensions using the same medium (pencil), and to do them in a series of twelve works. Being the obsessive compulsive person i am (i'm less like that now), i even had to have one of the works be horizontal, although you may want to do 6 horizontal and 6 vertical pieces if you choose to follow my advice. I chose twelve because of the potential to have a promotional calendar and because the number 144 (12 works in 12 collections) is a spiritual number of great importance and power in the bible. I also have had a fascination with that number since childhood so it was important for me personally to use it here for my Genesis Collection. Below is the basic principles i set for myself as i worked on my goal beginning with my chess series of drawings.

Approach Your Work In A Series

Start to spend time doing your works in a series. Begin your work with a vision in mind. To make this easier, sit down and think of a favorite topic then begin a series of work based around your unique approach. This series can be 6 works or 12 works or more, but make it at least 3-5. This way you can develop deeper into your intended and chosen subject matter. From experience, I found that the more I progressed into the art series, the better the works got and more ideas seemed to come from no where. Working in a series also is a good way to stay focused and motivated and you enjoy the work because you are tackling a subject that interests you. Creating great art should also be tackled with a plan in mind. This doesn't mean you have to plan every little detail because when I work ideas flow from me and I have no creative constraints throughout the process. Working in a series also helps you market the entire collection as a package in the form of prints, calendars, and if you think about it there are 12 months a year which is ideal for a full promotional calendar. Try this approach and see what happens.

Look at the Subject with a Child's Perspective

This may seem odd when you first hear it, but start looking at the world from a child's perspective. As we grow older, even adults find it difficult to look at life and reality in a playful way, thus they remain stuck or become a bit "narrow minded" or "set" in their ways and perceptions. Perhaps that is why it makes it more difficult for us to understand our own children at times (:. In order to unleash your full creative power you must let yourself go or free yourself of the constraints of reality and adult issues to tap into the well of resources of creativity. The key to this is to approach your work more loosely and let yourself float into the work rather than forcing the work to come the way you want it. Also, when you have fun and let all the critical voices inside you take over (as adults we sometimes can't help this), you will find that the heights of your creative powers will flow through you and guide you throughout the creation. This will give you the best chance at producing your best work at that particular moment.

Look at Reality Differently

Start with a simple subject matter like a face of a person, then begin to look at that object much differently. For instance, when you look at a face you notice the eyes, nose and mouth, take these objects that make up the whole object (face) and begin to find a way to relate these objects to one another through a visual perspective. Maybe approach the whole of the face as a dark galaxy while the mouth, nose and eyes become planets forming the face. Begin to look at reality as a playground awaiting your minds activity in and around it. Start looking at forms in reality as a playground for your experimental mind and you will begin to become inspired by how much versatility there is in our world. The world is only as concrete as you perceive it and it can be as elastic as you want. I find that everything is connected in some way and this can be a great starting point for your work. If you are a portrait artist or like reality, try different techniques and interesting ideas that deviate from your usual point of view. Try something new and fresh and see what happens. Does it make you feel more free? Does it inspire you try and explore new territory? Was it difficult or easy for you to change your plan of attack? These questions will be answered and you may end up revitalizing your creative powers that were dormant for a while.

I hope these small yet essential tips from my studio to yours will help you in some small or large way. Maybe something you read here will spark a light bulb of interest within you and make you try something new that you were afraid to attempt. I hope you all benefit and nothing is more rewarding than seeing other artist reach the full potential of creativity and most importantly, have fun doing it.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Passion for Creating Started Early

When I was a young boy, I fantasized about becoming an artist. I would spend some afternoons resting on my bed drifting away into thoughts of painting and drawing at an older age. I would envision myself as a successful artist later in life and a warm smile would come over my face. The idea of taking an imaginative thought in my mind and turning it into a reality was very exciting to me and left me with a chill down my spine. I looked forward to the days my father was home so he could instruct me on how to draw and paint. I grew up around many artistic family members who were creative, both in art and music. This gave me insight into the process and inspired me at a young age to think and communicate freely. It was a blessing to be part of such a happy environment where you could communicate your feelings, thoughts, and desires without any judgment or criticism. I eventually gained more confidence in my abilities and the experience reinforced a positive attitude for creating. Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, it was establishing a strong foundation of support that led me to designing and creating my entire life.

As I grew older and enrolled in college, I continued pursuing art through school. The experience led me to turn inward and explore the avenues and opportunities awaiting my every move. Eventually, I learned more about myself and what satisfied my internal need to communicate visually. The knowledge and skill I acquired throughout the years eventually led me down a path that strengthened my art foundations. With computers on the rise and an age of media on the verge of expanding, combining art and technology was the wave of the future, in my opinion. The idea of creating visual messages that impacted an audience and the challenges associated with this field really enticed me. I knew from a young age around my family of creative thinkers that I would one day seek a path into an artistic field for my career. It was only a matter of searching and finding exactly what path I should take. I wanted to make a difference in the future and use my unique skills to help others. As I grew into this idea, I slowly began to find various resources within me that were more business related. The enjoyment of taking an idea for a business and packaging it into a unique concept began to seduce me.

This was a crucial moment in development where I began to envision myself creating a studio / business that would center around my unique style of work. The challenge of running a successful studio for clients appealed to both sides of me; the artist and business minded individual. The rewards of having a company based around my passion was a thrilling proposition, and one that was too strong to ignore. Being able to help others realize their own visions for their concepts was a path that would have many obstacles, but the rewards would be great. Envisioning a smile on a client’s face after completing a commissioned project from its inception to the end, while supporting myself, always gave me the inner inspiration to stay on my path in moments of doubt. We all encounter road blocks and moments where our talents become lost in the grand scheme of life, and these moments are what define us. They test our passion and commitment to our chosen path. Fortunately for me, my passion for creating runs deep so these brief moments of insecurity only reinforce my belief in my visions and give me more hope for a brighter future.

The one thing that stands out to me about a career in art is that no matter how hard it gets, the feeling of being able to create something so beautiful that inspires someone or makes them laugh or cry is immeasurable. The lift your spirit gets from helping another person gain insight into themselves or enlighten them to change something in their immediate world only reinforces my confidence in this career choice. It makes all the hard work and sacrifice look easy in the end. The process, from start to finish, challenges my mind, heart, and soul on the deepest levels and satisfies all my requirements for a rewarding and limitless career. My mind is always stimulated, my heart is fulfilled, and my soul and spirit are nourished by the ability to communicate freely. In my opinion, that is the path to finding myself and completing my existence on earth.

Without the ability to create, I believe I would feel lost and a void would occupy my heart and soul. Choosing a career that essentially fulfills my every need is like living each day as if I was a child swinging and playing in a colorful playground. There are the usual pressures we all encounter in our chosen career path. We all experience these fundamental deadlines and goals. The freedoms to create what a client wants and bring an imaginative thought into fruition only plants more seeds that will eventually blossom. These beautiful creations will create a field of colorful opportunities that I can only imagine around the corner. It is a career path that I was fortunate enough to realize at a young age thanks to my nurturing family. I still think about the next creation and what inspiring moment I will share with a client or the canvas I am painting on. This keeps me at peace and waking up each day ready for the next challenge. It is the spark that ignites the inner flame within me and keeps me feeling young every day.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Redefining Reality: Looking at the World from an Artists Unique Perspective

When we look inside and around our everyday world we inhabit, we perceive our reality as exactly the way we intend to observe it; as identifiable objects that have certain colors and appearances which our senses have already adjusted to the condition of reality as we intended to relate to it. Therefore, we are somewhat limited to understanding what exactly it is that makes us a living organism capable of seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting, and just plain existing. Understanding the dynamics and energy that create what we are and what we perceive as reality requires analyzation, dissection, and a "scientific" approach to reality and objectivity.

One of the unique ways we can strip away everyday reality as we perceive it is through a unique visualization of life. Approaching reality from "outside" the box enables one to look at the world much differently than perhaps someone who is overly engaged in the day to day happenings we equate with living. Much to often we see everyone running or racing around to get more accomplished yet never stop to take a deep breath and really absorb their situation or the situations around them. To this majority, life is a microcosmic world they have boxed themselves into in order to focus on their priorities. This leaves some of these individuals falling further behind in their perception of the big picture and wisdom of seeing all.

Visualizing the world from outside the box is a trait that is distinctively inborn in many artists and creative souls. Artists seem to have a much more liberated bent on the everyday happenings of a controlled, almost "robotic" systematic culture and system that cherishes time deadlines, routine habits, mass influened trends, and a need to somewhat compare one another based on the "norm" of everyday expectations. These cultural traits, although somehwat strong in their orderliness and which have some positive characteristics, seem to restrict one from understanding the complexities of life and the overall picture that involves each and every one of us. This picture or portrait of our place in the universe with all its underlying complexity and science seems to be only image deep, without much emphasis on how it was painted or with what materials and why. The artist strives to understand how the picture was created, why it was created, when it was created, and how it was created, leaving his perception of the global picture as a multi-layered observation from the inward to the outward, as opposed to the natural instinct and cultural norm or perceiving things outwardly at first then slowly to the inward truth. This reversed excavation only strengthens our spirits and leaves us fulfilled knowing that we strive to understand, and on many occasions, understand what we are made up of or what we were painted with.

Redefining our bent on reality means going to the core of our existence and truly understanding our relationship with one another. An artist takes a human face or person in a worldy setting, then begins to create dynamic interplays of color and form fusing the setting with the human person as if he "observes" everything that is in the picture box, not just the person at face value. The end result is a picture that is unique to reality because the artist did not focus on one particular object but noticed and observed all the objects. This gives the artist a much broader interpretation of the total environment he was observing and painting. His brush strokes or pencil strokes become unified and woven fusions of observational studies that collide with each other creating a harmonious display of color, form, and the interlocking "marriage" of both these major elements so important to the reality we perceive from the human eye. This exploratory result then propels our reality to another level of consideration that demands the respect of every part of our known world or planet, emphasizing that the macrocosmic machine known as earth is an end result of the relationship and interplays of the microcosmic human beings, animals, and countless variety of planets and organisms that inherit this earth.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Geometric Structures of Chess as a Catalyst for Creative Composition

Ever since i was old enough to recognize the names of each piece, i have been naturally drawn to the game of chess for many reasons. This particular game, above all others, was exactly what i would gravitate to in a most curious way as a child living in upstate New York. Something about this game kept me searching for more as my mind raced with a curious fascination into the myriad of geometric structures and unique principles that, to me, seemed almost perfectly in harmony with life and the universe itself.

As i learned the unique laws of each unique piece, i quickly realized that the game could present each player with an infinite number of possibilities and the resulting outcome of these, when both sides clashed, could pave the way for fascinating structural combinations that got even deeper as the game progressed. These perplexities almost seemed to create an insatiable hunger that my mind could never satisfy and thus began my journey into the study of this game and the resulting inspiration that would be the ultimate catalyst for many of my most intriguing works of art.

As i grew older and approached my teen years, the game became a primal hobby that would assist me in my studies as an artist. I quickly and naturally relied on the game as a core foundation for the various structure associations that i was drawn too as i worked on my abstract and surreal style of art. Studying the various counter angles, attacks, and tactical strategies that consumed my thoughts created an immense amount of bottled up analytical inspirations that screamed for a release. My mind was always of the cerebral sorts and would go to the extremes of analyzation and feeding this elemental nature within by using the game of chess built up heavy reserves of creative forces that were transferred outward through my art. The game was essentially providing the resources for the analytical foundations within my mind and creating a supply and demand of inspiration that had no choice but to be expressed in a human way.

Being that i was a creative soul as soon as i was born, finding the game of chess was like finding that mysterious muse that has benefited me my entire life and has created interesting glimpses into mathematical worlds that are very closely related to the creation of life and to the creation of a new work of art. One of the many reasons i have so much passion for creating is that it somehow makes my analytical mind feel at home in a safe place where i know i belong. It challenges me to balance certain areas and find interesting ways of fusing inner and outer realities that are in absolute harmony with one another. The game of chess, which i have found through years of research and study, gives creation a certain blueprint that can manifest in so many fascinating ways like the uniqueness of each galaxy within the universe. The infinite opening, middle, and end games that blossom from each move on both sides ultimately create distinct patterns that mirror the patterns of movement and structure of life on earth.

 Just like a pawn attacking a knight creates a urgent response that also changes the forward structure and pattern of the game, splitting an object in half within a composition can also create an infinite number of possibilities to an artist both in objective and color applications. When two opposing forces collide in the middle of the board you can see the blending of two colors and objects as various pathways and mathematical posibilities begin to take shape. The microsmic patterns of one side begin to cross react with the patterns of the other and begin to unify themselves in forming this systematic melding of two minds at work. The interesting thing is, as the opposing thoughts of two players try to attack and defeat the king of each opposing player, an almost intuitive and harmonious fusion of analytical ideas begin to transcend each others own unique strategy and create one larger creative force which mimicks the act of artistic creation. As the artist adds more color, lines, and form, the work as a whole begins to take on a life of its own that is somewhat outside of his or hers personal control. The work begins to create itself like a cosmic machine and everything works in synchronicity in a grand display of supernatural energy that parrallels this inherent end result within a game of chess.

The act of creation guided by one artist or a game of chess played by two players each has its own unique structural outcome that comes to a climactic crescendo in which an outside force inevitably begins to assist in the mechanical and systematic flow of the creation by the creator or creators. The game of chess provides essential clues and outcomes within the microcosmic strategies of both sides that translate into a macrocosmic fusion that transcends the mathematical laws of reality. A sublime and poetic state of motion and harmonic structure becomes more than the game and the players. This transcendence that goes beyond analytical structures and probabilities becomes an inspirational catalyst for creation and has been my trusted muse for many years as an artist.

To view my chess art collection please visit here:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Why color is important to my style of work.

Detail from my pencil work
"The Orchestration of Metaphysical Motion"
Color has always been a natural part of my creations. Like the blood that flows through my veins, color is my way of showing the vibrancy of the spirit and the magical dance of the universe. I see color as not only the underlying spirit of our existence, but the passion and rhythm of the forces of nature that we all respond too.

When I sit down to create a work of art, the structure of the composition becomes a critical component of my analysis of the subject i'm creating. As the work progresses, color becomes a unified part of this creation and symbolizes the grand beauty of life in all its majesty and divine inspiration. For me, color can be a dance across the shapes and forms like the musical tones of a song. It unifies everything and creates a harmonic exploration that is balanced between the communication of shapes and forms. It becomes a separate level of magic and movement as I begin to weave it into the work. Representing objects at face value is not enough, the color needs to transform and become its own agent of change in order for the piece to vibrate on that subtle flow of space. My exploration into the effects of colors together also play a vital role in communicating a response with the viewer in relation to the objective reality of the forms. Certain colors provide a psychological and emotional feeling that accentuates the work into a new level of divine intervention. I want the piece to not only make one think, but to feel the passion and spirit of the overall idea and subject. I want the work to elevate itself beyond reality and color provides a way of transcending the obvious into another world of magical and intuitive inspiration.

A world of magical beauty and imagination is the ultimate goal with my works. I find my soul and spirit naturally gravitate to color for the pure majesty of it. My heart, soul, and spirit flows through the various colors as I feel the beauty grow and manifest throughout the work as my mind remains the filter through which the application becomes analyzed and applied with harmony and flow through a unified dance. I want the color to be balanced as the motion becomes fluid like a group dance where everyone is playing their part and the whole becomes the power of the entire structure. I will continue to embrace color, analyze it, and experiment with it using both my mind and spirit in a fusion of logic and intuition. It feeds my soul, inspires my spirit, and tickles my mind.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Creative Process: The Harmony of Mind, Spirit, Soul, and Heart.

When i'm approaching the beginning of the day to start a new work, the wheels in my mind are already churning out possible solutions to the underlying theme i have already chosen as the subject. I am collectively pondering ideas to begin my work with and from where branches of other ideas will manifest and flow from that initial seed. These seeds are what usually become small ideas like a facial expression in the middle or an object (symbolism) that relates to the surreal vision I have however unclear it may be at the time. These ideas normally start forming days before the studio work day starts. M y inspiration for each work comes from my interest and passion for each subject. I choose subject matter that speaks to me and my heart and one that I have knowledge about.

I have always equated this process to that of a scientist who is collectively beginning to experiment and pondering tests and ideas that will ultimately end up with a solution and end result to the creative question at hand. My process is very formulated and consistent and rarely changes for each work. I sharpen all my pencils to a razor thin point then once the pencil hits the paper the fusion of senses and powers begin to unravel and lock me into the process. This focus is something I can only explain as a zen experience where my mind, spirit, heart, and soul all work in harmony to slowly build on the planted seed. As the work progresses, ideas will filter inward through my mind, and the feeling through my soul as my spirit channels the energy into a collective power that attempts to transcend the ideas and actual application on paper to something more. It is a very enthralling experience when things are clicking and when they are not exactly working perfectly, the struggles can be great, but working through them only leads to the creative light at the end of a dark unclear tunnel of doubt and frustration. I enjoy this perhaps the most about creating art as the challenges have always left me understanding that every obstacle has a solution. I have grown to welcome it and embrace this as the required process to reach the final vision on the paper from the beginning seed of life. As the seed sprouts and ideas flow, I can imagine a tree growing and eventually the leaves blossom and the collective beauty of the tree is finalized through a natural process.

For those of you out there who are creative souls that lead your own personal journeys with your own unique methods of navigation, the process of creating is our most valuable treasure and drives us further on our voyage into the unknown. We should never take this for granted as it not only feeds our inspirations, but it challenges us in unique ways that strengthen our resolve to find solutions to challenging creative problems. In the end, the process all balances out and leaves our final vision the end result of the struggles and inspiration that made it possible.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Featured Drawing: "The Gyrating Vigor of Carnal Sustenance"

I want to first start off by saying that I want viewers of my work to be open minded and form any opinions they want and if they see something that speaks to them and they form a conclusion from it, that makes me very satisfied as an artist. Keep in mind that although I do feel that all art should be open to interpretation in some form or another, I do set out to complete a work that is based on a story, theme, or underlying premise that guides me and inspires me to manifest the symbolism's and objectivity throughout the work. There is a collective reasoning behind the flow and organized surreal chaos in a lot of my drawings from the Genesis Collection.

In this drawing, my underlying theme was man and animals reliance on one another. I want to somehow fuse man and animal in a way that showed various connective symbolism's and how we are all connected spiritually and rely on one another to make the world function smoothly. In my mind, a
carousel type feel like a merry-go-round came to mind where a horse would be made up of faces joining together in solidarity as the pole slices down the composition and circular platform divided the separate planes at the bottom of the work. The pole actually is used in two ways to fuse man and animal together (as a cane with hands on it and a carousel pole.) I made the horse shown in various positions (upright and down like it is eating grass) with faces and hands interconnecting the horses body and composition. Blue and red is used t harmoniously intertwine the symbolism's together. The overall result was a very multifaceted analysis and surreal representation of what I envisioned in my mind throughout the work as it progressed.

This original drawing is available for purchase for any serious buyers or collectors interested. Contact me through blogger or you can view my on twitter at @jjenkinsartist 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Which are my favorite art mediums and why?

There was a time in my life when I transitioned to acrylic paints to create my first paintings. I was fresh out of college and beginning my personal journey exploring my own style without the limits of a classroom environment and cookie cutter classes. Acrylic paints offered a more precise and easier application for me and one I could get sharp details with. My paintings evolved to a point where they were complicated and saturated with lots of detail. My style became very complex with small worlds within other worlds. After a while, it took me months to finish one painting spending thousands of hours on one complete work. I still enjoy acrylics for their precision, but over the course of the last 10 years have moved back to pencil to manifest my visions from my mind onto paper or board.

Moving to pencil as my main source of medium was a smooth transition that felt right to me. Pencil is my medium. It is like finding that perfect shirt or pair of pants that actually accentuates my figure and makes me look better. I love precise details in my work and colored pencil has given me that control. I prefer Berol Prismacolors for their buttery soft consistency and using the white pencil as a blending tool gives you a rich matte finish like a painting. I have used pencils so much the last 10 years they have become "one" with my arm and body. They are an extension of my overall creativity and process. The ideas flow from my mind through my arm and the pencil moves like auto pilot without too much effort. I have confidence in my knowledge and control of them. It empowers me to reach new heights and explore even more conceptual approaches.

The smell of freshly sharpened pencils and the broken lead puts my mind into a creative trance of euphoric pleasure. The only thing to come close to that feeling is a freshly brewed coffee when I awake. I will continue on my journey wielding my colorful pencils that look like a beautiful garden waiting to blossom and continue to wonder what they will produce next.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Advice I have for someone who wants to learn to better appreciate visual arts?

Visual Arts allows a person to explore their own inner personality and ideas on the world through their shared visions. It is a personal journey that has a tremendous value on society and our world. It opens doors to unknown territories that the human mind, spirit, and soul need to explore. We all live in a world where rules, conventional laws, and a blueprinted series of routine chores seem to try and box us into a routine existence. A lot of us are influenced by others and slowly move towards the majority way of thinking. This can be healthy in many ways, but visual art and the process of creating provides an opportunity to guide us to think for ourselves and explore areas that are unknown to us and the masses. It gives our spirits and souls an open ocean for sailing freely without being limited or constrained by distraction and what everyone thinks we should be doing or exploring. Children benefit greatly from visual art as they can allow their minds the freedom to play and to construct their own worlds by exploring their personality and inner soul. This can lead to more independent thinking and more confidence in their ability to steer clear of too many influences and voices who can naturally devoid them of naturally growing and nurturing their own unique point of view. The danger in not exploring their personality through visual expression can be a life that is created for them and not by them. The process of creating empowers one with their own ship they can steer any direction and explore unknown territories on an open ocean of dreams and desires.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Artists who have influenced me since childhood

Fernand Leger
The biggest influences on me since childhood have been visual artists who have broke the barrier of how we perceive reality and explored the unknown through their visual dissections and analysis. Artists who struggled to find new ground through the breakdown of reality whether it be abstract, surreal, or even a fantasized interpretation of life. For me personally, doing portraits or landscapes never had quite the appeal to my mind as did abstraction or surrealism. I found that my mind naturally gravitated towards the unusual and the intimate composition invited me to explore life in an enclosed space where the experimentation with color, form, shape, and space all fused into one allowed me the challenges and rewards of being more of a probing scientific artist.

When I speak of these influences, I am talking about inspirational mavericks who took an object or scene and saw something completely different that could be explored. They extracted new visions from life and reality. Although you may disagree with my premise (I do find portrait and landscape artists amazing creatives in their own right), abstraction and surrealism to me is an artist who probes deep into the unknown and tries to extract the nectar from the fruit (underlying foundations of life from reality). For me, artists such as Fernand Leger, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Hieronymus Bosch, Wassily Kandinsky, M.C. Escher, and Jackson Pollock all inspired me to challenge convention and break free of what I live in and around everyday. They also influenced the way I perceive composition through balancing elements in harmonic ways through the use of color, line, shape, and contrasting values. I thank these pioneers for their courage and conviction to explore mysterious ground and come out with a new understanding of life.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I'm starting to embrace Social Media more and more...

Ever hear of Klout? I didn't until I stumbled onto it doing research for my twitter account and subsequently found articles about it. So how does Klout have anything to do with me marketing my art style online through twitter and other means? Klout measures the influence you have in a particular area of expertise and how many people read and engage what you write or share with them. I was pleasantly surprised to see when I logged in that I had a score of 78. According to my research, this score is quite good and is based on my influence in particular areas. A big part of this score is my engaging dialogue with other fellow artists and scholars on twitter. It shows roughly 80% of this score is due in large part to this network.

The reason i'm writing this is because lately I have been very passionate about social media and it's rewards. I think if we all look at the bigger picture we would see a whole new dimension of contact without actually being in a real life crowd or situation. We now have the versatility of branching out across the world in our hopes that our voice or message will be heard and appreciated. This is a very worthwhile prospect and vision but one that takes tremendous patience and work. I find that to truly become influential you need to actively engage with followers on these platforms and publish fresh and interesting material that helps someone in some small or large way. Being an artist, I use this opportunity to promote fellow artists I enjoy and contribute blog entries about creativity, art, and some tips and advice here and there. Like every worthwhile endeavor, engaging in this unique medium requires and understanding of the strategies involved. This is where Klout, for me, is a welcome breath of fresh air. Many doubt it's appeal and legitimacy, but I think in the end, this network for social measurement has a lot of positive foundations that can be used to become more influential in whatever profession you are in and promote online.

I now use Klout to measure my activity and motivate me to contribute on a larger scale through publications, discussions, and sharing tips, ideas, and my own work as a vehicle for conversation and debate among my peers and fellow artisans. My score has now shot up to a 79 which is in the top 1% according to my research. For some odd reason, as an artist and a  guy who likes concrete measurement, I am proud of this score because I do engage with other people and care about their opinions, etc. I don't just post my work and have a selfish approach to social media. It has been a fun and rewarding journey that has led me to meet many other great artists and create a fascinating dialogue that helps me grow and learn along the way! I would strongly recommend embracing this network, and as much as the score might not reflect what you think you contribute, it ultimately will help keep you focused and motivate you. Check your klout score out today and use it as a way of motivating you to new heights of interaction online.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I'm back from my blogging hiatus.

I am happy to be back blogging again for the first time in 2 years. I was busy working on my art & design work and sort of got sidetracked a bit managing my websites and with day to day activities. I started this blog back in 2006 and had numerous posts about my art, tips on drawing, and events that shaped my career. I missed blogging and will be updating this blog weekly with a lot of news and activities surrounding my studio and artistic journey. Feel free to stop by my twitter page at @jjenkinsartist and catch up with my daily tweets on there. I have been hooked on the klout scoring recently as I see that emerging as a trend soon. I like social media and believe it has its many rewards for us all in terms of marketing opportunity and to express our unique voice we all have.

I invite you to sign up for my blog and follow me as I hope you will find my information is unique and worthwhile for you. I will be sharing my drawing collections in colored pencil and paintings. I also like to share tips and advice coming from a professional artist of over 20 years. I also would love to see your work as well!~

Drop me a line or add me and i'll follow back and comment on your work!

Thanks, Justin