River West Artworks
Original Art, Artisan Works and Photographs by Jan Jenkins and Brian Erickson


(posted on 1 Oct 2021)

What artists do: I've been on a papermaking adventure the last few days. Never done it before, always wanted to. I like that you re-use all kinds old papers, emptied tea bags and so on to make something beautiful to write or art on. After watching a bunch of you-tube videos and gathering the equipment needed, I got going shredding and soaking paper overnight for blenderizing into pulp the next day. Day one was hard as I could not get the wet pressed paper to release easily from the screen onto the couch cloth. I thought maybe I added to much sizing to the slurry and diluted the slurry with more water, no diff. Many do-overs to get a dozen sheets made. Day two I went back to you-tube and caught a video demo where a bit of cooking oil was sparingly sprayed on the screen to condition it and that did the trick! I also realized I wasn't adding enough pulp in the slurry, making paper that was too thin and therefore harder to release. Day 3 today is hanging the remaining papers to dry, and removing overnight's hung dried sheets of paper from the couch cloths and pressing them flat. I can't wait to see how this hand-made paper works for creating art! I have a larger screen on order so will be saving more papers for round two! I want to experiment and add some botanicals and dried crumbled leaves and grasses to see what results. The joy of learning something new can be an up and down path but very rewarding.
#makingpaper #riverwestartworks



(posted on 7 Jul 2021)

I could not resist doing a bit more finetuning on this today and I'm now calling this zenwork finished! "Seeds" is a 5x7" pen and ink design done on paper pretreated with acrylic inks.  A fun way to relax and meditate...  Enjoy your day everyone!  #riverwestartworks #zenwork

(posted on 4 Jul 2021)

I switched out the artwork today in the mini gallery located on our front lawn.  "Peace Maker #18/50" - a varied edition hand-pulled linocut print - is now on display.  

“Turtle teaches us about walking our own path in peace with persistence, determination and serenity.  Slow moving on ground, agile in water, turtle encourages us to pause, observe and seek more grounded longer lasting solutions.  She shows us the way of peace, inviting us to slow down, thereby gaining the emotional strength and understanding to cultivate the peace of mind, peaceful relationships and peaceful environments with which we will flourish and thrive and move forward.”  

This artwork was created by block printing with a design carved into linoleum onto paper I that I had precoloured, then embellished with gel-pen inks.  Block printing is an ancient printing technique where the artist carves a design into a solid block of material (such as wood, lino or styrofoam) much like a stamp. Once the design is complete, the block is inked with a roller and the block is then applied to paper, fabric or other surfaces.  The carved areas will not show in the final product, while the raised portions left behind will print.


(posted on 4 Jul 2021)

Wow it is another hot day out there as the heat wave continues to moves east through Manitoba.  I'm chillin' in me studio listening to soft music and meditatively zendoodling. For this zenwork I'm using glass dip pens and india ink overtop paper I pretreated with acrylic inks. More layers to follow.  Enjoy your day everyone...

#zenwork #riverwestartworks

Manitoba Regional Art Exhibitions online for July and Aug at www.artgallery.manitobaartsnetwork.ca


#manitobaartsnetwork #zenwork #riverwestartworks


(posted on 30 Jun 2021)

What artists do:  Over the last three days organized my watercolour paints, emptying over 40 tubes that had come into my possession (some purchased, some gifted) over the years. I wanted to do this before they dried out and turned rock solid. Some already had despite my storing them in airtight ziploc bags. With these dried tubes I cut them open with an exacto knife to extract the perfectly useable paint. I also wanted a reference chart of all the colours so I would know what they look like when wetted and applied to white paper vs the colour you see when it is in a solid lump. I did charts for the individual trays plus a master chart also including the colours emptied from the tubes. A lot of fiddling but will be worth it. I still have a gooey messy tube of payne's gray that needs to dry out so I can transfer it into a storage jar without it smearing all over my hands. And on to the next project... Enjoy your day everyone!


(posted on 23 Jun 2021)

Some more quotes to inspire you.  Since I was a young kid I loved the positive energy of how inspiring quotes made me feel - hopeful, optimistic and motivated.  I now incorporate my own original art to create and share these thought-provoking words of wisdom.  To view more, check out the Inspiring Quotes section on this website.  Enjoy your day everyone!




(posted on 22 Jun 2021)

Wow - it has been a while since I posted and so much has happened, including me falling down a few rabbit holes.  So thankful I've received both my Covid-19 vaccination shots and managed to recover from one of my social media accounts being hacked.  I am finally back in the creative groove, applying watercolour to this pen and ink work titled "At Risk", depicting Manitoba species at risk.  Here is a tiny section of this 11x15" artwork.  Enjoy your day everyone! 😃  #riverwestartworks #zenwork #penandink


In case you missed the live play, here's the link to view the Digital Originals Creation Swap reveal and discussion that I participated in April 1st. Raine Hamilton created and performed a delightful original song "Le Soleil" inspired by my artwork "New Day", and I created an original artwork "Silent Offering" inspired by Raine's beautiful "Brave Land" song. It was amazing to see it all come together! I am only posting a snippet of "Silent Offering" - you will have to watch the video to see the whole artwork.  Click here to watch the video.

This adventure was a huge technology challenge for me with multiple tech glitches while I figured out how to film my creative process and then edit the multiple clips into a single video sped up to match as closely as possible the length of Raine's song.  It was fun and I would love the opportunity to collaborate creatively with another artist again. 

A huge thank you to Manitoba Arts Network for making this collaboration possible.

#manitobaartsnetwork #digitaloriginals #riverwestartworks






(posted on 31 Mar 2021)

I've been involved in three "secret" projects the last few months, one was an invitation to participate in Manitoba Art Networks "Digital Originals" creative collaboration between a Manitoba musician paired with a Manitoba visual artist.  The visual artist (me) creates an original artwork inspired by one of the musician's songs and the musician (Raine Hamilton) creates and performs a new original song inspired by one of the visual artists artworks.  The biggest challenge for me was the technology, learning how to video myself creating my artwork.   And we are airing the results live on YouTube April 1st at 7:30pm! 

Please join us live Thursday April 1st 7:30 pm central time for the creative reveals and interview session.   Raine has created and performed an original song inspired by my artwork "New Day", and I have created "Silent Offering" an original artwork inspired by Raine's beautiful "Brave Land" (formerly Creek Cabin) song.  I can't wait to see it all come together! A huge thank you to Manitoba Arts Network for making this collaboration possible.  

Here is the YouTube link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3aDClLyj-4

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