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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Revealing Heart--An Art Journal Page Discussed

"A heart often reveals itself in times of difficulty. It either shines, or....it doesn't."

Last week was undoubtedly filled with lots of highs and lows, great memories, full of promise of potentially a new relationship, but ultimately ended with extreme sorrow for our family unexpectedly.  It was in that time of grief, that I had time to reflect once again about many things: such as how short life is and how it can change when you least expect it. People, animals, things, all come into your life not necessarily forever, but if you allow them to, they teach you lessons that you can carry in your heart the rest of your life.

Without going into the details again, for those of you who follow me on Facebook, you already know, but suffice to say, Friday we lost a beloved member of our family unexpectedly.  Not a person, but rather our pet who might of well been a person because that's how he was treated.  

My son and I were devastated of course and in shock all weekend...still in shock.   At the same time, earlier in the week, I met someone who seemed very special....romantic, brought me flowers on the first date,  chatted with me throughout the week, we went out on a second date and had an even better time, and generally seemed to get along well. Things looked very promising until  I had a crisis on Friday that brought me to my knees.

Not that I expected pity or this person to come running to me as in reality, we only known each other a week...but the true colors of this person's sincerity showed a lot earlier than I suppose some may show months or possibly years later,  and for that I'm grateful.

Spoiler alert...it wasn't good.

Not to be the Taylor Swift of the art world and lay all my cards out for the world to see, but I just have to say I'm proud of myself for not wanting to change someone like I normally would take on a challenge like this.   The g-rated version of the exchange was that 15 minutes after we talked on the phone Friday about the devastating course of events that happened that afternoon, I get a text that HE was disappointed we wouldn't be getting together tonight. Not a sorry this happened, can I do anything for you, blah blah blah.  

At first, I made an excuse of well, he really doesn't know me that well yet and couldn't possibly know how I feel or how I react in moments of extreme sorrow, stress, or struggles.  And maybe he just wasn't brought up to be super compassionate with words, not everyone knows how to communicate well or openly. I can relate, often my method of communication is in writing or through my art.

But to be made to feel guilty over not wanting to go out (and I can say going out very loosely because I can say with 150% certainty that dinner and a movie wasn't what he wanted)  on a day that I had been crying my eyes out over a loss of a loved one...well.....it was pretty revealing of his character.

The next two days...Saturday and Sunday were more of the same.  No contact until later in the day, no check in on how I'm doing.  Just are you coming over tonight?  No. No. and No.

If that's the best you have, then I'd rather have nothing at all. Period.

I am ready for dating again after a long break but my time is so limited, I barely have enough for myself, my kids, and my close friends---if I make room for someone, I want to make it count.   

That brings me back to the moral of the story-- part of the theme for my  resolutions this year, have been to stand my ground and make myself "Better Than Before".  I might have thought well, he's a decent person with a good job and well he did buy me dinner and bring me flowers 2x.. Maybe I should help him to see how his lack of compassion hurt me.   

No.  What point would that make? If someone doesn't have it in them to know what to do, right or wrong...why waste your time trying to make someone into someone they are not.  Accept it and move on.

The truth of the matter is, a person's true colors are often shown in moments of extreme highs an extreme lows more quickly than if you un-peel the layers bit by bit over time.  You can't change someone, but you can change yourself.

I grabbed my journal today and processed those feelings and heck decided to write about them on the blog in the quest of being more open and honest with not just myself, but with everyone around me.  

I'm not mad, I'm in fact pretty proud of myself.  I feel more empowered than I have in awhile even at the eve of something tragic,  there's wisdom to be found. And now I can move forward...I'm still sad, still broken-hearted, still grieving;  but,  I'm also happy I didn't waste precious time with someone who didn't have the type of heart I desired in a partner.

Don't settle for less...I know I won't. 

Jodi Ohl


Products used in this journal page:

Upcoming classes not to miss!

I'll be teaching a Zen Weekend at Donna Downey's studio!  We have a few spaces left for this hot class! Take a winter creative break and join us in this spectacular workshop!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

12 Questions To Ask Yourself At The End Of The Year

2016   Year End Round Up.

Every year around this time, I like to look back at the year before me and reflect on the highs, the lows, the triumphs, and the struggles, so that I can make adjustments based on what I’ve learned and what I would like the next year or more to look like.   Those points of reflection can take on many forms.   Looking back at my journals, reviewing my planner, photographs are a great way to remember what has transpired through the year-both personally and professionally.     Simply asking yourself questions about what you want or where do you want to go, and how do you want to feel can be very revealing.

I thought perhaps this year, I’d do some of my self-reflection on my blog in a form of a question and answer interview of myself!  haha  

1. If you could give yourself some advice in January of 2016 based on what you learned through December of 2016, what would that advice be?

I had some health challenges in 2016 so had I known what I’d be facing, I’d had started taking my medicine more regularly…uh hum..just taking my medicine, walking. Be sure to get more rest and know that if you aren’t healthy, none of this is going to work (personally or professionally).  Another way to phrase it is, I wish I had started a road to better health long before January 2016.

2. What were some of your highlights of 2016?

Gosh, one of the biggest highlights was seeing my book go through all the stages of ‘birth’ to a real physical entity.  I think when someone told me they saw it on Amazon for a pre-sale and it was a #1 new release already, I cried!   Another highlight was being asked to come back to Cincinnati to film four more DVD’s for F &W media in September.  It’s honor to be able to film 1 set of DVDs, but I had the good fortune to be asked back again so imagine how thrilled I was.  Extra bonus—I was also treated to hair and makeup each day!!  I felt like a movie star!  Lol   They asked me to show up with no makeup on and that was SCARY! Haha  I don’t go anywhere without my face on,  I know it sounds vain but I’m just not a get up and go girl!  Anyway, having opportunities such as this, has just really been a huge thrill and quite the honor!

3. Is there anything you wish you did more of during the year?   What do you wish you would have done less of?

I wish I had taken more time off.  Even after my health scare, I found myself easing back into my workaholic ways, going 2, 3, 4 weeks without a day off. I didn’t become a hero because of it, I just became exhausted again.   I need to do a better job at setting boundaries, protecting my personal time, and knowing when to say no or I can’t do it right now.     What do I wish I had done less of?   Well, beside work too much---and when I say that, I don’t want to sound ungrateful because being busy is something that we instill upon ourselves.  I should have taken a hard look early on at what was distracting me, making me less focused on what I should have been doing versus what I was doing and eliminated those things from my life or at least set limitations so I could get my work done faster.  I read a line in Gretchen Rubin’s book “Better Than Before” recently that rang true for me which said, “Keeping up is a lot easier than catching up”. 
  So yes, working a lot is not really something to be proud of necessarily.  Working efficiently so you have a better sense of balance is something I’d rather brag on in the future.

4. What was the best thing you bought during the year that improved your life?
Oh…I bought a lot of stuff in 2016!  I’d say something that improved my life was a new pair of sneakers, workout clothes and a good pair of headphones.  Those things made me want to get out and get moving.  Something I want and need to do more of in 2017. (Do you see a pattern here?)

5. What are you most proud of?

I already mentioned my book so I’ll say something different for this question. I’m most proud of being able to turn a bad time around into something big for not only me, but really big for my students.  When I was so sick, I started creating a body of work that saved my sanity and then as time moved on and I was feeling better, I kept improving on the process and really created not only a new body of work, but a very intense workshop that has engaged hundreds of students around the world.  The work they have done in my Zen Painting class has totally blown me away!  I’m very proud of the work I’ve done and the production of that class, and even more proud because it was born from a dark place but turned into something so positive for many individuals, including myself.

6. Where do you envision yourself going in 2017?

 I hope in 2017 I keep moving forward.  I have a lot of aspirations for the new year, but mostly, I want to be ‘Better Than Before’….to borrow the phrase from Gretchen Rubin’s book because it sums up how I feel perfectly (professionally and personally).

7. Did you learn anything about yourself this year that has changed you in some way?

Yes, many things.   One big one is that I’m capable of doing more than I ever thought I could.   It’s amazing the fortitude we all have, even when we think that this is it…I have nothing left…but if you dig real deep and you keep your eyes on the prize, you can more than accomplish what you set out to do, you can excel in so many ways.   I think I re-learned to believe in myself and have more confidence. 

8. What surprised you about your career in 2016?

Hmm…good question.  I don’t know if it really was a surprise but the mantra I use a lot is , “Every No, Leads to a Yes.” That thought has made me brave in what I do because I know with anything I do, it’s a 50/50 chance that it will work out and that for every time it doesn’t work out, I can try again and eventually it will work out.  The only failure is not having tried.    Many of the things I have been able to accomplish not just this year, but in all of my years as an artist, have resulted from just giving something a shot and knowing that a, ‘No’ now, isn’t a No, forever.  Keep at it and you will be successful. You just have to have ‘Grit’!

9. What did you waste time or money on in 2016?

I have addiction to many things like good coffee that I could probably make at my home,  expensive makeup, and well… a host of other things that I probably could do without or do more inexpensively—but maybe career wise, I wasted a lot of money on shipping expenses that I could have done better with had I had the right supplies on hand so I didn’t have to pay for someone to pack and ship my items for me.   Having all my shipping and postage supplies in one place would have made my life a lot easier too, so I bit the bullet about a week ago and bought a lot of stuff from ULINE which was not cheap by the way, but it will be less costly in the long run. I am also making it a priority to organize my shipping areas so that I don’t have to run from room to room to gather what I need to pack up a box. I think that caused me so much stress, it really didn’t need to.  I say a prayer of gratitude every time I go to the post office because it’s a happy thing…I sold something!  Yay!!  But getting those boxes ready, stresses me out and takes a lot of time!  It’s my own fault and that’s going to change in the New Year!  The other thing I just need to do is to factor better in for shipping and packaging expenses into my costs (which I don’t really do now), but when you are operating at a fairly low margin, every dollar counts….so don’t waste it!  I learned the hard way this last month—I charged 20 for shipping for a painting—the box cost me 15 dollars with packing supplies and the actual shipping charges, get this…$88.00!  Ouch!  I had three other incidents like that in the same week and boy oh boy did I learn my lesson the hard way!

10. Do you have a word, phrase or some other mantra that you want as a guide in the New Year?

I mentioned the book that I’m reading earlier, and that title is going to be one of my mantras, “Better Than Before”.   “Work Smarter, Not Harder”, is another.   “Pursue Happiness”, and finally (for now),  “Make a Difference”.  I also like to narrow it down to one word so I’m going to continue on my word from 2016 which was to “Prosper”.  I think although it does insinuate monetary prosperity, I want more than that…of course I want to get prospering, but I want my work, my personal development, and I want my personal life ALL to prosper.  I guess I want it all, and why not?!

11. In just a sentence or two, sum up how 2016 was for you?

2016 was a year that I fully realized that I can do anything I set my mind to. I saw dreams become reality, I saw mountains move when I thought there was no possible way I could overcome obstacles.  It was a year that I felt magic happen and I’m grateful for it all: the good, the bad, the wonderful….there was a reason for it all.

12. How do you want to feel in 2017?

I want to feel peaceful and confidant, at ease and sure of myself, and I want to feel love in ways I have not felt it before.  Truly, my life is very full right now but it’s missing one big thing.   I hope that it doesn’t stay that way for long, but even if it does, I know that I’ll be okay because I’m very, very, happy right now.  I think because I’m happy with myself, more so than I have ever been, and life is moving along in the direction I hoped it would, I’m ready to fill that empty space in a way that I wasn’t ready to before. 

  Here’s to many more magical moments and memories in 2017 for you and I. 

Happy New Year Everyone!!  Be your best self today and every day!


Good Bye 2016---These Things are Ending

Happy Almost New Year  Y'all!

With every new beginning, there are always some endings!   

Holiday pricing on my UBER popular Zen Painting  workshop ends on Sunday 1/1/17!     Retail price: 109,  now  $90  * This is an ongoing online class.  Join in at any time and work at your own pace!

Creative Jumpstarts begins  on January 1st!   27 artists share tips and projects through short video tutorials throughout January!  Download the videos and watch at your own pace or stream January 1st through November.   Regular price,  $50 dollars. Early bird pricing $45 ends tonight at 11:59 pm EST.  Sign up by going HERE.

The massive year long class, Life Book 2017  also starts on January 1st but today is the last day to enjoy 20% off the workshop!  All videos are downloadable as well.  52 weeks of inspiration to grow and develop as an artist and person.     Use code  FIREWORKS 2017  at checkout for your discount!  To read more about this class,  please click HERE.

So how's that for some inspiration?????

As if that's not enough--if you are a last minute Lucy who loves adventure, abstracts, workshops, and fun in general--join me for my 3 + day workshop,   "Absolutely Abstracts" next week!  An evening reception on January 6th kicks off the 3 day class (first full day is January 7th).  For more information on this exclusive ReMe Presents workshop, "Absolutely Abstracts", please go HERE.

I'll be back later on this weekend with more a recap of 2016 and some fun ideas/classes/thoughts for the New Year!   Until then,   enjoy every minute, because every minute counts!


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Texture Tutorial-A Free Exercise From My Book!

Hello Friends!  I hope you had a great holiday with family and friends!  I'm still coming down from my sugar and family fun high!  I have lots of new blog posts planned for the coming days but first, I wanted to share an article I wrote for my friends at Cloth Paper Scissors where I have been  'moonlighting' as a guest blogger and soon to be guest columnist in 2017 for the magazine!   This tutorial has a clickable link that includes a downloadable tutorial taken straight from my book,  "Abstracts in Acrylic and Ink".  If you haven't received it yet or wondering about the projects included--here's a variation of one of them!

Some of the supplies you'll need include:  Silks Acrylics  (any colors),  Ampersand Claybord , High Powered Heat Gun,  Golden's Tar Gel (or Self Leveling Gel, or Pouring Medium), and to get the black marks on the bubbles, Staz on Ink.  You'll see in the project featured I also use a bit of Titanium White and a Brayer.

Let's Get Started:  

Do you have an affinity for texture? I know I do. I love it so much that I’ve come up with a couple of classes where texture is the star of the show. There’s just something about a piece of art that has imperfections or clearly has an uneven surface that begs to be touched.
I have long used many gel mediums in my work but when you’re teaching a one day class, it’s hard to use many of the commercial mediums to teach with because they simply won’t dry in time. I came across this technique by accident when I was trying to speed my painting for a class I was teaching, with not just a heat gun, but a heat tool—you know the one that looks like it should be used in a factory or welding shop? Needless to say, it didn’t just heat up my gesso/gel medium—it also burned it and bubbled the surface. The look was actually fascinating.   

......Read on for the rest of the article and to download the tutorial!


I'm so thrilled, my book is trending #1 in Mixed Media and on the Hot New Release list!  If you haven't bought it yet,  you can get it a variety of different ways!   

Through Amazon by clicking this link or image:

Or, if you'd like a signed copy of my book, I'm offering 3 different package deals that you can check out here!

Most major book stores will be carrying it, too!  If your local shop doesn't carry it yet, please recommend it to the manager/owner!!  

Here's a few of the reviews that have come in so far!  (BTW...after this week, I'm going to try not to read the reviews...lol as I know someone is going to not love it and I don't want the bad reviews to hurt my heart..but in my head I know it's coming).  For now, I'm going to ride the high and pat myself on the back for doing the best job I could do for the place I was in creatively, and so far...that job looks like it's resonating with artists who have bought the book!   Thank you all for the emails, texts, and Facebook posts!  Keep em coming if you have bought the book yourself! I love seeing them!     I'm already thinking of what's next and there will be a next!! :))

 Order this now! Fantastic book.I buy many, many art books and mostly mixed media oriented topics -- and I am picky, and I don't often review books. But this book is worth more than 5 stars to me. Everything about it is wonderful and I think it is a perfect combination of attractive (to me) projects and techniques. Although it is step by step technique, it isn't a "make this" crafty project book nor do I find myself not finding the techniques approachable. I am excited to dive in and see where it takes me. Wow is all I can say --- and I hope to someday take an in-person workshop with Jodi.  (M. Shea)

It is a beautiful book, the pages are fantastic qualityI have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of this book since I pre-ordered an age ago. It arrived yesterday and I couldn't wait to delve in. It is a beautiful book, the pages are fantastic quality, full of vibrant color. I have been following Jodi for quite a few years now and have several of her online courses. I had the good fortune to attend one of her workshops in Florida last year, which was amazing. She is a lovely lady who very generously shares her techniques and unique ideas with everyone. Her playful style is super easy and there are no mistakes....everything is an opportunity. Love this book. Super inspirational. Buy it, you won't be disappointed!  (M. Scales)

5.0 out of 5 starsAwesome Book For Beginner to Advanced"Highly Recommended"There's an old saying, "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear". This is my book-of-the-year! I'm a trained, skilled artist and this information has taken my study to a new and exciting level. A great tool for those beginning and experienced.  (V. Phillips)

What a wonderful book. Was delighted when it came. Easy to follow with great illustration. The author has years of experience teaching and it shows. I highly recommend this book for beginners to advanced, something for everyone.  (D.Belica)