Potent. Epic. Meaningful Art.

 In Creativity, Workshops

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I’m writing my book at the moment, and it’s a big deal.

Creativity and Imagination are invisible. They are concepts. They make us feel, but they are not emotions. They are intangible and intuitive. So talking about art and where ideas come from and the creative decisions I make is like untangling the vines that covered Sleeping Beauty. The serene truth lies within, I just have to make it through…

This isn’t my first rodeo. I have written books before, so I know how intense the process is for me.  It’s easy to get lost and find the stress instead of the joy of such a big project. So, I factored in some retreats to my schedule from the start ( clever, right?). My first break was a workshop with Orly Avinieri. My second break was a workshop with Jesse Reno last weekend.

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I am still processing what happened in those three days. It was potent. Epic.  I de-calcified and came to some great understandings of my own art practice.

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Art Workshops are are way to unleash your creative force. A chance to get uncomfortable and challenge yourself. To grow in confidence. To test your skills and to nourish them. You can walk in another artist’s shoes and see how MAGIC the creative process is to witness.

Watching Jesse was like being part of a mystical circle where the head magician conjured up spirits.


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The Aurochs is a recurring symbol for me. It turns up when my art conscious wants me to feel how strong and powerful it is. I feel protected when I draw horned creatures.



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I had a realisation about exposing and accepting the meaning in my work. I learned there is room to work intuitively and thoughtfully. Jesse also has a way of thinking about composition that took me three days and 5 paintings  to grasp. I dreamed about it. It won’t make me change my art ( it is what it is!), but it has opened pathways within my process. And I had many, many aha moments.


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This piece went through huge transformations. Hearts and people came and went. A skeleton arm arrived, a rabid dog, I thought it was finished… but seeing it here, I know that it isn’t.


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The reason I found this workshop so nourishing, so creative, so mind-blowing is because of Jesse’s ability to communicate his creative process. He never relied on “just use your intuition”… he would ask the questions of himself that sit behind artist intuition and let us in on the conversation.

I know those are hard questions to answer, because it’s what I do as a teacher. The creative process is so dense with movement and concepts, emotion and ideas. On the face of it, it’s intangible and trying to tease it apart takes courage.

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‘Space Bunny’ was a small piece that I created with a specific reason in mind – I was trying to settle Jesse’s concept of colour composition into my brain. I dig his traffic control hands most of all.


I have been to many workshops where we simply watch the artist create. The whole workshop is a demonstration. That can be entirely inspirational and informative. But when an artist can create AND communicate about the choices they are making by offering a running commentary as they are caught up in creative flow… well that’s a rare experience.

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‘Hungry Unicorn ‘ has huge significance to me. All horned creatures are symbolic of magic to me, and unicorns are symbolic of the unseen and the unique. But there are things in there that are still waiting to reveal their full meaning, hence the question/demand ‘WHY’.

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I believe I teach this way. My creative methods and style are very different to Jesse’s, but I could see elements of commonality. Maybe that is why the workshop resonated to my absolute roots. The weekend wasn’t easy, I didn’t coast. I had to work hard and stay focused and deplete my energy, so I still feel kind of exhausted after all that painting. But my inspiration cup is full.

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My biggest highlight was watching Jesse paint on the floor, his fingers flying, paint flowing… and when he liked something he would say ” Oh that’s pretty, yeah”. Hearing a dude embrace his love of pretty? Oh man… revolutionary, extraordinary, crazy talented and entertaining.  Well, you can see how happy I was.

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If you EVER get the opportunity to study with an artist that inspires you, embrace it! Seriously.  Take the risk, move heaven and earth, tuck your fears away and go have an adventure.


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‘Mountain Man and Cloud’ was one of the paintings Jesse created during the workshop. I can’t believe it is hanging in my Studio now.

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So back to the book.
My task is deciphering the creative choices I make as an artist into words that are cohesive and inspirational. It’s so different to teaching in person and online. There is no body language to let me know if I have untangled a concept to satisfaction. No faces in the audience to light up or  soft “ooooh’s” and “aaaaahs” as I demonstrate. No Facebook Group to turn to to see the awesome homework rolling in.

Writing this book It is a monster challenge and every page is making me a better teacher. Probably a better artist as well.


Jane/ Danger



The only spaces I have left on my USA tour are the 2 day workshops at Art is You:  “Girlimals” and  “Mermalicious”.
Both are a golden opportunity to work in-depth in your own style with me. We will be creating total magic.

The retreat is on Olive Branch Tennessee – 30 minutes from the Memphis airport and promises to be an amazing experience. You can select from a smorgasboard of amazing workshops and attend for 1 day or all 7.

Workshop details are here: click


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pps. This is a quick little painting of Tinsel…








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Showing 15 comments
  • Jennifer Edgar

    Loving all these works of art. Jane you always take us into new territory thank you for sharing your wonderful enriching journey. Also good luck with your book can’t wait to buy it I know it will be awesome as everything you do has so much integrity.

  • Heather Chevreau

    HI Jane — I took a 2-day Jesse Reno class 2 years ago and also had an amazing experience – he really is a soulful teacher who talked non-stop which i thought was great… i could just listen to him all day. Since you are also on the top of my list of inspiring Artists & teacher… I was really exicited to see your work look JesseRenofied! LOL In his classes, he spreads the paint on with his hands… I have heard you express concern with perhaps paint toxins being absorbed thru the skin (it was in one of the Express Yourself classes) Did you use gloves or just go with the flow?

    • Jane Davenport

      I went with the flow Heather… I wouldnt paint with my hands everyday though.

  • Jane Davenport

    Thank you for your comments – I love reading them!

  • Jackie Hall

    Looks like you had an amazing time! Your work is inspiring and Jesse? Love him! Thanks for sharing

    PS- can’t wait for your book

  • Kim English

    AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing some of your experience and art from the workshop. It looks very intense and deep and enlightening and powerful! I am so happy for your experience there.

  • Patti sandham

    Wow, Incredible post! What an affect Jessie had on you! The work you produces is so fascinating and is obviously telling you a story. I love your insights. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I love reading about it.

  • Donna Walsh

    Love it all Miss Jane xx
    The books sounds wonderful

  • Suellen

    Amazing to see the staged paintings – a small glimpse into the process. There’s such power and energy in the darkness and the sharp elements of the painting. Love the work and your Auroch (now I’ll go and look that up).

  • Coral

    So excited not only to see what you created but to hear your description of the workshop. Of stretching, a little bit of fan girl-ing, seeing Jesse’s methodology in process. Absolutely adore the idea of symbology and meaning within your work. I will be considering this deeply over the next couple of days. Not just making something pretty or good enough. Of not making for external experience but for internal meaning and connection. I agree – in person workshops are so transformative…find a way.

  • Katie O'Sullivan

    What a great post !!! You are an amazing artist and teacher andI can’t wait to meet you at art is you – I am taking both your classes – woohoooooooo

  • Joanna Kelley

    As one of your online students I know that you have talked about how much you enjoy watching your students grow. I must say that seeing your work from this latest workshop that I enjoy watching YOU grow as an artist. This work is so unique and different from what I am used to seeing you do. It is inspiring to watch you stretch your wings and travel outside your comfort zone. Go Jane! And thanks for sharing and daring!

  • Jennifer P

    This is so amazing! Thank you for introducing Jesse to me and I can not wait for your book to come out! 🙂

  • Kathie Vezzani

    Wow, Jane. Thank you for sharing how you felt about Jesse’s workshop. I think you did some amazing work there. Can’t wait to see your book, I know it will be joining other treasured books in my art library.

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