Friday, September 7, 2012


I want to introduce you to Jenny. She is an artist, a mother, a wife and a muse. A bohemian spirit who co-owns Vine Gogh in Portland, OR. Vine Gogh is an Art/ Wine bar where you can sit back listen to great music, drink wine and create!

Jenny is guide for the closeted artist. She has this incredible ability to uncork your creative spirit...even those stubborn folks who think they can't paint. I have had the honor of sitting in on many classes at Vine Gogh and my own skills as an artist have grown immensly. I thank Jenny for her enthusiasm and encouragement to all her students.

Move over Bob Ross there is a new gal in town (and she has way better hair!)

1. When did you discover you had a passion for the arts?

I was lucky to always be surrounded by artists and creative people. My Grandfather had a very successful career as an artist. He passed away when I was 2 years old, but my parents and Grandmother were always encouraging me in art. I would spend hours drawing at the kitchen table. My mom still has my first drawing; I was a toddler, and I drew spiders on notebook paper. I'm terrified of spiders!

2. Who is your favorite artist and why?
There are a lot of them, but I will narrow it to two: Gustav Klimt and Pablo Picasso. With Klimt, I can tell he was a very passionate person - painting lovers and beautiful women from real life and stories. I love that there is so much to look at in his paintings. I love the use of gold, the little touches of flowers and shapes and colors. With Picasso, I am just so impressed at his sheer talent and how he could embrace so many different styles. He could paint realism to abstract and everything in between.

3. Was there ever a time you felt like giving up a career in the arts? If yes, how did you remove that obstacle?
I would never give up. As with any person, I've experienced the sting of rejection. You get over it. I read this quote once, in the book Memoirs of a Geisha: “I can see you have a great deal of water in your personality. Water never waits. It changes shape and flows around things, and finds the secret paths no one else has thought about." I thought, "Wow, that's me!" If it is something that you not only love, but it is woven into your very being, you find a way. Even if it is as small and simple as integrating your passion into a completely different career field. When I worked in retail, I began designing the brochures and business cards. When I worked in a bar, my drinks were beautifully and creatively garnished. Simple, but fulfilling. I will always tell someone to never give up. As you mature, you realize that things fall into place for a reason, and one experience leads to another. For example, you might think, "why do I have to work in a restaurant when I am talented and capable of this and that", and you realize one day, years later, that that particular experience was crucial to your current success.
4. Your oldest child is on the Autism spectrum. How has this shaped your experience with art?
When Hayden started school as a youngster, I began a trend of putting a new drawing in his lunchbox every day. At one point he loved telephone poles, so I drew telephone poles everyday, and they had cartoon eyes and personalities. I would make them say funny things to each other that I knew would make him laugh at lunch time. I would put little positive messages on the drawings. I found out later that he had quite a crowd gathering around him at the lunch table; parents, teachers, students, teacher's aids. I had people stop me in the hall to tell me how much they loved the drawings. It became a great social piece for a kid who didn't know how to socialize. To date, I've done over 1,000 lunchbox drawings, and he's saved them all. He's been excited to watch Kim and I open Vine Gogh. He loves the "Open Paint" sessions the best.

5. You are co- owner of Vine Gogh, how did you become involved?
I'm convinced I have the best business partner in the world. She is one of the kindest people I've ever met. I've known Kim for several years, as she lives just down the street from me. Kim is from Colorado, and she became really intrigued with a successful sip and paint studio there. One day she knocked on my door and asked me if I would be interested in starting such a business. It was one of those moments where every cell in my body knew this was the thing for me, so I didn't even have to think much about it before telling her "YES. Absolutely." Four months later, we had our location in Sellwood.

6. You are an amazing teacher. What is your secret to un-corking your students inner artist?
There's one quote by Picasso that I dearly love: "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." This is so true. I was Artist In Residence at an Elementary school and have taught hundreds of children. What I have observed about them is that they don't over-think anything. They just do it. They pick up the brush and get right to it. It's a wonderful thing. I will often remind my students to try tochannel their inner child and not over-think it.
  One important key is to get them to relax.
  The fact that we serve wine really helps with that! 

7. Your daughter has shown a natural aptitude towards art. How do encourage her?

Greta is showing signs of being an incredible artist. With Vine Gogh she will have lots of opportunities to be surrounded by art. She comes to a lot of classes with me, and we draw together a lot, even if it's just on the Magnadoodle. In the car we play color mixing games - I'll quiz her on what color you get when you mix blue and red, etc. She's got it figured out!

8. What is your favorite color and why?
Turquoise. It's very bright and calming to me. It reminds me of the ocean. I have to stop myself from making all of my paintings with turquoise backgrounds. It's like an addiction. :)smile

9. Johnny Depp comes into Vine Gogh to paint a picture of your choosing. What would you guide him through?

I would actually like him to guide me through a painting. I would love to see what is inside that creative mind. 
10. What does the future hold for Vine Gogh Artist Bar?
Eventually, we would love to open another location, probably on the West Side. For now, we are just trying to be the best at what we do, and give people opportunities to be creative and leave their stress behind for a couple of hours. It's been a joy to watch.
Vine Gogh offers Classes for kids, adults. Private parties and instruction are also available. For their latest class offerings visit their website and become a fan on Facebook!
 Don't forget to enter the Giveaway! Details are found here


  1. Incredible and inspiring! Lindsay, you did a wonderful job of highlighting Jenny and Vine Gogh. :)

  2. i so want to come hang out at VineGogh ... love it!!!!!!