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Virginia, United States
MOONbow ARTworks was established in 2002 by Jen Otey in Girdwood Alaska following shamanic training she recieved while living there. Since that time the studio has moved and traveled where Spirit guides her to go...Cripple Creek, Alaska, The Big Island of Hawaii, and a few points in between. She currently splits time between interior Alaska and Southwest Virginia. Jen's art focuses on the empowerment of womyn and men through the Sacred Feminine and the spiritual and intuitive aspects of birth. She is particularly interested in helping womyn and men look deep within for their own truth, beauty, faith, strength, compassion for themselves and others, a deeper connection to the feminine aspect of The Creator and the balance of masculine and feminine energies. Over the years she has developed her intuition as a tool for creating works of art that speak to people on a deeply personal and intuitive level.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Interview with artist Melissa Harris

This interview was put together by We Moon and the publishers at Mother Tongue Ink….publishers of the We Moon Datebook calendar, wall calendar, and now the 30th Year Anthology. The interview is with artist Melissa Harris a fellow artist published in the We Moon Datebook Calendar and the 30th Year Anthology. The questions are some that I came up with myself and some of the wonderful questions that I was asked by artist Lauren Luquin in a previously blogged interview. Laurens questions were so amazing and on target and I felt would be a wonderful way to introduce Melissa Harris to you. Here’s the link to Melissa’s Blog and the link to We Moon

And here’s the interview! In Joy, Jen Otey, MOONbow ARTworks

1. Introduce yourself (Greetings, your name, where you live, etc.)

A. I live in the Catskill mountains in New York State on 9 beautiful acres with meadow and forest.

2. What kinds of art do you do?

A. My paintings are expressive oils and watercolors that vary greatly in size and subject matter. Many of them are paintings of women in interiors or landscapes and some are landscapes. They are painted in a loose style and the watercolors tend to have a dreamy quality to them.

3. What is your favorite part of being an artist? ...and the most challenging?

A. The favorite part for me in being an artist is the joy I feel when I am inspired and bursting to create. The most challenging is finding enough time for the amount of painting I want to do.

4. How has your life prepared you and inspired you for this journey as an artist?

A. Well, my life didn't really prepare me. I had to swim "against the current" to create circumstances to be able to paint. My life has inspired me in that I am able to extract some elements from my life to gain inspiration, such as people, nature and relationships- oh and of course also creatures.

5. How has being a woman had an effect on your work? Where do you see the more feminine aspects of yourself in your art?

A. All of my painting really has been about honoring the sacred feminine even when it is not in a literal sense. Since the feminine is really about receiving - I would say that my work reflects my ability as a psychic to really tune into the essence of what it is that I am focusing on and be able to bring that out successfully in my art.

6. What does your creative workspace look and feel like?

A. After many years of "roughing it" in less than comfortable situations I have manifested my dream studio with french doors and large windows overlooking a meadow and woods and my stone circle with a fire pit. It's really quite extraordinary.

7. What is it like where you live, and with whom? ... what effect does this have on you as an artist

A. Where I live presently is in the mountains alone. I am often inspired to paint local landscapes but I also really enjoy working from photos I take of women either in landscape or in intimate settings. My surroundings really only affect my art when I am painting the literal landscape.

8. What websites do you have, that you’d like to share?


9. Where do you sell your artwork? / Where can we find it?

A. At the above website as well as many new age stores or centers around the country

10. How do you connect spiritually with your art?

A. There is no separation between the two. When I am creating, I am in the right side of the brain, the receptive so I am tuned into Spirit, Source, Goddess or however you think of that energy.

11. What is one thing you’re working on for your personal growth?

A. Continuing to have faith when the world is topsy turvy around us.

12. What made you decide to submit work to the We Moon Datebook Calendar?

A. I love the calendar

13. How has being a part of the We moon Calendar effected your work and the response to your work?

A. Being a part of We Moon has widened my audience.

14. Please describe your creative process?

A. Initially I take a good amount of time to "tune in to" my subject matter, by just sitting. If I am working with another individual it helps me to hold hands with them to connect energetically. Since I am interested in accessing the essence of what I am painting this piece of my process is important. I like working in natural light even if I am working out of my head or depicting a nighttime theme. There's something about the clarity of natural light that I really need in a studio situation."

"I always play music when I am painting. When I look back to a particular piece of artwork I often remember the time I painted it by remembering the music I was listening to. I used to prefer working from life rather than photos and that is shifting."

15. If you could impart wisdom to young women what would you say, do or share with them about what it means to be a creative and powerful woman?

A. Being a creative and powerful woman means always staying true to one’s self , much easier said than done at times. It means being able to take rejection and not letting that affect one's creative process, marching on simply because you love to create, being able to continue to keep going no matter what.

17. What is one thing you’re willing to tell us that most people don’t know about you?

A. I prefer being alone most of the time

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Interview with Lauren Luquin

A wonderful woman, artist, and mother Named Lauren Luquin recently interviewed me for her amazing blog...check her out at this link and read the interview below!

1. Hi, my name is Jen Otey. I am the founder and creator of MOONbow ARTworks. Currently I am living in Southwest Virginia in my hometown. I returned here a year and a half ago after living in Alaska for 10 years.

2. What kinds of art do you do?

For years I painted still life, nude, portrait, and landscaper paintings. While living in New Mexico in 1999 I fell in love with the landscape and the spiritual nature of the work that the artists in my community were creating. Up till that point I felt that my work lacked a feeling… emotional, mental, and spiritual depth. At that time I was also exploring different types of spirituality…I had been learning from and working with medicine people, shamans, and energy healers. My mind, my spirit, my physical body all started to change and to connect with the earth and the sky in ways I did not understand at times and with those changes my art began to evolve and change to help me understand what it was I was feeling, experiencing and longing for. I started painting what was inside myself…surreal at times, abstract at others, and more specifically the sacred feminine that was and is awakening within me...the Feminine face of God and its many aspects and forms.

3. What is your favorite part of being an artist? ...and the most challenging?

My favorite part of being an artist is having the ability to dig deep, pull what needs to come forth and create something that depicts what needs to be seen. I also love it when others resonate with what is created….it is that oneness that excites, exhilarates and inspires me to continue the process of opening to what God/Dess has for me to show myself and to share with others. The most challenging part is that I am unable to do it all the time right now. I am a single mother and not only am I the nurturer and the homemaker but I am also the provider and the protector. Thus, I have a “day job” that requires a lot of my time and energy. But, I am working on changing that. Each day I do a little bit to move closer to accomplishing my dream of being a fulltime mother and artist. I also find that the baby steps keep things at a pace that is manageable and not so overwhelming. In a lot of ways it really is a blessing the way things are gradually and obviously to me, evolving toward my highest good and my ultimate goals as an artist and a Mom.

4. How has your life prepared you and inspired you for this journey as an artist?

Like most folks I was born and raised in a family that had its quirks. But, it is healing that channels the most creativity for me. It is my personal path of healing that has enabled me to discover my gifts that God/Dess has given me. I am so thankful for the abilities and the skills and the path my life has taken from the start up to present…it has put people that have taught me to paint, healers, teachers, family, and friends that support me and enable me to do what I do.

5. What does your creative workspace look and feel like?

At my most creative times…when the juices are flowing full bore it is a huge mess. Currently, I am exploring a brand new space for creativity in my own home. My son and I just purchased our own little house and we have a space right off of the kitchen that is the Mecca of creativity in our home. It is small but, it is allowing for us to do big things with what is going on inside our minds and hearts. My son is a brilliantly creative spark of life who loves to create with and explore material…all different kinds. He is an inspiration to me. Our space has a French easel, a big old farm table, a cork board for hanging sketches, quotes, photos and messages of inspiration, and a bookshelf crammed with books, tools, paint, brushes, tool boxes, sewing materials…you name it and it might just be there.

6. Where do you live, and with whom? ... How does this arrangement affect your lifestyle?

I live in Southwest Virginia in a small town called Wytheville…it is the town I grew up in. I have returned recently after being gone for 15 years. I am healing and rediscovering my roots through the eyes of my inner child and the new eyes of my grown up self that has been and continues to heal and grow. I live with my 4 year old son.

7. What websites do you have, that you’d like us to know about?

I currently have my own website, from there you can access my site. I also have a blog that I sometimes write in….I am not so good with keeping up with that. Here’s the blog link…. and then there’s my Facebook site.!/pages/MOONbow-ARTworks/108932375589

8. Where do you sell your artworks? / Where can we find it?

I sell my work at my site that can be accessed through my website. I also have work at

Dos Manos in Anchorage, Alaska

Babes in the Woods in Girdwood, Alaska

Galax City Gallery in Galax, Virginia

Ms. Divine in Black Mountain, NC

9. How do you connect spiritually to your art?

My artwork is how I explore what is going on within. I think I touched on that above…so I’ll keep this one short and sweet.

10. What is one thing you’re working on for your personal growth?

I am working on balancing my feminine and masculine energies. This seems to be a lifelong theme for me. I am doing this with my art, meditation, energy healing, and yoga.

11. Tell us about your background before deciding to do what you do now...

I was in architecture school when this type of art became an integral part of my life. I completed the degree and I still practice. It’s my day job. I guess I was always an overachiever and a bookworm. I did not often speak up for myself. I did what was expected of me without question…now I do what I feel is for my highest good. I listen within and allow for God to guide me. I don’t worry so much about what others think I “should” do. I set my own compass with the Divine and I follow it where it leads me. I trust more and my faith is the strongest it’s ever been.

12. Please describe your creative process...

I don’t know if it’s a process more than it’s my life….I eat, sleep, dream (awake and asleep), meditate, pray, it is who I am. Things come all the time. I try to make sure that I have something to write with all the time. Otherwise stuff comes and goes and as quickly as it’s right here with me it’s gone. I write and sketch a lot. The images come to me from Spirit like whispers and I not only can see them…but, feel them. It’s the magic of my life and can’t imagine it not being there. The more I develop my intuition the clearer the visions are and the stronger I feel, hear, see, and experience them.

13. Do you travel? ...where have you been...? ...where are you going?

I love to travel. I’ve been all over the continent of North America including a 4 month stint in Hawaii. I have been to Peru and I miss the Andes almost daily. I can’t wait to take my son there. I am currently planning a trip to England to see and experience the sacred sites around Glastonbury. Now that my son is older I am excited to start taking him out of the country. He’s been all over the U.S. He loves to travel like me and according the astrology book “The Birthday Book,” his day is the day of the wanderer. I look forward to taking him to Nepal and India someday. I want him to see how others live and to understand the abundance that he has in his life that he can share.

14. If you could travel back in time, when and where would you want to visit first?

Wow, this is a tough one….there’s so many places and times I’d go. I would have to mention at least three…one being I would love to meet Jesus in person as he was teaching his disciples in Jerusalem. I would love to see him in the act of healing. Another place I’d go is to Stonehenge when it was originally being used as a sacred site…right after or during construction. The third place I’d go is Machu Picchu during the height of the civilization there. I’d love to see a sacred ceremony held there.

15. What is one thing you’re willing to tell us that most people don’t know about you?

HHHHmmm well that’s a tough one too…I’m an open book most people know most things about me. I guess one thing that I haven’t told a lot of folks about is my desire to help end world hunger. My heart breaks to know there are people in the world starving…families. I would love to find a way to use my art, like Betty LaDuke with Heifer International, to help feed the hungry. I pray about this a lot.

16. Please add anything here that you’d like to add, or let people know...

I am thankful for the time to reflect in this interview. The questions are awesome.

Listen to this playlist: moonbowartworks's Playlist