Author Archives: artistjen

Newest Work – Sugar Skull

La pizza, cerveza, y dia de los muertos

24″ x 24″ Acrylic on wood “La pizza, cerveza, y dia de los muertos”

This is a painting I did with a prompt from DNA Galleries in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  They have a skull theme of some sort every October.  This year it was anything to do with skulls, pizza & beer.  I immediately thought of a sugar skull.  Day of the dead is right after Halloween, so this is a celebration of both.  The elements in the skull represent wheat, hops, beer caps for the eyes, and the blue ribbon from Pabst as well as slices of pizza.  It was incredibly fun to work on.

A new job & art in progress

2015.  I have waited for 2015 for a long time.  40 years as a matter of fact.  I’m not sure why, but I always though it would be an awesome year.  I get to witness 11.11.15 & 11.15.15 & I already saw 01.01.15, 01.05.15, 5.11.15 & 05.15.15.  These are all some variation of a very special day to me.  One of these numbers is my lucky number.  How could this year turn out to be anything but amazing?  So far it hasn’t disappointed.

March 2015, T & I managed to once again find ourselves in Burbank, CA attending what has been billed as the last Xena Con ever.  Creation Ent. contract was up and no one wanted to renew.  Understandable.  We had the best time!  So relaxed and so much fun. The Burbank Marriott is awesome.  Highly recommended.  Great service and very clean.  We made so many friends this year.  The fans are carrying on the tradition next year with a Xenite Retreat in the California mountains.  Here’s some info if you are interested. We really want to go.


(Xena Cosplayers at Xena Con 2015.  Photo Copyright 2015 Jen Tucker)

After Xena Con and listening to so many of the stars talk about following their dreams and the amazing things that Xena has done in people’s lives I felt even more certain I needed to leave my old job behind and really give my art career another shot.  But how?


(Xena Cosplayers hang outside for photos during Xena Con 2015. Copyright 2015 Jen Tucker)

I had researched jobs and even sent out numerous applications and had heard absolutely nothing back.  I needed a part-time job with benefits (yeah, right!) or a full-time job in something creative or art related.

After a particularly shocking annual review by the newly appointed chair, I immediately went to the job sites again.  Low & behold, the art museum was hiring part-time WITH benefits!  I couldn’t believe my eyes!  This was exactly what I had been looking for!

I applied, was called for an interview and was hired in a matter of two or three weeks.  I cried tears of joy.

Needless to say, I am now on the path to renewing my work on my art and will be submitting new work to my top 5 choices to work for in 3 to 4 months and every 3 months thereafter.

I am serious.  I am going to do this.


(“Mother of Dragons” in progress)

Getting used to having a J-O-B 2 days a week and scheduling myself 3 to 4 days a week for my freelance work has been interesting.  I’ve had panic dreams about authority figures coming down on me for being late or not showing up or not getting things done.  The first two weeks the night before my work day at my new job I would have stress dreams and panic attacks all night.  I had a small sense of guilt for a while.  T has helped so much with all that.  She’s so supportive.  She’s amazing.

2015 has been awesome so far.  I imagine it will be all year.  I mean, after all, it goes out with a bang in December when the new Star Wars movie premieres.  Happy 2015, everyone!

Savage Sword


My friend dropped off some treasure for me. 1970’s Conan comics. These were a huge influence on me as a kid. They were my gateway to the realms of Fantasy. My art, my stories, my daydreams…all started because of one Conan comic I picked up from a garage sale. Conan will always have a special place in my heart. If it wasn’t for Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan, Xena would have never existed and I would have never met my soulmate. Pretty cool. I was lucky enough to score about 10 of them. Awesome. Now, to read!

It’s in my DNA

DNA Poster

This is the show that my work, “Faded Glory” will be in. It’s a show that will benefit The Bella Foundation and feature several artists.

Faded Glory

When I attended Spectrum Art Live! in Kansas City in 2012 I learned a ton. Stuff that has stuck with me. One of the main lessons I learned was to not force yourself into a place you don’t fit when it comes to your work. As T has repeatedly said aloud to herself, “Don’t set yourself up to fail”. My friend Cindy posted a similar lesson with her writing over at her blog Elephant Soap. At Spectrum, artist, art director, publisher and more kept repeating that as an artist, it’s important to find that place you fit. There IS a gallery you fit in, you just have to find it. I searched and searched and then, quite by accident found DNA GAlleries.

Still, I didn’t have enough me work to submit yet. All the crazy at the J-O-B, the health stuff going on and the money problems were making it hard to focus on creativity, so the art was going and has been going, slower than I want. A couple of weeks ago I checked DNA out again and to my surprise they were doing an open show with a theme. BAM! Instant idea. I had just cleaned my art room up in order to really get to work over a three day weekend and had rediscovered the topographical map I had purchased this past summer at a garage sale. The idea just popped in my head. I could see it clearly. I got to work. I had a completed piece before the deadline and on Sunday, & I headed up to the city and the Gallery to hand it over.

It was awesome. Handing my art to someone who seemed really excited to take it.

I remembered several of the artist’s at Spectrum talking about how they feel and have felt like frauds. We are taught that creating artwork isn’t a real way to make a living. To paint and draw and make the things we love come to life on canvas is for old dead guys you learn about in Art History. Not someone like me. I’m just pretending. I never felt that way before taking a job in retail and being beaten down over and over again. I’ve been finding my way back to my confidence since Spectrum. I grabbed that painting and went with it and when I handed it over, the wonderful young lady at the Gallery seemed excited to get it. It felt right. When she came back out from putting it in the back, she even expressed her personal interest in purchasing it. Before I made it back home, another person had also expressed interest in purchasing it. I was a little floored. As I pulled away from the gallery, the song “What a Feeling” by Irene Cara came on. At that moment everything in the Universe was right. It was perfect.

On New Year’s Eve I announced that my goal was to “take back my power” and not give it away any more and I was going to do things that scared me. So far, so amazing. I have e-published “The Chicken Story”, submitted a work to Spectrum to be judged and possible published in their annual book, and taken a work to a gallery to show. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Drawing Every day and Xena 365

I need to draw. I need to draw every day. Sometimes I just can’t get into it. I tell myself I’m exhausted, which I am, from having to deal with all the crazy from people I work with that make 3 or 4 or even 5 times as much as I do and don’t have to worry whether or not they are making their house payment next month. Such is life, I’m told. Get over it and go on. Excuses get you no where. It’s true and I still need to draw every day.

I decided to do something to help me over my fears and also meet my goal of drawing every day.

Xena 365. Or #Xena365 if you happen to wonder around Facebook using hashtags. You can also use Xena Netforum a fan site that T & I admin, to follow along and watch as I attempt to draw something or someone in the Xenaverse every single day for a year.


Already, it’s forced me to up my game. On days I don’t have time at work to squeeze in some time to draw, and I don’t get home until 7, I was slacking off and scribbling something. It made me feel like a phoney. Souless scribbles that look like crap. Ugh. I realized I do care about the quality of my work. I can see things better already. Artists are trained seers. It’s the biggest part of being an artist. Seeing, then manipulating to make it yours.


I had already told the peeps on Xena Netforum and my personal friends that I was doing this and I had to post the pics to prove I had done one each day. Posting sub-par art made me feel yucky. I don’t want my art look like crap. The best way to avoid this, is to make time to sit and draw. Every day. And isn’t that what my real problem was anyway? I was convincing myself I didn’t have time or energy or both? Suddenly though, looking like a hack concerned me more than being tired. I didn’t want anything else to look like this drawing:


I mean, with a drawing like that, who is going to believe that I can actually draw the good things I’ve been posting? The paintings? OMG. I was being held accountable now. There were people watching. And waiting. *gulp* I wanted all of them to look good. That’s the problem sometimes with being good at drawing/painting/etc. When you are good, even when you slack it’s better than a stick man, but to you, it might as well be a stick man because it sucks as bad as drawing a stick man. In fact drawing Xena as a stick man would be funnier.


Competition. Deadlines. All things that prove once again to be good for me.

It’s even more fun now because followers of the Xena Netforum have shared the works and posted about how a Xena fan is going to try and draw Xena every day for a year. OMG. Now I have to do this. I have Xenites rooting for me.

I have to go now. I have to go draw Xena.

Battle on!