Jessica Ballantyne’s Painting a Day for 30 Days- The Final Five!

Jessica Ballantyne’s Painting a Day for 30 Days- The Final Five!

Take a look at the final five paintings and a couple of lessons learnt

The daily painting challenge is officially over although its taken me a while to post the pictures! I decided to do a painting challenge called a Painting a Day for 30 Days. Well its taken a little longer than 30 days but I have got 30 artworks to show for it. You can read about the start of it here in this post .

I have super enjoyed and hated the daily painting project. I went through stages of excitement, boredom and depression about it! So dramatic;)

I guess the challenge was an internal one and more about getting on with something without listening to the ego voice in your head than about creating 30 paintings in 30 days.

A few things I realised along the way:

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  • I realised I have been using time and the amount of time it takes to complete a painting as an excuse not to create as much as I should.
  • I realised I can produce art at a steady pace but need concrete goals and time limits to do so.
  • I realised I should paint and make art even during the times when I don’t feel like it (the feeling usually passes once I get started).


The hurdle was not creating 30 paintings in 30 days, it was and is to overcome my own mind, the feeder of thoughts and ideas but also doubts and insecurities.

The greatest challenge and exhilaration is when I can simply ignore the thoughts, feelings and subtle suggestions that make it appear as though I am stuck, unable to create anything, and discover the total tranquility that is there all the time but shrouded by thought.

So without further a due here are the final five paintings from the painting a day challenge!


Jessica Ballantyne, painting in progress, eyes a boob, surreal, eyes, body parts, breasts, squished bodies, surreal bodies, art in progress, pink, oil painting, warm colours, red, magenta, blue eyes, peeping eyes, peeping tom, pencil eye, wallpaper, eye looking through wallpaper, surrealism, quirky art, strange art, different art, voyeuristic


Jessica Ballantyne, painting in progress, eyes a boob, surreal, eyes, body parts, breasts, squished bodies, surreal bodies, art in progress, pink, oil painting, warm colours, red, magenta, blue eyes, peeping eyes, peeping tom, pencil eye, wallpaper, eye looking through wallpaper, surrealism, quirky art, strange art, different art, voyeuristic


pink oil painting, pink nude, pink, nude, art, paitning, pink boob, pink nipple, antique frame, oval frame, classical nude, feminist nude, Jessica Ballantyne, Daily Painting 23, painting a day, feminism, female ideology, objectification, beauty, close up nude

pink oil painting, pink nude, pink, nude, art, paitning, pink boob, pink nipple, antique frame, oval frame, classical nude, feminist nude, Jessica Ballantyne, Daily Painting 23, painting a day, feminism, female ideology, objectification, beauty, close up nude

pink oil painting, pink nude, pink, nude, art, paitning, pink boob, pink nipple, antique frame, oval frame, classical nude, feminist nude, Jessica Ballantyne, Daily Painting, close up nude


Free free to comment or join the Facebook Group here and have a look or share your artworks! You can start at anytime, no judgements!

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Jessica Ballantyne’s Painting a Day for 30 Days- Day #22

Jessica Ballantyne’s Painting a Day for 30 Days- Day #22


I titled this painting for the daily painting challenge “Grasp”. I wanted to give the impression of a body unconfined, uncontrollable and disturbingly soft, unaffected by the lame attempts of the hands to grasp or keep it together. So this is “Grasp”, painting a day number 22 🙂

oozing bodies, dripping bodies, flesh art, Jessica Ballantyne, daily painting, painting a day, fleshy boulders, fleshy, boulders, magenta, pink, dark art, dark, surreal, disturbing, stones, stones on flesh, small scale painting, inktense painting,grasp, hands holding soft bodies


Like what you see? Sign up to my newsletter and I will let you know when I am exhibiting these!

A Painting a Day for 30 Days – Day #11

A Painting a Day for 30 Days – Day #11

Surreal Figure with mask

The Painting a Day Daily Painting challenge found me on this day drawing a surreal figure with a wolf-like mask. I have been fascinated with this masked figure  for many years and here she is represented with strong lines of ink on paper.

Jessica Ballantyne, nude pencil, peaceful figure, feminist art, feminist drawing, erotic, surreal, feminine art, self love, disturbing art, dark art, different art, original pencil drawing,pencil techniques, contemporary artist, uk artists, Daily painting, painting a day, miniature painting, 7x5 painting, surreal figure with mask, masked figure, six breasted nude, female nude with six breasts, pen and ink, surreal drawing

Surreal Figure with Mask  was my art work for my daily painting #11, sign up to my newsletter to get the pieces and their inspirations in your inbox once a week!:)


A Painting a Day for 30 Days – Day #10

A Painting a Day for 30 Days – Day #10

Automatic painting 2

Day number 10 of the daily painting challenge! I decided to do an automatic painting, not with lines like Automatic Painting 1, but with colour, straight onto the canvas with no plan what so ever. Shapes and forms started to appear in this daily painting which did not really make sense, but now, every time I look at it I see something different:) This was the result of an automatic painting for the painting a day challenge:

Daily painting, painting a day, Jessica Ballantyne, Jessica Ballantyne Artist, automatic drawing, surrealist techniques, surreal, surrealism, distortion, automatic painting,abstract automatic painting, abstract figurative, suggestive artdistorted body, soft body, melting body, body abstraction, colour painting, contemporary artist, uk artists, south African artists

What do you see? Let me know in the comments!


A Painting a Day for 30 Days – Day #7

A Painting a Day for 30 Days – Day #7


My daily painting for day number seven is inspired by a poem by Sylvia Plath called Colossus, here is the first stanza:

“I shall never get you put together entirely, 
Pieced, glued, and properly jointed. 
Mule-bray, pig-grunt and bawdy cackles
Proceed from your great lips.
It’s worse than a barnyard.”

This poem is said to refer the Colossus of Rhodes, a sculpture of the Greek Titan Helios erected by the city of Rhodes to symbolise its victory over the Cyprus leader at the time.  The statue later collapsed after an earthquake struck and the poem is centered around the ruins. Helios is a personification of the sun god and here I have depicted him as a fetus in his mothers belly. I have transferred the broken sculptural quality to the female body but I still wanted her to be looming and powerful looking, like the mother of a God.

It is thought to be about Sylvia Plath’s father, his memory and legacy. The poem is rich with complicated imagery and a myriad of interpretations can be found. Here is my interpretation in the form of a painting :

Daily Painting, Painting a Day, Colussus, green oil painting, green, fetus painting, sun god, Helios, greek titan,Jessica Ballantyne, many breasted woman, female nude, surreal figure, abstracted body,  ,


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New Guest Artists At Cultivate Evolved- A Space Run by Artists for Artists

New Guest Artists At Cultivate Evolved

A space run by artists for artists

It’s that time again at Cultivate Evolved , where the eight artists in residence change their walls by hanging new work and the new guest artists will be showing theirs for two weeks. Don’t miss your chance to see some great upcoming artists here at Cultivate Evolved! We have two very interesting, different and super talented guest artists in the space from tomorrow…

Our new guest artists for 13th to 26th February are Jamie Stanton and Samantha Payne. See some of their work below:

Samantha Payne:

Samantha Payne, Cultivate Gallery, art, uk artists

“Samantha Payne is a Fine Artist from North London who focuses on the aesthetic of her work and its engagement with the viewer, rather than concept. The pure pleasure of creating is the driving force behind her painting, along with the belief that Art need not be complicated.”


Jamie Stanton:

Jamie Stanton


Jamie Stanton is a London-based digital artist.

“When our ancestors first etched symbols on blocks of ochre during the Upper Palaeolithic, and recorded for the first time internal thoughts on external media, they didn’t know they were taking the first steps of a fifty thousand year journey to instantaneous planetary communications. From bead necklaces to broadcasting towers, as these technologies evolved so did the cognitive structures that facilitated them. And as our brains transformed, so did the way we perceived the world and in turn how we physically transformed it. The tools we build today to navigate the abyss of information that is the internet are forging new neural pathways in the brain. New forms of symbolic syntax that represent a new layer of cognition; one that will cast shadows millennia long.”

Don’t miss the chance to see these two artists!

Come check out what we are made of and maybe even buy a piece of art or two! We have artworks ranging from £1 to £1000 so there is definitely something for everyone! Join my Art Letter to stay informed 🙂

Jessica Ballantyne Artist statement

Jessica Ballantyne Artist statement

This is an edited version of a 2010 artist statement. I thought it was rather passionate and wanted to share it!

My name is Jessica Ballantyne. I have a BA in Fine Arts from the university of Pretoria, South Africa. I immigrated to the UK in 2009  for three reasons

1.To join my immediate family who had already been living here for some time

2.To get away from the fear of violent crime in South Africa

3.To make my dream of being a successful artist come true

I became interested in the portrayal of women whilst writing a thesis on how women are portrayed by the Surrealists and the media. I always had a keen interest in surrealism and psychology at school and was somewhat obsessed with Dali from the age of 14 when I saw his work for the first time.

I remember wanting to steal the Dali library book so that I could look at the images everyday, all day without having to worry about the next person who wanted to take it out. I saw something new and fresh in the imagery every time I looked at it. I was fascinated with the grotesqueness of the sexual imagery and seemingly sick mind of the man.

Much of the work I have done in the past was purposefully rendered in such a way as to be overtly sexually intimidating and disturbing. The body became a site of sexual meaning with which I wanted to confront the viewer with signs of attraction and repulsion. The nudity and allure of the sexual poses are often contrasted with deformity and the “body impossible”.  At the same time that the body is open to the viewer’s gaze, it is also turned away or blocked from the viewer, restricting their access to the more intimate body.

surreal photography; fantasy photography; Jessica Ballantyne; she wolf; four breasted; self portrait; art; artist; uk artist; south african artist; feminist; erotic; nude; naked; shock art, distortion, distorted body, female objectification,

I wanted to give an impression of the body about to break free of its sexual or gender constraints.

A body that breaks almost violently with images of the traditional nude (that passive, succumbing sexuality), a body that reveals an animalistic side to humans, sexuality and how both are portrayed.

The work is a reaction to the objectification of women in art, media and pornography.

These images strip the female body of any sense of personality or experience. By omitting the head and arms in the work above (as the Surrealists often did)I am commenting on this process of removing presence from the female form.

In a world obsessed with sex and violence and where the female body represents commodity, desirability, pornography and ideology, I am interested in juxtaposing these with their counterparts; uniqueness, repulsion, nakedness and ugliness.


How to “Get Out There” as an Artist

How to “Get Out There” as an Artist

Jessica Ballantyne, feet, foot fetish, foot fetish painting, foot art, I love feet, beautiful feet,, feminist art, feminist painting, erotic, surreal, feminine art, blue hair, yoga, dark art, different art, original oil painting, contemporary artist, uk artists,

As an artist its important to get your work “out there”. I have been creating work on a full time basis since September 2012, when I moved into a beautiful studio space at Second Floor Studios and arts in London. It has been a bit of struggle in terms of seeing myself as a “full time artist” and in terms of money. The words explain it all really, it IS full time. If your intention is to become a full time artist, it has to become your full time job and you have to treat it like a business.  You just need some patience, perseverance, knowledge (or access to it eg :internet) and a SCHEDULE- which was the most important one for me and the one I’m just beginning to grasp on my path to being a successful full time artist.

Being an artist means you have to create work and then get it out there. Getting your work out there could mean various forms of sharing your work like;

  • physical exhibitions
  • updating your website with good images and blog posts
  • social media sharing

It will also mean actively engaging with your fans and people in your industry by

  • going to exhibition openings and speaking to people
  • commenting on blogs relating to your topic
  • attending events or salons (I went to a feminist one once and met tons of interesting artists, it was informal and pleasant, and I’m pretty shy so if I can do it, anyone can)
  • using social media to comment and engage with your fans and other artists

Galleries are great but the amazing thing about technology is that it allows us as artists to cut out the middle man and go straight to our collectors and future collectors.

So we can give them a custom experience for less money and focus all our energy on giving them an inspiring experience with art they love! But to get to this point they have to find you first! And how they will do that is by you “getting out there”

Hope you liked this post, please comment on your experience below!


Blogging Challenge 2014

Blogging Challenge 2014

I am being brave and trying to improve my blogging skills, so I have decided to take part in Hubspots 30 day blogging challenge! Please feel free to show your support by commenting on how cool or how shite you think my blogs are, I plan on writing one a day or at least five a week!

This is officially my second blog for the challenge so I’ll talk a bit about how great blogs are for artists and how people do actually find you through your blogs! I have a little story. My studio is a spacious room at Second floor Studios and Arts (there are around 300 artists and craft people working there at the moment).

One of the people in my unit (unit 4) said he was struggling with the idea of being an artist and wanted to know what an artist was, what it meant to be an artist…I wish I could say that my blog inspired him because he has inspired me to some degree! But sadly no, my blog was about the first steps you can take as an artists leaving university and he was searching for what it means to be an artist. He said he found my artist blog but unfortunately it did not answer his question, I told him that only he could answer that question…the end

The point of the story is that he found my artist blog and didn’t even realise it was my website until he saw my name (and looked at my bio picture)! Pretty amazing stuff (well I thought it was). People do look at these things, I mean there are billions of people in the world and loads of them are surfing the net looking for interesting or useful things. So if you are an artist, musician, whatever, start blogging about what inspires you, your processes, news, information or just your pet cat. Better yet join the challenge with me 😉

looking forward to hearing those opinions;)

here is a really freaky x-mas present I got from my brother…I love it!

Jessica Ballantyne, freaky purse,

Surreal Erotic Oil Painting on Surfboard

Oil on Surfboard!


I was chilling in Cultivate Evolved (one of my new permanent exhibition spaces) and whilst chatting to Sean Worrall (also part of the team) I was suddenly inspired. He works in a street art, tag style, layering up on interesting surfaces one of which was a skateboard. It got me thinking as to other interesting surfaces and shapes I can integrate with my own medium, oil painting . At the moment I’m working on circular canvases depicting “Restless Monks” a series inspired by a guru, Mooji and based on my experience on a silent retreat with him in Portugal.

So I was looking at the skateboard and thinking how cool it is to paint on interesting surfaces and it struck me that my partner in crime has two unused surfboards, gathering dust and creatures in the loft! So of course I got him to get them out and I have started preparing them for oil paint.

At first I wasn’t sure if oil paint would work on such a surface, but this is what I did: I first lightly sanded the board, wiped it down and put three coats of acrylic gesso (the same used to prime canvas  for oil paint). So it should work, I’ll keep you posted on the process!

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Drawing, shading, drawing and shading, large scale drawing, surreal drawing, surreal art, Jessica Ballantyne, melting bodies, drawn boobs, drawn breasts, bodies intertwined, morphing bodies, female body art, totem pole, human totem pole, fleshy totem pole, large scale art, big scale drawing, long pencil drawing, pencil body, pencil feet, pencil bum, fleshy body growing upwards,


This is the image I will adopt for the piece, I will be adding lots of bright greens, reds,and purples to the mix. I was playing around in Photoshop looking at what different colour combinations I can do.

I will probably have to change the image slightly and may crop it. I want this piece to bring a surreal, erotic summer to wherever its placed!

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Surf board art, how to paint on surf baord, oil paint on surf board


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Here is my surfboard that I have primed (a couple more layers still to go!)


So this is something new and I am excited to try it out!

What is the coolest/ strangest surface you have seen or made art on?


Please share below and sign up to my art letter to see the finished surfboard art !