Workshop Facilitator/Co-Owner of Creative Nectar Studio
I’m an artist and soul explorer on the ever-unwinding journey toward self-discovery. Using the vehicles of process painting, insight meditation, yoga, dancing and simply breathing in nature, my intention is to fully meet and embrace each present-moment experience with awareness and acceptance.
For most of my life I’ve suffered from what I call “not good enough” syndrome. My desire to avoid the associated feelings became a great driving force for making good grades, doing well on the job, and winning approval of others. But years of crazy-making have taught me that “enough is never enough” and eventually I learned that striving for perfection is a lousy strategy for finding true happiness. In fact, often what might appear “perfect” on the outside (at least according to the confused standards of our society) is just an empty shell longing for something more authentic.
Authentic expression is exactly what I was hungry for when I graduated from art school. In 1999, a flyer caught my eye that forever changed my life. It said “Paint or Die” and had a raw, childlike painting on it that sent a distinct signal to the very center of my heart--saying “YES.” The flyer belonged to Sarah Oblinger, founder of Paint or Die Studio in Lawrence, KS (now Studio Exanimo in Dixon, NM) and Sarah became my guide as I began attending process painting workshops held in Kansas City in Stephanie Gray’s basement at that time. The raw, unbridled creativity that I witnessed from myself and others in those workshops ignited something in my soul that had been smoothed over and forgotten. And I was hooked.
Part of my return to wholeness involves embracing my “shadow side”--all the less-than-desirable parts of me that I’ve disowned in an attempt to fit a particular image. The rage, the shame, the laziness, the ugly aspects...I’m learning to embrace these parts of me like a would a child, rather than judging them and stuffing them down.
This is an ongoing journey of self-discovery and self-recovery that will probably last for the rest of my life. Painting for process will for me always be a treasured go-to practice.
Jenny offers on-site process painting workshops at various locations across the country.
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Jenny Hahn earned a BFA in illustration from the Kansas City Art Institute and exhibits out of her studio in Kansas City's Crossroads Arts District. She has practiced process painting since 1999, mentoring under Sarah Oblinger of Paint Or Die/Studio Exanimo. In 2005 she opened Breathing Color Studio out of her home, and in 2011 co-founded Creative Nectar Studio with Stephanie Gray. Jenny has studied insight meditation (Buddhist Vipassana) under the guidance of dharma teacher Robert Brumet since 2000 and weaves the mindfulness teachings and gentle body awareness into her workshop facilitation. She is also an occasional yoga instructor and a founding member of the Unity Artist Coalition at Unity Village, MO. View her paintings at www.jenspaintings.com.