Jenny Johnstone-Smith


She Felt Fine Designs:

Unique, quirky, fun, and whimsical are words used to describe my mixed-media art and jewelry. These words also described my grandmother. Dolly Wilson—Nanny to her family—helped me explore my creativity.

Is creativity innate or learned? It may be a little of both. While I may have been born with creativity, it was Nanny who nourished it. She watered, weeded, and gave it sunshine. Knitting, embroidery, painting, and playing with clay; she kept our little minds and hands busy. Nanny-inspired creativity. I guess one could say, Nanny was my muse.

Nanny lived through the Great Depression as the eldest of ten children. I never grew tired of hearing about Nanny and her five sisters. The Watson Sisters danced throughout Canada and the US during the Roaring Twenties. The Depression had an enormous impact on their lives. They ate what was available or whatever the root cellar held. And I never saw Nanny throw away a raggedy garment until it went through a transformation. She ripped out zippers and wrestled free dome snaps and buttons from their fabric. What remained she turned into rags and used as dusters. To this day, as I donate or recycle, I find it difficult to part with something that may have another use. Over the decades, bolts, and buttons from my grandmother’s button tin, adorned my pieces. Now, when I now see other artists’ using zippers, buttons, wine corks, nuts, bolts, pop tabs, and pallets, it excites me. My muse would be happy to see this trend as well.

Before moving to Gulfport, I lived in mountain states for over thirty years. New Mexico, Montana, and Wyoming gave me explosions of color in their sunsets and sunrises. Their environments served as my color palette. Their western culture and folk art were my inspiration.

I’m driven by some simple beliefs:

  • Embrace imperfections; they are a part of life.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh hard and laugh often; life is too short to do otherwise.
  • Focus on your blessings and strengths, not your disadvantaged circumstances or your shortcomings.
  • God gave me life; life gives me challenges; challenges are overcome by my faith in God.
  • Be grateful for each day that you can use your God-given talents. Some people never find theirs.

Phone: (505) 944-6927