Archives: December 20, 2021

Getting To Know Andy Jouan

This interview was first published on the old site so dates of gigs are out of date. We apologise for the inconvenience. We are finally bringing in all our older interviews with awesome artists from across the arts! Enjoy!
Abbie Shores – Site Owner

What were your musical influences growing up?

It’s a tricky question, I had such varied tastes even big band as I just liked music, though if I had to really nail something down the legends such as Eric Clapton, Paul Weller, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, Eagles, Simon & Garfunkal … Just really too many to mention.

What is your style of music? 

So I generally perform solo, indie folk I am told haha though the EP has full instrumentals, we tried to give each song it’s very own feel and sound, it was great seeing the creations grow as they were written as acoustic songs, guitar and vocal.

Has your style changed from when you first began as a musician?

Hmmm I don’t think so, I’ve hopefully improved haha …. Big Eagle fan so there’s a lot of acoustic guitar folk influence, I should explore different styles really but how I play really does express me I guess so I feel it’s authentic and I like that.

Do you play an instrument? 

Yes so I sing and play guitar, I tried various instruments at school but guitar got my heart. On the EP we bought in session musicians depending on what we created cause we really didn’t know where each one was going other than my vocals and guitar, the rest was all part of the creative process.

What made you choose that instrument?

To begin with it was most definitely the teacher, I was going through some tough stuff in my life at the time as a little boy and this teacher sort of became my idol I guess, he was a violinist in a folk band too and encouraged me to try violin and mandolin, he really encouraged my creativity, really great inspiration. I loved the guitar so much though so the journey begun.

Do your write your own tracks?

Yes all of the tracks are my own, I’ve written on an off for years but one piece stood out and I decided I wanted to record it, Gypsy Girl I wrote for a friend, I than decided to do the EP and wrote all the material whilst we were recording last year. There’s more to come I hope.

Do you prefer writing or performing?

Oh writing and recording 100% I love to see something coming from nothing it’s such a great experience. Maybe I would enjoy performing more in a band, I think the group dynamic could be fun.

Are you very nervous appearing live, or do you enjoy it?

I do enjoy it, at the end of the day you’re there to help people connect and enjoy themselves depending on the gig, I love connecting with the audience and will have a little chat between songs, I also found last year that if I perform to enjoy it myself it relaxes my performance.

What is your favourite track by yourself?

Tricky one haha Probably “Have you Heard” it’s a personal story but I think will resonate with peoples lives, also getting a string section was a stroke of inspiration I really love, sweet sound.

If you could have anyone’s music career, whose would it be?

Oh easy – Eric Clapton, great guitarist and singer, love love love

Do you have a boyfriend? Are they supportive?

Nope not a the moment, I Actually did have a boyfriend during the process of recording and he gave me the idea for “have you heard” asking me “what would you sing to yourself?” I’m a bit of a free spirit I guess, I’m sure I’ll find someone who can be happy with my creative craziness eventually but no stress, I love life.

What do you dream about when asleep?

HAHA a friend of mine thinks I have a CGI budget for my dreams, they are often really amazing and graphic, space travel, different worlds, spiritual realms …. I’m honestly not on LSD haha

Do you think the internet has altered the way musicians can get known? If so, is it easier or not? Has the internet made piracy easier etc?

It’s difficult it’s certainly opened up opportunities but I’m concerned it’s just flooded, it’s so easy to upload a song (even if you’re not particularly great) maybe contributes to the loss of so many music venues too, it’s a different world but I can’t knock it, it’s helped me a lot but I am a big fan of keep it live, I funded my EP myself in a professional studio which I hope shows my commitment to my journey.

Have you had concerts/records? 

Yes so my first EP “Soulsearch” was released last year, it’s getting heard and liked, I had some CD’s made too which I’ve used to promote myself and sell, currently living in London I have been lucky to play at some great venues including Proud Camden and Cargo Shoreditch, its all about getting yourself in the seen, it’s all the same circuit so you soon get in the right venues and meet the right people.

Have you any concerts/records planned for the future? 

At the moment I have been pretty busy with my painting but I am playing at Proud in Camden on the 7th Feb. Talking to a promoter about going forward. I’m online 24/7 though for you to enjoy hahaha

What are your plans for the future?

I’d love to travel and play more venues, definitely write and record more and of course continue my painting.

What advice would you give to young musicians looking to get into the profession?

Ummmmmmm “You can do it” haha Seriously just start because you love doing it for yourself, get out to open mics to help your performance skills, treat like a gig though, make it real, you’ll convince yourself and others your going somewhere, what’s that saying “Fake it till you make it” haha

Have you done any courses to help you?

No not at all, other than the few lessons at primary school I’ve learnt myself and just write stuff down a lot. You’ll write a lot more rubbish than good songs, it’s the same with my art though I tend to try let it flow and adjust later .

What do you do to market your work?

Well Live performance is a big part cause it is fun, Social Media Twitter, FB, Instagram, YouTube it’s all part of life these days, I don’t quite get how people make massive amount of cash from just talking about themselves but I guess that’s the Kardassian world we are in … I like to think my authenticity comes across. I’m also on management sites where you can apply for your songs to go on Radio, TV and general A&R agencies.

Do you use social networking in your day to day life? 

I’m probably slightly addicted lol …. I figure there is so much of it you have to post to be remembered and to hopefully gain real followers who are interested in me rather than just the numbers game where people don’t actually interact.

Twitter @andyjouan

Insta @andyjouan

FB – Andy-Jouan-Music-Art-Soulful-Living

Are you available for work (gigs)?

Yep always, it’s great fun and after seeing someone on the London Underground carrying a Double Bass I no longer huff and puff about getting to a gig haha

Have you got hobbies?

Other than my creativity I love walking and kayaking anything outdoors and I’m really lucky to have travelled lots to. is having a pint a hobby ?

Where are you based?

Currently in London, I hope that can continue though I have lived in various coastal locations and love being by the sea. So nothing set in stone I guess.

Getting To Know Janine Riley

Janine Riley


I am thrilled to say that I have two young Granddaughters whose Art will be displayed in an Art show this upcoming weekend .   The family legacy continues as these two also take care of a stable full of horses. One rides English, the other Western and Championship ribbons have been pulled already.  I may miss my days of competition – but seeing these two young beauties enjoy their horses is pure delight to me.

What’s your background?

I grew up in the country in the Hudson Valley of NY. Barely one hour’s drive from NYC – but at that time it was a whole other world. Surrounded by fields and farms, as kids we were able to roam the mountainside, play in the woods and spend our days down at the waterfalls. My earliest memories were of pony rides down at Clove Acres ranch. Little did I know then how that would shape and guide my future . My sisters and I grew up working at that farm . Taking care of the stable, our own horses, and riding in the horse shows. I had a Paint horse at the time and competed in Gymkhana events. That horse was very aggressive in competition and pulled plenty of Championship ribbons and trophies, it was my job just to hold on. Ah, the glory days….   My son lives on a farm and has several horses – the grandchildren now ride horses and place in shows !

Does your artwork come from that background?

Yes, my love for all things “Country ” and being outdoors in Nature. It is all that I know really. My artwork is a memoir. A reflection of my life and how I experienced those times. It is a longing for “Home” and to return to cherished times, if just for a few brief moments. Most of our time spent with family is on the farm or at horse shows – the land provides me with most of my inspiration.

White Country Farmhouse @Janine Riley

What are you trying to say with your work?

My wish is that I can evoke a memory. I hope that the viewer feels invited in to a scene, and wants to spend some time walking around. Not everyone will enjoy or be interested, but for those who are – I hope to pull forth a strong emotion for them.

What made you choose the medium you work with?

I learned how to paint with Oils along with Bob Ross of course .  As the years went by and the family grew with children, dogs and cats – it was no longer convenient to have wet canvas lying around drying.  Watercolors, while convenient, quickly proved to be quite the challenge .  Although quite difficult at times, they were filled with wonderful surprises. It seemed to me to be a reflection on life . You don’t always get what you expected  – but if you can get through and get past the struggle – the results are always well worth it.  I still believe that  ” the Fairies ” finish my paintings for me. Every Painter knows that there is this horrible phase where it is just so ugly – and you can’t believe that it will ever turn in to anything. But it does. The watercolor Fairies do it.

Scranton Times Auld Lang Syne @Janine Riley

My job is just to introduce colors together.

Do you work in a studio?

I am fortunate to have a small spare bedroom that is converted in to a studio .  Tons of art supplies stuffed in to buffets and hutches. All ” my specials ” are kept displayed on the hutch – as they inspire me.  Bird’s nests and Robbin’s eggs, feathers and crystal rocks. Hand made gifts and ornaments that my family has given to me. They remind me of who I am.   I have my Painting easel displayed between two windows that look out in to the forest . My Art studio feels like a tree house to me . A herd of deer is a daily sight, and several times a season I will see a bear moseying by. Last year he spent an entire hot lazy day just lounging at the base of a tree,  possibly a whole 20 ‘ away – with not a care in the world..

What is the one thing in your studio you just could not be without?

Interesting enough it is my camera that I would not wish to be without. Even though I am primarily a Painter- my camera goes with me everywhere I go. It captures all the details for me that I can bring back to the studio. I paint the emotion from the memory, and the picky little details come from a photo.

Who are your biggest influences?

My greatest influence of Watercolor is Andrew Wyeth. My heart aches from his portrayal of the rural Pennsylvania countryside. The bare bones of the land – the austerity of its stark Winter existence. Although I am completely drawn to his stoic nature – you will quickly observe that I paint nothing like him. I may desire to – but my paint brush has a habit of picking up orange or purples and throwing it in a scene. My style is somewhat whimsical and Illustrative . My trees can be spooky at times but my scenes are typically uplifting.  Blame it on the Fairies.

One of my greatest joys is that I get to share my artistic sense and way of seeing things with my two grown children. Each an Artist in their own right . My daughter Jasmine has won awards at local Art shows. She enjoys the use of multiple mediums – but excels at using charcoals and doing Portraits.  When I am painting a scene – I will always call her in to critique it . A split second and she will point out what is needed for the finishing touches.  My son Christopher is a Photographer who is always out there capturing the bridges in the Hudson Valley . His work can be found by the name Christography.  I enjoy when we get to go on an adventure capturing the local scenes. Our last day out shooting pics together was at the Scranton Railyard.  A cold rainy late October day ( and we were both recently released from the hospital for different ailments ) and we had a blast. There is much to celebrate when you appreciate the time that you have.

Autumn’s Romance Little Country Church Unionville @Janine Riley

What is your favourite piece of work by yourself?

That is like picking your favorite child.  I also create Photographic Art, so each creation was a journey – complete with fond memories and stories to tell.

One piece that has touched my heart in a special way was – ” Pete the Mule ” .  I met Pete up on my way to Cooperstown NY as we were going to visit with family. There was a farm down the road – and for some reason we decided to stop and say Hello. I’m sure I had my camera out to take pictures. Pete had so much love in his heart to give. You could see all his old scars from days gone past – but was grateful to his new owner who was a kind gentleman . Look in Pete’s eyes, and you will see his soul .

How much time (on average) does it take to complete a work?

A painting can take from three days to three weeks.  I am getting too edgy with that lately – and want a piece completed in under a week. I have a lot to say – and feel the need to get pieces out there.  I have been painting with Watercolors for over 25 years – still learning new techniques every time I paint. They’re actually called mistakes, but if you can remember how to replicate them – you have a new technique.  For the first twenty years I was a “Traditional Style ” painter. Basically that means no white paint used or any other mediums to enhance your work. I am no longer interested in challenging myself that way – I paid my dues. I will use whatever means it takes to express myself. Life it too short to not leave your authentic mark on it.

Esu The Future Looks Bright @Janine Riley

What do you want people to say about you when you are gone  ?  ” She followed the rules ”  isn’t it.

How do you know something is ‘finished’? Is it easy to walk away?

I have a very difficult time knowing when to finish a piece. I love painting intricate details, I find it relaxing. Not a splashy loose painter by any means . Perhaps when I have exhausted myself with a scene and am no longer obsessed with it.  I like to push my skills to the limits. I quite often win, but sometimes I do lose.  I’ve learned that I can always paint it over again. With new insight.

Horse I Dream Of Your @Janine Riley

What project are you working on now?

I have been working on a series of painting Little Country Churches. My son will catch a few images for me in his travels, and I have the local shots. I’d like to do a favorite church from each of the local little towns. In small towns many of life’s memories are surrounded by the local church .

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

It was Wyeth again.  Painters often have anxiety about ruining a fresh clean piece of ( very expensive ) paper or canvas. Wyeth’s simple cure for that was to take a pencil and make a strike on the clean paper. ” There, your paper is ruined now ” he said,” and the only thing you can do to improve it is paint on it “. That is paraphrased, but it sure did stick with me.

Liberty’s Light Newburgh NY @Janine Riley

Also I credit my husband for purchasing a huge roll of watercolor paper for me. No more worries of ruined paper – I now had tons of it.

What was the first piece of art you sold ?

I’ve been painting since about ten years old – I simply can not remember my first sold piece. I do remember my first Oil painting of an Ocean wave  that I painted – it came out so beautiful in teals and aquamarines, I was shocked that had happened. Throughout the years I have painted everything in sight. I have painted and sold several houses – inside and out. I have painted many pieces of decorative furniture . I’ve painted hair for a living . My family seems to collect Paint horses. It’s in the blood. The sale was never as important as the doing.  Maybe I should rethink that ?

Do you find it hard to navigate the artworld? 

I am a very friendly and outgoing – Introvert, as most Artists often are. I tend to keep to myself and my family. I have enjoyed living in Milford and participating in the local Art shows and Black Bear Festivals – what I have not done yet is committed to hanging in a gallery.  It is because I enjoy producing my art in isolation that I have focused solely on online and print sales . I get to hoard my originals that way – I don’t have to worry about the immediate sale of an original painting when prints are available to the public.  Committees of large groups can be quite taxing and vexing to the spirit. I have not yet found my niche in the local arena.

What are you personally doing to advance your work career?

I just adore the town that I have recently moved in to. Milford PA is consistently listed in articles as one of ” America’s 10 coolest small towns”. The variety of architecture is an Artist’s playground.  I would like to focus on creating a body of work of local sights. I am intrigued by architecture as of late. They are more complicated to produce than a landscape – with all those pesky straight lines .  When I feel that I have a decent body of work to display – I will then focus on presenting in galleries in my local areas.

Pete the Mule @Janine Riley

How do you price your work and why do you price it that way?

Pricing is probably the most difficult topic an Artist will face. Perhaps a look around the Art studio at all the ridiculously expensive supplies and equipment will remind one to take their work seriously.  Know who your audience is at first – I would like my art to be available to the average consumer. Thankfully prints are available in a variety of sizes – and price ranges.  On Paper, Canvas, Acrylic or Metal  prints  – the purchaser gets to choose.  That makes my life so much easier . If a Collector is interested in an Original  – they may certainly contact me .

Do you use social networking in your day to day life?

Barely. I keep an Artist Facebook page so that so that family and friends from back home can keep track of what I am doing. Everyone’s support has always meant the world to me. My family’s encouragement keeps me going   I try to add a few things to Pinterest Collections. That’s about as talented as I am with social Media.

Is there anything that really annoys you about the artworld?

I am sure there would be lots of things if I really paid attention. I simply do not  “Art Speak ”  for one .  I also do not engage myself with people who have a disproportionate sense of importance or entitlement.

What advice would you give new artists?

Being an Artist is such an individualized experience. I wouldn’t know what it is that each person wishes to seek. I would tell someone to be authentic in their art, and find your niche. Do not be concerned with the ” shoulds ”  and the latest fads.  As life gets busy – remember who you are. Keep a sketch pad and pencil in the car, or a cheap camera in the glove compartment if that is all you can afford .  I truly believe if you are doing what you enjoy – you will flourish.

Windswept Paint Horse Shawangunk @Janine Riley

Have you got hobbies?

Other than art ?  Let’s see… I do enjoy Flea markets and dawdling through thrift shops . I like to take time worn pieces and recreate them, using as decoration around my home. I’ve spent many years landscape gardening – but my new home is now surrounded by forest. I’ve picked up Kayaking recently . We enjoy fishing and hiking in many of Milford’s state Parks. Milford has so many activities going on in town – I enjoy a few hours stroll to stop in a say Hello to everyone. My camera is always with me of course .

Where are you based?

Milford PA is in the North East of Pennsylvania nestled in the Pocono Mountains. My family still has a home in the Hudson Valley, so we travel back and forth visiting. It is good to see the old sights of Home.

Janine Riley
Website URL:*  Janine Riley –

Neglected Or Weathered – Kathy From KeppenArt

The image above shows a house that was once a grand building.  But through neglect, the weather slowly destroyed its beauty.

That’s how I feel today.  Not neglected but definitely “weathered”.  I am “under the weather” as the old saying goes.  I have been physically ill for several days and not able to complete all my responsibilities.  This blog post, for example, is being posted several hours later than usual.

Therefore, since I feel like this house looks, my post for today is the story of this image, copied from my art site KeppenArt.

Haunted By Neglect 2 is a photograph of a house in a small village in the southeast section of Ohio that was founded in 1815.

The Second Empire Style, obvious in the features of this house, was used extensively in the northeastern and mid-western parts of the United States from the 1850’s to the 1900’s.

Almost all of the distinguishing features of Second Empire architecture are built into this house, including a Mansard roof (sloped, patterned, and shingled), an iron roof crest, decorative or rounded window surrounds, dormers, bracketed cornices and a one story porch.

Neglect has taken its toll on this building. The porch roof has rotted from un-repaired water damage. Siding on one side of the house is falling off, exposing the lathework that provides a backing for the interior plaster (out of view in this image).

I took photographs of this house from several different angles and was surprised to learn that it is actually inhabited. Not only was there a truck in the side drive but as I was shooting these images the window air conditioners started running. A former resident of the village told me that the house was used as a rental for many years. Another local told me in late 2016 that this house had been demolished.


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Pet Peeves II – Kathy From KeppenArt

Part Two

In my previous blog post I introduced the subject of Pet Peeves.  As a brief reminder a common definition is:

A frequent or common subject of complaint or annoyance.

I also stated that when doing research I found many web sites dedicated to listing the pet peeves that are most common.

In reading over the lists on those sites I found many of those issues to be some of my own pet peeves.  Many issues were a matter of consideration or lack of consideration towards others.  Quite a few were noise issues. Those were the pet peeves that were most likely on my own personal list.

Here are only a few pet peeves that were on every list that I saw:

1)  Noisy eating and drinking (chewing with an open mouth, lip smacking, slurping, etc.).

2)  Not covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing.

3)  Interrupting another person.

4)  Talking on or looking at a phone at inappropriate times (talking on the phone in public or looking at the phone when someone is talking to you).

5)  Slow internet. Slow walkers.  Slow drivers. Slow Cashiers.

6)  Hearing people say Eh, Like, or You Know repeatedly in their conversation.

7)  Chronic lateness.

How many of these seven common pet peeves are also on your own list of pet peeves?

Is your most annoying pet peeve on the list above?

Do you have a long list of pet peeves or only a few?

I admit that all seven of those common pet peeves listed above are also my pet peeves but not necessarily in the same order.

If this post gets much longer,  then typing and reading the words pet peeves might have to be added to my list of … eh, well, like, you know, pet peeves!


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Pet Peeves – Kathy From KeppenArt

Part One

Q:  What is the meaning or definition of a Pet Peeve?

A:  A frequent or common subject of complaint or annoyance.

Generally, something that bothers one or more persons that does not bother others.  What you find extremely annoying someone else may not find that same issue annoying at all.

Q:  How did our annoyances come to be called Pet Peeves?

A:  Our answer comes directly from Wikipedia:

The noun peeve, meaning an annoyance, is believed to have originated in the United States early in the twentieth century, derived by back formation from the adjective peevish, meaning “ornery or ill-tempered”, which dates from the late 14th-century.

The term pet peeve was introduced to a wide readership in the single-panel comic strip The Little Pet Peeve in the Chicago Tribune during the period 1916–1920. The strip was created by cartoonist Frank King,   who also created the long-running Gasoline Alley strip. King’s “little pet peeves” were humorous critiques of generally thoughtless behaviors and nuisance frustrations. Examples included people reading the inter-titles in silent films aloud, cracking an egg only to smell that it’s gone rotten, back seat drivers, and rugs that keep catching the bottom of the door and bunching up. King’s readers submitted topics, including theater goers who unwrap candy in crinkly paper during a live performance, and (from a 12 year old boy) having his mother come in to sweep when he has the pieces of a building toy spread out on the floor.

When I sat down to write today’s blog I searched the internet for all things connected to Pet Peeve.  I found the above origin of the concept and definitions with many examples.

What I also found were numerous web sites listing pet peeves.  I found sites with titles or subtitles that read something like this:  70 Pet Peeves almost everyone has, 100 Common Pet Peeves, 76 Incredibly Accurate Pet Peeves.  There were more, too.  I finally decided to stop reading and start writing.

It seems that we all have at least one Pet Peeve and most of us have more than one.

What is your Pet Peeve?

Do you have more than one Pet Peeve?  I sure do!

Do your Pet Peeves often involve the actions or behaviors of those close to you?

Ponder on your answers to those questions in the coming days and then join me next week for Part Two of my Pet Peeve Blog to find out if your pet peeves are among the more common ones.


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