A Week’s Work (Or Play, I Should Say)

I have been talking with people a little bit about showing my work in a variety of possible venues. One woman I spoke with said, “Well to show in a gallery you have to have more than a couple of pieces.”

She obviously doesn’t know me. (Yet.) Here is this week’s work! 

Photographing the Work.

It is much harder to photograph this stuff than to paint it. I have discovered that my cell phone takes better photos than my Nikon 35 milimeter SLR Digital camera. And my cell phone is not even high end. It’s a smart phone but rather cheesy, I thought.

The photos below are taken by my cell phone.

No photo description available.
Mixed media collage by Jan Kirstein. 11″ x 14.” Summer, 2019.

But the cell phone captures higher detail, better color, and is higher resolution. I have an app on my phone I use called “Camera.” How creative. Anyway, it apparently bumps up the quality quite a bit from my bare smartphone camera, which is really pretty close in quality. My cell phone is an LG Cricket. (I go cheap whenever I can. )

No photo description available.
Mixed media collage by Jan Kirstein. 11″ x 14.” 2019.
No photo description available.
Mixed media collage by Jan Kirstein. 11″ x 14.” 2019.
No photo description available.
Mixed media collage by Jan Kirstein. 11″ x 14.” 2019.
No photo description available.

In the Artist’s Studio

My art studio is a place to celebrate, contemplate, examine and perceive. The creative process continues today .

My name is Jan Kirstein and I invite you to look at the Artist’s Journey through my eyes.

My new inspiration for creating in my studio still spins from reading Nancy Hillis’ inspiring book just out called “The Artist’s Journey.”

The journey down stairs leads to the studio where the painting with sumi e ink begins.

I move on to other painting media and collage with Japanese rice paper.

Thanks for joining my on my journey. I hope you feel an inspiration to create wherever you can find a small space. I used to complain that I didn’t have a studio. Now I call the world my studio!!

Jan Kirstein

Studio Inspiration from “The Artist’s Journey” by Nancy Hillis

Inspiration from the new book “The Artist’s Journey” by Nancy Hillis continues to move me to the studio each day.  See Nancy’s new book on Amazon HERE.


Paintings by J. Kirstein

“I have always felt as though I come from some place very far away, and the only way I am able to sustain myself on this planet is through creating through painting and writing.” J. Kirstein

“The big idea is to work with the elegant solution of simplicity and constraint. Within a constraint you have an infinity of possibilities to explore.” Nancy Hillis in “The Artist’s Journey.”

“The Dark Night of the Soul happens over and over for every artist. The transformation of creating your deepest work lives at the edge of your struggle.” Nancy Hillis from “The Artist’s Journey.”

I Read “The Artist’s Journey” by Nancy Hillis and Created This!

“I hadn’t painted in over six months. As a professional artist, I was depressed because I didn’t feel like I had adequate studio space. But after reading Nancy Hillis’ new book “The Artist’s Journey,” I created all of this in under two hours. No more excuses for me! I am a professional artist who has been painting for over 40 years, and I am certainly not about to give up now! ” Artist Jan Kirstein

Get “The Artist’s Journey” by Nancy Hillis HERE.

"After not painting for over 6 months, I read "The Artist's Journey" and in 2 hours I created this in my laundry room studio space. No more excuses for me! That's for sure!"
Materials used include Sumi e ink, Japanese rice paper, pastel, colored pencil, and graphite." Artist Jan Kirstein

“Just when you think hope has left the building, someone like Nancy Hillis comes along and revives our purpose and place in the universe. “The Artist’s Journey” is a game changer, a mind bender and true epiphany of purpose for every artist living in the challenges of the 21st century”. -Janis Kirstein, artist.

“After not painting for over 6 months, I read “The Artist’s Journey” and in 2 hours I created this in my laundry room studio space. No more excuses for me! That’s for sure!
Materials used include Sumi e ink, Japanese rice paper, pastel, colored pencil, and graphite.” Artist Jan Kirstein

Pick Up Your Spirits

Walk your talk. State your purpose. Make a statement. Stand for what you believe with the Kirsteinfineart clothing line. Martin boots enable you to stand in your truth. Speak your purpose. Find your voice.

Choose a design you find resonates with you. All designs are made from my own original fine art from collage paintings both digital and mixed media, including Japanese rice paper, sumi e ink, graphite, colored pencil and acrylic paint.

Contact me at kirsteinfineart@gmail.com with two words that speak your truth and 

together we can work these two words into your design. This will be a one of a kind creation for you, with your statement, your choice of design to express your truth.


A variety of products, a variety of designs + your choice of words enables you to speak your truth and stand for what you believe. Go for it! What are you waiting for? Don’t know where to start?

!. Find a product
2. Find the design you prefer.
3. Email me your product, design and your two words and your email and I will generate a possible design for you. Together we will work your design to a happy completion.

Examples, Stories and Insight

Book Review for

“The Artist’s Journey” by Nancy Hillis 01.27.19

Book Review By Janis Kirstein

In “The Artist’s Journey,” author Nancy Hillis has woven for us an intricate, structurally sound and radically uplifting tapestry of inspiration and guidance, not only for today’s creative artist, but for all seekers of truth who want to live, thrive and come alive and aware in the 21st Century.

Her magic carpet of structural threads stems from and  includes her personal and direct knowledge and experience of 20 plus years as a Stanford trained existential psychiatrist. Combine this with her well of seemingly limitless understanding of the workings of the subconscious mind and explorations of the self.  

Watch how she weaves her epistle with a myriad of powerful gossamer threads highlighting and illustrating her eloquently stated concepts and revelations. As you move through “The Artist’s  Journey,” compendia of cultural knowledge and illustrative stories range from Biblical to Medieval to Modern Day writings and literature providing direct illustrations of her key concepts.

Also included with this book are links to Nancy’s “Studio Journey” lessons and exercises for painters at any level, from beginners to age old painting aficionados.  

And finally, the ubiquitous warp and woof of her grand tapestry is undergirded and revealed by Nancy’s extensive background and real life experience as an abstract painter.  Her direct art journey  provides for all of her readers a sure footed guidance and understanding of how to incorporate all of the revelations of her magical tapestry into the unique life of each and every reader. She engages us with her truth, examples, stories and insight, whisking us away on a magic carpet of joy in the journey through enlightenment.

Facing into your fears, learning to trust yourself and embracing the abandoned self are the basic gold nuggets and key steps to take on the Artist’s Journey. Nancy explores and  explains these monumental tasks of the Artist, complete with a weaving of stories from multiple cultures and times.

Trusting yourself is the holy grail of creating, she says. She  gives the example of Jacob wrestling with the Angel by the Jabbok River in the Bible. She uses this story to illustrate the truth that to express yourself in art, you first have to master yourself.

Face into your fears, she says. She illustrates the exploration of the artist’s reliance in their own life struggles to enable creativity of inner voice and vision to emerge. She illustrates this importance of struggle as necessity with the story of Dante’s “Divine Comedy.”  She shows us how this story reflects a journey into the subconscious mind and the paradox of finding strength and transformation even as you experience powerlessness.

She reminds us with an example from Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ “Women Who Run With the Wolves” that dying is as essential as birth in the creative process. Facing the dark night of the soul is essential.

Accept the parts of yourself that you have rejected and abandoned, she says. “Invite them back because they have something to teach you,” she says, encouraging us to employ talking to ourselves as a process to turn around Solomon’s Paradox,  the age old observation that some are much better at giving advice to others than to themselves. The way you talk to yourself can help release emotional blockage by allowing insight to uncover and allow epiphany through  inner dialogue.

Concrete maps and details for proceeding in the Artist’s Journey are the basis of this book, combined with enlightening advice and engaging stories from a myriad of  times and cultures. As a professional artist for over 35 years, I will use “The Artist’s Journey” as requisite curriculum for the next 50 years of my creative life. “The Artist’s Journey” by Nancy Hillis is the new Required Reading and Bible of Creating for all Artists and Seekers of Truth in the 21st Century.

Painting by Nancy Hillis

Get your “The Artist’s Journey” by Nancy Hillis HERE.