Sunday, December 25, 2016

What we leave behind

-For my momma-

Losing a grandparent so very hard... yet at the same time ever so beautiful.

So hard that you won’t be able to be embraced by their tight squeezes and cheek kisses. You can’t listen to their infinite wisdom, and even their craziness. You wont get random phone calls from them anymore making sure you are safe and happy. And no more being forced to eat even when you are full because they want to make sure you never leave hungry. 

Then it is beautiful to know that they lived such a wonderful life that their absence leaves a hole. That their bodies are made whole again. That they are having the sweetest reunions with loved ones. And that they are able to be our angels while we continue on. 

Recently my grandma Ruthie passed away, and it got me thinking about the impression we leave on those we leave behind.  Being able to witness how she touched everyone’s life made me want to live that kind of life, to enrich those around you and always put others first. I mean… she wanted an ice cream party instead of a funeral! We of course did both and it was such a perfect and wonderful celebration! 

 Watching my mom loose her mom tore me apart. You can’t help but put yourself in their shoes and feel how you would feel losing your mom. It’s unfathomable.  

One night I was in my grandma’s room with my mom and she was just sitting there admiring all of her moms beautiful jewelry in her vanity… and she just broke down.  Seeing how her mom had left her bedtime bonnet on the counter next to her vintage earrings and her clothes draped on the chair in her closet.  

 Then she went and layed on grandmas unmade bed, just how she had left it, with the Cinnamon Toast Crunch on her bedspread that my mom had given her a handful of that morning, and cried. The moment was so heartbreaking. 

Going into my grandma’s home afterwards was bittersweet. You could feel the emptiness of her absence, but being able to see how she left things, remnants of her daily life, was so comforting. I felt the need to capture every detail, from the unfinished puzzle, to the chair she always sat in next to her upside down Christmas tree (left up all year), to the laundry on her bed 


Since loosing my grandma I've been thinking a lot about the impression we leave on people. All the worldly things from our lives stay here and people are left with feeling of how we impacted their life.  

I asked my mom and each of her siblings what the biggest impression was that their mom left of them. Here are their responses (oldest to youngest): 

Mike – “Compassion for everyone. She was the ultimate Joan of Arc.” 

Jim – “That she had the pure life of Jesus Christ and knew how to follow the prompting of the Holy Ghost. And her willingness to serve others.” 

Pam – “Daddy used to say mom had more charity in her little finger than most people have in their whole body. So much and more but if I had to pick one thing right now it would be her ‘never give up’ attitude. Endure to the end and then still keep trying. “ 

John – “Her love of the gospel and for her savior.” 

Marilyn – “That’s easy… unconditional love. NEVER give up on a child.” 

Judy – “Her talent for making things beautiful with an extra added flair. And also her kind heart. Always wanting to make sure everyone was taken care of.  

How amazing to have that be the legacy you leave behind? That really is what it is all about. To be able to leave a lasting impression on people, because that is what they remember. We can learn so much from those around us, especially our grandmas and grandpas. They are wise and witty and always fill our hearts with warmth, even after they are gone.  

I am so grateful to have been able to have that special woman, my grandma, influence my life. And her legacy lives on as I continue to take after my mother who learned so much from her.  

Love you Grandma Ruthie! Tell grandpa hi!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

my open house

So just over a year ago I was packing up my house, getting ready for the big move from Utah to El Paso, Texas. I realized I had a ton of my work hoarded in my studio. Like a shiz ton. So I decided that instead of boxing them up for the journey... I should share them with my peeps in Utah. So I came up with this crazy idea of doing an open house out of my garage to sell my art. I spread the word on social media and just prayed that people would actually show up!

The night before as I was prepping for the sale with my amazing friends and fam... and I was just grumpy. I thought it was just all a waste and that no one would even come. I just wanted to stop and eat my feelings and go to bed haha. But man... I'm so grateful I was surrounded my loved ones that supported and helped me that night. Definitely couldn't have done it without them. Once we finished (around 5 am), I went to bed and didn't sleep cause I wanted to throw up and pass out at the same time.

Look how cute my momma's were just helping me all night!
Finishing touches :)

Next morning (or really just a couple hours later.. haha) I did the finishing touches... and before my open house even started I had people showing up. It was a CONSTANT flow for the next couple hours. Guys... I tried my hardest to not break out sobbing with happiness!! The fact that people showed up and supported me in this dream of mine seriously meant everything to me.

Dad :)
So many people from my life that I love came and it was like a great big reunion for me as well... perfect since I was moving! I also met a bunch of new wonderful people that just saw it on my Instagram. It was amazing to know that someone that didn't even know me came and took a piece of me with them. From start to finish my heart was just filled with so much joy with all the conversations I had.

I felt so loved.

My momma and bestie Gavin were the best at being my cashier's and jamming out to One Direction of course :)
Writing a personalized note on the back 

So THANK YOU. To all of you that came and made my day!! Looking back a year later I can't believe how much support I was shown. It is a feeling that sticks with me to this day. When I get discouraged thinking what I'm doing doesn't matter... you help me remember that IT DOES. I love knowing each of you have a little bit of my soul with you. I hope you know that I am so grateful and humbled that you took the time out of your day to come support me. It filled me with such a fire to keep pushing forward with this passion of mine!

Also, thank you to all of you that couldn't make it. Thank you to all of you who leave kind words on my posts. Thank you to all of you that admire my work. Thank you to all of you that just support me. Thank you thank you thank you!!!

I freaking love you all!

(all the lovely professional pics - Lexi Bills - @lexcmarie)

Friday, April 22, 2016

under the sea

So... today (Friday) both me and Austin have the day off.. and it has been wonderful! We have bummed it around the house all day.. sleeping, eating, listening to tunes... ya know.. the goods. Now he's gaming on his Xbox One and I'm working on getting stuff in my Etsy shop... fiinnaallyyy.

I am having to name the pieces I put up.. and that's always the hardest part for me.. aahh. There is one piece specifically though that I tried to come up with a cool meaningful title.. but all I could think of was a song title from Disney.. haha. Every time I look at it I see that scene in The Little Mermaid where Sebastian is singing to Ariel about how amazing it is under the sea! So that's what it's called. Because that's what it is. :)

'Under the Sea'

Now as Austin is gaming and I'm working... we both are dancing and singing to this little reggae song on repeat.

So listen to it.. let it get in your head.. you know you love it!!!! As for me.. I'm gonna go find a body of water to throw myself into so I can be a mermaid.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

a glimpse into my process


I know I've been MIA since my open house in October.. but I'm back! Since then, my Army husband and I have moved to El Paso, Texas. So with moving and settling in and exploring... I've slacked on ze blog.. so sorry my friends :) Even though you haven't seen.. I am still creating!  

Click on this link  >>>  Facebook - McKenzie Jones Art <<<  to watch a video of me doing a painting from start to finish! (I tried to load it directly to this but it ruined the video quality and it sucked so... i'm sooooorrrrrrryyy.. hahah) While you're there though give my page a like eh? :)

.... now that you have watched the video...

Here's a breakdown of the process in the video:

I started out with Caran d'Ache water soluble crayons. It sure felt good to just scribble... I may have broken a few in the process.. haha FEELINGS GUYS. Then I sprayed it with water, which brings out the magic!! It is always my favorite part to watch the color come alive and dance over the paper. Next I used Daler-Rowny FW Acrylic Ink in my favorite color 'Marine Blue'. With the paper already being wet it just melted into the paper... then spraying it just let it swim all over! Then I got some white acrylic paint and blocked out areas that got muddy and to create stronger shapes. Plus the white paint mixes so lovely with the wet colors floating on the paper already. 

I always get to a point where I don't know what to do next, hence the spare piece of paper hanging up next to it. It is some old Masa Printmaking paper from my undergrad that has been hanging out all unused and sad. I put it up there to use as a sound board for color, with the intent to use it for collage later. In other words... it's not up there to turn into a masterpiece. It is there to let me test colors and get out all the crap. Artsy scratch paper. 

So on that paper I found that pink color and decided the piece needed some of it to warm it up a little in contrast with all the coolness happening on it. So I threw that on there along with some yellow ochre. Then to bring the temperature back down and inject a little more contrast, I brought in some dark blue. 

(then Austin gets home from work and we go watch some of our shows on hulu... haha)

Next day! I went in and threw on some watercolor... and decided I was being too safe! It had lost the hardess from the beginning and got too flowy. Too soft. It lost the brutality I was going for. So I poured out some Sumi Ink and attacked the paper with it. Flipping the paper around gives me a fresh view of the piece and I am able to see the problem areas. Plus.. my wise art friend told me that you know a piece it truly good when it works in all orientations. :)

And there ya go... the final product! 

If you would like the purchase the piece shoot me an email at for info! 

Much love my friends. Peace out :)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Open House

Hello lovely people!

So as you know I am moving to El Paso, Texas, and I have started to go through my things to start packing up. I have unearthed sooooo much of my artwork that I have hoarded to myself in the process! hahaha aaahhh!! I would hate to pack them up and have them sit in a box... they need to be out and on a wall where they can be loved and appreciated.. (I'm way too sentimental... haha). So.. I have decided to do a big blowout sale of all my stuff! Woot!

I have some things that are framed and/or mounted and ready to go, which will be full price. I also have A LOT of unframed raw work that will be sold at a very discounted price! So there will art available for aaalllllll prices ranges so you all can have a piece of me before I peace out to El Paso! All of them are originals so you will definitely get a one of a kind piece. Woot!

Here are the details my friends:

McKenzie Jones Art

Open House - Sale

Saturday, October 3, 2015

10 - 2

Orem, Utah (at my home)

For the sake of not putting my home address on the internet for everyone and their cat to see... leave your email in the comments or email me at for that info! I would looooove to see you all and would be so happy to find new homes for all my art (remember... I'm waaaay too sentimental). 

So thank you thank you thank you for your love and support and I hope to see you there!

Plus.. there will be refreshments and desserts.. so at least come for the free food ya? :)

Friday, September 18, 2015

fear of the unknown

Everything in my life is changing right now... I find myself in unknown territory and it is terrifying and exciting.

I'm no longer a student... I'M GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE! Holy crap. With school starting back up this fall and me not in it I sure feel weird. What am I going to do??? (I guess use my degree eh? haha)


My husband has joined the Army Infantry and has been gone the last 4 months training. We were only able to communicate through letters... which was romantic and hard all at the same time haha. The whole time I knew at the end of the 4 months we would move out of state... but I had no idea where (I do now, and you will too in a couple of lines). I couldn't plan or anything so I've been just sitting in liiiiiiimbo.

Another unknown.

Finally getting to see him after being apart was incredible! I feel so honored and proud to be his wife. Being back together sure made me excited for this next step in our journey... in EL PASO, TEXAS!! And no it's not close to my cousin Angel (who also lives in Texas)... but I will be with my man so that is all that matters. :) ...uuuuunnnleessss he gets deployed... so let's hope he sticks around for awhile ya? Ya.. okay great :)

Big huge unknown.

Right now I am surrounded by all these unknowns and change and it is freaking scary and kind of exciting (mostly scary... at least right now.. haha). McKenzie here is definitely out of her comfort zone.

The greatest thing about being an artist is being able to use it as therapy to understand how I am feeling. I am able to get all my thoughts and emotions out of my head and onto the paper. This piece below was the first piece I did after working on my BFA show, and it was for my last final at UVU. I felt as though I was scraping the bottom of the barrel for this because I had put every ounce of my soul into my BFA. I was also kinda sad and sentimental knowing it was for one of my last finals... once I was done that meant I was DONE. All this while knowing Austin would be leaving soon and we would be moving.... aahhh! So this piece became a place where my hope and fear collide.

'Fear of the Unknown'
42 x 56 in
Mixed Media

With all this uncertainty it has sure made me dig deep to find strength in myself and my relationship. 

Finding strength in yourself is hard sometimes. We all have self doubt. It's so easy to support and cheer for others.. but to cheer for yourself? Not so much (GO ME! haha). One thing I keep telling myself is "I can do hard things". I know I can. I have been through a lot in my life so far and it has stretched me and shaped me into who I am today. And I'm pretty awesome... right??? hahahaha :) With graduating in fine art and no longer being a student it is time for me to be the artist I want to be. I want to be successful and have it be my career. I want to create for a living. I want to make my mark on the world. I want to move people. I want to inspire and be inspired. I have so many aspirations and it is scary.. cause now is the time for me to pursue them. I can't hide behind being a student anymore. I have to be a grown up (ew) and go after this dream of mine! Wish me luck eh??

Along with digging deep into myself... I've had to dig into my relationship for strength with all this change. Austin and I have such an incredible bond that has only grown stronger with him joining the military. Watching him receive confirmation to join the Army and to go after this life long dream is so inspiring. And trust me... I haven't always felt this way. Back in high school when we were dating he ALWAYS talked about joining and I thought he'd grow out of it for sure. I would tell him it was a deal breaker for marriage. Now here we are... almost 8 years later.. married.. and he's in the Army... hahaha. Deal breaker my A.. I love that boy too much! It took a lot of conversation and prayer to truly feel okay about it. Now that I do my heart is just overloaded with joy and love for that noble man on mine. I am so proud of him and cannot wait for this adventure to begin!

As nerve-racking as all this is... it is so fun to go after our dreams together and dive head first into the unknown. With all this inconsistency, that boy is my constant. That's all I need. :)

Come visit us in El Paso eh? :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

uvu - class of 2015

Guys... I graduated... woot!!!! It took me a while... but I freakin did it :)

I graduated with my Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in painting and drawing. I also got a minor in art history.. which was totally unplanned.. haha. I had just taken so many art history classes that I stumbled upon having a minor! Yay!

in the drawing studio... look at those beautiful walls!!!

Commencement was Friday, May 1, 2015 held in the Grande Ballroom at UVU. I got there... little late as usual... so I ended up being the last graduate to walk out when they introduced us to come into the ballroom. I was so excited!!! (as you can tell below.. baha)

My whole family and Austin's family was there to support me. It was so fun to walk out and see them all cheering me on.. I felt like a million bucks! I love them so much!

The program was sure different than most graduation's I'd assume. Of course it got boring at times.. haha but we had a dance number... an amazing group of singers... and a senate lady from Idaho spoke and it was like we were at church with her. She had us yelling "AMEN!" and "HALLELUJAH!" and laughing so hard... it was sure entertaining :) Then there was a slideshow showcasing all of the visual arts and I had some work in (my crew yelled pretty loud when mine came up.. woot woot!).

Then it finally came time to ggrraadduuaaatttee!

I was so freaking nervous and excited to walk up on that stage... it was so crazy knowing I was actually graduating.. and in something I am so passionate about! They called my name to go up... and I got my diploma (not really tho... haha punks.. still waiting for that in the mail).. shook hands all official like.. the I got to hug Lana Jardine (a dear friend) cause she was up on the stage... and it was just the cherry on top!

One of my amazing professors, Sue Parkinson, got an award and it was so cool to see all her hard work pay off. Makes me hope one day that when I'm all cool like her I've done something to be proud of too!

After the program we left the room as everyone applauded us... cause we are freaking awesome... and then got to meet up with family and friends!

Marcus and Catherine.... my professors :) 

Having a polly in the family sure made it fun because he made me candy leis that went up to my eyeballs! I was soooooooooo pumped about that!!!!! Jake is the best! It was soooooo heavy I thought I was going to fall over... haha

I love my momma's!!!

I love my family so much! Thank you all for being there to support me and along my journey to my BFA! Seriously could not have not it without you guys... who else would tell me how awesome I am?? haha :):):)

And most of all.. my husband :) He is what keeps me goin.. man do I love him. Thank you for being my number one babe!

Thank you ALL for your kind words and comments... they kept me going and led to me getting my Bachelors! Five years ago I would have never thought I was an artist or that I would graduate as one... I was lost on what my degree should be and changed it every chance I could. Randomly taking that drawing 1 class back in 2011 CHANGED MY LIFE! I had no idea of my ability an what my little hands were capable of. It has been an amazing journey at UVU discovering what I could do... and learning, growing, and pushing myself to be better. It has been quite an adventure and I've loved every minute. Now here I am... graduated in fine arts... doing what I love... and making it my career. I am so excited (and terrified) to see what the future has in store!


To leave you... and since I'm a total idiot.. here's a plethora of Kenzie for the day... hahahaha

Enjoy :)

peace out :)