Tools & Talismans #7 — Jennette Nielsen

One of the additional “benefits” of painting other people’s tools and talismans is that it takes away my option to choose what I think I can paint — even on a subconscious level. Not that I’d choose to go easy, but when the option is taken out of my hands, it makes life, and painting, all the more interesting.

When I saw the photo from Jennette, my eye went straight to the piece beside the mug. See there, on the right. Yeah that. Snake skin? Honey comb? Oh wow. Okay, I’ll figure it out. I really will figure it out. It’s one shape and then another, shadow and then some light and looking and looking and seeing. This project is taking me on a painting journey that’s — to use a large and weighty word: Transcendent. Really and truly. It's changing the way I’m approaching everything I paint, everything that I look at, and almost everything I see. 

And it’s honeycomb, right Jennette?

Near the center there you’ll see an indigo colored mug I made and I use every day for VIB (very important beverages) in this order throughout the day: hot lemon, ginger honey water upon waking, dandelion honey and almond milk tea after that, green smoothie next, then a kombucha in the later afternoon. 

I smudge with the yerba santa stick on the far right before starting any writing or Make-to-Mend projects to increase and support my psychic and spiritual attunement. Sometimes I use white sage, palo santo or mugwort instead. My hive tool across the bottom is my main bee priestessing tool. It allows me to get into my honeybee homes efficiently and carefully when everything has been sealed tight by the little ladies with propolis.

My Krewe Du Optic polarized sunglasses are a favorite tool for eye protection when i am working my land and gardens outdoors in all seasons. And on the far left, the deer skin medicine bag I made holds all the magical charms, potions, spells and amulets I need for protection, healing, divination and connection with Great Mystery on the daily. I never leave home without it.  

Jennette Nielsen, maker, seeker, huntress, gatherer, forager, mystic and vagabond wanderer


Tools & Talismans is a personal painting project where I’m documenting {in watercolor} the tools and talismans of 100 different women — creators and healers, thinkers and makers, wordsmiths and visionaries. Join me for a year of Tools & Talismans — I'll be sharing a new painting with you every Wednesday.