That Faraway Look

That Faraway Look - Jenna Decker small
THAT FARAWAY LOOK (2019) 8″x10″ watercolor on paper

A glimpse into your mind.

Imaginary gardens growing, twisting, concealing.

Only you know what you’re looking at. Only you dream the dreams inside your brain.

Shifting visions of flowers, vines, and songs all tangled up in knots.

Colors and shapes blend and germinate…

When you’re staring off into space with that faraway look in your eyes.

In progress shots:



Tender - Jenna Decker (1)
TENDER, 5″x7″ cotton fiber & watercolor on paper


Details and view of stitching from the back

New embroidered watercolor painting. Subtle white thread on flowing blended blues.

Stitched pathways, tender trailing touches, cold air.

Meandering through quiet beauty, snow under starlight.

You can follow me, but I don’t know where I’m going.

Depth of Mountains

Unformable Things

Works in progress…

“It’s all the unwordable things one wants to write about, just as it’s all the unformable things one wants to paint” -Emily Carr

Neural Pathways & Home by Sunset

Neural Pathways - Jenna Decker

  “Neural Pathways” 5×7 inches watercolor on paper.

Inspired by neural pathways/neural plasticity/brain function. Sort of an abstract/colorful representation of neuroscience. (Nothing about this is actually scientific haha, just my own artistic interpretation)

Home by Sunset - Jenna Decker

Home by Sunset, 5″x7″ watercolor & ink on paper

The Music Became Honeyed

 5″x7″ watercolor on paper (left)                  18″x24″ watercolor on paper (right)

Digitally-manipulated version (below)

The Music Became Honeyed digital

Three versions of the same painting, “The Music Became Honeyed”.

Abstracted nature. Petals, leaves, branches, hills and mountains fragmented, re-imagined and arranged into a fluent composition.

I loved this composition so much, I did it in two sizes (both slightly different of course) and then manipulated it digitally to create a new kind of harmony within the painting. The result was a unique, entirely new symmetrical/mirrored/balanced piece.

Do not copy or reproduce any images without permission.

Leave a comment below or contact me here if you wish to purchase this piece.

And Could Fall No Further


“The floor seemed wonderfully solid. It was comforting to know I had fallen and could fall no further”

Sylvia Plath

A Breathing Space & Linger

A Breathing Space - Jenna Decker
A BREATHING SPACE, 5″x7″ watercolor & ink on paper


Linger - Jenna Decker
LINGER, 5″x7″ watercolor on paper


Found Dancing, Push the Sky Away

Found Dancing Push the Sky Away - Jenna Decker

“Found Dancing, Push the Sky Away”

Watercolor on paper  (5×8 inches on paper)

This is one of my favorite pieces that I’ve made this year! The composition just appeared naturally and effortlessly from a spontaneous under-painting. The flow of shapes and colors just makes me happy to sit and stare at.


(In progress photos– under-painting and peek of color swatch/notes during the painting process)

*This painting is available, contact me if you’re interested in purchasing!


A Chronically Ill Book

You're Still Sick Julie Jacobsen Deck small

I painted/designed the cover for this beautiful book full of empathy, fierce women, and a touch of magic realism…

Have you ever read a fiction book with a chronically ill main character? (Probably not, right?)  Any young woman with an invisible illness/disability will see herself in this book, and anyone else will gain some much-needed insight into the lives of women who are “still sick”.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been asked that question, too- “You’re still sick?” goes hand-in-hand with “but you don’t look sick!” and “get well soon!” after you’ve just said you have a c h r o n i c illness. Yup. Thank you [sarcasm].

Find more about it on the author’s website (which I also helped design!) or purchase her book on Amazon, etc!


Daily IV, Daily Art.



I went many years trying to hide my illness. I didn’t  want to appear like I was complaining or exaggerating (which I think is very common particularly for young sick women who are often dismissed as “faking” symptoms), and I didn’t want it to define me. I wanted people to remember me for my work, my art, not as “the sick girl”.


But I did myself a disservice by doing this. Illness is a part of me. It has shifted my priorities and dictated my time. I would spend however long my body allowed me to “act normal” and then I would go home and collapse. I would have to recover from doing normal things. I had to schedule my time so wisely.


No one knew in my college classes that being there that day meant I would not be able to cook dinner that night. That the energy I expended on learning and working those couple of hours would mean I’d spend the next day holed up in a dark bedroom waiting for a migraine or  some other unbearable pain to lessen. I had to plan my days around tasks like showering (if I did that before class I might faint while standing waiting for the bus, so I’d try to shower the night before, etc etc etc…. endless planning of things most people don’t even think about. #spoontheory)


Looking back, I wish I had shared more with my friends, family,  professors, etc. Perhaps if they were open to learning about chronic illness, I could’ve helped spread some empathy. They would’ve been a little more understanding of the next person they met. Perhaps they would consider that just because someone doesn’t LOOK sick, doesn’t mean they aren’t. They would know that despite what popular movies and books portray, illness does not end in only death or miracles. Sometimes you get sick and  just stay sick and that is your new reality.


I no longer want to hide my illness. Years of misdiagnosis meant years of extreme suffering. But I am finally beginning to heal and want to share all parts of myself and my art, not just the pretty end products!  There is so much more to come!!

Thanks for reading,


Discordant, Place Undreamt, In Your Brain

Left: “Discordant” watercolor 5x7inches.

Dripping, flowing jewel-toned notes of music. Experimenting with new layering techniques. Loving this bright color palette of olive green, red violet/magenta, and deep golden yellow.

Top Right: “Place Undreamt” watercolor 8×10 inches.

Shapes in constant motion, forming abstract dreamy landscapes and blooming colors.

Bottom Right: “In Your Brain?” watercolor & ink 8×10 inches.

Inspired by turning music into art.


Orange River Constellations

“Orange River Constellations” A past work– acrylic and stitched fibers on canvas.
I really miss working with acrylic but unfortunately I only have access to watercolor and paper at the moment. I went through a traumatic time where I lost all of my belongings (ALL. Including my art supplies and my entire portfolio and any unsold works). Read more about it in this blog post. If you like my work and are feeling generous please consider making a donation or purchasing my work! Paintings will be available in my shop very soon, but you can also email me if you’re interested in a specific piece. (You can find my current work here, most of these pieces are still available)
I’m so looking forward to sharing more of my work again. Thank you for understanding the years of hiatus if you followed my last blog or knew me from Etsy (musical color studio). I’m finally climbing out of the “chronic-illness-abyss” and so grateful to be creating again!

Lush Melodic

Lush Melodic - Jenna Decker

“Lush Melodic”  Jenna Decker 2018

(watercolor on paper, 8.5 x 12 inches)



Another music-into-art work. Shapes and colors composed to visually represent music. I think there’s an interesting sense of motion in this piece, moving from the detailed layers at the bottom (which could translate to individual notes in a piece of music) to the free-flowing shapes at the top (which represents more of the emotional component and over-all feeling of a certain song).


Leave a reply below or contact me here if you wish to purchase this piece.

Layers of Sound


(under-painting & details)

Layers of Sound - Jenna Decker (finished painting)

Title: Layers of Sound

Size: 8.5 x 12 inches

Medium: watercolor on paper

© Jenna Decker 2018

 Swirling candy-colored shapes, slightly psychedelic, a groovy painting! Something totally new for me. Inspired by turning music into art. I loved painting this and getting lost in the layers of color, movement, and sound.

Contact me if you wish to purchase this painting.


Where I’ve Been

“If you’re any kind of artist, you make a miraculous journey, and you come back and make some statements in shapes and colors of where you were.”

-Romare Bearden

This quote was the last thing I posted on my previous blog  in November 2015. I hope that’s what I’ve been doing the past few years.

The only way I can wrap my head around years of  serious illness and isolation is to somehow hope it was worth something.

Years passed in a blur. It’s one of those awful paradoxes where each minute of the day spent awake seems to last forever (in pain or a state of insomnia) but then suddenly I realized it was a new month. A new year. And I was still stuck in that chronic-illness-suspended-time-place. Stagnant.

I try to not think of all this wasted time. It’s not fair to call it “wasted” at all. It was hardly a choice. You try to be content in small moments, try to appreciate & acknowledge small achievements, but at the end of the day it is not the life you imagined or wanted for yourself. It is not a life you would wish on anyone at all.

Unfortunately I have no miraculous recovery story to share. I have multiple chronic illnesses (chronic means long term, means I will likely cope with them in some way the rest of my life). I was misdiagnosed, undiagnosed and mistreated for years and my immune and nervous system spiraled out of control until I reached a point where I could barely function on a daily basis.

If you’re at all curious, I have dysautonomia, lyme disease (as well as bartonella and babesia co-infections), and I was also exposed to toxic mold. At the advice of my doctor, I left my home (the source of the toxic black mold) with only the clothes on my back. I lost all of my belongings, all of my artwork, e v e r y t h i n g.  I was essentially bedridden for 2-3 years, with extremely diminished brainpower/mental ability on top of physical symptoms. I was not myself. I could not be creative, I could not create art, I was stuck, unmoving, lifeless.

I am healing, I am not healed. I can now stand for more than a few minutes without fainting. I can smell commonly-used chemicals like perfume, detergent, or smoke and am no longer sent into anaphylactic shock like what used to happen every time I left my house. I have a chest port and still have to administer hours of IV medications daily, and there are other things I need to do on a minute-to-minute basis to stay in this improved state. My mental ability has improved. I can think again.  I can read again. I can be creative again!

So like I said before, I have no miraculous recovery story to share where I tell you I am completely healthy and returned to how I was “before”. But if you saw me a few years ago, you would still agree that this is still a major improvement. And I am still hoping to reclaim even more of my life in the years to come, slowly but surely…

I am sharing all of this as a conscious decision to be more open and candid with anyone who likes my artwork or has found my website because of it’s illness-related keywords/tags. I want to share more parts of myself with you than just the pretty finished products I create! I could only have created them by going through this journey. I have a point of view that other artists don’t, and I hope it shows.

So I suppose Romare Beardon’s quote is fitting. I have made a “miraculous” (or at least an out-of-the-ordinary) journey and I have come back to make some statements in shapes and colors of where I have been! Thank you for stumbling across this and for following along with me…



PS- if you’re looking for more information about dysautonomia, lyme, mold, or chronic/invisible illness I have accumulated a ton of information and useful links/websites. I’d be happy to share them with you- leave a comment below or contact me here. [I want my blog to be more focused on art and how illness has influenced it and my creative process and less about my specific symptoms, health tips or a bunch of overwhelming information that can be found elsewhere. But I’d be happy to share advice/info privately if you need it!]


A New Journey…

Website and blog are still a work-in-progress, so be sure to follow and keep an eye out for new developments!

In the meantime, you can check out my Pinterest & Instagram (which is also brand new!)

My old blog was, if you followed me there I hope you’ve found your way here and will continue to follow my work! Thank you for understanding the years of hiatus. I’m slowly climbing out of the chronic-illness-abyss and looking forward to sharing more now!

Thanks for joining me on this new journey.

x Jenna