Ep 24 | Possessed: The Artist Who Painted Joy with Jaye Schlesinger

February 13th, 2018 · 22 mins 17 secs

About this Episode

Artist Jaye Schlesinger paints the 380 objects that remained after committing to decluttering her home and life for her exhibit "Possessed."

Our guest, Jaye Schlesinger, is an award winning artist from Ann Arbor, Michigan, who specializes in oil paintings of common objects and abstracts. Her recent solo exhibit “Possessed” caught our attention. It includes 380 individual paintings of all of her possessions inspired by minimalism and simplified living. It sparks joy for Jaye to explore the metaphorical possibilities of painting the mundane.

Jaye gave us a peek into the lifestyle change that inspired her creative process and story.

To connect with Jaye, visit www.jayeschlesinger.com. While you’re there, peruse her portfolio and contact her to purchase high quality reproductions of her artwork in a variety of sizes.

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In this episode, you'll enjoy:

  • How the movie Tiny, The Minimalists Podcast, the documentary Minimalism, and experiencing a flood in her home inspired Jaye to start letting go of her personal possessions

  • What Jaye's parameters for joy are, which include usefulness and beauty

  • How being led to paint the items that sparked joy kept Jaye accountable during the decluttering process

  • How Jaye divided her possessions from her husband's, followed by discussions about the "ours" items

  • How Jaye enjoyed the structure this project provided within her studio time. Each painting took 2-3 days to complete and the project extended over two years

  • How painting things gave Jaye a chance to meditate and connect to the true meaning behind some of the objects, especially the ones that were deemed sentimental

  • Why Jaye continues to return to the still life painting

  • How seemingly ordinary objects connect us

  • How Jaye's husband reacted to her ruthless minimization

  • What Jaye did to help her minimize regret

What sparks joy for Jaye: Jaye's two grandchildren and three custom end tables she's building for her new home


  • "These things of everyday life connect us. But, they are so overlooked. We take them for granted."

  • "Less is more."

  • "When you decide to keep a few things, they become stronger in some way."

  • "It was always more about being deliberate than being minimal per se."

You can find Karin Socci at The Serene Home
You can find Kristyn Ivey at For the Love of Tidy