Women’s Empowerment

May 5, 2023

AN UPDATE ON MY AFRICAN LILY

Many years ago, I inherited one of my grandmother’s plants: a heavy pot of thick roots and tens of long, robust green…

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March 16, 2023

RASJACOBSON FESTIVAL SEASON 2023

I am so looking forward to Festival Season 2023! I have bins *filled* with brand new work to share, things that aren’t…

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December 26, 2022

2022 WINNER OF FREE ART BUNDLE ANNOUNCED

Anyone who purchased anything from me in 2022 was automatically entered to win & additional entries were added when people joined my…

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December 10, 2022

END OF THE YEAR FREE ART GIVEAWAY INFO

I’m working on my Annual Year in Review post for 2022, and I am curious about how y’all are doing. What has…

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February 2, 2022

Becoming Unf*uckwith-able on GirlBoner Podcast

I was recently interviewed about my benzodiazepine journey by August McLaughlin of Girl Boner Podcast. August and I “met” each other waaaaaay…

Read More…

July 12, 2021

PSYCHIATRIZED, MY BOOK & HOW TO ORDER

During COVID quarantine, I decided it was time to finish my memoir. And so I did. I’m thrilled to announce the release…

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January 4, 2019

SOMETHING WRONG

Today, I ate a perfectly delicious pear. In this part of the United States – January usually means down jackets, snow pants…

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December 29, 2018

THE BACKYARD CEMETERY

I’d been fine, deadheading marigold blossoms, brown and crinkly at the buds. For the first time in years, the sunflowers had come…

Read More…

May 3, 2018

It’s About Social Action!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this week, you probably know that I made the cover of Rochester Magazine. The article…

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This Friday, I’ll be at my old stomping ground, The Hungerford Building in Studio 426.

Local artist, Loree Harpole, has generously invited me to join her to kick off “Art for Action Month,” during this time, many resident artists will be collecting for Willow, a local organization devoted to helping survivors of domestic abuse.

” i deserve better” (c) 2024

On May 3rd at 9pm, I’ll be raffling off this original 8×10 painting, with 100% of the proceeds going to benefit Willow. (*Or, if you prefer, you can select any print from my website!)

You do NOT have to be present to win!

➡️ There are 2 ways to enter:

  1. In-person on First Friday; and
  2. Online until 8:59pm on May 3rd, 2024.

Raffle tickets are $5 per or 5 for $20— and 100% of proceeds collected will go to Willow Domestic Violence Center. Donations in any denomination are gladly accepted.

HOW DO I PAY?

~Venmo
~PayPal
~ Square

This is an opportunity to support local artists/makers & community organizations that help us all thrive.

I hope a bunch of local peeps will come out to see us IRL, but if you live far away or you have a conflict, I would truly appreciate your donation to go to this organization that I hold near & dear to my heart.

Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Many years ago, I inherited one of my grandmother’s plants: a heavy pot of thick roots and tens of long, robust green leaves with rounded tips. At first, I thought it was an orchid, but after showing it several florists who could not identify it, I decided to love my weird, unknown plant, no matter what it was.

I’ve had this plant for forty years now, and I remember how – just a few days after I moved into my first house – eight gorgeous orange blossoms appeared clustered atop one tall, flat stem. I hadn’t seen the stem growing or noticed any buds, so it was a complete surprise when it arrived on the scene.

Before that day, I had no idea the plant ever bore flowers, and I remember feeling a strong connection with my grandmother, a complicated woman, to whom I was always very close.

Despite the fact that I fed and watered it dutifully, decades passed and my plant never flowered again.

In fact, I kind of forgot that the plant flowered at all…

…until June 2016.

I was moving through a difficult divorce…

…when my plant burst into color for the first time since 1997.

At the time, I posted a photo of it on Facebook, asking if anyone could identify what it was.

Almost immediately, my friend Regina sent me a link about a rare African lily, Clivia Amaryllidceae, which – according to the article – stated that the plant normally blooms once every 20-25 years.

And as you can imagine, I was beside myself and I spent way too much time telling everyone about my amazing rare lily. I loved seeing my plant bloom again, and I made peace with the idea that its beauty would be impermanent.

A week later, as each petal shriveled and fell off the stem and onto the floor, I thought about how grateful I was to have been able to enjoy such a simple pleasure so fully.

I resumed regular care of my lily, which meant watering it on Saturdays, and I figured I’d have to wait another 20 years or so before I’d see it bloom again.

But guess what?

It has bloomed again EVERY SINGLE YEAR since.

So much has happened in the last ten years.

I’ve experienced the most intense physical and psychological pain that I could have ever imagined while coming off the powerful anti-anxiety drug, clonazepam. The terror that I experienced daily for nearly 2 years is almost indescribable. I cannot believe I survived it.

There was a period where my brain was so damaged that the concept of beauty was just a memory of an idea. I could feel nothing at all. If a friend tied to touch me, her hand was too rough. If the sun was shining, it was too bright. If children were laughing, it was too loud. I was certain people were trying to hurt me. I was certain my food had been poisoned.

Trapped in a pain cycle, all the highly paid “experts” told me I was crazy, that it was “absolutely impossible” for me to still be experiencing withdrawal symptoms after 24 months.

And while the best conventional minds told me I was mad, there were others who knew better. People reached out to me and told me that I would be okay. That I just needed to hold on for another moment.

And another moment.

They reassured me that all the tiny moments would add up.

They said the moments would grow into minutes.

Which would grow into hours.

Which would grow into days.

They told me there would be days where I would go backwards, where my symptoms would intensify. They told me it was all part of the healing.

They told me to trust the nature of things.

Nature knows what to do, they told me.

I’ve always believed in angels, and I believe — more than ever – that we are all surrounded by a powerful, invisible magic. I’ve tried to speak of this many times while I was growing up, of my intense connection to something beyond the visible, a cosmic force that I have experienced directly many times, but I was teased and laughed at.

Today, I’m in touch with something beyond this world, something that other people don’t seem to be able to access as easily as I do.

These days, I am certain that my grandmother is communicating with me via this plant that we share, this tender life that we have spent over 100 years nurturing, separately, yet together. Today, she is telling me that I’m on the right path, reminding me that beautiful things happen when we aren’t looking, or waiting, or expecting or trying to control everything.

I know that many of you are going thru something hard right now.

As someone who has been there, I hope you will allow me to share something with you on this most beautiful, sun-filled May day.

WHENEVER YOU ARE IN THE MIDST OF SOMETHING DARK, WHENEVER YOU FIND YOURSELF IN THE MIDST OF SO MUCH UNCOMFORTABLE CHANGE, UNDERNEATH ALL THE FEAR AND THE DREAD, I CAN TELL YOU WITH ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY THAT YOU’RE GOING TO BE OKAY.

You will bloom again, too.

 

I am so looking forward to Festival Season 2023! I have bins *filled* with brand new work to share, things that aren’t even on my website yet! I hope you’ll check out at my schedule and consider coming to at least one of these amazing venues to support your favorite artists & makers. And if you aren’t local, be sure to find the festivals in your area! We can’t do it without the support of our art patrons!

NOTE: This page will be updated throughout the season, and I will do my best to provide my exact location at each event as soon as that information becomes available.

April 1 & 2
Makers & Shakers Market
140 Lee Road
Buffalo, NY • 10am-5pm

April 27
Figgy Shop & Studio Pop-Up
251 Park Avenue • Rochester, NY • 5pm-8pm

May 5-13 • JOYfilled Online Art Market •
This event takes place in the JOYfilled Facebook Group & it’s a great show for people who live on Pacific Standard Time because as of the vendors are out west! I know it *sounds* weird to do a virtual art show, but this one is top notch! There will be giveaways & treasure hunts, auctions & interviews!  Click HERE to join us! 

May 6
Syracuse Crawfish Festival
100 S. Salina Street • Syracuse, New York • 11am-7pm

May 27
Mind Over Metal Fest • House of Guitars
646 Titus Avenue • Rochester, New York • 1pm-6pm

June 3 & 4
Fairport Canal Days • Fairport NY • 10am-5pm

June 10-11
Keuka Arts Festival •
Keuka Outlet Trail, Penn Yan, NY • 10am-5pm

July 1 & 2
Lavender Festival •
Ol’factory Lavender Farm •
12973 Upton Road, Red Creek, NY • 10am-5pm

July 8 & 9 • 55th Annual Corn Hill Festival, Rochester, NY • 10am-5pm • I’ll be on Frederick Douglas Street in Booth 08-020

July 29 & 30
Spencerport Canal Days • Spencerport, NY

August 5 
Jack Craft Festival • Larkin Square • Buffalo, New York • 11am – 5pm

August 11
Henrietta Summer Concert Series & Art Show • Veterans Memorial Park • 595 Calkins Road, Henrietta, NY 14623 • 4pm-8pm

August 12 & 13
Brockport Arts Festival • Main Street, Brockport, NY • 10am-4pm (*plus after hours music from 4:30pm-10pm)

August 19
Painting Workshop • Talulah’s Fancy Wildflower Farm & Studio • 1076 Rochester Street, Route 15A • Honeoye Falls, NY 14472 • 2-4 PM

NOTE: This workshop is by reservation ONLY and space is limited. Please reach out to Tara at (585) 734-5683 or tamara@talulahsfancy.com.

September 2
Irondequoit Art & Music Fest • 400 Bakers Park • Rochester, NY • 10-6pm

September 17
Artist Row • Public Market • Rochester, NY • 10-4pm

September 23-24
Remsen Barn Festival • Remsen, NY

November 18-19 • RMSC Holiday Bazaar • Rochester Museum & Science Center • 10-5pm

My website is open 24/7 & I’m happy to fulfill your order! Be sure to use coupon code RASJ10 to save 10% off your purchase of $100 or more.

Anyone who purchased anything from me in 2022 was automatically entered to win & additional entries were added when people joined my mailing list, liked, shared or commented on certain posts.

This year’s lucky winner is #679:

Erinn Prestige

I met Erinn at the Naples Festival, and I will reach out to her privately to let her know what she’s won!

Okay, big exhale.

I’m off to take a much needed vacation.

See you in 2023.

I’m working on my Annual Year in Review post for 2022, and I am curious about how y’all are doing.

What has worked for you this year? What has gone to pot? What are planning to work on in 2023?

Feel free to share your thoughts here, on Facebook, via DM or email. It always helps me to read your words, and – if you post publicly – chance are, your words will help someone else, too.

And if you leave me a comment, I’ll enter you to into my LAST FREE ART GIVEAWAY of 2022. 

WHAT THE HECK IS A FREE ART GIVEAWAY?

A few times a year, I like to put together a little bundle of goodies which I package up & send out to one lucky person — for free. It will have original work, stickers, a handwritten note & other random stuff.

I’ll be announcing the winner on 12/25/22 LIVE on my Rasjacobson Art FACEBOOK Page at 1:11 PM EST! Anyone who made a purchase in 2022 is automatically entered to win, so if you’d like to find out if you’re the lucky winner, be sure to follow me there! (PS: I’ll also announce a few other totally random facts like who made the first purchase of the year and who made the last purchase of the year, weird trivia like that.)

Also, I’ll be at Radio Social on 12/11 between 11am-3pm for my last Lucky Flea of the year.

Hope to see a bunch of you there.

xoxo Nay

I was recently interviewed about my benzodiazepine journey by August McLaughlin of Girl Boner Podcast. August and I “met” each other waaaaaay back in 2012 and became blogging buddies. She has stuck with me during my entire healing ordeal, and I feel like this is probably the best interview that has ever been done because she approaches the topic from a totally different angle, which speaks to the problems asscociated with Western medicine and how doctors  are getting it very wrong when it comes to women’s health. So many women find themselves “psychiatrized” after postpartum experiences, and August’s non-judgmental focus on the way I made my way to psychiatric medication is nuanced, compassionate and especially revealing, I think.

The episode is called Becoming Unf*ckwith-able, and here’s what August had to say:

After a difficult pregnancy, traumatic childbirth and near death experience in the hospital, Renée Schuls-Jacobson (Rasjacobson Art), endured “next level insomnia.” Little did she know the dark places her attempts to feel better would gradually lead to. Her story is also one of mighty healing, hope and vibrancy—in the Girl Boner department included. 😉

Renée hopes the episode will “offer hope to those moving thru #benzowithdrawal & #iatrogenicillness.” And I was personally so moved by the self-embracement and sexual empowerment she’s cultivated.

There are several places where you can listen to the podcast.

The links are included below.

Blog (includes a transcript):

https://augustmclaughlin.com/renee/

Apple Podcasts/iTunes:

https://apple.co/3HneOSZ

Amazon Music:

https://amzn.to/3ok28EF

I’d love to hear what you think and if any of my story resonates with you.

*** NOTE: This episode contains mentions of traumatic events and suicidal ideation. If you’re struggling with such thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 ***

Click the link to check out my book, – Psychiatrized: Waking up after a Decade of Bad Medicine.

Thank you all so much for your continued interest in my healing journey and my artwork.

During COVID quarantine, I decided it was time to finish my memoir.

And so I did.

I’m thrilled to announce the release of PSYCHIATRIZED: Waking Up After a Decade of Bad Medicine.

I’m currently taking payment for signed, paperback copies until July 31, 2021.

Copies will be shipped in August.

If you’d like to order a copy (or copies), CLICK HERE:

Or you can Venmo me at @rasjacobson.

Thank you all so much for your support during these last eight years of crazy-town.

SYNOPSIS

When a trusted physician tells Renée Schuls-Jacobson that he has the solution for her chronic insomnia — a “tried and true medication without any side effects,” she believes him. For seven years, she takes her clonazepam exactly as prescribed until, one day, she learns that her doctor is wrong: long-term benzodiazepine use causes all kinds of problems including profound changes in brain function.

With the help of an addiction specialist, Renée embarks on a slow, medically supervised taper, only to find herself cognitively scrambled and stuck in the nightmare of benzodiazepine withdrawal. For nearly four years, she endures hundreds of terrifying physical, emotional and psychological symptoms – none of which were present before taking the medication.

While healing from an iatrogenic brain injury that is not widely recognized by doctors, Renée leaves everything familiar behind and goes on a journey, meeting scientists and sages, healers and hucksters, who all teach her the same hard lesson: to stop seeking the help of experts and to trust her intuition.

In PSYCHIATRIZED: Waking Up After a Decade of Bad Medicine, Renée Schuls-Jacobson contemplates the cost of compliance and exposes the truth about the dangers of psychiatric drugs as well as a discontinuation syndrome, which affects thousands of men and women worldwide.

More information to follow under the hashtag #psychiatrized!

 

 

Today, I ate a perfectly delicious pear.

In this part of the United States – January usually means down jackets, snow pants & polar fleece. Normally, I’m batting the flakes out of my eyelashes & scraping the ice from my windshield . By now, I should have built a snow fort or two, gone skiing or sledding or sipped hot chocolate by a fire.

But this year, while the earth is firm under my feet, I can still see the grass.

We are at a threshold, neither in nor out.

So on this winter morning, as I slid out the door wearing short sleeves — a blue t-shirt against the white sky – biting through soft summer flesh seemed…wrong.

Delicious but wrong.

In subtraction, they would call it the remainder.

I’m tired of these remnants, the what’s left sticky residue of summer on my fingers.

Let it be winter or let it be summer, but enough of this in-between.

Can you tell I’m feeling grumpy and frustrated? How am I ever supposed to move to a warmer climate when the mere thought of moving to a different state all by myself brings on a full blown panic attack? 

I’d been fine, deadheading marigold blossoms, brown and crinkly at the buds.

For the first time in years, the sunflowers had come up, bobbling precariously on their thin green stems, ready to topple, as they always do. I’d been remiss about fall cleanup, so I stood out there in my winter boots, clipping and cutting, pruning and bagging.

And then, from the boggy-browns of late-winter garden, a turtle emerged, pulling himself through the grass.

Plugging along doggedly, he stopped to rest now and again and to crane his neck up and down.

I thought at first he was one of those snappers, the kind that can take your finger off if you get too close, so I kept my distance, wondering if he’d walked the whole five-miles from the lake, or if he’d caught a ride part-way. Either way, I knew he didn’t belong here, in the middle of my garden.

It caught me by surprise, the wishing.

Because he used to take care of this type of thing: shit on the lawn, birds the cat dragged in, half-squished spiders.

But I am alone now, so I scooped a rusted shovel under the turtle and saw the flabby edge of its shell, how it folded around the turtle like a shroud. 

I thought about what I wished someone – anyone – would have done for me when I found myself sick and alone and crouching in the shadows.

I pulled off my gardening gloves and reached out, barehanded.

I petted his neck and sat with him for a long, long time.

And somehow that ocean between us became a lake and then a pond until it was nothing but a tiny droplet in my little plastic watering can.

Photo credit to Chuck Hajec.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this week, you probably know that I made the cover of Rochester Magazine. The article was beautifully reported by journalist Sandra Parker and photographed/videoed by Jamie Germano.

In case you’ve missed it, you can read the story & watch the video HERE.

Also this Friday, I will be participating in Art for Action – a building wide initiative at The Hungerford Building, where individual studios are supporting different non-for-profit organizations.

On May 4th, 100% of my proceeds will go to WILLOW, a local agency that supports survivors of domestic abuse.🌸 (Not long ago, I found myself in need of their services, and I’m so very glad they were there.) Please bring your sample-sized toiletries & monetary donations to Studio 254 to The Hungerford between 5-9pm.

I’m also offering limited edition #METOO posters for a $5 donation, with all proceeds to go to WILLOW.

Hope to see a bunch of you there!

What good things are going on in YOUR life?

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