Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Artists Studios Online Tour - A Blog Carnival

This is a fun blog happening. Marla Laubish came up with the great idea of having several bloggers do a little bit about their personal studios.
Have you ever been curious about where an artists creates? Yes? Me too. I am really going to enjoy the privilege of being invited into other artists studios.
Some of the artists will also be offering giveaways. Neat deal.
I hope you take the time to visit them. if you are busy then one or two a day can make for a wonderful week of studio visits.

Marla LaubischCarol SchiffKaethe BealerJo MacKenzie
Michael ChamberlainCharleen MartinSally BinardJacklyn Karabaich
Sharon GravesSea DeanJohnna SchellingTaryn Day
Julie Ford OliverSarah SedwickKim RempelCindy Michaud
Joanne GrantCarmen BeecherCindy Williams                           
Cathy Engberg


It is too messy to show you. Yes, I admit to feeling too embarrassed to let see what it really looks like. Every so often I go on a cleaning binge, swearing to keep it that way... and then I get so caught up in painting, in no time at all it is back to what it was. Sigh. I see gorgeous immaculate studios and go green with envy.
By the way, I keep my house neat. Go figure.

I am blessed to have an enormous studio next to the house. The previous owner had a bar, Pool table , weight room, ham radio room and storage room. It is 1700 sq ft.  This is a painting I did of my water bottle on a TV tray including the surrounding studio space. 

The large room is split into two areas. Behind the screen is my large desk, water cooler and shelves. To the right is the entrance to another large room. Go past that and there is a framing room. In the front of the still life I have my very large easel with a crank, computer, printer AND... drum roll...exercise bike!  It is a valuable addition to the studio. When stuck on a painting I get on and pedal furiously while thinking about the problem. I do not always get a solution but do feel better for the exercise.
Behind the easel is a large mirror which is absolutely invaluable. I spot my errors - especially in values much easier with it. It is a mirrored closet door so has handy little wheels to easily move it. I have a high window so the natural light is cast downwards. Over my easel are two Verilux 48" florescent bulbs -  perfect lighting when dark.. The wall along to the right and out of view, has thin shelves to prop my paintings on to dry.  Next to the mirror are my brushes. Blushing at so many. (I have been known to part with a few to university students who cannot afford good ones, but not easily so cannot take credit)
This is a very short video I made of my collection of brushes.

Here are even more brushes. These are my watermedia brushes. I have a different area in my studio for my watercolor and acrylic

Below are shots of my different areas. Frames -  objects - canvases -flowers - books - more props.
I have so much stuff and I have another studio too with more still life objects for the classes

Over the years I have used the kitchen table, a bedroom, garage and have even rented an apartment for a studio. This one is the largest of them all and the one I feel most comfortable in. It has not necessarily produced the best paintings so size has nothing to do with that!

For my give-a -way I offer this watercolor

Farmer's Market Radishes
5x7in watercolor on acid free paper
4 chances at getting a Fracturing Handy Tool

Please let me know which you would prefer and the reason why.  I will have my hubby, Jim, select the ones he likes best. He is more impartial than me.
I thank you for taking the time to visit my studio.


  1. this is exciting! can't wait to investigate!

  2. I loved the Studio Tour Julie! What a space!! This is such a fabulous idea...wish I had known about it. I love your storage much room!! It's so interesting looking at all the different ideas!

  3. Love the watercolor and love your descriptions. What a wonderful, large space. It might be messy but sure looks organized. I might get lost in there!
    Why the watercolor......soft and lovely, that's why!

  4. Love your tour. I couldn't get the video to work. It said it was private. I bet there's a lot of space envy going on right now. I'm all about the radishes cause I don't know what a fracturing tool is. If it's a type of hammer I might have to re-consider. hehe.

    Sharon Graves

  5. Well, this is exciting...I love the description of your studio. I enjoyed seeing your zillions of brushes. I suffer from the same affliction. I still have the first brush I ever bought. I saw you have a big Bob Ross round...(am I right??) Lovely painting of the radishes. Someday you should just go ahead and show us your messy studio. It can't possibly be THAT bad! :)

  6. Beautiful tour Julie and I enjoyed hearing your voice, speaking about your brushes! Gorgeous painting of your studio. I love your radish painting-I wish I could do that!!

  7. What a great idea! I feel like I turn into little mouse and so curious to take a look around.
    Like many here I have a big preference for your watercolor, this would be an opportunity and a unique chance to see it up close.

  8. Your studio looks like a paradise,dear Julie! .... creation is a process that takes up space in the minds and places. Having so creative space and comfort, is wonderful.
    The order is for me, a relative concept. Ordered is a passive range of things, while messy it is the action while I paint. I do not have a zen attitude ... many people who need the space empty and a few items available, but for me it would be unbearable. The art expresses the character of the painters also in the way they keep the study.
    To observe the studies of many artists together is very brilliant idea. Thanks for this gift!

    I like these fresh radishes, as just resting there by the hand of them that has cultivated and picked... vibrant color, placed in a bright space where the fracturing appears as natural as the air itself ...

  9. Of course I would choose your watercolor over the fracturing tool. While the fracturing tool is a nice item, your watercolor is a beautiful one-of-a-kind piece.

  10. Ooh that's a no-brainer for me! I could have a go at making a fracturing tool but I could never recreate your beautiful still life, what a treasure that would be! Leesa :)

  11. Thanks for sharing your workspace. I hope I will be able to get a real workspace in a year or so, but for now I paint in my living room.
    I would love to get that watercolor painting. You know that I am a big fan of your work and that you're a big inspiration to me. I am sure if I had that painting I would be inspired to take up water color painting too.

  12. Well now...your studio sounds magical! If it makes you feel any better, my refinished drafting table in my studio always ends up piled up with stuff. I periodically clean it off too but it always ends up stacked up again. I don't have the answer. Anyway, I would love a framing room and wish I knew how to make frames. It keeps being a goal of mine to learn and I somehow never manage to find the time!

    As to your giveaway...I would prefer the radishes! Why? Watercolor, red, crunchy and yummy, what is not to love? My kitchen has red accents too. As to the fracturing tool? It would be wonderful to have but to my mind, that is your idea, your baby, and no one will ever do it the way you do!

  13. I love this blog along with all your experience you shared on this blog post. Keep it up.
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  14. Great post Julie, and F A B U L O U S studio!!! Did you say 1700 sq ft??!!!? I want to be you :)

  15. What a great space Julie! And all those brushes! I have 'almost' that many also. It just seems like they will come in handy again!
    I love your watercolor. I love it because it's beautiful and painted by you!

    Thank you for sharing.

  16. Wow! Super studio, Julie!! Forget the exercise bike...You could put some fun miles on with a real bike in a studio that big!
    Loved your brush collection. They do get to be like old friends you hate to part with. I still have some 27 year old brushes that are usable. I have to fight off the urge to name them....Ed, Bob, Sue......

    I sure would love to hold your radish painting in my hot little hands so I could look at it close up under a light in my little junkpile studio.....

  17. I've always loved the idea of having a separate building for my studio!

    I'm going to try your technique of looking at the painting in the mirror.

  18. Hi Cathy,
    Thanks for this post! I'm loving seeing where everyone works. And it's not even a question as to what I would choose. That watercolour is bang-on gorgeous!

  19. I would like both and it´s dreadful having to choose.
    Firstly, I`ve gone looking for the bits to make the tool and can´t find them. Perhaps hardware stores have different stuff in Canada.
    Secondly I love radishes. When I was a kid I used to go to my father´s veggie patch and steal them all the time. I would brush off the worst of the dirt eat them right there. Crunch CRUNCH! I´m sure he thought there was a very clever rabbit around. Yes, I´m batty about radishes and have been known to eat a whole bunch as soon as I get back from the market. I buy two for that very reason so there are some left for everyone else. :o)
    Okay! If I HAVE to choose I will pick the painting because you know how much I admire you and love your work. No no wait a minute, perhaps I will try for the tool. Oh dear this could go on all day! I think you´d better pick.
    Oh and I´m super envious of your studio and your shop and all the workshops you go to AND I´ve been missing your blog now you don´t do it so often.
    Consider yourself hugged!

  20. Oh Julie, thank you for disclosing your love of brushes. I can't seem to throw any of mine away. I wish I had the kind of space you have, someday when I move back on land maybe I will. Your work is awesome and so is the support you give your fellow artists!

  21. Julie,
    Radishes are my FAVORITE....just saying'

  22. What a great studio!!! I loved the video showing all of your brushes....I bet each one holds a painting memory for you, like treasured friends...I bet each one has a special place in your heart and shares a history with you!!

    What a wonderful blog...I am so glad I found it through the Carnival! I will add you to my daily reading list. Insert smile here!

    It really is way too hard to choose so I think for me you would have to choose. The painting is stunning! I would love to have it in my collection. But then again a fracturing tool would also we a welcomed friend into my studio!


  23. Nothing better than space- nothing material beats it, in my humble opinion. I'd love to see your studio in person, but also love this virtual visit. Thanks so much, Julie. As for the radishes, well, there is just something about your intelligent organization of the sensual organic shapes that just does me right in :)

  24. Julie, I love the studio tour, thanks so much for sharing. I'm am relieved to know I'm not the only one that paints first and leaves the cleaning for later. It's a cruel and heart renching 'Sophie's Choice' to have to choose between the wonderful radishes and the fracturing tool

  25. What a great studio tour, Julie. I love big spaces and the water bottle painting gives a nice peek at your fabulous studio area. My choice would clearly be the radishes, I love your fractured style, but I know I would not use the tool.

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  27. I loved hearing your voice, Julie! it was a wonderful tour..I've NEVER seen so many brushes but there's a brush for every stroke!!!
    Your watercolor of the radishes are SO...SO beautiful!

    1. from Cheryl Falstaff
      Hi, Julie,

      I just took your studio tour online and am inspired! As I've shared with you, I'm a student of watercolor and my current theme is painting fruit and vegetables in an effort to get better at creating form. So, your radishes touched my heart - they hide under the surface until it is time for them to be revealed in all their beauty! I'm hoping for the same with my painting!

      Anyway, I saw that the painting was one of your studio tour visiting gifts, but I wasn't sure how to let you know that I'd like to be considered and would be honored to have the radish watercolor in our collection! So, I'm trying Facebook...

      Thanks for sharing your studio!

  28. Enjoyable tour Julie and fun hearing you narrate the video. Unabashedly I want, no I need, no really I covet the radishes. Red has long been my color and this looks like a bunch of dear friends gathered closely together....all alike in some ways but each very different in many ways. Your technique has made them come alive, I promise they will be loved and cared for in my home!

  29. 1700 square feet? Sweet! Thanks for the studio tour, and for dropping by mine. I would choose the radishes, hands down.

  30. What a treat! Thanks for the tour, Julie. Love those radishes, too.

  31. Julie, I would choose the radishes!!
    It is pouring rain now and most all of June.
    Your radishes might bring sunshine back to Maine!
    Julie what a great studio.

  32. I have 489 of your art talks saved on my computor and have tried doing some of the lessons on my own. I would love to own the radishes and I do plan to take another class with you, all I have to do is stop helping others and find some time. I made a fracturing tool but have no ides how to use it for watercolor.

    1. Get in touch and let me know who you are please -

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  34. What a treat it has been seeing various artist's work spaces. Love all the space you have. Thanks for sharing photos and video. I love the radish painting. A beaut!

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  36. Saving this one so I may view everyone on the tour! Thanks

  37. This really is a treat! I have been so out of it while traveling and to see these is special! Also I love your 'brush tour'! You are always topping yourself with great posts! - lucky us :)

  38. Hello Julie, I just enjoyed your studio tour! Thanks for sharing your beautiful private artistic place!
    I love your style and the way you painted the radish, wonderful! I like the way you blended inn the yellow/ocre(?) in the background. I would like to have a closer look at the watercolor painting. ;)
    Please enter me in the competition.
    Saludos of a new fan, all the way from Gran Canaria,

  39. what's a fracturing tool - i know i need one! Love this group studio tour! great idea.

  40. What a wonderful idea and am going to enjoy seeing the artist's studios time and time again. Your blog is one of my favorites! Love the Radishes- so confident and True! I bought your video early on and made one of the tools and an extra for my teacher friend, Nancy Franke, too!! They are fun to play with edges:) Would love the radishes painting...:) Hands down- easy choice for me!!

  41. I love your radishes but I can't find the kind of razor holder around here that you show in your little art bite about making that tool so I would love one of those. Fun studio tours!

  42. HI Julie,
    I sent you an email. Hope you got it. I would die for one of your paintings! The color punch in my kitchen is red along with those cute little French chefs. My hubby does all the cooking and he is round just like that. Sometimes he even wears his chef hat! LOL! btw, happy 4th!!!

  43. Did you say 1700 sq feet?! Just enough room for a day bed in case you get visitors from Kansas. ;)

    What a lovely space to work in!


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