Personal Art Blog

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

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Snow - Painting in the Car.

Abstract. Sketch of snow shapes
and dark area relationships
6x8in  watercolor on paper 

We could not drive as fast (poor hubby)
on the return trip due to snowy road conditions.
It gave me time to really look at the color 
relationships for a gray day in snow and tree patterns.
Subdued color in the shade still 
vibrated gently against  the snow

tree branches -  using a rigger brush.
Trying to get the feeling of 
multiple branches and values.

Fall colors still around, here and there.

I loved the color of these weeds

I have started a new 
painting  - a snow scene
I felt more comfortable with it because I had 
just experienced doing the studies in the car.
I will show it on my next post.

I wish Happy New Year to you all.

I will be so glad to see this year end. 
One of the worst in my life! 
How I kept painting I do not know. 
At the same time, I recognize the full value
of "carrying on." The discipline of 
daily painting is to be respected
 even when not much creativity 
enters the stress filled mind.
The power of prayer can never 
be underestimated and the strength
that comes through it.

To my community of blogger friends, 
I thank you for the year of 
friendship and support.
A life saver!

Onward to a healthy, happy 2015 for us all.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Painting in the Car - Tips.

A Decorated Nest

6x6in Casein. Gifted.

My daughter gave me this nest earlier this year.
The bright blue coated wire,
woven into the nest, had caught 
her eye as she was doing yard work.
 I have been wanting to paint it so
 I took it on the trip to paint when we drove 
through a long, boring area.

Before this happens though we go 
thru a really beautiful area called the Hondo Valley.
Some of the Wyeth Family 
have lived and painted there.

My goal, as I pass through, is to capture
shapes and colors only. It is impossible 
to get a finished painting, but easy
to look ahead and gather enough
info to maybe use in the studio. 
Besides...time flies by when I am painting!

On the way there...
snow on way back...

Looking ahead gave me time to get basic 
shapes quickly blocked in.
When we got closer I could see tree shapes
and I scrubbed those in as we whizzed 
past at over 75mph. 
(Memory painting becomes important 
when my hubby is at the wheel!)

I found a wonderful water holder which does 
not splash around during bumpy areas.

The lids are attached (bliss) 
It has two chambers - quite marvelous!
And the lid allows the inevitable
sloshing around without spills.
It fits in the pochade box below.
(See the nest peeking at the side.)

the watercolor container
This box is a treasure for travel.
mine holds a 6x8 board but different sizes
are available.
Shown is a sable travel brush
(with a metal handle)
I rest the box a lap tray. One of those with a
cushion on one side. Comfy and stays put.

I will show the snow study in the next post.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Callas At Christmas

Callas for Christmas

6x8in oil on canvas $125. SOLD

Artist Note.
Such a busy time of year.
This will most likely be my last post
until after Christmas.

Is it too much to hope for 
Peace in the World?
Wherever you live -
 I know we must all wish for it.
I thank our military, and their families
who sacrifice for this ultimate goal.

May everyone's 
Christmas or Holiday
 be full of joy and love for 
those we care for, as well as those who 
now are only memories in our hearts.
Be safe, be warm and be at peace.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

What a Difference a Day Makes

Santa Fe Arroyo - Snow

14x11"  oil on canvas  framed

What a difference a day makes.
This is the same arroyo and 
Pinion tree as previous post.
One moment, the day is sunny with 
temperatures in the 60's
and the next day ...snow!
The beauty of this area
is when the storm passes...
 out comes the sun again!

Artist Note
Obviously, this view is painted from
the other side of the pinion from 
the previous post and this time
is facing the hills of Santa Fe. 
I only did a few color notes on the canvas
and took photos because 
although it was sunny, my feet
got darn cold!
I am never a happy Julie with cold anything!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Santa Fe Arroyo

Santa Fe Arroyo

9x12in oil on canvas panel
M.Phillips Gallery  SOLD

Artist Note.
I love this spot and have painted 
it many times in all types of weather. 
 The far mountain range,  
named the Jemez Mountains,
(pronounced Hay-mez) 
and over 11,500' high,
is also where Los Alamos Laboratories
are located.
From this spot the Jemez range
can appear almost a cerulean blue 
under certain light conditions.

 With snow it is extra stunning.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Scurrying Clouds

Scurrying Clouds, NM
6x8in oil on canvas panel $125. SOLD
To Purchase  click HERE

If you like lots of green trees then
this is not the view for you.
Personally, I find I love
the long view...
where trees do not block the view.

Artist Note.
I used an angle
brush to form my basic shapes
of color
moving into palette knife work
to add texture for an interesting

Monday, December 8, 2014

Calla Lily Study

Calla Study
12x9in oil on linen  Sold

I took some of the calla lilies out of the 
previous rose and lily bouquet 
to do a separate study. 
This one was done on
a sheet of Senso - a wonderful, 
clear primed linen -  
leaving the natural color as 
part of the background. 

Artist Note

When I do a study using "paint",
I quickly try to
grasp the essential essence 
of my personal response to 
what I am 
as well as what 
I am seeing. 

If I am tackling 
a brand new subject,
I like to do a detailed 
exploration where
I  start with a tight 
and accurate drawing. 
I have many, many 
calla lily drawings.
Love their grace.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Callas and Roses - Correction Made

Roses and Callas
12x9 watercolor on Yupo paper

Artist Note.
It was good to read all the positive 
comments on my last post
and I thank you for them.
I agree and do believe that there 
may have been more 
energy it that version, but once I saw 
I did not like, I had to make the change.
Culprits... the two
facing callas, left and right,
I thought of "horns" when I finally "saw" them
(see below)
To make the change I became cautious.
I painted some paper I matched with 
the general background
 color and hovered over the two shapes
to decide which one I would change.
The dominant right one had to go

Hats off to clever Sea Dean who 
spotted my  problem with the first
version. Sea put it this way
" PS I bet it's the clone Callas left and right,
 but sometimes these aberrations are what gives
 the painting it's quirkiness and prevent the
chocolate box effect. 
That's where artistic license comes in.

Excellent -  Now I have to figure out
if they are  too chocolate boxy 
Any thoughts anyone?

Check out Sea Dean on DPW

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Precious Flower Gift

Roses and Callas

12x10 watercolor on Yupo paper
not quite finished...

I had a birthday recently and my daughter
and her hubby sent flowers - 
gorgeous flowers. 
(She knows what I like to paint.)
Thanks a bunch, Rainy and Eric.
I had a wonderful time looking, and painting.

Artist Note
I thought this was finished, but,
sigh... I just noticed something 
 I have to fix. 
Put it up on the screen,
 and something not right, jumps right out.
Frustrating, but very helpful.
Does this happen to anyone else?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Thank You Bird


6x6in  watercolor on paper

What do I paint for someone who loves realism?
Why, something I love to paint, of course,
 but with more detail than usual.
A month or so ago
a friend's husband went WAY out of his way
when I was experiencing a rather painful
situation, and he donned a Knight's
attire and rode to my rescue.
Bless you, Wiley, and thank you.

Artist Note.
My hijacked email account was apparently
one which has been around
a while. It made me very upset and hope
everyone changed their password
they opened it.
Thank you to those of you who quickly
let me know about how to deal with it.
It was my first experience with one.

A friend expressed the desire to
super glue together
the fingers of the hacker. 
Loved that thought!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ancient Pitcher at Thanksgiving

Ancient Pitcher with Pomegranates 

12x9in oil on canvas  $700. framed On HOLD

For sale in M.Phillips Fine Art Gallery

Happy Thanksgiving to all.
May your day be filled with Love
and many blessings for which to be grateful.

I truly am grateful for all of YOU!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Watercolor - Pansy Study

Pansy Study
8x7in watercolor on Yupo paper NFS

Artist Note
I have been trying to figure out how to do '
the pansies on this slick Yupo paper. 
For those of you who do not know what it is like,  
visualize a thin sheet of smooth,
white, flexible plastic. 
The stuff is great for abstract and 
non-representational art because 
the paint floats on the surface. 
The mingling of colors happens beautifully.
Flat areas are quite doable and 
 neat edges are formed where a puddle ends, 
but try to do a more impressionistic style 
of layering and it looks pretty messy 
right off the bat because
the darn paint lifts off when you don't want it to.
that is also exactly the beauty of using it be able to lift the paint cleanly off 
to get back to the white.

Here I slightly stained everywhere but 
the main white pansy first and lifted off 
smaller white areas - trying make sure 
that nothing 
competed with the focal pansy.

Anyone with any hints out there?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pansy Pleasure... continued

Pansy Pleasures - continued
8x6' oil on canvas  Sold..

What's not to like about pansies? 
They are sturdy, colorful and
have a happy face. Best of all 
they provide visual pleasure
throughout the winter months. 

Artist Note.
One of the advantages I find by 
using the Fracturing technique
is the ability to suggest something by color, 
without rendering it perfectly.
In this case, I first painted the focal point 
with the correct form of a pansy.
Once this had been established I could 
then make any shape, and as
long as I repeated a color or used 
the very distinctive yellow center,
it would read as a pansy.
Here is a close up to show you how abstract 
the one above and next to the focal pansy is.

The mind makes it a pansy 
because it is next to a pansy of 
the same color.
Also the little touch of a yellow center 
is code for pansy.

I am experimenting with painting the pansies
in watercolor on Yupo and regular paper. FUN.
but hard to get what I want. 
This is a repeat of a post I did back 
a couple of years ago. I am busy wrapping up 
the classes for the year, One more week!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pansy Pleasure

Pansies and Purple

6x8in oil on canvas SOLD

The colder weather means the pansies 
can now be planted.
My friend Sharon has a lovely new
area of them, bringing a bit of sunshine
warmth to a cold day.

Artist Note.
I am posting an old painting at top.
One I really like. 
I am going to try one in watercolor 
and use it as a reference.
Stay tuned...

Friday, November 14, 2014


Vincent's Pets

8x8 gallery wrap SOLD

What could be more fun than to know that 
Vincent took his pets along to watch him 
paint Starry Night!

Artist Note

This is for a fundraiser to support the 
Humane Society here in Las Cruces, NM.
Lots of wonderful paintings will be sold
Click on link to see the full exhibit.
Maybe you will see something you would 
enjoy owning at a very reasonable price.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dryer Lint Nest.

Dryer Lint Nest
6x7" watercolor on Yupo

I was given this wonderful nest last week.
The eggs were still in there - never hatched.
Lots of dryer lint was attached by strands
of horse tail hair and stuffed between twigs.
Quite amazing how those birds are such
good engineers...
they do not know dryer lint is bad for
them if they use it.

From the soap and dryer sheets.
Dry, loose lint causes respiratory problems.
Attracts predators right to a vulnerable nest

There are other serious problems too,
 but the thing I hope to pass on
 is not to put dryer lint out for
the birds during the nesting season.
I used to, but not anymore.

There had to be a reason these eggs
did not hatch.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Grateful Thanks

Veteran's Day/Remembrance Day

 6x8" watercolor on paper. NFS

This is truly the National Holiday
which effects us all. 
I am grateful for the freedom we enjoy,
but brought at such a cost. 
With great respect
I honor and thank the living military and 
 and give thanks to all those families 
who make the sacrifice and especially
those who have lost their loved ones.

Proudly a US citizen,
originally from England (a long time ago)
and have watched the 
ceremonies from London...a day ahead because 
of the time difference. It is called
Remembrance Day there and everyone 
wears a poppy. 
For Great Britain, it is 100 years ago
that World War 1 started.
A small but valiant island.
Helped to survive by a strong and 
loyal ally - the USA.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fall at Ghost Ranch, NM

Fall at Ghost Ranch
Oil on crappy paper

The cottonwood trees turn a brilliant gold 
in the fall and when the sun illuminates 
them they look like 
they are alight with flames. 

Artist Note.
This was a demo of painting trees with
a palette knife.
Underneath was first done with transparent washes 
applied with a fan brush using the 
chisel motion shown in my utube short tutorial
 - link below.
Starting this way gave the edges of the 
trees a more natural shape by blending
effortlessly into the other colors/values 
around them.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Late Summer in Santa Fe

Late Summer in Santa Fe, NM.

6x6in oil on canvas panel  SOLD

Late summer walks along on Canyon Road
cannot be beat. This was on a side street and
the light fixture caught my eye.

Artist Note

A neat couple saw this painting and liked it.
 We started to chat and I enjoyed some interesting
conversation before they returned another time
to buy it.
I really appreciate getting to 
know people through my paintings.
For a start, it has occurred  to me that we must 
share a liking for similar places
and types of beauty.

Computer fixed. What a pain when
they misbehave.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Carol Marine's Masterpiece of a Book!

Zinnias and Marigolds
6x8in oil on canvas 

(See at bottom for a video flip-through of 
Carol Marines new book)

This painting
is the one Carol selected to be included
 in the chapter on Subject Matter.

I share the page with Raymond Logan
A very accomplished painter 
and across is a full page stunner from the talented 

The book is on sale thu  Amazon before Nov 4th for 
$14.99. Afterwards it will be $22.
I predict it will be a long time BEST SELLER!

Below is a short video of a flip-through I made giving
you the idea of how many visual treats and 
written gems of information
are amongst its pages.

click below to see

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Late Afternoon Sun

Late Afternoon Sun
6x8in oil on canvas panel   SOLD

The sun is going down earlier and appears 
even richer in color as it casts 
its golden glow on the fall foliage.

Artist Note.
Another adobe where it appears 
they added on as the family grew.
The old adobe houses are so small
by today's standards,
but they certainly managed,
sharing one bathroom
and even their beds, and grew up
 becoming what has been called, 
The Greatest Generation.

My daughter is once again posting 
for me. My computer is in the shop.
I will be back posting when I get it back.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Santa Fe - Pink Adobe

Santa Fe Adobe
6"x 8"
oil on canvas panel  $130.

After all the previous "abstract" landscapes 
here is a direct painting
of a pink adobe house.
I love this particular house 
and have painted it several times!

Artist Note
I  have been having major computer problems
and my daughter is posting this one for me.
Thank you, sweet Rainy! 

Another thank you for
everyone's visits 
and comments.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Organ Mountain Sunrise

Organ Mountain Sunrise

6x8in oil on canvas panel  $125. SOLD

Artist Note.
This is a "site specific" landscape.
The Rio Grande with the Organ Mountains
in the distance.
The Organ mountains are the
jewel of the southernmost part
of the Rockies and are 9,000 ft high.

I cannot fudge and be my own landscaping
company with this one.
This is the only place where the river
bends to have the mountains as a backdrop,
otherwise, it always runs parallel.
After painting the previous two landscapes
in an abstract manner, and having leeway to
place masses for design impact -
I had to stay true with this one.
Fortunately, it is a view I love to paint. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Approaching Storm - New Mexico

Approaching Storm - New Mexico

8x8in Oil on canvas panel SOLD

Artist Note.

Create a sense of place without detail
using simple abstract shapes, and color.

Both the previous post and this one 
were self-assigned 
exercises to help me explore the relationship
of warm color 
in both receding and frontal space.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sunset Reflections

Sunset Reflections
 8x8in oil on canvas panel  SOLD

The Rio Grande River is the main source of water 
for the beautiful Mesilla Valley, NM, where I live.
Many irrigation ditches divert the water to
the small farms which grow
chilies, onions, cotton, pecans, 
corn and yes...even wine.
The sunsets here are gorgeous, making even the 
oldest farms beautiful in their glow.

Artist Note.
Create a sense of place without detail.
 Simple, abstract shapes and color
were formed using palette knife and brush.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Waterfall and Demo

8x6in oil on canvas
work in process

Artist Note.
Working from a gesso mono print
and using the imagination.

First Step.
 See video showing 

I started with a gesso mono print made by
using both black and white gesso.
I used a Raymar canvas board to press into 
the black and white gesso mixture. 
Paper does a fine job also.

I lifted it off and turned the board and 
pressed down again leaving the above image.

Using my imagination I looked for shapes 
I could already "see"  a subject forming from.
There it was...
The angle of gray running across made 
me think of water and rocks.
The texture made from the gesso was great.

I used transparent colors to test out 
the imagery and I could have painted the
whole painting this way if I wanted to. 
Building layers of glazes and scumbling
in some areas.

This is where the individual's own response 
has to be listened to. I decided to go into 
it with the palette knife...and had a heck of a 
lot of fun. In fact I am still nibbling at it.

The role of imagination in painting is not necessary
to be a good painter. 
In my opinion, it IS a necessary exercise to explore
everything you can to find out if that little voice
inside responds with pleasure - or not!
A multitude of pleasures eventually becomes our
own distinctive style.

To see a sample using paper from my 
September 27th post of this technique

Monday, October 6, 2014

New Mexico Window

New Mexico Window
51/2in x 8in watercolor on Yupo paper  SOLD

New Mexico windows  and doors
have been a favorite theme for me.
This window is a new find.

Artist Note
I consider door and windows almost
like a still life within the landscape.
The light may change, but not that quickly
and being able to
get close up to study them is a real pleasure.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Thank You

This was my third Challenge and this time
I knew enough not to have a 30 day 
theme, but allowed myself to change my 
subject and 
media to suit my inspiration. 

The best part was finding the work 
of accomplished artists
whose art inspired me. 
With so many participating it 
was pretty well impossible to get around 
to leave a comment
 as well as
completing a painting 
The good news is they stay on Leslie's blog forever 
so I will have plenty of time to catch up.

I loved the map Leslie had on her page for 
registration and finding 
where many of the participating 
artists lived. Neat!

I also want to thank all of you who 
visited with words of encouragement.
I swear I have the BEST, smartest
and friendliest artists who take 
the time to visit and comment.

A minor bit of surgery hindered my 
final few days of the Challenge
and completing the requested collage 
of all 30 paintings
would have polished me off

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Side Entry Nest - day 30 in the challenge

Side Entry Nest

11x9" watercolor on Yupo Paper NFS

Day 30

Artist Note.
A friend gave me this wonderful
nest recently.  
He knew that the nest was no 
longer occupied and he thoughtfully
included the tree branches which 
supported it rather than
destroy it's structure.

I love the "side entry" type nest, but this one 
tragically came with two tiny
skeletons in the interior.
Unanswered questions.
Were they too large to have
been recently hatched?
Or were they the parents?
I will be very respectful 
in my handling of them 
and their lovingly made home

If you can use your imagination
 there are two leaves up on the right
near the opening which I painted to 
form an abstract shape suggesting
a bird flying towards it.

This is the last painting
for the challenge.
I will do a wrap up of my experience