Personal Art Blog

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

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Proud Julie

I am really a happy camper today as I feel blessed to have been included
in the list of The Art Room's Artists Who Blog. We were asked to pick our favorite painting of 2013.

The Art Room

It was hard to choose my favorite paintings of last year but if you wish to see
what I picked then please use the link above.
Make sure you scroll and check out all the fine artists already on there (through January.)

If you are not familiar with The Art Room then you are really missing
out on some inspiring and interesting art talk. I subscribe and always look forward to seeing it in my mailbox.

TARYN DAY, who is a fabulous artist in her own right, takes the time to lead us into the world of intimate viewpoints she gains by either interviews with contemporary artists or research into the work of artists of the past.
Give yourself a gift and explore the links above.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014



8x6in oil on canvas panel   $125. SOLD

Beautiful colors for all of you who are
experiencing a cold winter's day.

Artist Note.
I am swamped at the moment. Too much
going on so I will be taking a few days
off from blogging. I will be treating myself to
visiting blogs to catch up with all
of you who have been so encouraging on mine.
For those of you who completed the
30 day Challenge - my hats off to you!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Roses in a Water Glass.

Roses in a Water Glass

6x8in oil on canvas panel   $125. SOLD

Painting the rose again while it is still fresh.
No peacock feathers this time.

Artist Note.
My mind and hand have only just started to
settled down from the trauma of painting the
previous post of peacock feathers and roses
in the tiny area of 7x5 inches!

I thank you for all the great comments about the painting
and want you to know
they helped guide my sanity back to the land of normality.
Although we all know it is good to push ourselves out
of our comfort zones, next time I choose to paint something
so complex -  I will do it on a much easier, larger size.

This one went much faster and was painted mostly with
a knife

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Peacock Feathers With Roses

Peacock Feathers With Roses
7x5in oil on canvas panel  SOLD

Artist Note
The beauty of the rose always astounds me,
but place it next to a peacock feather and real
competition for the top spot happens.
The real dilemma for the artist is deciding
which one wins.
Rose or Peacock Feather?

This is a pick-up from an earlier post.
Pretty swamped catching up after family visit.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Denim and Broom

Denim and Broom

16"x12"  oil on canvas  unfinished

My demo piece from yesterday.

It was my husband who asked me to do
a repeat of a small painting I did last
January. It was one he had always liked

It was a warm and friendly group.
I relaxed pretty quickly when some of
my support group turned up and made
me laugh.

The pressure I had shared was because I
donated a one-day workshop for
a fundraiser next Saturday.
Some of the sign-ups had come to see
me at work.  Can you imagine if they
decided to cancel based on what they
saw!!! All the wonderful and supportive
comments made me feel good, but
we all recognize that anyone using
hand/eye coordination can have a not
so good day. I saw David Hockney
walk out of one many. many years ago.
Anyway, I did some parts very well
and some parts not as well. All in all
a typical Julie demo.

Artist Note
I had two sheets of canvas.
One black gesso
and one white oil primed linen.
I wanted to show the difference in the
finished appearance between the two.
Unfortunately I did not finish the linen one.
The painting at the top was done on
black canvas.
It gives a solid appearance quickly. I used
opposing strokes to give some variation
of value and laughed with the audience
about the popularity of paintings on
black velvet -  back in the day.

I do not have much recollection of of
the steps I took but I remember

someone asked me
what brush I used so I took out my
fan brush to show the type of brush is not
as important in the beginning because
it should be all about getting down the 
basic shapes.
You can see the big shapes clearly below.

I wanted them to see the glow you can
achieve by using transparent colors first.
They peep through here and there as you
apply thicker paint.
This is as far as I got on this one, but am
looking forward to finishing it.
I should have asked someone to take
step by step photos but I will make sure to
take them as I finish this one

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Couple of Mums

A Couple of Mums

6x6  oil on gallery wrap canvas  $115. SOLD

Play on words here. In England, Mum is used
like Mom is here

Artists note.
I am doing a demo this afternoon for our local
art association and am
soooo nervous. I can go somewhere where people
do not know me and relax and enjoy myself, but
locally...failing locally...Oh boy!
I was doing a demo last year where I was fine until I
turned round and saw a huge crowd had gathered.
I proceeded with the demo... and I think 5 wipers
happened. Honest, no exaggeration at least 5.
Afterward people reassured me, when my dismay was
obvious, that they learned  so much from watching that
Oh sure...RIGHT!
But, here I am doing another one again,
 and another in March.
I question why I cannot say NO!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Four Callas

The Four Callas.

8x6in  oil on canvas panel   $125. SOLD

The elegant Calla is another flower
I really like to paint.

Artist Note.

Today I mailed off the prints for the
runner ups from my give-a-way.
It felt really good. I had three
6x6in giclee prints made on canvas by the
finest company I know for producing exact
color reproductions. Fabulous eye - honest.
I rent my downtown studio and gallery from
the owner and so I am very familiar with
the high quality. All archival. I have never had
a giclee made before as I like to
protect the owner of the
original, but seeing this was an artist thing
I went ahead and am pleased I did. Afterwards
I painted a little texture on them - let them dry,
and then sprayed with the important light

If you are looking for a company to do a giclee
or other type reproductions
then you may be interested in inquiring by
following the link below.

big picture digital lab

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Freesia Arc

Freesia Arc
6x8in oil on canvas panel  $125.

Trader Joe's Blessings - flowers at a reasonable price
...and Triple Ginger Snap cookies!
Chewy little bits of ginger in the cookies...Oh YUM!

Artist Note.

I painted this one right after the other freesia painting
shown a few days ago. They were so beautiful I felt I
could have continued painting them all week.
I did a watercolor sketch of exploration and discovery first,
and I can see how after I started, I followed my internal
response to the rectangle versus the square.

I can also see how much more color is in the oil painting
than the watercolor sketch.. Must have been those cookies!

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Blue Mountains - Southern Colorado

Blue Mountains -   Southern Colorado

8x6in  oil on canvas panel   $125.

The season's dead grass and weeds
form intricate patterns of muted colors
against the backdrop of beautiful
blue mountains.

Artist Note.

I lived in Denver for 8 years and really
enjoyed the beautiful scenery all over
Colorado. The grandeur of the Rockies
knocked my socks off, but I often
discovered my heart beating faster with
the closer, more intimate beauty of the
patterns created  by the weeds...
or water skimming over a rock.

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Classical Still Life with Demo of Changes

Classical still life

20"x16"  oil on canvas  - unfinished

When I do a workshop I like to have the artists
bring in an old painting they are not satisfied with
to re-work in the new technique.
I do a demo on one of my own paintings to start them off.
Here are the steps on this one. It was an older, larger
painting I had never learned to like very much.

This was painted
after taking a
workshop from
Qiang Huang
back before
I started to use my
fracturing technique.
The only parts I
liked were the
brush marks
on the lower cloth.
I love Qiang's

Look at the way
it is all lined up.
what was I thinking!
Have to learn to watch
out for the tangents.

I lightly sanded
the old surface then
rubbed a little
linseed oil with a
small amount of
Gamsol added.

I changed the
shape of the vase so it
would curve into
the painting and also
moved it in from the
edge. I lowered one
of the peaches and
got rid of the middle
lemon.  I brought
forward the base of
the small dish holding
the lemon slices by
making it deeper so
it no longer lined up
with the grape.

Then I made the back wall
lighter so the jug would fit
into the passage of light.
I needed to move the
eye around and away
from the top right of
the painting so I
added a slice near the
left edge. I intend to fill
out more of the eucalypti
stalk later. I added fresh
paint all over so I could
start to fracture.

At this point the painting starts to speak to me and I listen.
I have to ask myself what I like and what I do NOT like.
Looking at it in the mirror I decide I should dump it.
BUT...darn it, I have an audience. I will have to ...
excuse me, but I cannot resist...

I realize I do NOT like the dark area of grapes PLUS
the lower two dark corners. It was like having an arrow
pointing down off the bottom!

What to do? Does it matter?
I decided it did - if only as a valuable learning experience.
I wanted more color...and for it not to be so stiff.
This was a personal taste issue more than correction.
I already had some clementines
so I changed the grapes into an orange and lemon
then automatically the peaches appeared to change
just by using the leaves to make them become clementines.
I took the cloth all the way to one corner and
added the fringe to break up the large dark area
...still to be perfected.

The image above shows developing the fringe.
I ended up taking it further back on the table
Placing the glass to see the correction

I know I have to do some finessing in
several areas to satisfy my
unresolved feelings about this painting.
I think we all have paintings like this and it can be
a great way to discover our reactions to many
aspects of our artwork.
In my case - style change and knowledge growth.
Look what has happened since I did the very top
pic. An "off with its head " moment and got rid of the fringe.
Made the background lighter too. Will this EVER be finished...
Does it matter?
Am I enjoyed playing around with it?
You betcha! I learn a lot by risking ruining a painting than
having the attitude of trying to save it, just to sell.
Maybe this one will never be completed.

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Freesias and a Neat Product


5x7in  oil on canvas panel  $100

Beautiful freesias bouquet from Trader Joe's in Albuquerque.
I love having friends who travel up there and bring me
back  flowers to paint..

Artist Note.
This demo shows a bit more detail than the last floral I posted.
But still trying to only suggest the outer flowers by
shape and color.

I want to share a wonderful product from
Fine Art Name Plates
When I had my bird nest show last year I had a very large
painting of a Sandhill Cranes's nest and ordered a name
plate for it. See below.
This is what the owner came up with for me. He placed a
beautiful Sandhill Crane on the plate.The people who bought it
were just as thrilled with the name plate as they were with the
painting. They said it added a lot of class.
I truly believe it helped sell the expensive painting...and for
a very small amount of money.

The company has different sizes, prices and different shapes
Yes- that is a Twachtman  plate at the bottom.
They also have an excellent clientele which they would not
have if they did bad work.  I thought I would pass it
on as everything I have had a plate made for, has sold.
Maybe the plate had something to do with it?
The gallery I am in loves them.
And just in case you are wondering in my family owns the business!!!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Mexico Adobe

New Mexico Adobe.

6x8in oil on canvas panel  $125.

The old Adobe buildings around the Santa Fe area
are a feast for the eyes of an artist. This one is near Nambe.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Flowers and Seeing Their Shapes

Flowers, Glass and Stripes

8x6in oil on canvas panel  125. SOLD

Artist Note

The focus this month at the Artists Guild,
is on Flowers and learning how to 'see"
the negative areas around the flowers
as positive shapes to help define them.
The painting above is a demo.
You will notice that only one flower is defined
clearly by shape and a dark center,
the rest are suggested more abstractly.

The background was painted at the same time,
and by that I mean I did not do the flowers
and vase first then add the background. Instead
I wove in and out of all the colors and shapes
incorporating the transition flecks of colors
into each area. Gradually I started to define
certain areas more than others.

I started off the demo showing the simplified
basic shape of any of the flowers picked by the
artists to be painted. The round shape is the
most popular but remembering to put it in an ellipse
or watching for any chance to see an asymmetrical
area is fun and important.
Details to be added after establishing shape.

Next a quick demo of the method of painting
negative areas with the same importance of
judging color, value and edges as with
the positive areas.
It is quite a mental adjustment!

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

And the WINNER is...

Artist Note.
My hubby really took his duty seriously
and read and pondered over each and
every comment. He had four he narrowed it
down to. Took him forevah!

And the winner is.....
Marjorie van Dorm.  
who wrote...
I love the COLORS
I love the TEXTURES
I love the SUBJECT
I love how your painting gives wings to my SOUL
Congratulations Marjorie!
Jim loved your comment. Me too!

The other three he really liked were from:
Celeste Bergin, Carol Flatt, and Kim Minichiello
so if the three of you would like a print 
of the painting then
email me your postal addresses to

Thank you everyone for all the great comments. 
It gave me a real boost and I truly do appreciate the
fact you liked the painting and took the time to let me know.

I had hoped to answer them all before now, but
I was busy with another important project which
took place on Friday night.
I organized a fundraiser for Hospice
to honor my friend Kris who passed on at the
end of October, See HERE
It was important to her to be able to die at home
and Hospice enabled her to be able to do
that in comfort and dignity.

It was a one night event in the gallery Kris and her
husband, Jim, own.
Over thirty local artists generously
donated their work and the Hospice volunteers
were on site with their credit card machine.

Here is Kris with her radiant smile.

It was heartwarming to see
our community turn out in force and BUY for such
an excellent cause. It was a
take off the wall and carry to the counter situation.
100% donation to Hospice.
Very exciting to see the lines of activity.
Hospice folk were over the moon about the amount raised.
Out of 40 pieces of work only four remained and
I know they will soon be purchased.
I had lots of help from everyone
so didn't do it all myself, but I am bushed, and need
some down time. I miss my dog and I miss Kris.
Glad the 13 in 2013 has gone and 14 sounds much better.
I will soon be back to visiting all your blogs
and being stimulated by what I read and see.