Personal Art Blog

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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Roses and Cherries...

Roses and Cherries
8x8" oil on canvas SOLD

Artist Note.
I made a video of painting
this piece. It was a good one 
because it showed the 
struggle in the middle. 
I know you are all
only too familiar with that!

I emerged victorious, 
quite thrilled, and guess what...
the guy with the camera
had it all out of focus!
To say I was bummed
is an understatement.

The bad luck Video story continues,
I have had three videos made
this year by three different
video experts and not one has 
been usable. 

Maybe I will have success in 2016
I made my Fracturing video 
for Daily Paintworks
myself. I just set up a camera 
and went for it. 
BUT... I had a 
lot of requests
to show my palette at the 
same time and that 
created the problem. 
I do not 
know how to do that myself.

Enough of all that...

Here's to a wonderful 2016 for all of us.
May our supportive bond of blogging 
friendships continue with the 
 stimulation and encouragement
that is so special. 
I appreciate every one of you, 
and wish only the best for you all

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Vincent van Gogh

I am busy with a project  and 
not painting so thought 
I would pass my personal
observations on 
 a couple of winter paintings.

We have been hit with an unusually 
large amount of snow here in southern 
New Mexico and it brought to mind 
poor van Gogh moving from 
Paris to Arles 
for the warmer climate 
only to arrive during an 
unusually cold and snowy time.
A true artist... he did get out and paint!

Vincent van Gogh.1888. Landscape In The Snow.

What's not to enjoy when 
looking at these paintings. 
Warm and cool colors bouncing off 
each other add a vibration
of energy to his strokes.
In the top one
The red house has the 
importance of being 
near the vanishing point
with everything converging 
comfortably to it or from it. 
Even the edges of the trees 
and dog fit perfectly. 
I really like the way 
the black hat lines up 
on the horizon, and the 
duller red of the jacket is perfectly 
at home with the 
colors in the front ground. 

Vincent painted the one below
a few days later...and good for him...
he obviously was trying to 
experience a whole different 
Vincent van Gogh  1888
Snowy Landscape with Arles in Background.

His horizon line is still high with 
a secondary focal area 
of house and tree
off to the right, making the cooler
blues he used to paint 
the town of Arles 
appear even more distant.
 The repeat of verticals in this painting
add interest and strength. 
I really like the
 foreground, but have no idea
what his vantage point was.

These two snow landscapes
are rather sparse probably
 because, like all of us,
it takes getting familiar 
with a subject to 
really do it justice.
That... or it was too darned cold!

For example- look how he painted the area
10 months later.
And of course it was warmer then!

Vincent van Gogh 1888
The Red Vineyard
This one is supposed to be the 
only painting Vincent ever sold
during his lifetime.

I have just read Leesa Padget's
new post, and surprise...
she wrote lovely things about me

Thank You so much, Leesa.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

'Tis The Season...

Season's Bauble
8x8  oil on canvas SOLD

This was done in the workshop.
A lot of fun.
I did a paint-a-long and it was
neat to see so many different 
versions of the same red ball
using the fracturing technique.

Artist Note
This is my last post before

Peace in the world - will
it ever happen?

I think of the refugees
trying to escape the horrors
of war in their homeland...

The countries who take them in
and the turbulence of of 
conflicting emotions...

I thank our military and their families
who sacrifice so much for the 
ultimate goal of 

More than ever 
I am very grateful for 
my life.

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

Be safe, be warm, and be at Peace

Friday, December 11, 2015

Workshop Demo

 Some Favorite Things
10"x 8" oil on canvas 

I am giving a
Fracturing Workshop
and this was today's demo.

I have an enthusiastic group
of artists, and I am
excited by the resulting 
paintings. They show a 
to push themselves out of 
a secure comfort zone.

Artist Note
Last week I was lucky
enough to go with some 
artist friends
to Miami for 
Art Basel.
It claims to be the largest
Art show in the U.S.
Top galleries from
around the world pay a fortune
to display the work of their
artists in the
Convention Center.
Art Miami 
and Context
are nearby and equally

I saw a wide diversity
of art. It was stimulating
and thought provoking.

Picasso, Matisse, Miro, Chagall,
Diebenkorn, Motherwell,
 mixed alongside some 
contemporary favs of mine.
I found I was drawn 
to some of the Chinese galleries
with their very accomplished artists.

Many artists of unknown 
pedigrees displayed.
some very interesting work
which kept me enthralled
and others, belonging to what
art critic Brian Sewell
humorously dubbed
the post-skill movement,
made me scratch my head.

Abstract and
work were the largest category,
and I saw marvelous collage
pieces -  many of them
 were dimensional and 
the shadows created a 
wonderful extra level
of interest.
These made me think of a 
blogger I follow.
who is doing really
great collages. Check her out.
(Libby, you would have 
had your nose right up to them) 

Some thoughts...

How will Globalization
change our perception
of art?
I was exposed to art from 
round the world,
 but saw many of the same 
imagery and techniques.

The easy access to media
sharing obviously has diluted 
the cultural influences 
which were 
unique to individual

There appears to be a lack 
of an entirely new  
art movement.
 Everything I saw had 
a strong basis 
from previous movements. 
Installation Art is pushed by 
modern technology but is
still Installation.
Digital art is progressing 
and for the same reasons.

It appears most of the world is 
experiencing strife. 
Usually it emerges in art.
I will be watching for a new 

Anyone have any thoughts 
to share on any of the above?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Watercolor Pleasure

6in x6in gouache on Aquabord 
Painted just for me!

Artist Note.
From my nest collection... 
a little jewel 
with a turquoise strand 
woven through it
 adds a touch of color
against the neutral 
grasses and twigs.

I added Chinese White  
to my watercolors to add 
the body I like.
Aquabord is perfect for 
this, and takes a protective
wax finish beautifully.

My daughter and a friend 
are in to help celebrate
my birthday so I will be
having too much fun
to reply to any comments!
I know you understand.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Yellowstone - Waterfall Near Sylvan Pass.

Near Sylvan Pass.
8"x 6" oil on canvas panel  $135. SOLD

Artist Note
Another one of the
many waterfalls
at Yellowstone.
I can see where the name
came from. Some of the rocks
have a definite yellow
color in the sunlight.
I find them very interesting
and am fascinated by the
different colors in the water.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


8x6 oil on canvas panel $135. SOLD

Artist Note.

A bit of color on a gloomy day.

Things sure are changing 
in the world.
I wish us all Peace.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Life Force.

Life Force
6x6 oil on canvas panel $110. SOLD

Artist Note.

I know...
I know...
 I thought my 
water paintings
were finished,
 but there is still 
a compulsion inside me
 to do more.
Loved painting it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Roses From A Friend

Roses From A Friend
8x6 in oil on canvas panel  SOLD

Artist Note
A friend from the Guild grows these 
Peppermint Candy Roses. 
This has to be the fourth time she has 
brought them in for me to paint.
Not easy...
I have had the hardest time 
painting them.
Imagine - multiple petals and 
stripes on some and not others.
I finally got one that I liked
and fortunately she did too.
Thanks for your patience, Joann.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Floating Dahlias.

Floating Dahlias
Work in Progress

Artist Note
(yup...still painting water!!!)

I saw these wonderful floating 
dahlia flower heads 
in September when I was 
 visiting the 
Nedra Matteucci Gallery
in Santa Fe.

 I fell in love.

I tried painting them in 
watercolor first, and found it 
waaay too busy to include 
the bird bath. Easy decision
to paint only the 
flowers, but it presented
a whole new set of problems.
In our culture we are only 
used to seeing the waterlily
floating on water, and 
they have many petals too.

How to make sense of 
floating flowers? 
How to make them 
appear to be in water.
Finally arriving at...
does it matter if they look 
like  another flower 
or in water?
Nope. What matters is 
painting something
close in my heart.

I went a little larger than my 
usual blogging size... 
because 10"x8"
 is a far easier size 
to work out 

Transparent washes of colors

 then fracture or disturb
the surface
The stage below is 
my personal favorite
basic and very abstract.
I am going to be exploring this
theme further
in several different ways.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Rain Puddles And Red Chili.

Rain Puddles
6x8in oil on canvas panel $135. SOLD

Artist Note.
A sight not often seen
here in early November.
This was during the two days 
of rain we got. 

This view of the chili fields
looks totally different 
than in the full sun. 
Far more muted.

Red chili is harvested 
later than the green chili. 
Left on the vine to turn red,
 it is picked and spread on
roofs and similar surfaces
to dry in the sun -
the traditional way.
I LOVE chili
green or red.

This may conclude my water series.
Notice the "may."
I have enjoyed it.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Stormy Day

Stormy Day
6x8in oil on canvas $135.
Purchase HERE

Artist Note.
We really need rain due to 
the severe drought we have been 
having in New Mexico, so
it is hard to complain about 
a couple of days of really
hard rains.

I had been hoping to paint a
special spot
on the way home
after visiting our son,
 but when we got there
this is all I saw
out of the window.
I did a small sketch
(below) in watercolor
 to get the basic values 
and shapes.
(courtesy of the 
windshield wipers
helping out and 
hubby softly snoring 
as he took a nap, sweet guy!)

The only light areas were
in the sky and water.
The vertical sides of the bushes
and hills were very
dark by comparison.

The sketch came in handy
when I was
back in the studio today.
It helped me recall the
actual structure of the dam.
Using artistic license
I made the falls less wide,
and eliminated a building
that was there.

The sky was still magnificent 
as we got closer to home.

Today is sunny and bright.
Not a cloud in the sky.

Am grateful our ground has
collected some 
much needed moisture.
BUT I am only too aware
of the devastation caused by
too much rain in other
 parts of the country.
I am truly sympathetic,
and cannot imagine the 
strength needed to 
restore and carry on.
Blessings to all.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Rushing Water - Yupo.

Rushing Water
7x10in Watercolor on Yupo

Artist Note.
Still involved with the 
water series. 21 so far.

I am on a short
 trip and did this on the 
way to our destination.

I love to paint in the car. 
I feel free to paint
 and not worry
if a bump creates an 
unexpected blob...or two!!

Just pure fun with paint
which makes the trip fly by.

Be happy with 
your paint today!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Winter Light On The Falls

Winter Light on the Falls.
6x8in oil on canvas. $135.
Purchase HERE

Artist note.
This is the painting I did over the 
unintentional wiper 
shown in the previous post.
It is on oil primed linen
so I am glad I could 
rescue the board.
This was a demo for the 
Friday group at the Guild.
They insisted I not wipe it off 
like I usually do after a demo.
(Bossy Lot -they keep me in line!)

The demo was about keeping your 
dark areas as transparent 
as possible. I used three colors
plus Titanium White.
Viridian, Ultramarine 
and Tsp. Brown Oxide.
I did some touch up areas to 
bring it up to speed and 
now I am glad the
Friday group 
were in charge.
Thank you, guys!

Quick Note.

Thank you from "Daisy"
(click to enlarge)

I received this wonderful 
note from Daisy asking me to thank 
all of you who voted to make her 
best cat so she could be 
as proud as her sibling was
before passing on to
kitty heaven.
I am so impressed with how arty the 
card and note are. Even the envelope!
A halo for everyone 
who helped.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Afternoon Light On The Falls

Afternoon Light on the Falls
6x8in oil on canvas 

Artist Note.
About a major ooops!

My husband called me at work
 as I was cleaning my palette
ready to go home.
We started talking about his day
and I continuing to clean with
the phone in one hand
 and palette knife in the other. 
(Cleaning the paint piles etc.)

He had me laughing and
I was relaxed getting out the 
alcohol to finish cleaning the 
palette...only it wasn't the palette
I had cleaned...
it was my painting!
Nothing left but mud.
Trust me, 
it was not a laughing Julie
who hung up the phone!!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Moonlight at Yellowstone

Moonlight At Yellowstone
6x6 oil on canvas WIP
(work in progress)

Artist Note
This is for the
Daily Paintwork Challenge
this week.
ONLY three colors -
red, yellow and blue, plus white
allowed for oil and acrylic painters.
This one has
Transparent Red Oxide
Ultramarine Blue
Titanium White.
It is unfinished deliberately
for the Challenge,
I will add another couple
layers of colors
when it is dry- maybe.

Check all the good paintings
using three colors

Sorry about the light catching
the ridges of paint,

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sunrise On The Firehold River - Yellowstone

Sunrise On The Firehole River
6x6in oil on canvas panel $130. SOLD

Artist Note

Steam rising up by the river
at sunrise was a jaw dropping
sight that has stayed with me.

I had to work out
how to do the steam
first because I had not
painted it other than
from one or two
 geysers before.
The palette knife was handy
for "mushing" to achieve
the softness.
Next it was just a matter of 
adding the colors of sunrise.

I am very happy with 
the way this one turned out.
especially the
colors in the steam

One of the highlights of my 
visit was 
seeing a room full of 
Thomas Moran paintings
Below are the notes 
from my sketchbook

 I noticed the
absence of GREEN in his work!
Here is a link to the collection.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Falls At Yellowstone

Falls At Yellowstone
8x6in oil on canvas panel $135. SOLD

Continuing the water series.
This one is a more intimate
view of a shorter set of
I went less abstract in this one 
because I painted it from 
memory and 
I remembered 
every beautiful area..

Artist Note.
I was asked how 
I can paint from memory.
Here goes.

Before I start to paint from
I sit quietly and recall
a place until I see it clearly
in my mind. 
and jot it down.
Next I try to pull up the 
sounds - hear the rushing water, 
birds singing, if there was a breeze etc.
This gets me totally in the mood.

When I feel I am "back in time"  
I pick
up my knife and mix
the basic colors first.
I establish the harmony on the 
palette, placing the spots of color
next to each other...
and if it jives with my inner vision...
then off I go!

(Hope this helped Mr. Franklin)

Again, all done with the palette knife

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Falling Water

Falling Water
8x6in oil on canvas panel $135.SOLD

Artist Note.
My series on the waterlily pond
has taken me into painting the
water itself. First reflections
and now the falls.
All palette knife.

This one appeals to me because
when I was in Yellowstone
a couple of years ago
I painted waterfalls with
great pleasure.
I found I was excited just seeing
one. I would yell - stop the car -
and because the beloved driver
wanted to be assured of a
pleasant evening - he would
screech to a halt, sometimes even
doing a u-turn so I could
jump out and quickly do a watercolor.

I felt that excitement painting this one.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sunrise in New Mexico

Sunrise in New Mexico
6x6in oil on canvas panel $110. SOLD

Artist Note.
Totally done with a palette knife
this little painting came together fast.
I have to ask myself...
why do some work and not others?

Could it be because it is an abstract? 
Or could it be - it is all about 
a mood - a harmony?

Any ideas anyone?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Reeds and Reflections

Reeds And Reflections
 6x8in oil on canvas &135.
Purchase HERE

Artist Note
I like the simplicity in the design
on this. Guess what is underneath...
yes, two Koi!

When I started the painting
 this is the path I was on.
I was trying to get the 
shafts of light on the water .
I couldn't quite get what I wanted and 
I realized I had repeated the pattern 
of two fish swimming together...
been there - done that 
type of thing. Scraped it off.
(left a neat ghost.)

No Koi,.. no Waterlily...
just the reflections and reeds.
I like it. It's different for me.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Yellow Crocs - Santa Fe.

Yellow Crocs

6x8in oil on canvas  $135. SOLD

Artist Note.

I saw this lady with the
bright yellow crocs
catching the rays in Santa Fe.
When I asked if I could take a photo 
she said, "sure" but she never looked up 
from her writing...
and her dog's eyes 
never stopped watching me.
The dog had a purple leash
and next to the yellow crocs
my heart was captured.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

My First Alcohol Ink Painting - Koi.

alcohol ink on Yupo NFS

Artist Note
My first time with the alcohol inks.
I found the inks powerful
in saturation, luminous
and tricky to work with.
I can see the benefits of
experimenting especially on
the Yupo paper.

Last week I joined
some  painting
 buddies on a trip
to Santa Fe to paint the
aspen leaves turning gold.
Guess what interested me more...
remembering I have been involved
with a series from the
waterlily pond?
Yep - my mind was still
on the water reflections and fish.
Funny how I couldn't just
be attracted to anything else.
A series is a series!

For those of you who have
never been to
Santa Fe
 there is a gallery
with a magical sculpture garden.

Formally known as the Fenn Gallery
It is now the Nedra Matteucci Gallery.
I have been visiting there for many
years. Look how gorgeous it is.
(click to enlarge).

I did do a plein air of the aspens
up by the ski area.

And loved seeing all the 
Chamisa  (rabbit grass)
in full bloom.

I encourage you to treat
yourself and
explore the link
Nedra Matteucci

 I am going to enjoy catching up 
with everyone's blogs.