Personal Art Blog

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

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?


  1. I wonder if there will be many Guernicas in the years to come because it just seems like turmoil has always been and always will be. It is so wonderful that you went to Art Basel. I checked out their website and watched a couple of short videos to see what it was all about.

    I hope your workshop was a huge success. Your demo is stunning in color and eloquent in composition.

    1. Hi Lisa. I think some Syrian artists are bound to express what is happening around them. The refugee situation will be another area where emotional content will emerge in art - somewhere, sometime.
      The workshop was successful, thank you. I can tell by what came out of it.

    2. Forgot to add how much I enjoyed your blog post about your trip to New York City. Be a fun post for anyone to visit. Your photos are fabulous.

  2. Glad that you have an enthusiastic group of people for the workshop. It makes it into a fun time I bet.

    I liked the "post skill" movement comment. I had to read up on what that was actually. Not only is there strife in the world in general but there seems to be strife in the art world as well. Sigh:(

    I suppose everything eventually comes full circle though. Many aspects of our current culture turn me off completely. People have always made art of some sort in response to what is happening around them; to explain and to understand. I am not sure if we will see another Picasso with his Guernica in our lifetime but I hold out some degree of hope. And I am sad if culturally based art is disappearing. That seems to me to be a particular shame and loss.

    A great post and good topic to chew on:) Thank you as always.

    1. I don't think culturally based art is totally disappearing - just not getting promoted I think the large galleries who could afford the expense of ART Basel are not willing to risk promoting it. They are playing a safer game aiming for sales. They do have to exist, right? So it becomes a loss for the artist like me who hopes to be exposed to another culture's art. I do know that the power of the presence felt standing before any original cannot be captured by viewing on the monitor.
      Looking forward to your next post, Libby. Thanks for the great comment.

  3. And what a clod I am! I forgot to say thank you for the link. Thank you! And you are right. I would have had my nose right up to all of those dimensional collages:) They make the rope and stanchion combo for people like me:)

    1. I hope you try some of the dimensional stuff. I got my photos together and will send you some close ups I took with you in mind.

  4. Hi Julie :) So nice to see your demo, that sounds like a workshop I would love to go to. I saw a little bit about Art Basel on Youtube, your thoughts are really interesting. I think there is a fear in a lot of artists these days that getting too political will affect their saleability and popularity. Guernica is such a powerful piece, it makes you realise how much power art can have in making us all remember we are all in this together - there are no winners in war time :) Just keep painting your beautiful pieces and you will be making the world a better place.

    1. Hi Leesa - thanks for being tuned in. Even without any hard times you could often guess where an artist was from by his work. That is getting harder and harder to do. I do love the easy Internet exposure to all art, but nothing beat getting right up to an original. I know with your multi layering process I would be fascinated looking at your work in real time!

  5. Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

    The demo is gorgeous. It looks like I could reach in and feel the smoothness and cold feel of the jar. Your work amazes me!

    1. Thank you, is like you going out with your sketchbook everywhere amazes me. The elephant from the museum has a lovely volume.

  6. How wonderful that you had the opportunity to go to Miami for the show. Sounds like it would be overwhelming.
    Wish I could hop over and do one of your workshops. Best to you!

    1. Hi Carol - yes, overwhelming if you do not pace yourself.
      Saw the lovely floral you did for a demo and was impressed with the size and loved the finished result.

  7. This little still life is one that conveys peace and tranquility and would bring the viewer back whenever they felt the need for same.

    Bless Brian Sewell for coining an apt phrase for some of what passes for art. I wonder if historians will adopt it permanently for this period which has included so much transitory art. I can't separate emotion from art and want to think art lovers will always prefer a beloved painting or sculpture over a balloon dog, or video capture of nude people sitting for hours. I can see the appeal of looking....but art for museums ONLY??

    1. Great comment, Lauren...and glad you liked the Post-skill quote.
      I agree about art needing to have an emotional quality. There were nudes sculptures with hair on their bodies looking so real then a huge yeball hanging down so when there was an actual stabbing resulting in a woman with a white jacket and red blood pouring down it...people kept walking by thinking it was performance art. A riot. But most of it was very stimulating for me.
      I truly love your African Gray. Fabulous painting.

  8. Your painting is beautiful Julie! As for thoughts...We do live in a time of over exposure but I am hopeful about the future. Unfortunately, art market shows appear to follow where they think the money is. We will have to keep searching for the new Guernica. I believe it's out there!

    1. Such a positive comment. I like the way you think, Kaethe.
      The collectors dictate what sells, but I noticed how each gallery presented a strong "story" on every work I appeared interested in. So "sales talk " also influences how well an artist is received.
      I found your comments on color very interesting in your post on the popcorn.

  9. This is a truly exquisite painting in every way, Julie. I love the colors, the composition, and that gorgeous vibrant texture! It exudes the vivacity of the woman who painted it -- I could just look and look, and always find more to see. Your trip sounded marvelous, and the wonderful insights you've drawn from it are intelligent and thought-provoking. How contrary that as cultures move towards being more globally-accessible, people and their ideas often remain at odds and polarized.

    1. Thank you sweet, Helene, your comments are always encouraging. A gift.
      What a lovely soft feeling your pastel has, Helene. You are accomplished in all medias as well as subject matter. From a gorgeous doe to a sensitive nude.

  10. Beautiful painting! Can you believe I'm three hours away from Art Basel and haven't been. We have been saying we will go for years and December never seems to work out timing wise for us. I enjoyed your observations on the event. That side of the art world always fascinates me, kind of like fashion, always enjoy looking and seeing whats being done, but sometimes hard to wrap your brain around.

    1. Never Been!!! yikes. I sat down after reading that one.
      I recommend Art Miami to start with. Contex is right next door. Both buildings take a whole day to see. They have more of the galleries which carry contemporary realism. Basel has a real mixture. Exciting, but not always understandable. Or as you put it so perfectly - hard to wrap your brain around.
      You have a wonderful post about your group of artists.
      Very inspirational. The calibre of everyone's work is amazing. You will all certainly develop faster with group encouragement and support.

  11. there is a very strong emphasis on past art movements and artist in most art schools, which can be a good thing but it does usually mean a lot of the art produced looks like those other artists. I do think there is a very strong drive in a lot of places to have art all look the same. graphics for example, the end products are so rigid in a lot of cases but that is what is wanted so part of it with all forms of art is the demand part :/ change is bad....

    the post-skill movement, so Dadaism??

    1. Such a great comment. I agree with what you say. Thanks for taking the time, Jennifer. there is another story. Came out of war too I think.
      Looking forward to seeing your etching progress.

  12. That is one demo from you that I would like to attend one day! Julie, I did a lot of social art once upon a time that addressed the issues of the society where I lived and also that was happening else where.It was a gratifying creative time but such art is great to think about, ponder on, a very few dare to hang them on their walls. I started with art that was specific to my country but gradually moved out to embrace different cultures to adapt in my art, that way there is a diversified growth, I feel.

    1. Thank you Padmaja. So nice. It would be a pleasure to have you in my workshop. I could learn from you, too.
      I enjoy hearing how your art has changed through time. It is a natural progression isn't it? Would you say your cultural changes are influenced by global accessibility?
      I enjoyed seeing both of your sea paintings. Different, yes... and I like both

  13. How I wish I could've been part of your Fracturing Workshop Julie!!! I couldn't believe how beautiful this painting was when I zoomed in on it..
    I would have loved attending Art Basel. I'm not familiar with it at all....I can't imagine seeing art from top galleries from around the amazing would that be!

    1. Hi Hilda - I enjoyed your new post...amazing to know your aunt is still popping along at 106. I love to see her looking so good.
      Some of he big galleries from New York participated in Basel. You can see them at any time you lucky lass.

  14. Simply stunning, I am always amazed at how many colors and things you manage to put into a small work without it ever looking too much, but always perfectly harmonious in every way. Really beautiful ! 'Post skill-movement' made me laugh , love that term :-) I often think that everything is a 'deja vu' by now ,but that may also be due my age .

    1. Thank you for such a flattering comment, Jane. it means a lot.
      I enjoyed seeing your new painting of the man reading by the water. The texture on the trunk really added a a lot of interest. I love the way you paint.

  15. Love your workshop demo Julie! Would love to attend one someday!
    I too laughed at Brian Sewell's one-liner - Post-skill movement. How very apt for so much art that is out there.
    The exhibition sounded fascinating and I enjoyed reading your thoughts on it. The same fears you have for art across the globe becoming homogenised, I also have for varying cultures in general. It is happening at even the most subtle levels. I hate the way many Australianisms are being phased out of our conversations and replaced by Americanisms. Not because I don't like the Americanisms - I do - but I would rather enjoy the novelty of hearing Americans speak them rather than take them as our own at the expense of losing our own colourful colloquialisms. Your blog posts are always so interesting and inspiring!

  16. It sounds like an amazing experience! It is thanks to globalization the small town artist has the possibility to share their art. We can experience it from all corners of the world, including events like this one. I think it has opened things up even more. Hopefully we will take notice of the better ones down the road.
    I love your favorite things painting, beautiful movement and color harmony!


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