Personal Art Blog

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

Monday, February 29, 2016

New Home - Leap Year

New Home
11x14' oil on linen SOLD

this was a demo and the white blob
at top right was taken care of

Artist Note.
I arrived in this country 
from England
on a February 29th...yes,
a Leap Year.

My new forever 
home and country. 

I had not wanted to 
leave my family and friends,
but my husband had a
job opportunity 
too good to pass up.
I remember crying to 
my mother that I didn't 
want to leave England and 
she said..."you go where 
your husband goes."
But, she was crying too.
I had an 8 month old
child she must 
have hated to see go.

I remember how
I felt so out of place
and in awe at the size
of everything - 
from the skyscrapers
and cars to the food servings.

I was from a big city with 
great transportation and 
I had never learned to 
drive...but I was a fine walker!

Coming from England
I presumed there would
be no language difficulties,
but found my ear for 
was severely lacking
and apparently...
 it was reciprocated.
I was from the north
and had an accent.
I had to repeat myself 
all the time.

The years flew by.
I had another child.
I became a citizen. 
My friends 
became my family 
and I truly  fell in love
with the amazing USA
...warts and all!

Today I celebrated
another one of my every 
four years anniversary
with deep gratitude.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Tangerine Time

Tangerine Time
6x8in oil on canvas panel  $150.
Purchase HERE

Artist Note
When I started this painting
the tangerines were gorgeous.
I was hungry.
All that was left by the end 
of the painting was
a bit of peel for color reference!

Have a great weekend

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Early For Roses?

 Early For Roses?
6x8in oil on canvas panel $140. SOLD

Artist Note.
All the top artists 
teach it. Colors are
warm in the sunlight
and cool in the shadow.
But, if painting a very light
color and white cools any color,
how does that work?

I took a workshop 20 years 
ago from Ovanes Berberian
and he would tell me,
"no color next to no color 
means CHALKY"
What he meant was 
I had too much white added 
into my mixtures.
He emphasized if you use a
 pale warm color 
next to a pale cool
it would never be chalky.

Another way he helped me
was reminding me 
to mix a warm white pile
to have on the side.
A small dab of  
Yellow Ochre and Alizarin
into the white
Cad Yel light and Cad Red light 
for an even warmer white.
For the cool white pile add
 any blue with a tiny touch of 
orange in it.

If I may pat myself on my back
I admit to taking wonderful notes
in a workshop. I found I would listen 
to his words more than 
just sit and watch his demo. 
He was a fabulous, 
academically sound teacher.

My note book  from the Ovanes's
workshop is stuck back 
together with packing tape it 
because it has been used so much!
I go back to it when  I need help
and always find a solution.

The one below is on the different 
ways Ovanes held the brush.
He was a magician with it.

I still grin at remembering this...
He came up one day and took the 
brush out of my hand holding
 it at the very end and said
in his Armenian/Russian accent..

"Julie, rrrresason brush is thhis llounng "

I had been holding it near the 
top all the time!
See bottom sketch of how 
he held it for most of the painting...
only moving up the handle
for the final finessing.
See his work here

Good memories!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Pitcher And Fruit.

Pitcher And Fruit.
8x6in oil on canvas panel  $140. SOLD

Artist Note.
My favorite combination
of colors. Blue and gold.
The white of the tissue
adds the punch necessary
to prevent the two opposites 
fighting instead of 
harmonizing peacefully

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Yellow Roses & Fruit

Yellow Roses & Fruit
8x6in oil on canvas panel SOLD

Artist Note.
I loved painting this one
and am thrilled it turned out well.
The light was just right.
Yellow roses for 
Valentine Friendship
were a gift and I gathered 
the other items easily.

I am back
 to doing still life paintings,
and it feels very, very good.
I think they are my favorite
for a couple reasons...
I get to choose items I respond 
emotionally to, and the 
biggest plus...
I can set it up,
and it stays in one place.
Yes, I do have to paint 
the flowers first before they droop,
but other than that 
I can come back and do a 
bit here and there.

I have several displays
set up in 
my studio at home and it 
is a wonderful feeling
to walk into the studio and choose
which one I want to paint
that day.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Lemons & Tile

Lemons &Tile
8x6in  oil on canvas panel $140. SOLD

Artist Note.
I have this beautiful old tiled area 
with a shelf and have not painted 
it for a while. 
Back when I painted more 
I would really get into painting
all the the details so 
I felt like I was actually 
painting the tile itself...
but now I can suggest the pattern
 with imperfect
suggestions of color and shape.

I am not sure why, but it 
takes even longer somehow
than when I used to  
tightly render the details.

Now, it is all about the 
light and mood 
I love being an impressionist!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Tulips From A friend

Tulips From A Friend
8x6in oil on canvas panel $135. SOLD

Artist Note.

Karen, one of the Guild members, 
set up a table generously 
piled with munchies
for an early Valentine celebration.
She also brought in  
this beautiful tulip plant 
for me.

I was immediately 
attracted to the 
zigzag paper wrapping 
and painted away 
very happily until half 
way through.
Uh-oh... I saw my goof -
the wrapping competes 
with the flowers.
see below.

 Remembering that only one
dominating focal area 
makes for a more comfortable 
eye flow, I had to change

 First I made the 
deeper green color
cut into 
the paper as shown,
 but it still didn't
work so I wiped off and 
started the lower area again
adding an extra tulip from 
the other side of the plant.

Improved? Yes - I feel it is better 
and I still had experienced
the enjoyment 
of painting 
the wiped off zig zag!

Sending my warmest 
Valentine hugs to 
all of you who follow my blog.
Have a Love filled day.

Give a love filled day

I am grateful for you all.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Valentine Nest - gouache.

Valentine Nest
6x6in gouache on aquabord  $110. SOLD

Artist Note.
I am still on the 
valentine/love theme.

I love bird nests. 
They are truly a passion of mine.
I collect them and 
I marvel at them.
I paint them for my own pleasure
in all media and viewpoints.
Even so, this one is 
a bit different for me.
An imaginary nest.
I tried to make the nest 
look as if it was floating
over a diffused background.

The heart shape stands for love
The broken egg is symbolic
of a new life started 
from that love.

The idea for a nest shaped 
like a heart happened
when I saw this nest
I think the heart shaped 
interior was created by the
compression of the branches.
Anyway - it spoke to me.

I started off with exploring
some ideas with 
watercolor on Yupo 
It is a fabulous surface
to work out ideas on
because it is so forgiving
and lends itself easily
to make changes.

My first sketch
  I wondered what less color
would be like
so wiped away the background 
and left a border
Next I thought I would try 
for an abstract shapes
thinking tree bark
Still not speaking to me so I 
wiped it all off leaving 
the interior eggs,

Cleaning up even more
with paper towel
and took it down to a heart
with eggs.
From exploring through 
these ideas I had a better sense
of how I wanted to 
my nest to look. 
The background not as bright
 as the blue and not as 
geometric as the bark one.
I realized I had never altered
the interior -
the broken egg shell was
so I went with keeping 
it as the focal area.

Then I painted it on the 
aquabord...not as forgiving!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Valentine for a Friend - Yupo


6x7in Alcohol Ink /Yupo  NFS

Artist Note
Continuing the Valentine theme.

I am busy painting my Valentine Cards
 for close friends.
In the one above I only used
two colors - red and orange,
 plus white.
I have no idea how the greenish circles
appeared - honest. I happened when I
dropped the orange on top
of the red.
Obviously the
white mixed with the red
produced the pink!

The biggest surprise was the raised white
area within the heart.
I was trying to cover up
a splatter error I had cleaned
off and it had left a slight stain
 I love the texture.
Don't know if I can repeat it.

Hearts became a well known series for
Pop Artist Jim Dine.
I did own one of his early ones...
 a lovely watercolor, and enjoyed
it for a few years before
trading it for another painting.

I was lucky enough to go on an
artists tour to see his
apartment in Los Angeles
in the early 80's and he was into
painting Robes as well as Hearts.
The robes were HUGE.
I  loved the way
he had framed them and
had them hanging in his
own place.

Pop Art is a fun period to
look  back at,
I have two links if interested.
First one showing diversity of his work
The second one below the art image
shows some of his hearts

click HERE

Jim Dine's (b.1935) Untitled
Three hearts.
I love this one.

Poal Webb's post on
Jim Dine

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tea for Two - Valentine

Tea For Two
6x8in  oil on canvas panel  $135. SOLD

Artist Note.
Continuing with the theme
Valentines Day.

Red is the color which
comes to mind
when I think of love .
What better than getting
my red teapot out  to paint.
Two cups of course for
love shared, and I
did start off with
two cupcakes, but they didn't
fit into the composition.
What...yum, munch, a shame!