Personal Art Blog

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

Sunday, June 5, 2016


6x8 in oil on canvas panel SOLD

Artist Note.
It has been a while since I posted.
End of semester - took a quick trip,
and lots of cleaning up to do. 
Also preparing for my workshop
which starts Tuesday. Again, lots to do.

I find it fun to prepare for 
 the workshops 
I provide all the different supports 
(six of them)
for the first day 
and we work like crazy
exploring each surface with the 
fracturing technique.
It is a good group of 
talented artists...
 all from different places.

The peonies are from a trip
to see my daughter over 
Memorial Day - she gets a gold star 
because back when she moved 
into this house
 she planted peonies just for me.

This was started plein air and 
completed in the studio. I
 painted early morning, 
and the cool sky really
was noticeable.

I find the
peonies are difficult to paint 
because it is too easy
to make them look like
 a cabbage rose. 
The peonies also droop with 
the weight  of the flower
and when standing like 
I do to paint, you tend to 
look down on them.

Not too bad if you squat down 
like I had to, to take this pic
just before we left.
(thanks heavens for yoga!)

I will look forward to getting 
back on track and catching up 
after the workshop.

Happy painting days!


  1. These peonies are gorgeous!!! How special that she grows the for you. As pretty as they are they do droop which doesn't make them "artist friendly" unless you are sitting down on eye level with them. lol Your students are so lucky to have you as their teacher.

    1. Thanks Joan. I am lucky. Although my daughter lives only a few hours away her climate is different enough for them to grow there ...because unfortunately they don't here
      The lobster you painted looked so real I had to double check to make sure it wasn't a photo. Love your sand dunes too.

  2. Good to have you back, Julie, and it was great you were able to take a trip to see your daughter. A teacher's life never stops, does it?! Always planning, preparing and teaching! Luscious peonies and the landscape format is enhanced by the direction of the leaves. Peonies look complex to paint - lots of layers close together, but such an elegant flower!

    1. Thank you, Carol. As a teacher you know the story only too well. For me it was the cleaning up of all the things i had not filed away and general cleaning of the room Quite a job. I am looking forward to the workshop and the excitement which always fills the room.
      I enjoyed seeing the tomatoes you painted. I admired the unique viewpoint. well as the color harmony.

  3. Hi Julie, those are fabulous Peonies. I've seen too many painted that look like roses but yours are peonies for sure. Not an easy flower to paint with it's multitude of petals. Enjoy your week.

    1. Goos to hear from you carol and have to say I got such a kick out of your new post and video. What FUN! Loved hearing your laugh.

  4. These look GREAT! Peonies are a fantastic flower, and they smell LOVELY!!!!
    Have a good summer, Julie = )

    1. Glad to hear you love peonies too, Sue.
      That is one heck of a fabulous demo painting you did.
      Love the swirls and texture.

  5. I love all your floral paintings and these peonies are very wonderful too !!!
    Have a nice and creative week !!!

    1. Thanks Stelios.
      I think your painting with people in it is marvelous. I have not see you do that before and am full of admiration.

  6. Julie,

    Goodness but those flowers are pretty! (Both the real ones and the ones you painted.) Now that I know what to look for, I can see too how you warmed up your whites:)

    Good luck with the workshop. Those participants are very, very lucky! And extra bonus points for your daughter for planting those peonies. Making mom happy:)


    1. You are always so generous and encouraging, dear Libby. Thank you.
      Yes - warm white. It seems weird because white by its nature, is cool. Ovanis Berbarian would place a hint of ochre and aliz in the white for his florals.
      The workshop will be great - I can tell. I keep them small so genuine learning takes place. When they travel so far they deserve a good experience. We have fun too!
      Happy to see your new piece has such a strong impact. Your colors are fabulous. You are off and running again.!

  7. Beautifully painted Julie! I'm afraid to look at my peonies in my backyard because it rained heavily last night and I'm sure they're down! Your flowers are how you darken the middle just a scosh!! Love it!

    1. Lucky you having peonies grow. There is something special about them. I am amazed and love your fabulous new painting of hats. I bet you loved painted it.

  8. Simply gorgeous. I wish I could paint peonies. They seem so complicated but under your expert touch you managed to capture
    the essence of these favorite flowers. Missed you. So glad you are back. Have a great day. Hugs!

    1. It was great to see your beautiful peonies too, Debbie.
      I know you can paint them beautifully - I have seen what you can do.
      Thanks for missing me! Sending a hug!

  9. Your peonies are gorgeous, Julie, but you always paint flowers so very well. Must admit I find floral subjects daunting. I should stop wimping and just have a go, I know. Right now I've two portrait commissions to do, but hope to get some daily paintings underway before too long. As the other commenters have said, it is great to see one of your posts in my inbox. Also, I too envy your workshop participants. Have a great time!

    1. I hope you do have a go but when you can paint the human face as well as you do why bother with a flower's face?
      One of the workshop artist arrived from Canada today. Lives 2 hours from Ontario. I thought of you!

  10. Love this beauty. Know your workshop participants are in for a great learning experience!

    1. Hi Carol - thanks for the visit.
      Lets hope they enjoy it. The usually do.
      I loved seeing your commission of Molly. What a lovely and happy dog. You captured the essence of the GR.

  11. thats what those re called! the inlaws neighbour has some and I couldn't remember what they were called.

    very pretty painting, nice light and dark contrast in the colours

    1. Hi Jennifer - good to hear from you.
      You noticed the contrast...yes, it was definitely darker down near the bottom of the plant. All the flower heads end up down there catching the sun here and there.
      I enjoy seeing your blog. You are so good with your drawing. The toy had a wonderful expression.

  12. Replies
    1. Thank you, Padmaja, it is so good to see you posting again.
      You are a brave and loving soul.
      Silence is a beautiful painting.

  13. Hi Julie :) What beautiful flowers! I've never seen a Peony in real life but they look so pretty in photos...they just are not something planted here. Of course your painting of them is much better than the real thing anyway :)

    1. Hi Leesa, They are very beautiful, and I feel they go beyond pretty because there are so many subtle colorations and shapes. Delicate and strong at the same time.
      I really found your new painting fascinating You are so creative - the hand mirror absolutely made it special. Looking forward to the next masterpiece!

  14. They are very beautiful, love the softness of your pinks. I too love planting things for my mother so I can't help but smile, it makes the best gift. Your students are in for a treat, best wishes!

  15. You know how I love peonies and these are gorgeous. It's just too sad they don't last very long because we raise so many of them.

  16. Queen of flowers...I love peonies, short,yet, is the season of her beautiful bloom that they seem born to be painting, for remember so much beauty.Your peonies are so alive touched from a gentle breeze. I wish you joy during this artistic busy time. Sending a hug,Rita.

  17. Hope your workshop was great! When you get a chance pop over and look for my yupo painting. I was thinking of you while I was doing it. :)


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