Personal Art Blog

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

Monday, August 19, 2019

Violet Time

Violet Time
9"x12" oil on  raymar panel
(Not sure it is finished)

Artist Note.

I was at the garden center
and walked into a room which had a table
full of all colors of African Violets.
Gorgeous... I knew I wanted to paint
them so I bought a few pots.

You are all sharing my journey
into fracturing in new ways.
I have to be open about it because
It takes a long time to develop
something so it becomes 
completely natural. 
 and you would forget me.

It takes a lot questioning,
 asking if ..."I like that" 
or "I don't like that"
 most importantly...
understanding the " why " of the answers.
In the violet painting, for example,
there are two areas I am not sure about.
Be good to mull it over.

I have found TIME is the only way
to discover if it is
possible to incorporate
something new
into what is already a natural technique.

I am not sure that trying to paint
small flowers at this stage of
experimenting was smart because
it was very frustrating.
Put them in - take 'em off
repeat... until feeling quite inept.

I have signed it but am not sure
until I have
lived with it for a while
if it is going to
Or ...come to think of it...if I will either!
only kiddin'


  1. What I love most about your work is sharing the hesitation and "not so sure" parts of your painting and how to make it better. That information is as vital as looking at your beautiful art. What a star you are Julie, thank you.

    1. Hi Blanche - something unusual happened with this post. I had over 20 emails telling me the different areas they felt were wrong with it... and NOT ONE matched my own critique. It reminded me of the latest social media Groups where everyone gives an opinion and very rarely do I agree with any of them. Taste is so subjective. We come from different backgrounds and I do recognize my age and British Roots have influenced my personal vision. Sigh...

  2. We are seeing the kind of angst that an artist can face in ways that we could never have imagined.

    1. a bird watcher arriving as a coveted species takes off!! Angst arrives in many forms.

  3. Bonjour chère amie,

    Nous sommes tous des canards boiteux à partir du moment où nous nous installons derrière le chevalet ! C'est aussi ces tâtonnements qui nous apportent du bonheur. Ils cheminent lentement vers un ressentiment jouissif pas que du mécontentement. Il est bon de douter !
    J'aime beaucoup dans cette dernière peinture la manière que vous avez travaillé le fond. Il permet et apporte un admirable contraste. La composition du feuillage généreux nous offre ces très belles violettes.

    Je vous souhaite un très bel été.
    Gros bisous 🌸

    1. translation:

      We are all lame ducks from the moment we settle behind the easel! It is also these gropings that bring us happiness. They walk slowly towards a pleasure resentment not only discontent. It is good to doubt!
      I like very much in this last painting the way you worked the background. It allows and brings a wonderful contrast. The composition of generous foliage gives us these beautiful violets.

      I wish you a beautiful summer.
      Big kisses 🌸

      Thank you. is part of the process for sure.
      I enjoyed seeing the wonderful sketch you did in preparation for the painting. You are so talented.

  4. Hi Julie,
    Well - the thick paint that you are building up there makes me cheer! The only thing you might do is smooth some of the violet's petals and punch up the contrasts a little more. This is an amazing painting Julie; I also respect your willingness to show some of these gems to us, even though you are not sure they are finished. Thank you!

    1. Thanks for the hints Teri. Actually I have toned down the contrast because someone said it looked like "stencils"
      The texture I personally like but I had painted over an old painting.
      Love what you had on your blog about Sheila Vaughn's words... -"
      “A return to my textures. Perhaps I'm more comfortable in this country. Blogs are not websites. They record a movement of thought and desire. They are not ashamed to show the various stopping off points along the way to understanding paint and other media and understanding ourselves as expressionists (I mean that in a very general way - all artists are expressionists…).”

  5. I adore African Violets! I was struck by your comments about their diminutive size and your technique, so I enlarged the image then zoomed in. When I did, the blooms really "popped" -- this was also the case with the detail you posted on Instagram. Do you think perhaps it might be the proportion of subject-to-background, rather than the size of the blooms, that is the issue for you? (You've been so open about wrestling with this, Julie, so I trust you won't find my suggestion presumptuous. I'd actually viewed the cropped IG image first and really thought you'd captured those cheeky African Violets!)

    1. Absolutely correct, Helene. Whenever you bring a larger painting down in size with an image, it makes them look more definitive or tighter. As an illustrator I never would go beyond a certain proportional difference. Most people are used to seeing my small painting get actually larger if they are viewed on the full computer screen. The reverse happens. Thanks Helene.

  6. Julie - this is lovely friend...the subject is one of my favorites too. As for being finished that always seems to be the question that causes me to pause. Guess it just comes down to each person's opinion and I certainly trust yours. Hugs!

    1. opinion got very confused! Tossing it and starting again.
      Love this weeks post Debbie. Thank you.

  7. this is truly beautiful Julie! One of my favorites.. Gorgeous colors...It definitely looks finished to me!!!! sending hugs...

    1. Thanks Hilda..It has gone...tossed!
      Group critiques can really confuse.
      Thanks for your kind words though.

  8. Stunning ! You recognize the violets immediately even though the flower is so small , doubt . Only you can see when the painting is finished.

    1. Thanks Jane. Love your new floral painting. The design is fabulous!

  9. It is so fascinating to watch your experimentation. This is the very essence of artistic and creative originality. Your work goes beyond just being special to being extraordinary. Kudos to you on your journey and your bravery in making it, Julie. (And thank you for sending on my post about framing - I appreciate it).

    1. Hi Susan. The photos of your house with the paintings hanging are wonderful to see. I am so pleased you shared them.
      I do appreciate your supportive comment about my work. Thank you, in the very real way.

  10. I love it. It looks like you could pluck a blossom right off the painting!! Beautiful colors too.

    1. Thanks Joan - I love the colors of sunset you managed to capture in your latest piece at Miramar Beach.

  11. So lovely, Julie! You captured the delicacy of the violets beautifully! A neighbor has a little patch of blue ones in a very shaded part of her patio. They survive and come back each year!!

    1. "They do be difficult" as the saying goes... though I painted them easily in watercolor. There is a thought...watermedia or wet oils!!
      Thanks for the visit Carol. Hugs.


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