Know When to Hold 'Em

"Prehistoric Afternoon" 12x12", stretched canvas

"Prehistoric Afternoon" 12x12", stretched canvas

When I was just starting to experiment with the world of mixed media and art supplies, I allowed the internet to consume me. I spent hours looking at art, bookmarking things, and trying to replicate what I saw as a way to learn how to use my paint. There were many times when I grew frustrated with my painted results... and many times I quit art.. for a little while anyway.

After some time passed, It dawned on me one day.. that there were/are so many people making art like I wanted to make at the time... so many blogs, photos, etc... that there had to be an easier way to accomplish the things I wanted to try.. easier than say pulling my hair out late every night. I quickly steered away from following vague, magazine step-by-step tutorials so precisely.. to thinking that I can achieve the same "look" in my own way. Has this happened to you? How many times have you stopped mid "recipe" to grab a coupon, run out and purchase something listed on a magazine supply list... only to find out that you have something on hand already that may perform the same task? Sing it with me in your best "Frozen" song voice..... "Let it goooooo."  

The feeling is amazing. It's like giving yourself permission to be yourself... let me tell you something.. once you decide you want to take off the training wheels, your art will change.. you can feel your way around a painting more. You can discover TRUTH in your own art and find your own way of doing things..

So back to those tutorials... know when to hold them at bay... know when to try them once, and then to adapt them to your own needs. Know when to discount everything they say. Yes..I said it. Know when to make them your own.

Making the plans... #artist #mixedmedia

Those are gluten free, blueberry bacon pancakes...and they are amazing!

Those are gluten free, blueberry bacon pancakes...and they are amazing!

Neat vignettes around San Diego yesterday. Click on the images above to be taken to the shop websites. (Photos, iPhone 6 SOOTC)

Neat vignettes around San Diego yesterday. Click on the images above to be taken to the shop websites. (Photos, iPhone 6 SOOTC)

I had a great meeting with a very wise friend yesterday. We talked about how society determines your value as a creative by your income/production. (Let's face it.. society determines your worth based on your "production" in every field, actually.) Then there are  those questions that make me cringe a little, "Are you working?" and "What do you do?" Bleh...

Answering that question with, "I am an artist" is easy for me... I am an artist... so I feel comfortable saying that.. but I feel like I am so much more... all of which is difficult to label. (Labels.. you know.)

Dear, Readers, why am I telling you this? It's hard...it's really hard for me to accept the fact that I cannot sit here and paint all day. Honestly.. As much as I sit here and tell myself that I am painting for me...and I do paint what I want to... the feelings of doubt creep up every once in a while. I often wonder what I should be doing with my time. The best way that I have found to deal with the doubt is to talk about it with my friends, or write it here.

I wrestle with how much time to dedicate to running my business and how much time to use for making art. If time is limited, which task wins? Why does making art have to be a task in the first place? 

I don't think there is anyone that can answer these questions but myself. I know this. I'm taking some time now every night to plan the next day.. I'll block out hours for art and block out hours for the business.. most importantly, I'll block out "free" time so that I don't feel overwhelmed..

Just so you know.... I'm also going to focus really hard on that elusive "three-foot ring toss."....

...and that's that.

Don't ever stop painting..

I've had a couple of people who I respect in the art community look  me dead in the face and say with utmost urgency, "Don't ever stop painting." I've never asked any of them to elaborate.. but I have to tell you, this comment haunts me a lot.

Why not? What would happen? I imagine they are saying the comment to me with regards to a painting being great..and that it would be a shame that I surrender painting to do something else.. which puts a load of pressure on someone like me. What if this painting looks like I tried to stop painting? Is this painting good enough for someone (two of whom were jurors) to tell me never to stop painting again? Well... it's hot in San Diego..and I have stopped painting.

I don't want to stop painting..but I have to tell you..I can't concentrate and paint when I am hot..so when the weather gets cooler... I'll get some brushes out again.. but for now, I imagine fall weather...falling leaves... (ha right) and pick up other things to keep me busy.. If it doesn't feel "right" to sit and paint..I don't push it.

The best and most fitting pattern came through my feedly a couple of weeks ago. If ever a gemologist was supposed to carry this change purse... out came the fabric. I love these and am so happy that I stitched a few of them up. You can make some of your own. Here is the tutorial. Hey, Kate- excellent pattern! Thanks. xo

In other news.... I'm enjoying a new crop of summer roses.. Thankfully.. we did not have winter last year..the bushes never rested. I am feeding a lot resulting in smaller blooms..but at least I have some!

Kevin built us this rad (heavy!) table and benches for the patio.. hosting many dinners...and linners... so nice to sit together with everyone.

Clockwise from the top: BUY THESE PIES. Trader Joes... 8 mins, 150 calories.. delicious! Found an amazing parisian bakery in the Zion market! Got some picks! RODGERS! Love this pink..

Thanks for stopping by...see you again soon!

 

PS- the purses have metallic thread for the facet outlines.... yah..that's what I said. :)

Down yellow street.. #collage #mixedmedia #art

Untitled 16x20 Mixed Media on illustration board.

Untitled 16x20 Mixed Media on illustration board.

I demo'd my garage paint space. It's gonezo. Poof.

Sure feels empty in there... remember my spray paint drawers? No more.

File photo... Julie's garage workbench.

File photo... Julie's garage workbench.

We have been wanting to tear down this 1962 garage space for a long time. You know sometimes when you have nothing on the calendar...... and do-it-yourself-itis? Boom. Demo happens.

So that's all gone and a couple of new wooden tables are being whipped up. One with recycled wood from the old bench... which makes me happy.

So summer continues.... and once the tables are in place, art. (I can't work with one piece of anything out of place.. try explaining that to people you live with... if there is a mess anywhere... it blocks my thought process.) I don't mind...

See you again soon. xx

 

Happy. #mixedmedia #art #blog

Nothing serious. Mixed media 16x20" on illustration board.

Nothing serious. Mixed media 16x20" on illustration board.

I typically paint strong paintings using a very neutral palette. Think tan, white, browns, the blues..you know, my usual. This summer, however, I have been reaching over and over for the yellows and golds. Is it the definition of insanity? Repeating something over and over and expecting different results? I ALWAYS have trouble with the yellows.... but why do I always reach for them?

Talking with my friend this morning, she made a good point... she mentioned that she bets we can look at someone's portfolio and a picture of their living room and match them up. Wouldn't you know it? I painted every wall in the house neutral (Sandstone Cove to be exact) and I usually only wear Black, white and navy. I dress and decorate in the same way that I paint! It's true.

Trouble arose yesterday when I had some trouble with fixative on the two paintings pictured below:

Diptych: 2x 30x40 Mixed Media

Diptych: 2x 30x40 Mixed Media

I wanted these paintings to work. What you cannot see in the picture is a bunch of light colored (worn) graffiti. The graffiti was not to be bold...just barely there. Well, the fixative darkened the light pastel I wrote it in and I could not salvage it. So I started over. The diptych shortly became one new, awesome yellow painting (not pictured) plus one green and pink painting that was going south FAST.

Green and Pink???? What the hell happened to me? That painting has since been destroyed... I got the pink and green out of my system.. and understand that how much I want to use those sort of colors sometimes, they are not for me... I'm sticking to what I know.

So what do you think? Happen to you? Let me know on Facebook. I am interested to know what you think. Thanks for stopping in! We are enjoying light rain in San Diego today...a real "howler" in July! Can you believe it?

On the grid. 30 #journal #lettering #artjournal

Summer has been off to a great start... The best decision I think I have made as far as summers go is to not have enrolled in any camps this year.. We are enjoying time together and having a lot of fun. I've had to take a couple of weeks off of tennis to try to strengthen one of my knees... that was sad, but I know I will be back strong when it is time to play.. Patience...not my strong suit.

Oh..World Cup... In. To. It.

Rest, relaxation and recreation have pushed my grid book to the back shelf.. I have not picked up one pen yet this summer.. nor a paintbrush either...to be expected.. This happens when I complete a lot of work.. I take some time off and then create again when the time feels right.

Our online mixed media workshops, on the other hand, have a lot of people painting away.. and we are happy to see them- if you've been thinking about building some solid mixed media art skills...no time like the present. Click here to take a look at all of the topics we have to offer..there really is something for everyone.

 

On the grid. 29 #journal #lettering #artjournal

Captain's log: First official weekday of summer vacation- no camps. Ahhhh... Enjoyed a leisurely morning, tennis tonight. Feels great.

Watched Italy vs. England last Saturday... had a great time! Will pick up some other matches for sure.. Super fun. 

Celebrating Kate this week by buying her first official set of bedroom furniture.. She's never had anything matching.. I always told her that I would get her a dresser and desk before she got into 3rd grade. So excited.. Packing up old toys and "stuff" for donation..and getting ready for the new pieces to come in. She is growing up very fast...

Been noticing a lot of articles on "advice" on how to write an "attractive" blog to garner readership, of course.... "I can help you with this...realize that... blah blah." I say write what you want to write, write when you want to write..and don't care what anyone else thinks. Write for you. It's better that way.

That is all. See you again soon.

Where have you been? #art

From the archives; 2010 art journal page.

From the archives; 2010 art journal page.

This looks like a case of "grab whatever you can find on your computer and write about something quick".. which is true.  How have you been?

I have this thing that happens.. I get involved in a large project and then only think about anything else that I could be doing other than the project. I can't take a break..I can't break from the mega project because I have anxiety that I won't make it back to the project.. Maybe I can't do more than one thing at once. That's crazy..I know I can...

I am soooo close. I have a backlog of grid pages to photograph, in fact, I wrapped up my first full moleskine lat week.. I have three finished paintings for my show to photograph.. end of your school activities coming up..and then I really want to be playing tennis. That's all.

TWO PAINTINGS to go... my show will feature 15 large paintings..no smaller than 24x24.. for now. Then.. I want to take my break... this "reward" I have promised myself for the summer...and then I will get back into it.. I'm almost there... stay with me.

I'm on instagram pretty regularly.. I'd love to see you there too.

Instagram

Why I loathe Pinterest. Will the real Julie Prichard come forward? #pinterest

I DO NOT USE PINTEREST.

I DO NOT USE PINTEREST.

I was on the internet this morning, and came across some "Julie Prichard" Pinterest accounts. Now, while I know there is more than one human being named, "Julie Prichard" on the planet, I find it really, really in poor taste that two of those boards use my original art as their profile pic.

If they are fishing, robots..whatever... it is really wrong...and Pinterest, people and the government allow it.

For the record, those are not my pins on the two upper right boards... and the upper, second from the left WAS actually my attempts at pinning in the early days of the site. I re-activated my initial board to try and see if the other two were mine... to no avail. Those are in deed not my pins (nor my taste in recipes or decor either.... yuck). My "real" board is now deactivated.

I find Pinterest a pure time-suck. An unproductive waste actually..

If I need to look at something, I use google images....find what I need and that's it.. On rare occasions, I print out my favorites...or a bookmark them here on my desktop.

There is no way to contact anyone at Pinterest. How convenient. 

Communication Breakdown.

The last rose of the season has something to say..

The last rose of the season has something to say..

It's an interesting topic...no?

Blogs are dead.

Facebook is where it's at...

No...google+ is where you want to be......

I found this very interesting article on twitter this morning: (Video Embed)

I study my analytics a lot.. it's really the only thing I've got to look at..and coming from someone that analyzed business statistics for so many years, I feel like I need some concrete information to justify my blog performance... 

My Facebook business page has some stuff I can look at with that regard..and I find myself frequently, yelling inside my head, "What is it that you people want from me?"

I put simple, quick information into Facebook almost every day to connect.. it's fast..fun... but I've been finding, that unless I pay-cash-money, my posts are not populating your brains. So...has Facebook recognized that since I have paid for placement (I run marketing ads once a month or so) in the past, I will always pay for placement?

It doesn't seem fair...and in fact, it seems like censorship... so what's a small business to do?

I like what this guy says about Twitter... and I like google+...but I don't use it as much as I should...

Has Facebook reached it's peak? It seems like there is room for everyone in a feed....just up to the reader to see how long they want to scroll....

What a Native San Diegan Thinks About #Blackfish

My daughter, 3 years ago.

My daughter, 3 years ago.

Growing up in San Diego, CA, I have been to Sea World HUNDREDS of times. I practically grew up there, and when my daughter was born, I signed us all up for passes and we have been visiting the park 2-3 times a month..up until about a month ago, when my passes expired. 

I was waiting for Holiday Vacation to come around so that I can renew the passes, not thinking we would have the time to visit until then. 

I know so much about dolphins, fish and orca's that I could usually answer any question from any tourist while staring through the thick blue glass...watching the magnificent Killer Whales swim in their seemingly large pools... the whales seem well fed, the water was clean..they were safe and sound with medical staff and trainers round the clock should the need arise. The truth is, that I only know what the members of the "Education and Conservation" department at Sea World have told me over the years... not questioning for a second that any of them could be dishonest. These people and their crisp blue uniforms seemed so official.. they were the authority on all things Sea World.

Last night I watched Blackfish on CNN. I am stunned. 

Of course the thought was always in the back of my mind...that these animals probably want to be free...but the children were learning so much about them, right? The water was so clean... they smile, wave and appear happy.. they perform amazing tricks and they are awarded massive piles of fish...what could be so bad about this? 

My heart is so heavy after watching this documentary... my husband too. Understanding certain behaviors of the mammals.. I mean, everyone hears about whales gone bad...but it is true; we were lead to believe by Sea World that all of these incidents were in fact accidents. I believed everything that I was fed.

I have explained the movie to my now 7 year old, and I told her that we cannot go back to Sea World as the park exists now. I explained to her some of the things we watched in the movie and told her the "clean" version of what I saw. Her eyes were wide... she listened to my ever word, and when I was finished with my story about Blackfish, she looked at me and convincingly stated, "Workers at Sea World should ALWAYS tell the truth no matter what." She agreed that we should not go there anymore. 

Support for the film and the whales seems overwhelmingly positive on Twitter. Sea World's stock prices have dropped.. But I know people will still visit the park. I can only hope that maybe more people will see this movie and together we can uncover more of the truth about these animals..... 

Check your local listings...I'm sure you can find Blackfish on CNN to add to your DVR if you are interested.. I have also read on twitter that the DVD will be out soon as well. 

edit: I do not discount the fact that Sea World raises awareness with its programs as well as rescues, rehabilitates and releases countless animals into the wild every year. What bothers me is what seems to be a blatant hiding of the truth about the whales in captivity, how they got there in the first place as well as the conflicting reports surrounding the death of Dawn Brancheau.
 

Zipper Me Done...

embroidered flip flop.jpg

My sewing machine has an embroidery component, which I didn't think I would get much use out of...think again. I picked up a coin purse software program and made this cute Flip-flop purse at my daughter's request... it happily helps the Barbie colony transport their fashions from location to location now.... 

This one proved much more difficult than my last embroidery project... After 3 attempts, I finally figured out what was going to happen (you know, right side fabric this way, zipper here, inside out there..) and was able to whip this up in about an hour. My head starts working and now I know the basic steps required to insert a zipper.... and viola! 

Must. Buy. More. Zippers.

Must. Buy. More. Zippers.

 "Mom. Can you please make me a pouch for my DS?" Done.

Super fast like.... Look for my new handbag line launching Winter 2014... 

So yesterday, I was not planning to go to the quilt shop (where I buy my fabric).. But I asked my husband to let me run in there super fast to grab something while we were on the way somewhere else... I didn't brush my hair today...I aint going to lie. I run in there with Kate, and while having her look for some Halloween fabric for a quick goodie bag, a woman comes up to me: 

"I know who you are. We have a mutual friend in Michelle Ward." 

Stunned..... my brain starts racing....my hair...jesus....my retainer is in....omg...Kevin is in the car, motor running.... who is this woman?? 

"I'm Edie." 

"What? Are you so-and-so Edie?" 

"Yes!" 

"From New York??" 

We start screaming with laughter.... 

"What are you doing here??" 

Edie explains that she is in town this weekend....I didn't know that...but more hysterical...she IS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD...and my fabric shop...AND she had been there TWICE that day with her "party". Talk about a chance meeting! I was really going to grab that fabric tomorrow...but I decided last minute to go today...Isn't that amazing? Turns out she recognized me because she reads my blog...and I knew so much about her because my friend mentioned her frequently... I couldn't believe it. My mouth was stuck open in disbelief for sure... The world is so small... really small... and I was running through that shop and she grabbed me..... so amazing! 

So anyway, I hope you enjoy my sewing escapades... I know it's a departure from painting...but I have not quit painting...just a small break you know..I really enjoy these fabric based projects..and my head is working on ways to incorporate BOTH hobbies...so stay tuned!  

Don't forget to brush your hair today...you never know who you will run in to when you're out. :) 

Over the Weekend... Fall road trip!

san deigo fall julian.jpg

I want to live in a place where that top view is from my kitchen window... where I can craft, paint and bake all day. I want to decorate Christmas trees year round and smell that cinnamon pinecone smell every day..every night light a fire in my wood-burning fire place. You get the picture... I. Like. Fall. San Diego fall, that is.

It's warm enough for shorts (bermuda) and chilly only enough for a light sweater.. in ten minutes I am at the beach or in 30 I can be in the mountains..there isn't that much snow, but the air is crisp. 

We arrived at the San Diego Wild Animal Park in perfect time Saturday morning for it to be too crowded for us locals... I drove right past it and took the scenic route into Julian. First stop- the Julian Mining company where we used rocker boxes to get some minerals (they call them gems) out of salted buckets. (All that late night watching of "Gold Rush" came in handy.) Fired up some Fall arts and crafts, learned embroidery on my new machine.. and decorative corn? I want it year round too... My name is Julie and I love Fall, how about you?

Look Sharp...

wild peacock.jpg

ooh friends...I am having trouble looking as sharp as this guy these days.. because we are sweltering in San Diego. It's not so much the heat as it is the humidity..just. feels. gross. 

I shot this with my X-pro 1 at 223mm... amazing details..this guy was high up on the roof at the zoo the other day. Isn't he gorgeous? um...the sensor on the Fuji cameras I purchased is amazing..these are straight out of the camera colors...so great.

Who is going to be the first one to paint with his palette?? 

 

peacockpalette.jpg

It might be me..... 

Annnnddd...Away They Go....

adults braces.jpg

Happy day, Friends! I got my braces off! 

No more brushing and flossing all day long... 

No more weird looks from adults... 

No more weird looks from little, sweet, innocent children at Kate's school.. 

No more, "But your teeth looked great..." 

My teeth DID look great..they look even greater..if not GREATEST now. Here is the story: 

About seven years ago, my teeth started to shift. Didn't you have braces when you were a kid? Yes... I didn't wear my retainers. I was 12 years old. So, during routine exams, my dentist would start to notice that my teeth were not touching when I bit down. Try it... bite down and see where your upper and lower teeth touch. Mine? Almost nowhere. Yep. I couldn't chew food well at all...and the chewing was causing all sorts of pain in my jaw not to mention the possibility of really irregular wear on said chompers.

You can see me acting through the pain the videos for The Mixed Media Variety Hour online workshop, as well as in the Act Natural class promo. The camera-left side of my mouth was turned upward, and I was straining to pronounce every word. Off camera, I was sad and in pain. For a long time..

See....the first orthodontist told me I needed braces 4 years ago. He told me I needed oral surgery and 2-3 years of treatment. I was depressed about the oral surgery portion of the treatment and paying for the consultation for it in the first place (which...by the way...none of this would be covered by my insurance)..I asked for a referral from my favorite ENT doctor. My ENT is the head of all surgery neck and up in my medical group...I think he is a genius...and...coincidentally, he has dental experience.

When I got to the ENT, I explained the problem and he told me, "You want a referral for what?? With who?? You're crazy. Don't do it. Don't ever go for elective surgery." Enough said. 

Last year, the pain in my jaw and face became so intense, I was a disaster. I don't like taking medicine, so I suffered through everything.  Until I googled "holistic" orthodontist and had my consultation with one Dr. C. Hulsey in Rancho Bernardo. Luckily I actually knew three people who went to this orthodontist..things started to look up.

At my consultation with Dr. Hulsey, he told me that he wanted me to wear a splint for 6 months to correct the jaw pain..and then to read THIS BOOK. (I hate reading...but I did it. If reading a book and wearing a splint was going to eliminate surgery in my mouth...I was going to do it. STAT.) After a few months, he told me I would need braces for about a year..and not to get discouraged if it was 12-16 months.. I told him, "A year and you've got a deal."

I went home. Ordered the book immediately. I then read the book and did the exercises for jaw pain daily as directed. I swear...my pain was gone in about 4 days! GONE! If you're in pain, take a look at that book.. After a few weeks, I went back to Hulsey, ready to get fitted for my first splint...and I told him I was cured. 

I have to tell you, that book saved me about 6 months of treatment time NOT TO MENTION the $$$ associated with that portion of the non-insurance-covered treatment! Boom. Done. Braces were ordered. 

My braces were the "Damon" system. In this treatment (now..this is my non-medical lingo...you should consult your orthodontist with any questions about your treatment, of course), there is not a rubber band around each bracket. Remember how the kids get them and they get wild colors? No rubber bands for Julie. This way, the wire moves freely between each bracket resulting in happy teeth...happy teeth move faster I have been told.. and I believe it. My teeth moved FAR to re-align with each other and at the speed of light...

When you have braces as an adult, it's like a secret club. I liked asking everyone else I saw with braces, "How long are you in for?" Most of the patients replied 3 years. Gulp. Most of the patients who replied three years had conventional braces.. mama mia was I happy. 

Do they cost more? Yah....I think treatment to treatment..it was about $600 higher for the Damon system...but the time it saved me? Golden. 

I religiously followed Hulsey's instructions. Never skipped rubber bands (the type that connect the upper to the lower teeth as needed), flossed and brushed all day long..and the result? I got out in exactly 364 days. One day short of my "estimate".

So hurray for dental health...hurray for braces.....and oh..this whole experience has also helped me with my overall health due to diet and exercise..and the stretching! Feels great... yay teeth! 

Thanks for stopping by today.. I'm going to go put in my retainer.

 

So, what'll it be?

I got a call from a local number I did not immediately recognize last Friday..

"Hello?"

"Julie. I have a camera for you."

"I'll be there before closing."

Click.

I have been waiting very patiently (well...I may have called a few, four or five times and dropped in hoping for a camera) for a few weeks. (Never fails..as soon as you decide to pull the trigger, what you want sells out nation-wide.) I have not purchased a new camera in a few years and the reviews for the new Fuji x100s had me weak in the knees.. I wanted one.. but a Fuji? Fixed lens? Point and Shoot? A Fuji?? Seriously?

I knew I wanted to replace my Canon G12 with newer technology (I carry one of these cameras with me at all time.. I don't have time to worry about lugging gear unless I am on a job)..but I was really hesitant to step away from my beloved Canon.

I was wrong.

This camera is a DREAM. I have not even read the manual yet..straight out of the box, I don't have one single complaint. (Well..maybe the LCD brightness...but that's adjustable..where is my manual?)

I was worried about it's speed.. I was worried about no zoom... I was worried about it's everything.. I love this camera.. all excellent. The image quality is amazing.. I'm looking for a change.. an adaptation from painting into photography...into design.. and I am pretty sure my new partner is going to be a big help.

What do you think? Pretty pictures, right?