A new, online, project based workshop coming soon.............
Woke up this morning to a nice surprise on Amazon: Our book is in stock and ready to ship!
My dedication: To all artists everywhere whose spirit and creativity have lifted mankind through the ages and especially my internet muses both seen and unseen who have guided me to the same noble purpose.
That means you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I submitted three of my paintings for consideration into the 52nd Annual International Juried Exhibition at the San Diego Art Institute. Two of the works were my top two favorites ever and then I threw in this small painting. To my surprise, the top two favorites did not get in...only this small painting did. I was very surprised to say the least. 1200 entries were submitted, only 95 works will hang in the show. When the letters of rejection started to hit my email, I was already cheering myself up. Then, I found this good news...in my SPAM folder. The horror....
If you're in the area, join me on April 13th at 6pm for the opening gala.. I can't wait to see this show!
Oh hey....rumor has it that the book started shipping today! Happy weekend to you!
Signed prints of "We Have Paris" here.
This time last year I was in New York..... this time this year I am wishing I could go back for a visit. If only I could transport myself and eliminate the long plane ride...
Spring Break is coming up soon... I am enjoying my daily lunch break with my dog outside in the garden.. We eat a sandwich, drink Nespresso and play Words With Friends..
I'm filming a new class. That's right! It will be out next month....I think you're going to like it.
I'm searching...for a new RSS subscription wrangler... Reader is leaving..I'm not going to socialize my RSS.. it bugs me so much. Everyone thinks everything you do needs to be broadcast somewhere. It's disgusting if you think about it.. I'm not joining Google+ or whatever they are trying to get us to convert to.. I left Linkedin months ago....but people still want to "connect" with me there. Heads up- I'm not there.
The book is doing so well....so grateful. it will be traveling to you soon if you already ordered a copy! They bumped up the shipping date! See you soon....hope you're enjoying the signs of Spring.
I purchased some fashion illustration books a few months ago.. not because I want to draw fashion (although it is really cool to look at) but because I am a little fascinated by the abstract portions of the drawings as well as watercolors.
Yah. Watercolor paint.
So, Julie....who hates drawing and has never drawn anything, jumps in and starts to attempt to draw fashion sketches and then paint them. In a class with a ton of talented illustrators no less... >gulp< I made about 12 drawings.. I threw some in the trash...I scribbled, I erased.. I am happy to report that I did see improvement in my sketches starting in about sketch #3.. progress. I was happy. Dude....I am no fashion illustrator.
So no...I am not going to start drawing ladies, or dresses...but I thought since I have an interest in fashion, slopping some watercolor on some dress sketches couldn't be so bad. Why the watercolor in the first place?
My inner voice...my voice.... is telling me to incorporate the watercolor into my acrylic work. How? Not sure.. but I know now that if my voice talks, I need to listen...
So the watercolors will stay out on the table... what's your voice telling you these days?
A couple of things to report from San Diego, CA...
First- stay tuned, I am beginning to post new art that I created for our book which is shipping soon! Hooray, Book! Click here to pre-order your copy. And thank you to everyone who has already ordered...it's a huge thrill to see the book hovering around #1 and it isn't even released yet!
And now.....Sound City. Don't think this doesn't apply to you.. I am going to go out on a limb and say that since you are reading this blog, you're probably creative...and an artist..maybe even a photographer too... Oh yah? That's why I am going to mention this documentary.
I've said this before and it still rings true today. Dave Grohl's feelings about musicians and how he feels that they need to be able to read music and know their instruments inside and out....well....I feel that way too.
Technology allows us to pretty much make a lot out of nothing...and pretty much, making a lot out of nothing to me means you are creating a whole lot of nothing. Make sense?
See all those hip, cool, (cliche) photographs that look like they were taken in 1974..they all look the same...and know those consumers who pop over to the membership store, plop down X$ on a fancy-ish camera and then head home only to download free photoshop actions and call themselves photographers? They're booking clients... making money.. and I think ripping people off.
Why? Julie, don't be such a bitch... It's true. They don't know how to shoot outside of auto mode, they know nothing about the actions they are running...and god help them if they could run the same procedure manually in photoshop.. they see pictures on pinterest and pin them (don't get me started) and head outside to capture the same look that someone else created. Where is the creativity? Where is the TALENT in that?
It's fine for some people. Hear that? I said, it's FINE for some people. But I am not some people. I have drive..curiosity..and the urge to be BETTER every day.. So..that's what I am trying to say...if you want to be inspired....if you want to marvel in someone else's creativity...go watch the documentary. If you like music too..then that's a bonus.
Me? I'm cleaning my music library... APPRECIATING those artists who are unique...TALENTED and NOT putting junk into the mic and getting junk out.... the same way I want to shoot and paint as well. (That's shoot photos....not bullets... in case you were wondering.)
How many times did Tom Petty say they played "Refugee" before they were happy with it?
How do you make art that comes from the soul?
What's your "click track"?
Does your art represent some sort of integrity or truth?
"Play arrangements over and over in a similar fashion....."
A really long time ago, in my fine jewelry days, when I was a young pup....a customer asked me a question I could not answer. I didn't know. Blank stare. The next morning, I enrolled in the Graduate Gemologist program at GIA. I couldn't stand not knowing something....and therefore I felt I needed to know e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Boom. Diplomas.
A similar "thing" happens to me when I make anything. Everything. I need to know how anything I do effects everything I am making... Fast forward to my time with paint.
I've only taken a couple of classes that were not with Chris Cozen.. those classes left my thirst for knowledge empty...and I don't think that the majority of the instructors understood that if they were telling me how to do something, that in order for me to do it, I needed to know WHY I was doing that or using this.... still with me? (Chris Cozen and I are very similar in our quest for understanding. We found that out when we met each other.)
That may not be how you process information, but it is how I do. I needed to know every technical attribute to the mediums and paints I was using...so I knew what to do with them. And I need to PRACTICE with them... a lot. When I first started painting, I made over 100 journal pages (and we're not talking 100 in one day...we're talking over the course of several months) in order to learn how to use paint. Once I was more comfortable with the paint, I moved into canvases and other projects..... I hardly ever journal any more.
When Chris and I started teaching together, we developed one gem of a course. That course is called, "Color: Beyond the Basics." This is no way a class on color theory..it's a class designed to teach you about YOUR paints, mediums and several exercises to help you understand what they can do for you. Once you have built that relationship with your art supplies, I suspect the following will happen to you: You will spend less money on art supplies because you will know what everything does for you and when Hot Pants new artist tells you something you "have to have", the lightbulb will come on and you will know of something you already own that will achieve the same purpose. Plus, You will have "Artist Confidence"... if you practice the work we give you, things will only get easier. It's true!
This is the true gem of online workshops that Chris and I recommend to every artist.. Yes, the remainder of our workshops can also be for true beginners...but we both agree that this class (click here to learn more) is the natural starting point for everyone.
People ask me over and over how to paint....this is it. Learn everything...practice everything... you can do it.
What do you think? What's your learning process like?
Spring toys with us.. it's 80 and clear and now 62 and overcast.. The roses are all budding...but it's not time for shorts yet.
Spent some time cleaning out my reader this afternoon. Flipboard makes me want to read blogs..on the iPad...do you have that app? I am weirded out by the super high number of blogs that are now defunct. What happened to everyone?
Hope you read my last post.. someone is going to win a book on Friday... lowest odds I have ever seen.... just sayin.........................
Well...I had a nice surprise... The San Diego Art Institute welcomes volunteers on juror night.. They help with bringing all of the submissions out of storage and onto the gallery floor for judging. I couldn't miss this.. I want to know all the ins and outs of gallery stuff, so my friend and I went down there.
We were told to hang back several feet from the Juror and not to distract him while he is judging. After all of the art was lined up, we watched from a distance to see if our pieces were selected for the next show.
I have been having trouble working on small format pieces for the one-foot show.. this month, I nailed it and finally got a 10x10 (Vintage Picnic) into the exhibition. For the regional show (works up to 8 feet) I have been getting in... so after he picked my 10x10, I was happy....I had no idea what was coming next.
On the floor, he walked over to my large piece (The Score) and looked at it for a long time.. I am sure it was only a few seconds, but it was the longest anyone has ever looked at one of my pieces (that I have seen). That's my thing.. I hang back on opening night and watch how people react to my art..people have not been stopping, but the jurors have been selecting my paintings.. so there is the dilemma..do I make things more interesting for the sake of people to look at them, or do I keep to my true self and just be happy to get into the shows? I am not sure... He walked off.
On his official route by the piece, I got an orange sticker. The Score was selected to be in the Regional Show. Yay! After several more minutes of helping move paintings to and from storage, he stopped to chit chat with some people. I wanted to see who would win one of his four awards...
At the end of his conversation, he walked over to The Score without any hesitation and marked it "Juror's Choice". I tried to remain calm... my friend and I have a saying we share, "Act like you've been there before"..do you do that? I think it worked that night because I was a little stunned to tell you the truth. This was only my third time entering a show. (Three different jurors so far.)
So there it is...my first award. It's a thrill honestly...to be recognized by another artist is really special to me...
So that brings me to the updates:
SDAI Regional and One Foot Show now through April 7th, Balboa Park.
Acrylic Solutions (our book!!) ships around March 22!!
Get in the mood for our book with another book...come to my facebook for a chance to win "Acrylic Revolution". I have a copy I can ship to you if you're in the US.
Maybe the juice fast is making me more indecisive than normal... last night, I went back into this painting, darkened some areas, added more pencil and then covered it in a thick coat of Self-Leveling Gel (Golden). The gel makes the painting much more ethereal.. and brightens everything up a bit. I highly recommend it on smaller works.
I'm on day 4 of a 7 day self-imposed juice fast.. The juice I have been making is delicious..combinations of carrot, strawberries, kiwi, apples, cucumber, ginger.. my family and I have been sucking them down. The juice, surprisingly, is very filling. Even though I have been embracing this new "lifestyle" since late August, I have not been juicing. The smoothies I make every morning are usually: Avocado, cucumber, ginger, bell pepper, cilantro, lemon and kale..a lot of kale. It's a thick shake that my friend affectionately calls, "my gazpacho"...also delicious. So, technically, I am not juicing exclusively I guess...there is that morning gazpacho. Either way, I'm feeling great. What's weird is that I am getting a lot of compliments on my "makeup"...which has not changed...I can only guess people are noticing my vegetable glow.
This is a new painting...it's cold and windy here...and I am looking forward to spring. A lot. What's up where you live?
I love this kind of stuff..... but I have never worked with this medium before. These are Sculpey tiles that I stamped and cut.. the 31 large tiles were each painted by one child in the 1st grade class.. I painted the remaining tiles. I had the idea to make a piece like this..but then I had to think of a way that we could generate high bids at the auction. By incorporating a frame (the frame remains accessible from the back of the piece) into the art, the piece can now be customized to hold whatever the highest bidder desires..
I am proud of this project because my husband PERFECTLY executed my plans for the base work on this. Trust me...my plans are not like those drawn up by an architect.. they are a lot of "you know..like this.." and "one of those thingies" type of plans.
Laurie Mika is a genius in this medium. I don't have her book...but if you're looking for the know-how for a project like this, don't email me. Buy her book. A special *wink* to my friend who helped me with the stamps for this too...and you know who you are.
I'll leave you with one last image. These are the custom built innards we made for the project out of plywood, painted black:
Ahh...remember the rosary I made for the preschool auction? The good ol' days..I have my fingers crossed this project does as well if not better for the school. The school auction project time is my favorite time of the school-year.
Southern Californians everywhere are in a panic because today...Friday..there are water drops falling from the sky, The city is on storm watch, and I am sure, tonight when I tune in, news reporters will be on location throughout San Diego, documenting the storm. (In actuality, we'll maybe get .5" and some wind...maybe snow at 3000'....no need to panic and crash the car.)
So...dark..gloomy....cold...I wanted to spend casual Friday on the couch today. Instead, I re-photographed some art (see the new "Score" here), wrapped up this painting, replenished my tuna supply, hit the treadmill for 31 mins, cleaned, gesso'd a huge new canvas and now I am writing to you. I'm exhausted!
I'm sad today... along with the seasonal sadness due to weather changes here, our school librarian passed away yesterday. Suddenly, of natural causes. I'm only speculating, but I think she was in her 60's...too soon. Another reminder that our time here is short...and precious...and it's so important to make the most of it.
Have a great weekend....and thank you for stopping by today.
Note: If you are a blogger, and you leave me a comment, make sure to leave your website address...in the field provided by the website (not out in the open) I want to stop by and say hello!
I set a goal for myself this year. I won't tell you how many paintings I am trying to get selected into shows this year, but luckily, I am off to a good start. This is my second attempt, second entry.
This show made me nervous. When I got to the reception, it was extremely more crowded than the reception last month.. The art selection was completely different, highlighting the fact that there is a different juror every month... and even though I knew that, seeing the collection hit home. I was able to listen to the juror speak this month and he noted how he tried to get a good representation of many different categories of art into this show. I think he did an excellent job.. Frankly, I am surprised that my selection made it in this month.
You never know what you're going to get....keeps me on my toes.
Hope you're on your toes too.... how do you stay up there?
When I was a young girl, my parents wouldn't buy me a computer. It was 1982. Our school was just outfitted with a fleet of brand new Commodore 64s. I wanted one so bad. I wanted one so bad, that I constructed one out of paper and sat at my desk working imaginary computer assignments. I rigged my Buddy L typewriter so that as I typed, I could pretend I had a printer too. After much sulking and computing on my imaginary computer, my parents finally got me a Commodore 64 and dot matrix printer.
In keeping with the tradition of making things that I cannot afford, I made Kate a new Leica. Who knows...maybe I'll get one of those some day too....
It's "wacky tourist" day at school tomorrow... she's got maps to Sea World, Downtown San Diego and the Wild Animal Park..a new passport and she will be outfitted with a straw hat and zinc oxide nose. Ahh..the good ol' days...
I got this idea... My annual Valentine's production needed to have a sewn heart....one that kind of reminded me of a patch that you would sew onto clothing....and I wanted it to be non-traditional, with a European flare?
Folk Valentine, 2013. Limited to 10. Each one hand sewn.. and they each take about 65 minutes to make. Who would sit and stitch these...for 65 minutes? I would. For love. Check them out in my Etsy shop here. (SOLD. Thank You!)
Thank you for your feedback on my last post. How fun was that? :)
I deleted everyone except my family members off of my personal facebook account. I've been looking for a way to leave facebook for a long time. The problem is that I can't maintain my business page (the page most of you know) without owning a page for myself. Delete myself, and then the business goes with it. There is no way around it..well...with much searching there was but it wasn't the right choice for me. So, I trimmed away about 170 "friends".
Which gets me to wondering... how in the hell did I get 170 friends in the first place? I've never had that many "friends" in person. So then I think, "why feel compelled to share information with people other than my friends" in the first place? As I sat deleting all of the "friends", I was thinking if that "friend" could get in touch with me if there was an emergency. Right. Emergency. I am not sure what emergency someone who I have not spoken to since 8th grade could possibly have to share with me..but the answer was "yes". I didn't let that feeling of doubt stop me. Delete. Delete. Delete.
Facebook started to rub me the wrong way a long time ago.
So and so checked in here.
So and so ate this.
So and so bought this.
So and so went here.
So and so is friends with so and so.
So and so's kid looks cute.
The news has been reporting some pretty concerning facts about social media these days.. It's gross.
So I did it.
So a lot of you are probably thinking that you are maintaining your account, but will only limit yourself to the time you spend there each day. (Because the news says it's unhealthy, right?) And the rest of you say it doesn't bother you.. and then some of you probably think that things are so hectic in this day and age, that you need to share photos with your family and social media is the easiest way to do that. I say....well.. (Did you see that in the Manti dead girlfriend hoax, his buddy stole photos off one of his friends facebook pages to create the fake girl? Until facebook can lock those bad boys down.. I think everyone should be nervous.)
Who cares what I say.
I'm going back to using the telephone. Living. How about taking into consideration that so and so who is having a run of bad luck shouldn't have some luxury restaurant or 5-star vacation rubbed into their face? Or wait...every friend of yours is living the good life..
I pick the old way..
...and maybe some letter writing.
Hey- we can talk about art here. Do you like the last painting I posted? How about this one?
So about manners. People are talking about the old way of blogs. I've come to understand that I can't expect you to comment here. There are a gazillion blogs. Why should mine rate a comment? Sure.. good point..
But someone with manners might want to let someone know they are here.. it will help me think about the universe in a more positive light. Seems to me that people are just hanging around looking for things to "pin".. looking around to ask questions about how to paint a gold fish.. because... do they think that since I have a business and a website that I am obligated to give that information to everyone?
When I get those emails, I think to myself, "Who is this person? Where did they come from? They say (they always say) they are a long time reader...but they've never left a comment." I'm having deja vu... have I mentioned this on here before? I think so. But things have not changed.
So this is what I have for you today. I hesitate to write any of it.. and I don't expect anything different to happen here after this post. BUT I do know this... I'll keep blogging, and I will keep talking about art because there are a lot of exciting things up my sleeve in the art department... and I like talking about art... so next time, let's do just that. See you then!
(Oh yah....I can't email you a response to your comment if you care to leave one here...but I will respond in the comments, so check back if you want to.)