Monday, February 19, 2007

Glorious Mornings!

It is so fun to use this mug in the mornings. It often puts me in a good mood. I look forward to the springtime whenever I see this mug. Just yesterday I got out in the sunshine (and a few clouds) and spent two hours in my garden. This time of year I know I need to get out and clean up the cold, damp, moldy leftovers of leaves that remain under my beautiful shrubs and roses. I spent time pruning the roses, and all the while I had visions of how GLORIOUS they will be in just a couple of months. First out of the shoot will be my irises. I can't wait to do a garden series this year in my sketchbook. Who knows, maybe I'll paint some too. I love a beautiful flower. Okay....jeesh....can this get any more sappy...that is what this mug does to me!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Sketchbook: My Mug Shots

Iris Mug - 2007.02
I decided to try a series of something for my sketchbook. So I'm going to sketch my favorite mugs. Each day I seem to want to pick a different one depending on my mood. I figure if I have different mugs, I mind as well use all of them, but I actually think about which one I will use or even give to a friend to use.

Kitty Mug - 2007.02

Creative Mom Podcast Mug - 2007.02

This is my latest mug...I don't know if you'll be able to read the caption, but I will post it to the flickr site as well so you can look at it closely. This is the first time I drew on both pages of my sketchbook at once.

I'm almost done with this sketchbook and anxiously awaiting the start of the new watercolor sketchbook Moleskine.


Art and exercise have become two of my new focuses in the past couple of years. One I crave and the other I need. One I have not really liked in the past and one I always have enjoyed working at. However now that the two have come together for me the lines of liking and craving are starting to overlap.

I'm starting to enjoy exercise for the first time. Yes, it is true, hard to believe I know. However I've finally started to realize I have to mix up the exercise with a variety of ways and people that I do it with. I'm the first to admit I am a social exerciser! In a typical week for me I walk at least an hour one or two times a week. Usually with a good friend and we get a lot covered by sharing our lives and sharing in the time it takes to exercise. Once a week I work out at the gym with my friend where we work with a personal trainer. We do a Tandem Session where he kicks both our buts at the same time. I actually said the other day as I was laughing at myself, "This is fun!" Those are words I never thought I'd hear from myself about exercise. Once a week Dale and I have been working out together at either the gym or Saratoga High School's track. We run for 20 minutes (all I can handle at one time...he does zig zags behind me to get more time in), then 20 minutes of running the stairs on the bleachers (he does two up downs to my one), and finally we end with sprints or bleacher push ups for me. And when I'm really good, I go by myself to the gym and get my required time for 35 minutes of high intensity cardio work out.

Well why did I combine this with art? Good question, I like art. I have fun at it and always WANT to be doing some art. The problem is....I don't always devote my time to it. Things and life gets in the way. So I'm always saying, "Oooh, I wish I could take some time to go out in the art cottage and paint. I wish I could go out and sketch. I wish, I wish, I wish." What is up with that? I go to school for art two days a week, I have a student who comes over once a week, and I have been pretty productive for the past 6 years while being a major participant in my kid's life. Isn't that enough? I guess it is never enough and I like to create on a daily basis. So this is where I feel it is connected to exercise.

Art and Exercise....thoughts by Julie

You have to take time to practice both of these to get any better!

If you stop making it a daily part of your life, you get sloppy!

The more you work at it the more you want to accomplish!

I have to create time for each on a daily basis....

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Day Two - Interior Space Art Cottage

This time I worked on finishing up covering the canvas in the base colors I was going to use. I also am looking at the color choices I've made, and the accuracy of the drawing. I'm thinking about the lighting and shadows as well. I'm having a lot of fun for sure! My teacher told me to go and look up Matisse's Red Studio( for a comparison of how he painted his art studio. I was able to go online at the college library right then. I'm liking the rectangular shape that repeats throughout the painting. I'm trying to keep a balance on the colors as well. I'll be deciding on what is the focal point as I go along...not sure if it is the painting on the easel or my view of the garden? I will be putting more artwork on the walls, once I'm happy with the background. So far so fun!

Just a Few of My First Original Paintings

Walking Together - 2001

This has to be my first original oil painting I did all by myself. I had started oil painting classes, but had decided to do this from a photograph of my husband and our nephew. I remember having fun painting this and was pleased with the likeness of the people I painted to the real ones!

Pumpkin Farm - 2001

This is the second painting I had done on location. The barn is a bit wobbly, but I'm still pleased with the result. I don't think I have a picture of my first outdoor painting, but I had done a piece from the Carmel Mission.

Camellia - 2003

It's funny at the time I didn't like how the flower turned out. It wasn't the right color I was going for. Now that I look back, it doesn't bother me any more. I like the composition and the leaves just as much.

Scott - 2004

This is my friend's son. He has been so exciting to watch him as he has developed in music...I'm glad I decided to capture him at this time, just before High School. This was my first "portrait" from a picture. I had fun and was pleased with the skin tone, the saxophone and the background. Never quite got the nose right.

2004 - Jazz Collage

My attempt at making a collage type of painting. It was harder than I thought, but at the time I didn't plan it out like I would probably do now and decide on colors before hand and design and space. However, I was always pleased with the keyboard.

It is fun to look back and see some of my originals from the beginning together. I have done a lot of copying other people's paintings. It really was a great way to learn the skills and techniques of the medium you are working in and feel like you have been successful by making something that looks good. Once I moved to making my own compositions, I realized I had a lot to learn still. My art work looked a little like I was back in 6Th grade. However, I liked the challenge and now I'm progressing a little each time I focus on my art.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Day One - Interior Space "Art Cottage"

Today in Painting - I was able to go forward with the next project. My Color Studies were fine and I brought in a sketch of an interior space I wanted to paint. This is a sketch of my Art Cottage. It is my first full painting in Acrylics. They sure dry faster than oil. The good part is they dry faster...the bad part is they dry faster:) You don't have as much time to move the paint around as oils. However, you can layer much sooner with acrylics.
Below is the real thing....let's see how I do.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

My Weekend in Color

Beginning Painting

Assignment #1

Color Study

Well besides having a 24 hour birthday party for my 13 year old son and his 5 friends this weekend, I managed to work on some art projects as well. I was able to complete the assignment given to us from beginning painting. We were to do 3 paintings from a still life the teacher set up in class, but it was not supposed to be recognizable objects - a bit more abstract or close in view.

  1. The first was to be color and volume (that is the orange and blue). I used varying shade of color to create volume in the electrical cord.

  2. The second was to be flat colors but use colors to create space. (the green and raspberry). Hopefully you can see that the space is caused by the lighter colors make the cords come forward in the painting.

  3. Finally the third painting (yellow and violet) was to have color and texture. This is harder to see in this photo. The texture is on the cords itself with thicker paint in c-strokes, and also in the lines created on the plug.

We'll just have to see what she thinks tomorrow....I'll let you know if I did it correctly or not.

Happy Birthday dear Nick!

(Is this enough color for yah?)

Thursday, February 8, 2007

"A Moment In Time"

"A Moment In Time"
Pastel and Colored Pencil

This was a final project for my Representational Drawing class. It seems so appropriate for this first blog entry. There I am at The Art Institute of Chicago Museum gazing into the painting Paris Street; Rainy Day, 1877
In a Moment In Time I'm envisioning myself as an ARTIST....

So Here I Go - Jump In!

Focusing on my new goals...I've decided to journal my journey into art! This is my first entry. My husband, Dale, is my biggest supporter, cheerleader, and guide. It is funny but at the same time, we are both looking to the future and thinking about the directions we are passionate about. Our family is our first passion, but individually we each have exciting and new ideas for our futures.

I've been moving towards being an artist for a long time. Until recently I have looked at what I'm doing as a hobby or past time, but lately I've decided to take it a step further. As I've been telling myself (yes I speak to myself -no I don't answer out loud :) ) whenever I'm starting a new art project, "Okay, go ahead and Jump In". I'm never sure if I'll like what I make, but I've realized if I don't just jump in and try, I'll never know what I can do.

So there you go....I've jumped in again. I've started a BLOG about my art. I can't wait to post some of my art, journal entries, sketches, and thoughts. My goal is to move forward as an ARTIST!