Thursday, January 31, 2013


"Pink Tiger Lilies" - Julie Jacobsen

Just like I talked about yesterday:  Here's the first painting that I'm fixing.  Actually it looks pretty good because I didn't want to post a pic of how it looked before.  I'll tell you how it looked.  It looked flat and dullsville.  See the purply looking flowers at the bottom?  Those are the ones that I was too lazy to paint right 7 years ago.  But I liked the colors and general feel of the painting-so I framed it and hung it on our bathroom wall.  So for 7 years it's been bugging me!  Just last week we decided to rip off all the wallpaper in the bathroom (a huge job) and the painting came down.  Now's my perfect opportunity to do something with this painting.

I'll post another pic when I do some more.  I know I should have shown you the "before pic" but just look at the bottom and you can imagine how it looked without that.  You've got a good enough imagination, right?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Okay. I think it's fix it time!

 "The Beauty of Literacy" - Julie Jacobsen

This painting has nothing to do with my post.  I just thought I'd add a picture.  It makes it more fun to read.  Right?  Right.

Well, I have a few paintings on the wall that I've been struggling over what to do.  They just aren't exactly the way I want them to be.  So I'm going to do some fixing.  You do have to be very careful about going back and working on a painting after it's been a long time.  Your style can change and you'll ruin it.  I have, personally, done that.  I did a wonderful painting of Chris, my husband, when we were dating, of him at his favorite cabin.  It really was great, except he didn't like it.  That's because the landscape didn't match the area where the cabin was.  I had no idea what it looked like.  So I made it up!  Not a good idea with something so specific. 

So we got married and the painting was hung over the mantle for quite a while and I decided to fix it.  Very bad idea.  I had no idea what I was doing and ruined it!  I was so disgusted I threw it out on the trash can.  Another big big mistake (dummy dummy me!).  I should have just cut the portrait part out-along with the cool old Rocket car (they really were great, I have to say) and put it aside.  Now a garbage man has a semi nice painting of someone that doesn't even mean anything to them.  Dang.

Sooooo.  There's a few lessons to be learned here:

1.  Don't go back on a painting to fix it after it's been too long
2.  Don't give the garbage man the whole painting
3.  Don't paint a made up landscape, etc.-trying to make do.  It never ever works

That being said-I still want to fix a little bit on these and I'm going to be careful. 

Also, remember, in a much earlier post I told you all it's OKAY to throw a painting away if it's absolutely a dud.  You don't have to keep it and mope over how unsuccessful you are about problem solving. 

And, no, I don't have a picture of these fixer uppers yet.  I'll post when I get them done.  I have a photo of the "Chris and car" painting some place.  When I find it-I'll post.

Friday, January 25, 2013

So this is how I'm doing it now.....

Austin DeuelAustin Deuel

Austin Deuel is an artist noted for his sculptures and paintings.  He's also featured in a book that I love called "Being an Artist" by Lehrman.  I may have written about this book before.  Anyway, it's a book that is so great to read if you're feeling discouraged about producing art and in a rut.  All these successful artists, at one time or another, have struggled to become successful.  They also impart little pearls of wisdom to give any creative person a shot in the arm.  I love what Austin says about what makes a painting sell:

"1.  Tell a story.  Like that Andrew Wyeth painting.  A water pump, a board, and an old bucket.  The bucket is the story.  Because it puts the human touch to it....Smoke out of a chimney, light in a window.

2.   Create a dramatic mood.  Fog. Snow. Rain. Sunset.  Even the heat of day with all the shadows burned out.

3.    Dramatic composition.  Every painting has to have a strong vertical in it.....every artist from Michelangelo to Tiepolo...they all used strong verticals.  It's what draws you across the room, and it has nothing to do with style or subject."

I agree with Deuel's concept 100%.  I may have told this story before but here it is again.  Years ago when I first started my house paintings I was dang proud of them.  Then one day a coworker of my husband's came over and took a look at my portfolio.  He was a real character, this guy.  The kind of person that could be quite blunt.  After looking at my glossy pics he asked me, "Why?"  I asked him what he meant and he asked what was the point of all the paintings.   I said I had done commissions for people and that's what they wanted:  photographic paintings.  I, honestly, was a tad peeved about his comments but through the years I'm glad that Brent said that to me.  I needed someone to get me thinking about truly becoming creative.  Deuel's theory is part of my reasoning.   

I hope when you all look at my paintings you'll see a story.  In "Julie's All About Blue 1" you'll notice the wind blowing through my hair.  This adds just a hint of atmosphere.  It's obviously Spring and that's why I put in the tulips.   You don't see my face but I'm very deep in thought.  Here's the story about how I made this a more meaningful composition.  Years ago I was in church and feeling sort of alone, I guess.  I must have been going through a moody phase and did this drawing.  I don't know if I've ever mentioned this but I've always said to keep any doodles and sketches you do because someday you might want to use them in some way.  Here's a perfect example.  I remembered this when I was getting into this little house painting and I asked myself, "why?"  I needed to put the story in.  Now I don't have a dramatic angle but there is somewhat of a tilt to the bench and that helps create a different perspective to draw the eye in better than just straight on.

As I said in my title-this is how I'm doing it.  What I mean is that I'm going to post to Facebook after I post as I think more people will see my blog that way and I love sharing about my art (as well as other things).  I hope this is successful and I can spark something in someone.  Even if it's to go out and carve a totem pole or something.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Getting Back into the Swing of Things!

This is just terrible.  I haven't posted since April!  I did have a busy last year.  I traveled a lot to see our kids and new grandchildren.  Plus my mom passed away in September.  Before I knew it- Christmas was here and I had to get stuff done with that.  Now I am getting back to my art and other creative things.  I'll have more free time now that I don't have to go to the care center several times a week.  After 12 years I am relieved-even though I miss my mom.

I finished 3 paintings that are quite small.  Having only done wrap around canvases a few times before I thought it would be fun to try again..  It sure beats framing but harder to carry the colors and perspective around the edges.  Here's what I came up with.

As you can see from the beginning of this post I did a painting of a blue house that we saw when we visited Boston last year.  The front yard was very bland-so I recreated it to add a better feeling of spring by putting in several colors of tulips.  Then added a figure.  That girl is me when I was young. Originally I was dressed in my favorite dress from junior high.  It was navy blue with florescent green piping and tights.  It actually was a mini skirt because it was the '60's and that's what was in style.   But it was too dark and didn't stand out.  So I changed the color scheme and I think it's much more successful.  Actually it could easily be my daughter, Gracie, because she looks a lot like me.

Here's how it looks with the wrap around sides.

This painting is entitled "Julie's All About Blue 1" because-as all who know me-blue is my favorite color!  I also used my creative license and added a red door.  When I looked at blue colonial houses they often had doors this color and I really liked the idea of a door that's totally unique-apart from the blue.   It's quite small 6" by 12".  I wanted it to be part of a small grouping.  Here are the other 3:

"Julie's All About Blue 2" and "Julie's All About Blue 3".  #2 is a picture I took of a beautiful sky last summer on the way to our cabin and #3 is of a flowering dill weed.  These 2 paintings wrap around also but it's not anything too different form the blues.  So I didn't take a picture.  They're both 4 3/4" by 4 3/4".

Of course these paintings just make me feel so happy when I see them because of all the different blue shades.  I wanted them too convey a feeling of peace and contemplation.  I feel that has been achieved.  

It just feels so good to finally create something on canvas.  Now I have a new art project to begin.  So I'll start posting a step by step as soon as I get that going.