Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

A Painting for Myself

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

April 2008 009

I’ve been painting for most of my life.  With nearly every painting I do, I sincerely believe that I will keep the finished piece for myself.  Then once the painting is completed, inevitably, someone falls in love with it.  When someone loves my work that much, I insist that they have the piece.  How can I not, I can always do another one for myself…except that I never do.

So, finally, I recently decided that I will do a painting for myself.  When it is complete, it will hang in my house, for me, no matter who loves it.  The piece I am planning will be one of my musical paintings of a song that I have loved since I was a little girl:  Old Man by Neil Young.

So that is my intention, only time will tell what happens to the piece if someone should happen to fall in love with it.

Started a Painting: Hate it and Starting Over

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

I’m at the beginning of a series of four small flower paintings for a client…first up is the Lily of the Valley.  That was my direction, just a painting of a flower.  Although I know a realist work would be appreciated, its just not my style.  I did warn her that I do not do realism and she said no problem.  Off I go to start a painting.

The problem is, I know the clients taste, and I honestly do not think it is the type of painting I do.  So I start on a precious little lily, and immediately hate what I am producing. In the back of my mind, I was trying for what I thought the client wanted, and that is never the road to happiness.  The client catches a glimpse of it in progress and proclaims she loves it, but seriously…it is so hideous, I’m actually embarrassed I did it.  Not too embarrassed to show mes amis reading this though, so here it is…


Right after I took this picture, I jesso’d the canvas, so it really didn’t happen, right?  From here, I am going to begin anew, I hate it and I’m starting over, trusting that the client likes my aesthetic, and I shall proceed as I like, creating something I am proud of.

Good Art? I vote for Frida

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

I was having a random conversation recently with my friend Jimmy, about what else, but , and what makes “good.”  His take was along the lines of ‘ lets you see what you want to see,’ basically the old ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ cliche…hmmm.

This discussion along with my recent re-obsession with all things Frida Kahlo, made me wonder why it is I love her so.

There are many reasons I enjoy gazing upon Frida’s work.  I love the Mexican culture she depicts, her style of painting, her subject matter and her story.  We all have a story in life, but knowing Frida’s story as I do, she truly inspires me.  Frida lived her own life as she chose, as a strong woman of conviction.  She took her adversities as they came, and worked through them, and most of all, she kept painting.


Summer Inspiration: Drawing Quickly

Friday, July 31st, 2009

I’ve never been too proud of my skills…I usually use as a way to plot out paintings, but never as an end in itself.  But I do find that regardless of your skill level, is fun and time seems to stand still.  Maybe its self-indulgent and that’s why I always put it on the back burner…?

Anyway, my friend J.L. recently challenged me on the spot to draw a pic of us and scan it back to him in 15min.  My immediate reaction was “Can I have 20min?”  I needed to find some paper, grab a pencil and find a reference picture.  Plus I needed to plug in my scanner after wiping an inch of dust off it!  Suffice it to say, it was a lot of fun.  I do actually prefer to draw quickly. It was also a good way to get me to do something I love to do, which has been falling to the wayside recently with all the activities of summer.  With summer taking over, it was just what I needed, some much needed summer .

So I challenge you…draw a pic of someone in 15min and send it to me…

Don’t think about it, just do it….go!

Here’s mine…I started with J.L., ran out of time so I settled on half faces and closed my eye, but there are no rules, so no worries!15 min challenge

15 min challenge

Done! (As in: my artwork is done!)

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

When Nate is done painting for a particular session he leaves the work or pushes it away.  I know when he’s done because he exclaims it…”Done!”

Me, how do I know when my piece is done?

Usually I start with an idea and , like a song or nature.  Then I like to take a turn in the piece and use chance in a Dada way to push the work in a new direction.  If I get a happy feeling, its done.  If not, I keep going or set it aside until further inspiration hits.  I know its vague, but for me its a feeling-when I feel happy, the piece is done.

How do you know when your work is done?

Do you ever go back years later and work on a “completed piece?”

Tree study updated in Jules gallery, take a look if you like!

Tree StudyTree Study TwoTree Study ThreeTree Study Four

New work added to Guest Gallery

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Just added this piece by .


4 Phases of Collaboration

Sunday, April 26th, 2009


In our , we may underestimate exactly what we are capable of, but we usually have a good idea of where we are as .  Collaborating with another Artist can change these beliefs infinitely.  The possibilities can be endless…

There are 4 main phases in any project:

1.  Initiation. Ideas=Potential.   In the initiation phase of the project, both Artists are filled with excitement.  Harness this excitement and toss around as many ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and commonalities as you can.  Find that something you have in common.  The possibilities to create something distinct and more extraordinary than what you could do alone is the gift of collaboration.  There is a style that benefits all involved, you just have to find it.

2.  Planning.   Priorities=Challenges.  Finding your style together is the challenge.  Priorities and methods are things that need to be addressed.  So how do you start?  What is most important, is it the message, the process, the subject matter, the technique, the final outcome…what is most important to both of you?  To overcome this challenge, search for commonalities as well as differences, and look for the good in different approaches.  Plan to test a few ideas before you make your decisions, see where they lead you.

3.  Execution. Methods=Joy.  Do you work in the same way, can you each work in your own way and pull it together in a cohesive way?  There is always more than one way of doing things, and some approaches are better suited to some projects than others.  So how can we  collaborate in the most effective way possible?  Experiment…try a few of the following methods if you like.  Often you’ll organically come upon your style, although it may take some time.  Don’t put too much pressure on yourselves, just enjoy the process, and each other.

6 Ways jn has collaborated with a variety of Artists in the past:

  1. Both work in your individual styles and layer on top of each other.  Either at the same time if your canvas is large enough, and the method allows for it.  Or one at a time-you could tag off as quickly as every minute or as slowly as every day or longer.
  2. Both agree on a final outcome you’d like to achieve and take turns at the canvas.  Work toward the final version, however that needs to happen.  Be open to “happy accidents” as Bob would say.
  3. Direct each other with lots of dialogue during the process.  Talk and discuss each idea before and during execution so you’re both sure you’re on track.
  4. Say nothing-don’t talk at all and let the piece grow organically.  Let the process dictate the outcome.  You can always paint over what does not work for you.
  5. Divide up the work then bring it together in a common way.  Work separately in the beginning and together at a later point.
  6. Do what ever one artist wants on one piece, then change the lead Artist for the next piece and see what you have to work with.

4.  Closure. Happiness=Completion.  Of course, sometimes collaborations will be less than successful, although its success is only determined by those involved.  You’ll know you are done when you are both happy with the work.  When it is successful, its incredible-you can’t beat it.  Before saying good-bye, have a quick “Did well-Do better” chat to set the stage for the next collaboration!

How do you go about collaborating?  Do you love it/avoid it, have any tips?  Please share in the comments!

jn Links Palette-9 Art Links

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009


  • This photo keeps the eye moving in circles-in a good way!
  • Indulge your penchant for Surrealism here
  • This kiwi fruit does strange things to my vision

Thank you!

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009


We’d like to take a moment to Thank our on-line community-the support is overwhelming and very inspiring!

Sincerely, Thank you.

Jules & Nate