Monday, 18 January 2016

Paint, Draw, Create

I am a soul who is very much affected by the weather, today is a day that makes me feel my surroundings are unbearable - a dreary fog, leftover patches of ice and snow and sad looking trees, dripping water from their bare brown branches.  I am trying hard to see beyond the brown and grey tones of the day and notice the birds who are visiting, and the new buds that are appearing, not to mention an early abundance of spring bulbs peeking out in my pots, delicious and succulent strong green shoots full of promise and hope.

So, my daily challenge is proving to be a huge tonic as it takes my mind away from the awful weather outside, and I can lose myself in my imagination where colour and magic lurks.  It is a fabulous distraction, this daily half an hour is both medicinal and productive in ways I hadn't imagined.  It is allowing me a space to play, away from the more serious business of producing art for licensing companies and to sell on my website, and for galleries and so forth.  It is a pocket of time where I get to explore ideas that would normally be forgotten, to put them onto paper, to see what happens when I play with gouache or ink.  Some of the pieces have surprised me - I've been rather excited by what I've produced.  Other days, when its not so easy to get inspired and I sit looking at a white piece of paper in my book it is harder yet still I draw....something.

I am using everyday objects as a starting point - a bottle of Henderson's relish was one, a blackbird in the garden was another.

I am discovering a like of typographical art, and I am absolutely in love with gouache paint - why haven't I tried this before?  I am now a convert, loving the buttery paint that dries to a chalky opaque finish which I can draw over in ink or felt pen.  It is opening up new horizons for my work.  I can see how my #paintdrawcreate366 daily art pieces are moving me in new directions, teaching me to try new things, and it feels good. Exciting.

These aren't polished, finished pieces and some of them I felt a little awkward about sharing on Instagram.  Having being used to tidying everything up in photoshop after working hard to perfect a piece, this is a new one on me in a way, laying bare the bones of a piece of work as it is, paint sloppily going over the edges, the writing not quite fitting in the space, sloping upwards, colours bleeding....all the little flaws that are suddenly just part of the piece.  And me and the girls decided to brave it, to share the crappy pieces along with the ones we really liked.  It's like running down the street in your underwear, you feel a little exposed and embarressed that people are seeing it.

If you want to join us, you can share your pictures on Instagram using the hashtag #paintdrawcreate66.  You will find me trying my best to post daily alongside Caroline Rose Art, Marna Lunt and Kate Brazier, Artist.

Explore. Create. Join in.

Julia x


  1. This is perfect, Julia, because it isn't perfect and photo-shopped, I love your new approach to work, please, keep sharing it! :-)

  2. I'm a new follower to your blog and I would just like to say that I love your work. Kay

  3. Please don't be shy of sharing. 'Real art' is my preferred kind. I actually dislike the requirement that it should be tidied up by computers. I like to see the original line, it is what makes art human and uniquely individual and personal. I think these pictures are lovely. Commercial art is a different kettle of fish I think. It is a bit like a child who needs always to colour inside the lines as anything else is too frightening. It is good to get over that fear - the companies may not but you don't have to stay within their limiting parameters. Art is about self expression not uniformity, so you can do whatever you like. And I hope you will.

    Thank you for showing us these pictures I love them. I very much enjoy the use of writing. The lettering in all these pictures is different and helps make the pictures 'speak'. I love the colours too.

  4. I bought some gouache after being inspired by August Wren on Instagram. I've had a little play with it but soon remembered why I didn't like it in the past. HOWEVER, I so love the results I see in yours and other's work. You've spurred me on to try again! xx

  5. I've just looked at your instagram page, so I am back here. Well how fabulous is all your art work? I think something that comes to mind is that you are a perfectionist and that you feel you need to apologise for things you feel are not quite right. Well, you have no need at all, and those things you might feel are not quite good enough are often, for the person looking, what makes a picture speak. And if you do ever do a picture that is a bit meh, well there is another day tomorrow.

    These drawings/paintings are wonderful though! Isn't it marvellous that you have done them all? The montage shows just how many different things you have done (what about that lino cut?!) I hope you enjoyed doing them - that I think is the main thing. And I hope that *you* like them too. I really do hope that.

    They are fresh and full of movement, rather lovely in fact. The walrus is not childlike but charming and one of my favourites. I also love woodland, healthy food, teacups - I like the illustrative style. They would make lovely cards, or book illustrations. I also love the embroidery textile work.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say I am enjoying what you are doing very much. Can't comment on instagram as no phone, otherwise I would. Thank you for showing them to us.

    1. Thank you, your words have really touched me. Thank you so much for writing xxx

  6. made me smile seeing Hendersons Relish,brought back memories.My husband is a Sheffield lad and loves the stuff.

  7. Great article, Thanks for your great information, the content is quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.

  8. The paintings of your in a bad weather are even more astounding! Dear, I wish you to produce such beautiful pieces of art for a long time!

  9. SO super cute! You make it look so easy.

  10. Your happy days made me smile. :) Your floral drawing looks so sincere and touching.

  11. I'm really loving your latest painting - it's stunning, really beautiful. I hope you are enjoying doing it - I feel it's gorgeous and uplifting :)


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