watercolor on Yupo
I met Julie Ford Oliver through blogging two years ago and if memory serves me right, we had an instant connection. I fell in love with her exquisite and highly technical paintings and she seemed to really like the stories in my art. She often offered praise and insight that fed my desire to continue to paint. Like any artist, I sometimes question my skills, my subjects, all of it really, and it has been the seasoned and experienced artists like Julie who come along and lift me up and help me push forward. Through our numerous emails, I not only had come to appreciate having a mentor, but had made a dear friend.
So long story short, last Spring Julie invited me to come to New Mexico to paint with her at her studio. After losing my mother in early July, this invitation became something I felt I really had to do. So I packed my bags and my paints and headed to Las Cruces.
The week was FULL of happy moments.
Like walks in the desert.
|White Sands National Monument|
Riding down the sand dunes on a sled! Wee!
|Pasture in Lincoln Forest|
Visiting Julie's friends in the mountains.
|New Mexico skies|
Marveling at the frequent changes in the sky.
|Stormy New Mexico sky|
|Sunset in New Mexico|
Watching the sunrise and sunset. Each one was different.
|Old building in Mesilla, New Mexico|
Walking around looking at blue doors and wonderful New Mexico architecture.
|Blue garden gate|
It was like walking into a Julie Ford Oliver Painting!
|Julie Ford Oliver in front of her studio|
Then we headed for Julie's studio where she teaches.
|oil on 8 x 8 inch canvas|
I painted on black canvas for the first time. It makes it so easy to outline the work...it seemed to really help with the drawing The little blue vase is one of Julie's still life objects...I just had to paint it.
|oil on 10 x 10 inch canvas|
Julie talked a lot about design and use of color...I tried to think about both in the above piece. The above drippy marks are from a wash with oil and mineral spirits. I let them be, so the white is raw canvas showing through. We thought it looked neat, so I left it that way.
|oil on 9 x 12 inch oil primed linen|
All the vibrant colors of New Mexico obviously inspired the above piece. I didn't have time to finish it, but I was happy with where it was going. Oil primed linen is nice to paint on. It seemed to grab the colors off the brush more easily than gesso primed canvas.
I had two other paintings, a pear and a cityscape, but the photos are too blurry. In those I visited the use of color again and did some negative painting which was pretty fun to do.
|Julie Ford Oliver and me|
The week was amazing. It was so full of beauty....the landscape...the incredible people I met...the food...the art...the sunsets...the warm sun...the rain.
But the best part was Julie. Hands down. Julie. A gem of a lady.
Julie is a mega-talented artist and a sought-after teacher. Her paintings have been published in books and magazines and have sold world wide. She won't tell you any of this though...she is quite humble about it all. If you don't know her art, do yourself a favor and visit her here. I highly recommend her very inexpensive fracturing technique video. It is what gives her art that special look...like it's been broken and put back together. Kind of like this past week did for me...I was broken...and now I am a little more together.
Thank you, thank you Julie.