Friday, February 26, 2010

Corporate Issued Umbrellas

"Corporate Issued Umbrellas"
watercolor (8" x 6")

This image was so peculiar when I saw it...and yes, actually the camera was ready, the timing of the street lights, the traffic, etc...all were on my side..."snap!" I got the photo! Seriously, there were 5 "suits" standing in the rain...all with the same red umbrella. Isn't it nice that the company that they work for "gave" them umbrellas? I wonder why that same company had them standing out in the rain in the first place?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Alex -sold

watercolor (12" x 9")

Recently, I was shown a fabulous black and white photo of this sweet little girl playing... I knew instantly that I wanted to capture the movement and spirit of that moment.

Well, today is that special little girl's birthday. Her name is Alex. I have yet to meet her, but from what I hear she is a precious and precocious little girl...oops BIG GIRL today she turns the big "4"!!!

Dear Alex, I wish you a lifetime of these moments...just hanging upside down, letting your hair fly any which way...with little giggles squeaking out...and being that beautiful little (oops) BIG GIRL always!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! ~ With many blessings, Julie

Monday, February 22, 2010

Elephants are Like Big Flowers

"Elephant Trot"
watercolor (8 1/2" x 5 1/2")

Elephants are like big flowers. Bet you haven't heard that before. What I mean by that is the approach that I take when painting both of them is the same....because if you are like me, floral paintings can sometimes be a bit overwhelming to I say to myself "just break it down into shapes and values"....Maybe we should take this approach in our daily living: if you find something a bit overwhelming and just too afraid to step out and do it...just say to yourself "Elephants are like big flowers"

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lake Shore

"Lake Shore"
watercolor (9" x 12")

I asked my husband "What comes to your mind when you see this painting?" ( I often do this when I need a stimulus as to what to write...and he so graciously accommodates me). His reply was "Isolation, I picture an executive taking time off and finding himself alone on the lake shore...a moment in time...a time to reflect and a time to exhale".....Hmm....what comes to your mind when you see this painting?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Special Shoes - SOLD

"En Pointe"
watercolor (7" x 5")

How's your balance today? That tippie toe has to do a lot...holding that ballerina up and in such a graceful reminds me on how we can do life: we need to find the balance, we need to find the strength, we need to find the beauty, we need to find the "perfect pose"...we need to stay up on that tippie toe. How do you do it? Ballerinas have a special shoe...what is your "special shoe"?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tired? Yes...Weary? No

watercolor (4 1/2" x 8 1/2")

I have a confession to make...well actually two.....well, honestly there are three. First one...this painting was done well over a week ago. Second, I had no real reason as to why I didn't post it right away except that it was "too loud" for me to do so. Third confession.....when I finally felt ready to post it...ironically that day I received the blogging "Sunshine Award" for positivity and creativity...Hmmm discussing the issues of painting a homeless/or "socially challenged" individual didn't seem so "positive" to me. Anyway, in amongst all my confessions there is the reality that while I was doing this painting I was truly feeling weary. I was overwhelmed with life. I was tired. I was fatigued. I was drained. I was sleepy. I was somnolent (Webster's word not mine). I was the weary one. Have you ever had a day (or days) like that? Now here I was painting this most unfortunate man...yet so still caught up in my own little world that I couldn't even see the perspective. I was warm (and not just because I live in Southern California). I have a beautiful roof over my head. I have a bed to lay my head down on. I have food in the kitchen. I have means to get all my needs met. I have the capabilities to be living in my passion. I have friends and family that love me. I have a beautiful family. I have my health. I have my God. Back to confession took me several days to turn from my own weariness and focus on all the things the God has blessed me with...and miraculously He has lifted my burdens and I no longer feel weary. Tired? Yes (I still am a wife, mom, and an artist trying to do it all)...but weary? No.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sunshine Award

I just received the "Sunshine Award" for my blog. Many thanks to Tammy Hext who nominated me. This award is given to to fellow bloggers in "Blogville" for their positivity and creativity.

The rules for accepting the award are:
Put the logo on your blog or within your post,
Pass the award onto 12 bloggers,
Link the nominees within your post,
Let the nominees know they have received this award.
Link to the person from whom you received this award.

These are my nominees (in no particular order):
  1. Leslie Saeta- a phenomenal palette knife oil painter and a "marketing genius" with a huge giving spirit
  2. Marion Fortunati- great stories of her plein aire adventures
  3. Bill Guffey- the host for Virtual Paint Out (what a great service he is doing for artists of all levels)
  4. "Autumn Leaves"- Sherry is a faithful and generous commenter on so many blogs...don't know how she does it
  5. Laurie Allee- posts a "photo a day" of our home town South Pasadena and has a great collaborative spirit (I have used many of her photos for my paintings)
  6. Johanna Spinks- an unbelievable portrait artist doing a wonderful challenge of at least 30 min drawing a day, that's 365!
  7. Dana Cooper- oil painter that does exquisitely expressive figuratives
  8. Krista Hasson- her lily paintings are phenomenal and she patiently documents many of them.
  9. Vicki Shuck - just love her figuratives and the moments she captures
  10. Guy Vincent Magallanes- his watercolor painting are magnificent and he so generously shares his process with everyone
  11. Chris Beck- hosts "Brush-Paper-Water" which every month highlights a superb watercolor artist and their work.
  12. Becky Joy- what a great teacher...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Follow with Caution

"Morning Walk"
watercolor (5" x 7")

Every morning on the way to dropping off our daughter to school, we pass this street corner and nearly always see this woman walking her little dog. She walks with her cane in one hand and the dog leash in the other...occasionally another woman (whom I assume is her adult daughter) accompanies her. I have seen this scene so many different ways...different days, different seasons, different moods..I could almost do a series on just her....unfortunately the camera, the photographer (me), the street-light timing ...always seems to be off....not to mention my daughter isn't much help...she shrivels down in her seat with embarrassment whenever I whip out my camera while driving....and the people in the cars behind us just "don't get it".....That I NEED to get this photo!! Maybe I need to get one of those signs on the back of my car "Follow with Caution...Driver Makes Sudden (and unexplained) Stops". Yea! that would work, as if our daughter isn't embarrassed enough as it is.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Casa Luana

"Casa Luana"
watercolor (10" x 14")

Picture this.....a Tuscan farmhouse built in the early 1800's (maybe earlier, I can't remember), placed strategically on the rolling hillside and outskirts of a small municipality called Radicondoli. The farmhouse is surrounded by huge Oak trees, a plethora of citrus trees and apple trees. The kitchen inside is a typical farmhouse kitchen, simple...the fresh bread is out on the cutting board...the smell of freshly brewed Italian ground coffee is wafting in the air....The morning mist has just lifted, and you and your friends decide to go for a "stroll" to the local mid-evil fortress on the adjacent hillside...all the while being careful not to disturb the grazing flock of sheep just outside. Yes, this was a typical morning at "Casa Luana".

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Elephants on the Run

"Elephants on the Run"
watercolor (14" x 20")

Looks can be deceiving....did you you know that despite the large size of elephant's ears, their hearing really isn't all that good...and despite those pretty eyes, their eye site is poor and, get this, despite their being the largest land mammal, they can swim long distances? Go really, what was God thinking when he designed an elephant?...cause I am thinking the features He gave them don't really match up to their functionalities. I wonder if this is why they are my favorite animal....I really am enjoying painting them lately.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Title the Untitled #1

"Untitled #1" - now titled "Serenity"
watercolor (10" x 14")

Announcing a new feature for J Hill Paintings Daily Blog- once a month I will post an "Untitled" painting....and all of you out there in Blogville...get to make suggestions for its new title! The winning title and person suggesting it will be announced in the following month's Newsletter....Oh yea, did I mention I will be putting out a monthly Newsletter?

The J Hill Paintings Newsletter will have many great features including "Painting of the Month" (usually a larger sized painting), "Art Factoids" (this month's lil' tidbit is on Rodin), "News/Events", "Announcement of Winners" (for monthly drawings and Best Title for the Untitled), and my favorite...each month I will also "Highlight a Charitable Organization". In addition, the Newsletter will have exclusive offers or discounts for registrants only. So if you are interested, please sign up in the box in the upper right corner of my blog. The February addition should be released any day now!

Don't forget to title this month's "Untitled"....can't wait to hear what you all come up with!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Just Waiting to Come Out -SOLD!

"Cabin by the River" watercolor (51/2" x 8 1/2")

Hmmmm...a blank screen in front of me...and no, I am not in a glitch as I can clearly see the cursor blinking at me....very subtly telling me...."I am waiting for your just need to write". This morning, I am supposed to be writing about today's painting. And after some annoying time passes of that cursor ever so politely reminding me, I think to myself, curious how this never happens with a paintbrush in hand...there is always something in there ready to come out...even if its just a little "cabin by the river".....hmmm, therein lies the truth... painting is my thing, writing is not. God has gifted each of us uniquely, some gifts are obvious whereas some need discovering. I didn't discover God's gift to me till I was 38 years old ( that's just under 5 years ago)...before that, I had never held a paintbrush in my hand, was never in the creative world, nor even interested in art... I am so thankful that God didn't give up on me. Today, may you reflect on what your gift may be, and if it isn't obvious to you, that you find the grace and strength to discover's there just waiting to come out.