Thursday, December 13, 2012

Weathered Vineyard Barn


Weathered Vineyard Barn
11 x 14 in., oil on panel

nfs

Many of you asked about purchasing Old Vineyard Barn (6 x 8")--and I wouldn't sell it (it has sentimental value, and I wanted to do a larger version)--sorry!  But finally, here is a larger version!  The barn is an iconic structure on my step-father's property in Oregon, and I never tire of painting it when I visit.  It is available right now at Davis Gallery here in Austin.

Also, now through the holidays, you can take $10 off my new 6 x 6 book at blurb.com.  Enter the code GIVE10 at checkout.  (www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/3653023).  There is also an e-version for iPad and iPhone for $1.99.

-julie davis

Monday, December 10, 2012

Convergent Paths


Convergent Paths
9 x 12 in., oil on panel

This is one of the pieces included with my current work in the Davis Gallery Holiday show.  I painted it at a local park here in Austin called Mayfield Park--known for its beautiful gardens and peacocks, of all things.  Of course, I chose to head down a trail and paint trees. :)  

-julie davis

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cottonwood Sanctuary


Cottonwood Sanctuary
9 x 12 in., oil on panel
 donation to fundraiser for Helping Hand Home of Austin

This Saturday night from 7-9 p.m., Davis Gallery here in Austin is hosting its opening reception for the Holiday Group Show, in which I am happily participating.  The show will run through January 19th, but do drop by if you're in the Austin area--I'd love to see you, and I know the show will be full of beautiful artwork--you might even find the perfect holiday gift!

Davis Gallery
837 W. 12th
Austin, Texas
512.477.4929
opening reception, Sat., Dec. 8, 7-9 p.m.


-julie davis

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Grass Is Always Greener



The Grass Is Always Greener
6 x 8 in., oil on panel
sold

The weather has been overcast and much cooler over the past few days in Austin--loving it, but as one who is known to light a fire in the summer :), I really have to acclimate before getting outside on these cold mornings!  The afternoons have been gorgeous, and we are thankful for a taste of fall.  

The grasses around here always lighten this time of year.  For the image above, I took my value study from late September and worked it into a more fall look than the "Study 3" I did that was a summer scene.

-julie davis


Monday, October 22, 2012

New Book!


I'm happy to announce that my most recent book is in!  It's a 32-page collection of some of my favorite paintings from the last (almost) two years.  Preview and purchase it by clicking the image at the top right of my blog, or visit my book page on my website.  Blurb makes it so easy--you can choose soft or hard cover, image wrap or not, so there are a variety of prices.  They'll ship it directly to you.  Enjoy!

-julie davis

*p.s. - the preview only shows you a few images

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cut-Through


Cut-Through
sold

The Guadalupe River runs through the Kerrville area, and it's north fork runs through nearby Hunt, Texas.  On the last day of KOPE, I painted along the banks of the Guadalupe on our own property in Hunt.  This partially shaded passage through the fence is where the whitetail and axis deer cut through on their way along the banks.

-julie davis

Friday, October 19, 2012

Old Smokehouse


Old Smokehouse
sold

This week I've played around with some of the scenes I came across at the Kerrville event.  I loved this one, and felt like exploring it again, though there is something so special about the energy of painting a scene for the first time, problem-solving and all.  Anyone know what I mean by that?  I could be crazy.....or just very tired.....:)

-julie davis

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Quick Draw and Reception photos


And my wrap-up of the Kerrville Outdoor Painters' Event...

The Hill Country Camera Club was on hand at the Quick Draw to document our fun:)  They were seriously some of the nicest people!  I don't know which member took this photo, but it ended up on the  Kerr Arts and Cultural Center e - newsletter this week.  I'm painting in front of the beautiful KACC building.




my Quick Draw piece



Me with two of my three paintings....credit to Laurel Daniel for the lovely photo...:)

-julie davis

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Evening Shadows


Evening Shadows
12 x 9 in., oil on panel
sold

Some of the most fun I had painting last week at KOPE came while doing this piece.  I realize not everyone gets as excited as I do about trees.....but I really get a little geeked up on painting them. :)
I loved playing up the verticals (diagonals here, really) in the shadows and then up into the tree foliage. The shadows provided more entertainment for me, and I love an excuse to use darks in a painting.  So it was a virtual trifecta of fun.....and it sold during the Saturday night reception!  

-julie davis

Monday, October 8, 2012

Guadalupe Tree Line


Guadalupe Tree Line
9 x 12 in., oil on panel

I was lucky enough to get access to paint on the beautiful grounds of Camp La Junta in Hunt last Friday during the Kerrville Outdoor Painters' Event. The Guadalupe River runs through the property, and provided endless opportunities to compose a painting.  Laurel Daniel and I spent the day there.  Here's my set up as I finished:


Sunday, October 7, 2012

In the Shadows


In the Shadows
12 x 9 in., oil on panel

nfs

The beautiful weather of the past week made for a near perfect first experience of a plein air painting competition for me.  I participated in the three-day Kerrville Outdoor Painters' Event (KOPE) in Kerrville, Texas.  The organizers arranged access to exceptionally paintable properties for the artists--I thoroughly enjoyed each minute, and finished with some strong paintings and some new artist friends, and reconnected with others I don't see often enough.  

This painting was my first of the event.  We painted on a ranch a few minutes from Kerrville that had numerous old structures--this was the old smokehouse.  

-julie davis

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October, Red Bud Isle


October, Red Bud Isle
9 x 12 in., oil on panel

donation to Trinity Episcopal School auction

Fall is such an exciting time to be outdoors painting.  Not only is the weather completely perfect, but the deviation in color from the usual expanse of green is just plain fun.  I spent several days over the past week outdoors, and this piece is from Monday morning.  

The remainder of this week I'll be in Kerrville, Texas participating in the Kerrville Outdoor Painters' Event.  To say I'm looking forward to it is an understatement; I'll post from there as I can with updates. 

-julie davis


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall Color at Red Bud Isle


Fall Color at Red Bud Isle
6 x 8 in., oil on panel
sold

Every day for the past two weeks, I've driven over the bridge near Tom Miller Dam in Austin and watched the trees turn from green to gold.  A last-minute appointment cancellation allowed me the chance to paint them this morning.  And as a double bonus, I arrived at my painting spot to find my dear friend, Laurel Daniel, with the same idea.  As Laurel said, "great minds think alike."  

-julie davis

Sunday, September 23, 2012

View Across the Valley


View Across the Valley

This summer I visited family in southern Oregon and managed to paint a couple of times.  This is from that trip--looking across the valley from Weisinger's Winery.  It's a beautiful view of homes scattered through the trees and fields, and as the sun sets, the hills are just magnificent.  It's one of my favorite places!

-julie davis

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Third of Three


Study 3, Field
6 x 8 in., oil on panel
sold

This is the third and final of the last three posts on the same scene.  The others were different approaches at studying value and composition.  In this one, I relaxed and just painted.  Again, I really shouldn't post with photos that aren't up to par, but it's been a nutty week, and this is the best I'm going to get right now, so my apologies for the overexposure on the left side.  :)

-julie davis

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Paper Towels and Value Studies


This is the study I promised from yesterday (same scene--but you see more detail in this one).  I apologize for the poor photograph.  It's the strangest thing, but I really like "blocking in" / doing studies like this. Using my dark mix of alizarin, raw umber, and ultramarine blue, and wrapping my finger inside a Viva paper towel, I basically draw/paint with my finger.  Just another fine way to do a value study, or even to block in for a painting:)  

-julie davis

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

10 Shapes, 50 Strokes


No, I haven't regressed since my last post in late June....it may appear so from this study, but it's actually a study done (or an attempt at) using no more than 10 shapes and 50 strokes or fewer.  That's it.  Simplifies things, doesn't it?  No fussing, no decorating, just simple shapes and values.  This was my first try at this type of thing, and I am positive I could have done a better job.  I'm planning to do many of these--to retrain myself to see simply and take care with each stroke.  Liz Wiltzen gets the credit for inspiring me to do this--her post on the topic was back on August 16.  

Tomorrow I'll post my own version of the same scene in a value study done in a dark neutral and using a paper towel:)

And last, I've spent the last few weeks reformatting my blog and overhauling my website...the website transition is not quite complete--I'll let you know when it's finalized, but the blog is finished....for now.  Let me know what you think!

-julie davis

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Old Vineyard Barn
6 x 8 in., oil on linen panel
nfs

Summer vacation arrived at the end of May (yippee!) and our family moved into the busy, but carefree mode of summer trips, camp preparation, and general rest.  With the changes in our schedule, my blog posts have gone to nil, but that doesn't mean I've been still!  We visited family in Ashland, Oregon earlier this month, and I managed to paint a few small pieces at the winery my step-father owns.  This is  one of my favorite subjects there--the old barn.  

-julie davis


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rural Sunset


Rural Sunset
9 x 12 in., oil on panel
sold

I've wanted to paint this since my last trip to Houston.  On the highway between here and there, I stopped and snapped some photos--the sky was beautiful and it was that time of day when everyone gets home from work and school, and families are together.  I loved all the "man-mades" in this--so descriptive of many homes around here and I'm sure, the country.

-julie davis

Monday, May 14, 2012

Path Through the Creek Bed


Path Through the Creek Bed
8 x 6 in., oil on panel

I can't believe I'm still making it out to paint at this point in May.  Seemingly every time I answer the phone or check an email another "to do" wrestles its way onto my list.  I did, happily, make it to a local park today, where I found a limestone creek bed with a few puddles of water from last weekend's rains still lingering in the rock crevices.  This one got a little spotty on me, but there's something about it I love--the movement? and I want to work it up a little larger and see what I can do.

-julie davis

Monday, May 7, 2012

Convergent Paths


Convergent Paths
9 x 12 in., oil on panel

This morning I went out again to a local park--the sun was shining as I set up and did my thumbnail sketches.  As soon as I began painting, however, it hid behind cloud cover and peeked out maybe twice the whole time.  I felt so misled!

I ended up snapping a photo or two when the sun was out; it was the light, after all, that drew me to this scene, and I packed up and went home to the studio to finish up.  Did I mention it was muggy and buggy?  I was able to focus pretty well inside and really like what I ended up with.

-julie davis

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sendero


Sendero
16 x 20 in.. oil on panel
donation to Wildflower Center Art Auction
sold

I said I'd post this yesterday, and I'm a day behind--my apologies.  The Wildflower Center hosted a reception Thursday evening for all participating artists, an event I always enjoy.  I get to explore the walls of donated art, but more importantly, get to connect with artist friends I've come to know over the four years I've participated as a donor.  Local artists Chris DeDier, Lisa Beaman, Laurel Daniel, and Valerie Walden were all participating.  As much as painting has added to my life, the bigger bonus is the wonderful people I've come to have something in common with all over the country--and world, for whom I am so grateful.

-julie davis

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shady Spot


Shady Spot
9 x 12, oil on panel
sold

Wednesday was another beautiful day, and I took advantage by heading out to the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center to paint.  I always love the clusters of oaks typically seen here....they're not only like small families, they pretty much are small families.  

The Wildflower Center is having it's annual gala tomorrow evening; I've donated a painting to the art auction again--such a favorite cause of mine.  It's a larger version of Sendero, posted earlier this year.  I'll post the donation tomorrow.

-julie davis

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rising Above


Rising Above, 8 x 6 in.
sold

Monday I painted at another old haunt, Mayfield Park, which, since we moved in the fall, is fabulously close to our house.   Instead of painting in the gardens, as I have in the past, I walked around to one of the trails and found a beautifully tall tree to paint.  :)  I know, you're shocked.  The funny thing was, in order to stand in the shade and to get the view I wanted, I had to stand near a port-a-potty.  No, I wouldn't have stayed had it smelled!  But I did get some quizzical looks, and one man even asked, jokingly, if I was painting the port-a-potty (since I had my easel turned toward it to avoid sun on my panel!)

-julie davis

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Through the Trees


Through the Trees
9 x 12 in., oil on panel

Thursday I met up with PAA and painted at a ranch in Dripping Springs....a beautiful spot with long views and a quiet peacefulness.  The wind whipped up occasionally Thursday, but I found a spot under some oaks and protected from the wind, and painted what I saw ahead of me.  The spindly trunks of these young oaks reached and twisted so playfully up to each tree's canopy, I couldn't help but be intrigued.  My apologies for the poor photo quality here... darker colors give me fits with reflection, and I admittedly rushed myself for this one....

-julie davis

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Morning Rolls In, Ladybird Lake

Morning Rolls In, Ladybird Lake, 9 x 12 in.

Yesterday I made my way to Red Bud Isle after dropping the kids at school, and set up to paint this view. Red Bud Isle is a leash-free dog park, so during my time there, I made friends with a few happy, wet dogs, one in particular was a golden retriever named Buttercup. (She's a good swimmer, and managed to get me pretty wet at one point post-swim).

The sky was filled with light pink and purple--the clouds were seemingly on their way somewhere west, and floated magnificently along as I tried to pin them down in paint. I tried to capture that lightness and movement. Admittedly, clouds are something I need to study more, and the more I do, the more I find them analogous to trees. (Trees are not a solid mass, though they appear to be, and we can easily make the mistake of representing them that way). There is always more to learn. :)

-julie davis

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

View to the South


View to the South, 8 x 10 in.
sold

Yesterday was another gorgeous day here. I painted out near my church--there are some lovely views on the west side of Austin. The wildflowers are dying away in many areas now, so the colors of the grasses are more subdued, and the yellows and grays of summer are starting to take hold.

-julie davis

Monday, April 16, 2012

Quiet Cove, Spring

Quiet Cove, Spring, 11 x 14 in.

Austin's weather this time of year is fantastic, and today was no exception. It did begin a little bit overcast, and this painting reflects that. I went back to an old haunt today--the little inlet behind our art school at Laguna Gloria. It's actually very close to my house--and it was nice to be back. I pulled out an old painting tonight for comparison (my first plein air painting from 4 1/2 years ago) -- it was the same scene -- truly, stuff like that will keep one humble. And no, don't ask me to post it. Not happening.

-julie davis

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Heaven in Texas


my painting companion today



Heaven in Texas....redundant statement


Heaven in Texas, 11 x 14 in.
sold

I'll start by explaining my post title. It really was sunny most of the morning (despite the overcast sky in the second photo); a sunny, 80 degree April day in Texas where the wildflowers are in full bloom--how can it get any better? Did I mention I was surrounded by bluebonnets?

Several of us in Plein Air Austin met at McKinney Falls Park in Austin today to paint. The water was flowing, but the flowers were impossible to pass up. They'll be gone soon, and I'm hoping the water will be there a little longer than the flowers, though after last summer one never knows. The butterfly above kept me company for half and hour or more today--brave little guy.

-julie davis

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sketch-y

untitled sketch, 6 x 4 in.

I didn't begin painting until I was 37, five years ago. Prior to that, my only real "art" experience involved a ton of sketching and drawing as a girl. I love pencil and paper--the sound the graphite makes on the surface of the paper, the mess it can make on your hands, the ability to erase!

I don't do much drawing anymore--simple thumbnails before I paint are as far as I tend to get. But just sketching this brief piece brought back tactile memories, and a renewed fondness for the line....(something that doesn't truly exist in nature, but sure works when you're drawing). Working a little more drawing into my life might not be such a bad thing. :)

-julie davis

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Arthouse Five x Seven event donations

Neighboring Field, 5 x 7 in.
sold

Abundant Field, 5 x 7 in.
sold

Each spring in Austin, AMOA-Arthouse on Congress Avenue has an annual fundraiser called the Five x Seven. It's an art sale and exhibition that benefits AMOA exhibitions and educational programs. The big "Splurge" (art grab) was last Wednesday, and I donated two pieces to the cause, both of which, happily, sold right at the buzzer to some good soul(s). All the art stays on view through April 22, then those not sold immediately travel to Houston and Dallas.

The big excitement of this event is that all artists must sign their pieces on the back, so no one knows which artist created the pieces until they purchase it by plucking its tag when the buzzer sounds. All work is $100. It's a fun event, and a great way to get lots of people excited about art. The best part this year was that two of my daughters decided to participate by donating their photography to the cause--talk about a proud mom!


-julie davis

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Leading Edge of Spring, study

Leading Edge of Spring,
6 x 8 in., oil on panel

Last week, I met up with Plein Air Austin at a member's ranch outside of Austin to paint in the gorgeous spring weather. Picasso's "if only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes," came to mind as I fought with myself over the vibrancy of the greens this time of year. It's truly hard to believe just how "spring green" everything around here is right now. The shock of it is twofold after the drought we experienced last spring, summer, and fall. Fortunately, the skies were generous with the rain this winter, and we are enjoying the fruits now.

I did notice (as happens when painting outside), that my greens seemed brighter outside....things can tend to "darken" when you bring them in, which simply means my eyes lost the battle to my brain.....maybe next time...

-julie davis

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Red Barn


Red Barn, 10 x 8 in., oil on panel
donation, Trinity Episcopal School Auction
sold

So I've violated at least a big rule here--placing the center of interest in the center (ish) of the painting. A fail? I do think there is enough interest in the rest of this painting to keep the eye moving, but also know the composition would've been stronger if I'd avoided this misstep. Should've worked that out before I got too deep into the painting.

On a happier note, I was fortunate to hear from Helen Moreda recently that she'd named me for a Liebster Award, an award based on inspiration. A big thank you to Helen--much appreciated, and I'll list a few folks who have done the same for me. (here are the criteria for the award:)


As part of the tradition it is passed along to 5 bloggers that have
motivated and inspired you.

To accept the award you must:
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you and thank them
2. Post the award to your blog
3. Give the award to3- 5 bloggers with fewer than 200 followers
that you appreciate and value.
4. Leave a comment on the blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award.


Here are my five under 200 who at various times along the journey definitely motivated and inspired me. Thanks, y'all!


-julie davis

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Desert Creek Bed, Big Bend

Desert Creek Bed, Big Bend
8 x 16 in., oil on panel
sold

This is the last of the paintings I did in Big Bend last week...Laurel and I painted from the cover of a bridge. The bridge covered this dry creek bed, and provided wonderful shade throughout the afternoon for us. Again, the purples in the shadows and pinks in the light really made the scene.

-julie davis

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Uncompromising Terrain


Uncompromising Terrain
9 x 12 in., oil on panel

Trees in Big Bend are few and far between, but in one higher altitude area, they are in abundance, neighboring kindly with various cacti, grasses, and scrub brush. At this point in the trip, I was thrilled to see anything green, and found it appealing to play the pinks, purples, and reds against it.

-julie davis

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Abandoned in Terlingua

Abandoned in Terlingua
9 x 12 in., oil on panel

I just returned from a trip to the Big Bend of Texas-- beautiful desert country near the Texas/Mexico border--with my good friend Laurel Daniel and the Outdoor Painter's Society. One of the spots we painted was the old ghost town in Terlingua, Texas, an abandoned mining town. This particular day, the winds were gusting ferociously, so Laurel and I barricaded ourselves in a couple of the old ghost town buildings to paint. This was the neighboring house to the one in which I painted.

-julie davis

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sendero

Sendero (study)
6 x 8, oil on panel
nfs

I loved the play of light and shadow in this view through the trees. The "Sendero" is the Spanish word for "path" or "way," used most commonly in my world as a clearing in the trees where my husband just might spot a deer if he's looking. :) Of course, around here we tend to say "sender-a" -- either way, my girls and I know to cast a glance down them when on car trips. :)

-julie davis

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Road to the Pasture


Road to the Pasture
6 x 8 in., oil on panel

This piece was a warm-up for yesterday's post. Sometimes you just need that, whether it's by painting, sketching, reading, whatever works!

-julie davis

*and thank you, justin, for contacting me again!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hay Bales in Line


Hay Bales In Line
6 x 8 in., oil on panel
sold

I've been wanting to paint this subject since this summer in Idaho. I painted a 15 minute plein air piece then, and just never quite found the comfort zone with that one,though I really wanted to paint it larger. This is also a study, just 6" x 8", but I like this one better, and am looking forward to working on a bit larger piece. The hay was so tidy-ly laid out.....

-julie davis

*and on a hopeful note, I have lost an email from a very nice person who was interested in one of my paintings from the Hunt area--a scene along the Guadalupe River. If that person happens to see this, please contact me again! I have no clue how the email disappeared, but I have hunted to no avail.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Still Life study


Lime and Tomatoes On the Vine
6 x 8 in., oil on panel

I love a still life once in a while. Especially when they involve red. Red appeals in a painting, and it's rarely found in a landscape with this intensity, so it's quite fun to use it once in a while like this. I was trying to work out some of the rust, get out of the box a little, and just play with this. Did a bit of all three.

-julie davis

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Upstream


Upstream
sold

Rhythm can be difficult to re-establish once it's broken. I'm struggling with getting back in the groove of things after the move and all that comes along with it, but I'm making progress! I'm very much enjoying my new studio space, and the deliciously large easel I was able to get. Makes these 6 x 8s seem so tiny. Which is part of my method....giving myself the environment in which to create larger pieces than I have before. I think part of the break in my rhythm is the "pressure" to paint larger. The name of this piece says a lot about how I'm feeling momentarily. :)

-julie davis

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sunset

Sunset
6 x 8 in., oil on panel
$120 + tax, $15 s/h

I'm in love with the pinks in this little study. This particular sunset was this summer in Wyoming. I've had this painting for a bit, and am ready to try it larger. Sometimes I have to live with a painting a while to process what it is I like about it and where I want to take it. I'm sure this is not profound, but I've noticed how good it feels sometimes to live with a piece for a while before working a larger version. Then again, sometimes I'm ready the same day.

-julie davis

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fall at Western Lake


Fall at Western Lake
6 x 8 in., oil on panel
nfs

Happy new year! I apologize for my absence, but I took a much needed post-move break over the holidays. School began again today for the girls, so my attention turned back to my work. I entered doorway of my new studio this morning with total anticipation (and trepidation) about painting in a new space, on a new easel, and after what was for me, an extended amount of time "off the brush."

I painted this piece over Thanksgiving, in a favorite spot of mine--Watercolor, Florida. Fall there is so beautiful, and the weather couldn't have been more perfect for plein air painting. I began a larger version of this today, then ditched it for a small tree study when I realized what I really needed in my new environment was something familiar. Very soon, I'll post a larger version.

-julie davis