Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wine Country

Head for the Hills, 6 x 6

This is a scene I've been afraid to paint, and I think I know why!  It's a place that's new and very important to me--a view from the deck of Weisinger's Winery in Ashland, Oregon.  Last summer my mom married a childhood best friend, John Weisinger, and this is the view from his winery's deck (or my 5 am attempt at translating the view).  I've been once, and hope to return many times, as it is one of the most relaxing, delightful places I've been, and to sit on the deck and enjoy a glass of wine with mom and John is one of my life's very treasured moments.  I hope to attempt more from this location, perhaps when I'm there in August for a bit I'll paint from the deck, rather than from a photo--even photos don't do it justice.

The Familiar

The Inlet, 9 x 12

After my long weekend of painting, I came home and painted this "larger" one from a 6 x 8 I did the first day of the workshop.  This is a familiar site for me, as Laurel's plein air classes often start the "season" with this location, also at AMOA.  It's a little inlet off of Lake Austin, a really tranquil spot.  I'm more pleased with this one than the initial composition.

-julie davis

Monday, March 30, 2009

Oh the Pain

Laguna Gloria, 6 x 8

I was fortunate to take a terrific plein air workshop this weekend (thank you to Ben and my girls for allowing me the time!) with Laurel Daniel at AMOA.  The weather was gorgeous (save for the crazy wind on Saturday that nearly blew us all away), and the locations were amazing. We painted on the Laguna Gloria campus of Austin Museum of Art, and at the home studio/property of Austin's Jennifer Myers, a fellow painter with a very successful floral design company.  I hadn't painted outside in a while, and the challenges it presented were daunting.  I painted this one at Laguna Gloria of the old estate home there--the building is beautiful--I didn't do it justice, but I tried!  I think with this composition, I should've cropped more to the right or left--it's too divided into halves, but I painted eight paintings in as many hours, so decision-making was fast and sometimes led to mistakes.   Regardless, I am ready to get back at it in class on Wednesday!

-julie davis

Friday, March 27, 2009


Santa Barbara Chapel, 8 x 10

I'm always snapping photos on trips--this is one from a  trip to Santa Barbara last summer.  A chapel in Montecito.  I always love the way light hits buildings and the way shadow can envelope them.  I'm thinking I used diagonal lines composing this one--though the diagonal is severe.  

-julie davis

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Blue Skies

Paris Street #2, 8 x 10

The rain finally broke this afternoon and it became a stunning day--one of those days when you're just thankful for participating.  I painted this piece in class yesterday (from a photo from our recent trip).  We were supposed to be outside painting, but with the rain we were stuck inside not painting en plein air in a plein air class.  I mentioned the composition techniques Laurel stressed yesterday (there were many), but the one I think I used here is radiating lines. There is also an element of triangles used in the sky, shadows, and sidewalks.  And if I had to list a third, the buildings almost give the tunnel effect.  Next week's class critique will reveal whether I'm correct or not!

-julie davis

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rainy Day

Here is the Steeple..., 6 x 6

It was a rainy day in Austin today.  I didn't get to photograph the piece I did in class, but I painted this one Sunday, so here it is.  I had the best day, despite the storms.  We started our plein air class today at AMOA with Laurel Daniel.  Her classes are always the highlight of my week.  The focus of this one is composing a strong landscape, and Laurel stressed several different composition techniques, I'm sure none of which I've used in this painting, but I'll be experimenting with them going forward and I'll try to identify them if and when I can.

-julie davis

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Home of the Wizards

Oxford, 6 x 6

This is from a photo from our trip from the heart of town in Oxford, England.  Talk about history.  It practically seeps from the ground here.  The girls most enjoyed seeing the dining hall of one of Oxford's colleges where scenes from Harry Potter were filmed.  I could've stayed!

-julie davis

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back to Reality

Paris Street #1, 8 x 10

We were fortunate to travel to Paris and London last week with our girls while they were off of school.  I didn't paint for a week, but I came back with plenty of photos--some that I'll try to paint.  I gave this street scene a try today.  Having never been to Paris, I enjoyed the narrow streets in the old part of town and the similarity, yet individuality of the buildings.  

On another note, for those who have asked, I'll be trying this week to connect ebay/paypal to my blog so that my paintings may be purchased online.  For now, feel free to email me at julie@jdavisart.com if you're interested in a piece.

-julie davis

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Lemonade, 6 x 6
I was lucky to get a picture of this one today it was so cold and wet outside.  Don't know what happened to our Spring!  I had fun painting this one--I always enjoy lemons--the vivid yellow and the challenge of creating the illusion of something round--I've been more successful with that, but I like the result no less, particularly the one "out" at the bottom.

-julie davis

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Archives

Kitchen Table, 12 x 12

I reached into the archives for this one. Today's painting "was not worthy." I've always liked this one, though (one I did in Laurel Daniel's class) , and though eggs and a mug and pot are not very glamorous, they may be a fundamental part of our mornings--I know the mug is for me at least!

-julie davis

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek, 6 x 6

The last several days have been a scramble.   The girls have had tests, Ben has been swamped with work and, well, it's generally been busier than normal.  I did paint early this morning, and was pleased with my composition, but got carried away with the brush.  Having painted for two years, I find I still have days when I can't find my identity as a painter, my "handwriting." Today was one of those days.  Maybe I can attribute it to lack of sleep or distraction.  Probably! 

Monday, March 9, 2009


Keeping Watch, 6 x 8

This is an exercise we did in Carol Marine's workshop.  We started by painting in the darks, then literally wiped paint away with a paper towel where the medium and light tones were.  It's a terrific exercise to keep you thinking about values.  I keep wanting to paint this one, to "finish" it, but I'm hanging onto it in this form--it's a valuable teacher.

-julie davis

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fast and Furious

Flamin' Hot, 6 x 6

I had about 20 minutes to paint this one before we had house guests arriving--I probably shouldn't even have tried, but NOT painting is more painful than an off-result, so I went for it. Haven't attempted serrano peppers before.  I like the greens and angles I got on the 2nd and 3rd peppers, but the top left one is a bit too outlined.  20 minutes is a little too fast and furious, but heck, I painted!

-julie davis

Friday, March 6, 2009


Telling Secrets, 6 x 8

That orange and blue are so good for each other is no secret--and it's one of my favorite color combinations. This little group was almost named "The Huddle," but I don't think it would've been original--I've seen the name before. It just seems like these oranges are discussing something in hushed tones. Maybe that they look good in blue.

-julie davis

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Two of a Kind

He Loves Me, 8 x 10

Half Full, 11 x 14

What a treat of a day--I didn't have class (that's not the treat, Laurel), but I painted as if I did--in other words, I spent a ton of time painting, and ended up with two very similar paintings.  I learned a ton doing this twice, one larger than the other, and tweaking things here and there. As Laurel has said, when you do two "alike," the first is more spontaneous, looser.  I think the second benefits from things learned in the first.  In these, I wanted to simplify flowers, which was difficult--there is the temptation to overdo for me.  I also love neutrals, and I wanted to see what would happen if the majority of the painting was high key, grays, whites, etc. Though I'm normally drawn to darks, I like the way these turned out.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spring Forward

Outstanding in a Field, 6 x 8

I'm climbing my way out of my rut.  I'm itching to start the plein air class, especially since the trees in Austin think it's Spring and have begun to bloom and sprout leaves.  I'm still waiting on winter, but the weather for the last month has actually been gorgeous, so I can't blame the trees!  And Daylight Savings begins this weekend--more time to paint outside.....

-julie davis

Monday, March 2, 2009

Nothing Comes Easy

The Escape, 6 x 8

Today was one of the frustrating days.  After two days of NOT painting, I was excited about getting back into it today.  The excitement subsided after wiping down my initial painting. With little time left to paint before the girls got home, I did a second, just to salvage my tattered self-confidence!  Unfortunately, I don't like this one much better, but am putting it here just to prove I painted today, and that painting, like anything worth doing, doesn't come easy.

-julie davis