Thursday, May 28, 2009

Up the Creek

Up the Creek, 6 x 8

Yet another from my Bull Creek trip.  I took plenty of photos knowing I probably wouldn't get outside to paint again for a while.  Tomorrow is the last day of school; I can't tell you what a relief that will be, for all of us.  And this weekend, my generous husband is taking over all weekend so that I can go on Plein Air Austin's annual trip--a whole weekend of painting outside.
Thank you, Ben!

-julie davis

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Trail Through the Canyon

Trail Through the Canyon, 6 x 8

I painted this over the weekend from a photo I'd taken while out with Laurel last week.  There are a number of places I could visit every day because they're so full of painting opportunities. Lost Creek is one of them.  

And as far as painting a single area multiple times goes, one of my favorite area artists, V....Vaughan, did just that with her "Last Year on the Farm" series.  You really should see the body of work.  Her family sold their farm near Austin in 2007, and anticipating the move from a place she loved so dearly, she committed to a painting a day (and sometimes more) of the land-- a labor of love.  Check it out if you have the time (click here to go to her blog).

-julie davis

Monday, May 25, 2009

Still Creek

Still Creek, 5 x 7

We're getting so close to the end of school--I told a friend I needed the three day weekend just to make it through the last four days of the schoolyear!  This Memorial Day seemed more of an opportunity to catch our collective breath in our family, as well as to reflect on all the sacrifices that have been and continue to be made for our freedoms.

I DID actually paint every day of the last weekend (except last Thursday), but I just couldn't bring myself to the computer.  I took a break to catch my breath.  Thanks to each one of you who has commented in the meantime--I passed along the Kreative Blogger Award and then went radio-silent.  I hope you know I'm still reading and smiling when I get your comments.  

I painted this today from a photo I took last week at Bull Creek here in Austin.  It's another view of the rock-bottomed creek--such a beautiful spot where people bring their dogs to play in the water.  

-julie davis

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Upper Bull Creek

Upper Bull Creek, 6 x 8

Stressful as these late May days are with kids in school and the myriad of responsibilities flooding into daily life, today was a great day.  First, I was able to go out again and paint at Bull Creek here in Austin with my painting friends (makes any day fantastic), then I delivered several paintings I had sold to a dear friend, and of course the American Idol finale is tonight. Another very good friend is momentarily at my doorstep for a glass of wine, and last, I opened my blog to find Ann Rogers had awarded me a Kreative Blogger award today.  Thank you, Ann.  

One of the enormous benefits of being any kind of artist these days is the beautiful online community of peers and supporters that you get to be a part of when you blog.  Thank you to all of you who faithfully comment....I read every one and though I'm not always able to comment back, know I deeply appreciate every one--they are all boosters in my day.  As for the award, it entails linking back to the one who gave it, and listing seven things you love, and forwarding it on to seven bloggers you enjoy.  I've already exceeded my "short-and-to-the-point" personal rule, so here they are quickly: my husband, my daughters, my deep friendships, painting outside on a beautiful Austin day, my faith, my fabulous mom and siblings, and a great glass of red wine.  Some of my favorite artists to follow:

May you all have a great day!

-julie davis


Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Uninterrupted, 6 x 8

Being a West Texas girl originally, I fell in love long ago with the uninterrupted view.  Those of you who think areas outside of Lubbock are beautiful will understand!  Technically, this one IS interrupted, by the hills, something one definitely does not see in most of West Texas, but it appeals to me nonetheless.

-julie davis

Monday, May 18, 2009

Lost Creek Trail

Lost Creek Trail, 6 x 8

Today was a gorgeous Monday in Austin--a day when I feel lucky to live here (most days I do, actually). I ended up in a shady spot with my friend and mentor, Laurel Daniel, whose post today you should really see--she's an amazing painter, but an even more amazing person. (You'll also see where I edited some cliffs out in the interest of time). This is a spot near a lovely creek and really stunning cliffs that is very near my girls' school. What a good day.

-julie davis

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Western Lake Inlet

Western Lake Inlet, 5 x 7

One of my favorite spots.  A small lake near the coast of Florida with these beautiful trees that so gracefully line the water's edge.  As it rained most of this (extremely busy) weekend, I looked back at some old vacation photos for something to paint, and found this and another I'll post tomorrow.  Fortunately, we get to go back this summer, and this time I'll have my EasyL......

-julie davis

Friday, May 15, 2009

Old Barn

Old Barn, 6 x 8

I love the way some of the old barns of Texas are tucked away into the surrounding foliage. There are so many that are out of use now, but their past is evident, and I find myself imagining what they were like in their prime and who used them.  This is one of many along the route between Austin and Houston.

-julie davis

Thursday, May 14, 2009

View Through the Trees

View Through the Trees, 6 x 8

I wasn't too happy with this one as I started...not enough sleep and not enough time to paint.  I wound up liking it for the composition, though I think some values could be more accurate. Not much time to write I need to make up sleep from last night!

-julie davis

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Llano River Oak

Llano River Oak, 6 x 8

This was a spot on another ranch my husband and I visited last year on the Llano River.  It was a beautiful stretch of the river; the LLano is as pretty as it gets in some spots.  

I'm going to try to keep up the daily blogs over the next two weeks, but as a mom of three in May (worse than December), I may have to take a day off more often than I'd like just to keep my sanity!  We'll see.  I did paint today....

-julie davis

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Casual Observer

Casual Observer, 12 x 12

The second, larger version of my earlier post....The Onlookers. What larger paintings lose in spontaneity, they gain in detail. I think I lost a bit of the looseness of the first one here, but that also can come from over-thinking as I'm trying to "reproduce," the earlier painting. I need to remember to put the first aside and make the larger one its own piece. I also lost a bit of the darkest darks on the underside of the tree that the first one had....but I enjoyed the detail I could produce in the tree and I love the subject, so I'm glad to have it larger!

-julie davis

Monday, May 11, 2009

Party of Five

Party of Five, 12 x 12

This is one of the "larger" ones I did over the weekend. The greens around Austin this time of year are vibrant and everywhere; I was a little concerned about all the green this painting would have, but the slight gestures of blue in the field balanced it enough for me. I like the combination.

-julie davis

Sunday, May 10, 2009

On the Move

On the Move, 6 x 8

We had a busy weekend, but it was wonderful.  I was able to paint every day, and even did two bigger paintings (for me, that's 12 x 12 these days).  I did this little one Friday before I dove into handling my oldest daughter's birthday party--not much sleep Friday night!  I deviated slightly from the tree them, just to play around with more cows and values.  I think I need to adjust the leader here--she looks as if she's attempting a leap....don't see too many cows doing that!

-julie davis

Friday, May 8, 2009


Sentry, 6 x 8

This giant was one at Emma Long Park in Austin where a small group of us (some of Laurel Daniel's former Spring plein air class) met to continue our Wednesday painting.  We missed having Laurel there, and attempted our own analysis of paintings we'd brought, but it wasn't the same.  I was surrounded by trees, though, and since I'm focused on those right now, that was good!  

-julie davis

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Smart One

Smart One, 6 x 8

So black cows today....still working the trees, though.  Another photo taken on the way back from Houston, but I changed the grasses to the end-of -summer-in-Texas color.  My youngest daughter often helps me name my paintings, and she was in on this one--she said the cow in the shade was the "smart one."

-julie davis

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Gray Barn

Gray Barn, 6 x 6

This little barn caught my eye on a recent drive to Houston; it was somewhere around Smithville (I should take better notes).  It's one of those old Texas barns you see on any given piece of property along the highway--a subject I love almost as much as cows.  I've always been overly sentimental for anything that reminds me of my home state....

-julie davis

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Onlookers

The Onlookers, 6 x 6
Really happy with this one today. I have always loved paintings with cattle in them; maybe because I grew up in Abilene and various parts of West Texas where they are a consistent part of the landscape. So I was excited to get to do one myself, even if they are just brown and white strokes on an already small canvas. I used a photo I'd taken while visiting a ranch with my husband recently--the cattle were mildly curious about our presence....

-julie davis

Monday, May 4, 2009

More on the Tree Theme....

Growing Up Together, 12 x 12

This is a larger one I did this weekend from a smaller study.  Now that I'm working on trees I'm thoroughly enjoying their differences.  It's just reinforced the lesson that studying something truly helps you see it in a new way.

-julie davis

Saturday, May 2, 2009

In It Together

In It Together, 6 x 6

These live oaks struck me as supporting each other--they weren't leaning on as much as they were rooted so closely to one another, and had grown up together--through it all.  Clearly, I'm still on a tree spree....

-julie davis