Monday, December 21, 2009

Bamboo Moon

I enjoy working with texture and bold color ...Moonlight is a theme that shows up frequently in my work, as does symbolism. In China, bamboo is a symbol of India, a symbol of friendship.

By Julie
"Bamboo Moon"
12" x 36"
Acrylic Mixed Media on Canvas

"I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day."~Vincent Van Gogh

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Storm Approach

A view of the country around Douglas, Manitoba. A little license taken with the storm approach, but that it is the joy of painting...

By Julie
"Storm Approach"
12" x 48"
Mixed media acrylic on Canvas

"If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint."~ Edward Hopper

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Kindle

Amazon's Kindle was finally released to Canadian buyers yesterday.

Now truthfully, I have never bought into the 'next new thing' electronic frenzy. I still use an ordinary flip phone rather then the iPhone or Blackberry with their 50,000 applications. Yet I never fully moved into the cell phone world either. I rarely use it, resent it if it rings and have to struggle to remember my own cell phone number at times. I never text and would probably be painfully slow at it if I did.

I am not a gamer so the world of Wii and PlayStation escape me. My computer, while reasonably solid, is not state-of-the-art with a 6 trillion GB hard-drive and all the bells and whistles( ~ though I am seriously switching from a PC to a Mac.

I bought my first DVD player a solid 5 years after they first came out. I still have a few VCR tapes kicking around here but no VCR to play them on.
In the realm of electronics, I am pathetic, a true novice.

Ahhh... but the Kindle. The Kindle makes me drool. I adore my book collection, but to have a library of 1500 or more at my fingertips? All the time?? It would be an impossibility for me to lug 1500 books around in my semi-nomadic lifestyle. I try to keep my permanent hard-copy library carved down to true classics and favorite titles for 'roam-ability', the kind I will read and re-read again and drag with me everywhere. Don't even ask me how many times I read "The Stone Angel" or "The Story of Zhara", or a number of my Pierre Berton and Emily Carr titles, it's almost embarrassing. I can almost hear someone out there saying "Good God woman, get a life!"

Don't even get me started on newspapers and periodicals. I adore publications like McLeans and Newsweek and Time, the local papers.

But I was sometimes lethargic on getting my blue bins and bags of recycled newspapers to the curb and with the thick nature of the papers today with their weekend editions and dozens of flyers, it was just a matter of weeks before you started to look like you were a hoarder and needed an intervention.

While I read a variety of genres, I am a sucker for anything Canadiana and period memoirs, historical and the classics. There are so many other books I want to read, but when moves are pending, or time is scarce, the time to peruse new titles on bookstore shelves becomes scarce. I tend to find many titles through Amazon these days. They offer a handy little suggestion feature that will offer up more titles of a similar author or genre when you are reading up on a particular title.

Amazon had a picture me in mind when they were developing their site, I am sure of it.
"Listen, if this chick likes this one, well offer her three more similar ones, she will probably buy them too!!"

Yes, they have my number.
A recent television documentary led me to the book "The Floating Brothel" by Sian Rees which led me to "The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding" by Robert Hughes. Now as a result of these first 2 books, I am considering purchasing the title " In a Sunburned Country" by Bill Bryson . Good grief.

Hell, I will read anyone's history, it need not even be my own! And what could be more interesting than a country founded on convicts??

But back to the Kindle.

Yes, the Kindle is for a girl like me.
I can't help myself. My finger is twitching over the 'Add to the Shopping Cart", knowing full well that this will head me down the slippery Amazon path of "Proceed with the Order."
God help me ~ I am turning into an electronic junkie.

...Just a very select one.

Disclaimer: The preceding blog was NOT endorsed by Amazon or the Amazon Kindle. It just looks like it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Dogs Are Barking

Just a fun little piece, an ode to summer and the season of flips flops. The pose, a testimony to any girl or woman who has spent too many hours on her feet.

By Julie
"The Dogs Are Barking"
Acrylic on Canvas

"It doesn't matter how the paint is put on, as long as something is said." ~ Jackson Pollock

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Working on Songhees

This canvas is a 5ft x 5ft canvas of the Songhees Walkway, a beautiful stroll to be found on the Inner Harbor of Victoria BC. Stay tuned for more pictures of this large work-in-progress.

By Julie
"The Songhees"
5ft x 5ft
Acrylic on Canvas

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way--things I had no words for."~ Georgia O'Keeffe

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Re-posted from an earlier date:

" Always give without remembering and always receive without forgetting.
" ~Brian Tracy

I am an insatiable reader and collector of quotes. I appreciate being inspired and sometimes the right quote at the right moment can be just what the doctor ordered if life is not going as you had expected. A reminder that this experience of being human is a global one, that we walk amongst our peers, not strangers.

I remember it was around Thanksgiving that I had this experience as a volunteer at an inner city mission. Fresh fruit and vegetables were very desirable ~ but also very rare. Missions and soup kitchens often make due with whatever happens to come their way, usually in the form of bruised fruits and soft veggies that are at the brink of expiring.
On this particular day a large box of fresh vegetables arrived, and it appeared to be enough to be distributed to the people present ...what a treat!! Though an impromptu long line had formed, a number of people swarmed over the box, anxious to partake in its contents and it was depleted quickly till it was all but emptied, only a head of lettuce remaining. The next man in line paused and looked back at the 10 or so people still remaining. He took the head of lettuce out of the box, carefully opened the wrapper- and peeled off one leaf. Taking a piece of bread, he spread on some margarine, laid the lettuce leaf on it, folded the bread in half and quietly walked away. The next man followed suit, than the lady behind him, and so on...

The man in the line probably wasn't even aware of it, but his actions, his grace were a gift to all who witnessed it. And I received something that day that I know I won't ever forget...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Prairie Patchwork

Just a desire to take a prairie scene that was common to me and play with patterns!

by Julie
"Prairie Patchwork"
Acrylic on Canvas

"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home." ~Twyla Tharp

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chateau Frontenac

A piece from my earlier days that I decided to throw in here. Sorry about the grainy photograph, I did not have a digital camera back then, and knew almost nothing about photographing art. Somewhere amongst my photo files, I think I have a better picture...
It was a larger piece, 24" x 30" ... still one of the pieces that stood out as fun to paint until I thought I would count the windows I was in the midst of painting on the Chateau ...257....

By Julie
Chateau Frontenac
Acrylic on Canvas

"Your style is the way you talk in paint." ~ Robert Henri

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Just Because...

Night themes featuring the moon show up a lot in my work. One of my favorite things to do is go for a stroll under the moonlight. Night is never just black, there are always many colors present. Add to that, I enjoy playing with patterns and textures, going off to explore a particular color palette, just because...

By Julie
Acrylic on Canvas
12" x 24"

"They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn't. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality."~ Frida Kahlo

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Village

A friend's visit to India resulted in my acquiring a bright hand-made quilt from the region they were visiting. The women of the villages that sew these quilts usually sew vivid patterns and designs distinct to their particular region and village. This quilt is one of my favorite possessions and the whimsy, joyful fabrics, sequins and beads inspired this painting.

By Julie
"The Village"
18" x 24"
Acrylic on Canvas

"A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind.
"~ Eugene Ionesco

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I am Every Woman

We share far more in common then not. It's part of the human condition...

By Julie
"I Am Every Woman"
Acrylic on Canvas
18" x 24"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ode to Emily

I am a huge fan of the work of Emily Carr. Her great sweeping trees that reached for the sky inspired this piece.

By Julie
"Ode to Emily"
Acrylic on Canvas
12" x 48"

"Technique is just a means of arriving at a statement."~Jackson Pollock

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Here Comes the Sun

Playing with criss-cross strokes and transparent colors...

By Julie
"Here Comes the Sun"
Acrylic on Canvas

"Creativity is the voice of the spirit." ~ Maritza Burgos

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lost in the Clouds

As a girl, I spent a great deal of time stretched out on my back looking up at the clouds ~ and that was the inspiration to this piece... A moment, a memory...

by Julie
"Lost in the Clouds"
30" x 40"
Acrylic on Canvas

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Another Dimension

By Julie
"Another Dimension"
Acrylic on Canvas
30" x 40"

"A painting is never finished - it simply stops in interesting places." ~ Paul Gardner

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Blue Moon

I love mucking with new materials. This particular piece was a journey into playing with a wax resist method that gave the work a soft and subtle texture and color that I enjoyed.

By Julie
"Blue Moon"
Acrylic, acrylic dye on canvas
30" x 40"

"The chief enemy of creativity is "good" sense." ~ Pablo Picasso

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

In Her Shell

There was a great deal of reflection to create this piece.

"In her Shell"
Mixed media 24" x 30"

"All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster's autobiography
."~ Federico Fellini

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Dreams of Umbria

Inspired by a friends visit and photographs to Umbria, extraordinary how these homes cling to the steep mountains...

By Julie
Acrylic on Canvas
12" x 36"

"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home." ~Twyla Tharp

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Memories of the beaches from home...
By Julie
Acrylic on Canvas
20" x 24"

Monday, April 6, 2009


By Julie
20" x 30"
Acrylic on canvas

"Never trust an art dealer who'll sit in a room for more than ten minutes with a crooked picture." ~ Brett Whiteley

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Peggy's Cove Patchwork

One of the prettiest places in Canada and occasional inspiration ...

By Julie
"Peggy's Cove Patchwork"
acrylic on canvas

"What I wanted to do was to paint sunlight on the side of a house."~Edward Hopper

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wall Flower

By Julie
"Wall Flower"

"Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see." Paul Klee

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Northern Fire

Splashing about with my acrylic dyes. The picture, a nod to my love affair with all things Northern...

By Julie
"Northern Fire"
Acrylic Dye on Arches

"I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.
" - Vincent Van Gogh

Friday, February 13, 2009

Goodbye to a cherished friend...

We had to make the sad trip to the vet last night and say goodbye to our little dog Cheeky. She was an octogenarian in dog years, the past 6-8 months had seen a steady decline, everything in her body was failing her, doggie dementia had set in... it was excruciating to see her that way - and excruciating to say goodbye.

We miss her.

The dog was created especially for children. He is the god of frolic." ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Monday, February 2, 2009

Geometric Abstract

This was a fun mixed media to create, very punched up colors in real life giving it a 3-D effect. Tissue on canvas set up with multi layers of gel medium gave it a unique textured look.

The picture was straight, it is my photography that isn't ... ;-)

By Julie
Geometric Abstract
Mixed Media on canvas

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way--things I had no words for."~ Georgia

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Goodbye to a Modern Master

Andrew Wyeth, the reclusive artistic voice for the rural middle-class, died yesterday at home. Known for his realist melancholy landscapes and portraits of his friends and neighbors, his more affectionate fans referred to him as the "Painter of the People".

Myself, having long admired Wyeth's work, and having sought a number of times to capture that silence and mood ( always unsuccessfully) that could be found in his paintings, admired him as a true modern master. He made me look longer ...and what can be better than that...

Quotes by Andrew Wyeth:
"I can't work completely out of my imagination. I must put my foot in a bit of truth; and then I can fly free."

"I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious."

"It's a moment that I'm after, a fleeting moment, but not a frozen moment. "

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Dare to Dream....


"This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last." (Oscar Wilde)

I never gave a New Year a second thought for a couple of decades but this one has excited me the most. 2008 brought many changes, many challenges, and we survived!

I started a new job in a new city, and had the 7.5 heart-pounding, bone-chilling months of coping with having a child overseas on the front lines of Afghanistan- and the many other but much smaller ups and downs that take place over the span of 365 days of living.

At the age of 42, I finally feel like I have some semblance of control over my life. Or should I say, I realize that I have finally reached an age where I better recognize opportunity, and that it is myself and my actions that can propel me forward- along with the realization that sometimes in my life - it was me that held myself back...was I leading my life or was my life leading me...

Are you scared of success? It sounds crazy, but yet many people are. I was - though I doubt I would have recognized it at the time. There is a comfort zone in playing it safe, putting off opportunities with a "maybe tomorrow" or "when I have this and this and this done, THEN I will be ready to seize this opportunity." Staying in a bad job or a bad marriage with rationalizations because it is easier then the upheaval that comes with change.

My gift to myself in 2009 is to keep moving forward and not just bob passively on the tides of life. The year 2008 forced major changes, as did the 2 years prior...I painted the above painting "Dare the Dream" just months prior to everything in my life blowing up back in 2005.
I am 42 and still standing. And standing stronger. I am happier, learning to live truer to my nature rather then what I feel is expected of me. What we think is expected of us, often is not. We saddle ourselves with pre-conceived notions of what we think others expect of us... yet we forget that the majority of people are more likely concerned with themselves and their lives. It is a little narcissistic for us to think we have to do things a certain way to maintain the status quo. Honestly , is it expected of us, or an excuse for putting off change.

One of Frank's favorite quotes has served as a mantra for me the past 3 years :
"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible..." ~Frank Zappa

"Dare to Dream" (2005) Acrylic on canvas by Julie Cooper Young