Sunday, July 12, 2015

Telling a Story with a Paint Brush

As an artist, I'm having a blast with this project that I recently started. It has been something in the back of my mind for some time and this week I took the initial step to actually start putting my idea to paper.   I know that I am just a few sketching into it but I really wanted to share some of the fun I am having.  I'm not sure if the end result will actually be a published children's storybook, but I am having fun illustrating what I hope will be at least a real keepsake for my grandchildren.  I have a lot of work to do since I currently have 6 amazing grandchildren all wanting their stories to be told.  

I'm just using watercolor and pen and ink to make these sketches.  I have no idea if this is the best medium to actually use to illustrate a story, but I feel I just have to get the ideas on paper and they can then be refined as I learn the correct processes.  It is going to be a learning experience for me but I'm feeling up to the challenge.  

With a real dog that is very much as big as a small pony, the inspiration for this story is not hard to come by.  I have all kinds of funny ideas about the problems and benefits that one wee little girl could face with such a large pet.  

When you are just a snip of a girl, taking your giant dog for a walk is more like a fun park thrill adventure than a chore.  

Sleeping can be a challenge when your bed dog is more like a bed HOG!

Tea parties can be very frustrating affair when one of the guests have such bad manners that knock over all the invited guests, break the table, step on your entrees and spill the party beverages.


I promise to keep updating this blog as I come up with more and more pages to my story.  If you are interested in seeing more of my artwork, please click the gallery tab above or visit my webpage at

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Don't Mess in my Creative Journal!

How do you stay creative in a world that is spiraling out of control?  How do you stay inspired and positive when negative forces abound and you feel as the world you have known, your way of life, and even your core values are daily assaulted?  Yet you know at the same time that you know have this gift and you feel called to somehow make a difference in the world by creating beauty and hopefully inspiring someone in the process.

I'm sure there are many answers that I can research that will offer suggestions on how to increase your creativity.  I can share with you that  one thing I have done this past month is start a CREATIVE JOURNAL.  I try to carry it with me everywhere I go so that I can jot down ideas or inspirations that I encounter.  Carrying the physical book with me gives me a constant reminder to look for inspiration in my day.  I also carry my Marjolein Bastin 2015 planner.  I love her beautiful work and seeing her artwork on every page helps my focus stay somewhat artistic when I am planning my day.   

I have been trying to keep a sketch journal for the past year but somehow the linear processes unique to my brain can't bring me to combine the two. (Remember I was an accountant for 30 years)  I actually have to stop here and make a confession at this point, but a few days ago I took notes in my creative journal while watching a YouTube video on using Photoshop and didn't like the messy appearance so I erased them and rewrote them in neater handwriting.  I just can't bring myself yet to make lists and notes next to a sketch I did earlier in the day.  How non-creative is that!  Maybe as I progress and let my art take over more and more of those neuron processes I can actually reach a place in my life that I am OKAY with messy creativity!

So let me share what is written on the first page of my journal....(actually to my horror I realized just now that I had penciled in estimated costs of some large projects I want to start around the house on the inside glued page.  There may be no hope for me....I may forever be a numbers person!)


1.  My Words- "that it may give grace to those who hear"   Ephesians 4:29   Do I speak GRACE or GRIEF?

2. "People are Quick to Believe the Bad things they hear about Good people."

3. "What lies behind us and what lies before us is tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson.

As you can see, my creative thoughts are focused on the fact that I'm trying to emphasis first my words be positive.  I believe that Bible clearly teaches us that our words are powerful and while I don't believe in the ideology of  POSITIVE CONFESSION, I do believe that your words can bring life or death, healing or sickness, grace or grief to someone's life.

My take away today....1.)  Make a Creative Journal for yourself and 2.) Try to keep your words positive even if you feel like screaming and breaking things.  Your art will be better and your blood pressure will be lower.

Monday, July 6, 2015

More Cowbells!

I am so happy that I received word this morning from one of my cowbell collectors in Columbia Falls, Montana that these newest custom ordered cowbells are exactly what she had in mind.  With custom orders, you always have to worry that there might just be something they don't like or want changed.  Not the case with this order and so I'm going to be finishing these bells up with a coat of varnish and get them ready to put in a shipping box so they are ready to mail later this week.  

I am so blessed to have people who appreciate my artwork.  A quote from the collector herself just this morning says it all.  "I more than LOVE them Julie, I treasure your "souls" work ! You sing through your paintings and my special room is coming together quite nicely with your BELLS as my signature pieces! Such a peaceful place to be, am loving it, will send you photos when complete! Thank you once again for all your work and effort, I truly appreciate you! Love from Montana, Big Sky Country! Gateway to Glacier National Park! "

These make great gifts and are an affordable way to give art.  If you are interested in having a unique creation of your own, just contact me and I would be happy to discuss the design you have in mind.  I ship them anywhere in the continental US for only $65!

If you are interested in seeing my other works, please check out my website at

Hand Painted Cowbells