Julene's Studio

sketch to painting - butterfly girl June 21 2017, 0 Comments

sketch
I've been thinking about my sisters lately.
This was the start of butterfly girl.
start
Humble beginnings. 
background
Faces are hard. One little line can change the entire expression.
greens
I find it easier to break things down into parts.
This is the greens/stems of the flowers.
flowers
Adding the flowers. First layer of paint.
flowers
Layers and more layers of paint. Details and shading.
butterflies
Looking at resources helps paint the butterflies.
face
I left the face for last, of course.
final art
Finished! Whew!!
Prints and original available.

teapot filled with flowers April 27 2017, 0 Comments

papers

This is how it all began. 

canvas with paper strips

I started this really as a little mind-therapy. 
meditational and healing.

teapot art start

Slowly. I drew a teapot and filled it with flowers.

teapot art with butterflies

The more I worked the lighter I felt.
Butterflies were a must.

finished teapot art

Finished art.
Click here to see it closer. 


Old canning jars filled with spring flowers January 30 2017, 0 Comments

I love to see the process of anything that is made from hand.
This is a peek at my process. 
This painting took a year to complete. I started it last January and then stopped. Life happens, and my sweet gran passed away. I can still remember walking into her kitchen and seeing the beautiful blue jars of pickles. The fresh sprigs of dill pressed against the insides of the mason jars. She grew a huge garden. I got my love of all things that grow from her and my dad.
A year later this painting came to life.
It was a joy to create.

spring flowers sketch This is the beginning sketches.

Then I use a gel medium (golden) to paste down the paper onto the wood panel,
which is 20x16. Big!

I sketch the from the tracing paper onto the panel with Saral paper.
It act like carbon paper and transfers the image.
I paint the background a white.
Then I start with the flowers and stems first. 

The next step is the mason jars. I did a little test. The jar on the left was painted white first, then color. The jar on the right was painted with color only. I decide on the left jar. Just so the color would pop and I could leave a white highlight on the jars too.

painting in progress.

The final art. Spring flowers in old jars. 

This piece is dedicated to my sweet gran. 

Original art/prints available


local & fresh October 05 2016, 0 Comments

Julene Ewert GO Idaho

I'm honored and humbled

by the beautiful words

written by Shelle Lenssen

about my artwork in the

Go Idaho magazine.

Check below for the full article.

Go Idaho

photo credit: Shelle Lenssen


Bee Friends and breathing August 31 2016, 1 Comment

What do bees and breathing have to do with each other?
Everything.
Let me explain.

Bee friends drawing

This is the start of a painting that I recently completed. It's called Bee Friends.
First, I sketch on a piece of tracing paper my bees. The faces were an afterthought. But I think that it adds so much to the piece.
Next, I prepare the background of my canvas.
I found a page in a very old dictionary about how to type on a typewriter.
I loved the round key graphics and thought it would be the perfect place for my bees.
Bees are busy.
Typewriters have that click-clack busy sound too.

Bee friends painting by Julene Ewert

The final results. I painted the bees on white mixed-media paper
and then cut them out. The wings are from some old pocket calendar.
I painted the background and then used a gel medium to adhere the bees.
A little more paint. Done.

Breathe.

I find that if I breathe into the process of creating. It goes smoothly and is fun too!

Keystone mountain colorado

Recently I had the chance to do some downhill biking in Colorado.
Descending from 12,000 to 9000 ft. At first if was terrifying.
The mountain is very steep, difficult tiny trails, at a very fast speed.
I told myself to breathe into the berms (sharp turns).
This is where I would get uptight and almost loose it.
Once I started to breathe into the turns.
I relaxed and it was FUN!
Scary but oh so fun.  

Next time you see some honey bees, take a moment to just watch them.
Breathe into the beauty, mystery of it all.
Next time you start a project that seems over your head.
Breathe. Breathe into the turns.
You'll be amazed what you can do!

Success!

We did it!


The middle part is icky June 29 2016, 0 Comments

Glass float

I'm walking along the ocean, the weather is stormy, cold and dark. The tide is high and threatens to wash us out to sea. I'm tired and just want to be inside with a warm cup of tea. My husband say, "Let's just go a bit further." I grumble under my breathe. If I was a kid, I would have stomped my feet in protest.

We continued on when I saw it. At first I thought it was a light bulb or glass jar. I called, "Mine!", knowing my competition might see it first. Sure enough, it was a glass float!!! Amazingly, it's been floating around for the past 70 years waiting for ME.

The next day I thought about the moments right before the big FIND. I was so the Negative-Nelly. I wondered how many times in the past, I told myself to give-up when it got tough? I wondered how many opportunities that I missed because I didn't keep going? It's hard when the middle-part is icky and we feel like throwing our hands in the air. When I'm working on a new piece of art, the first part is exciting and new. Then comes that middle part, is this really going to work? [self-doubt]. I want to believe this is when BIG MOMENTS happen. This is when we are pushed in a new direction and another exciting horizon is waiting.


The story behind the book January 19 2016, 5 Comments

book cover

With any journey there is always a story.
Almost two years ago, I was selling my artwork
at the local Moscow Farmer's Market.
Many eager people said I should illustrate a children's book.
And after hearing it so many times, I thought, maybe.

Then one day a woman saw my artwork at the market
that stopped her in her tracks and brought her to tears.
She went home and ordered a print of She Believed.
A few weeks later that same woman approached me
at the Farmer's Market and told me her story.

She believed.
I said yes.
This is where it all began.
That woman, Karen Griffith, would become my author
and I would become her illustrator.
The match was made.

Before starting this project I had no idea how hard it would be.
All the little details:
the flow of the book
the layout
oh, the characters must always look similar from page to page (eek!)
research on butterflies, foxes, and hedgehogs
how do I make a tree getting tucked into bed?
what font? that took a while to nail down

How did it begin?
Each page was a work of art in itself. I started with little sketches.
Developed my characters. How would they look doing each thing?
I started with large canvas boards to accommodate the entire spread.
The main characters were painted on mixed media white paper.
Then cut out. The backgrounds are comprised of little bits of old papers and paint.
I used a matte medium to glue it all down.
There were days that I doubted it all. Could I really pull this off?
That's what they call the middle part. The unsure, I'm crazy part. The messy part.
With any project, there is a start, middle and a end.
You have to go through the middle part to get to the end.



Once the art was complete. I scanned each one and cleaned them up.
Then started the process of laying out the pages on the computer.
Thankful for my graphic design chops, this part was easy.
We had many people proof the first few rounds.
I'm sure there are a few little things that are not perfect.
But that's okay. There is beauty in imperfection.

Publishing
We were on the fence about how to publish. Find a publisher or self-publish.
This is a whole other story.
In the end we self-published.

Almost two years in the making and a lot of work,
our book is out in the world!

Yay us!

 

 


camp create recap September 14 2015, 0 Comments

This summer I held four weeks of Camp Create.
An art class for children. I learned so much about teaching.
And so much about myself.
Here are a just a few snapshots of the classes. We had a lot of fun!

Above: Drawing warm-ups, that always seems to end in laughter.

Bowls made out of paper.

puppets, of course.

Students that were up to any challenge.

The kids personalities were so varied, just like their art.

Art and children.

Most surprising project. The kids loved learning to crochet!! We all sat around crocheting and telling stories.

 


are you on the right path May 08 2015, 0 Comments

I have this thing for finding hearts in nature.
Heart found at my local library... yarn bombing.
the thrill of finding the most perfect rock heart.
large or small, oddly shaped or perfect.
I never know where one will appear.
But when I do,
I know that I am on the right path.
Believe in the power
of finding hearts
on your
journey.

the start of the book February 03 2015, 0 Comments

I am doing it!
An author found me and we are putting together my first children's book.
The courage. The passion.
gulp.
above is some character development for my fox.
I threw this image out on Facebook and had great feedback on which fox everyone loved.
In the end I went with the one in the bed.
I never knew how hard this book illustration thing would be!
The book is about a tree that wants to find her song.
With the help of her friends, the fox and the hedgehog...
she finds her song and much more.
How does one illustrate a mother tree putting her little one to bed?
I think it would look like this.
This illustration was a puzzle... got the fox faces figured out. 
Oh, I need a spot for copy, check.
Character continuity with the tree.
Did you notice the little green worm?
This is what I have so far.
I hope you follow along and watch the progress.
We put a letter of query out to a publisher.
Crossing toes and fingers that this little book gets picked up and enjoyed!

the making of a ferris wheel October 23 2014, 0 Comments

This was the inspiration and the beginning behind the Ferris wheel painting, "go around again"

 

I painted the background a horrible orange and used a gel medium to position the old tickets.
At this point, this painting
sat and sat and sat....
I decided it would be a Ferris wheel and the orange background needed to go!
The start of the Ferris wheel, cut from painted paper.
Now for some fun characters to ride around the wheel.
I like to sketch on tracing paper to get my shape and size just right.
It also helps with placement too.
Here is the final piece. The animals are cut out of old paper and then painted.
I love how whimsical it all is, what do you think?

my art out in the world! September 17 2014, 0 Comments

The city of Moscow had a contest to dress up the utility boxes around town.
Yup, mine are on the corner of HWY 8 (Pullman Road) and Line Street,
just by the University of Idaho Recreation Center.

I love seeing them, and always give them a wave as I drive by.

This little chicken with a padlock beak was not planned.

It makes me laugh and I love how it turned out!

They are Going Places!


the sweet gathering May 15 2014, 0 Comments

It begins with a sketch.
 
I am learning that the background needs to be done well, before heading to the next step.
Otherwise you spend a lot of time doing a ton of detail work.
Yes, those are my slippers, the only way to paint, except barefoot.
Those lovely, magnificent trees. I painted bits and pieces of paper different shades of browns.
Then cut and layered them to create the bark/trunks of the trees. Super fun part!!
I did the same with the leaves, paint paper different colors and cut to a leaf shape.
The cast of character were painted first on a larger piece of paper,
then cut out and applied with gel medium to the wood canvas.
Final details: faces, cake, cups and a festive string of lights.
A grand sweet gathering indeed!
Prints available here.
 
 
 

what happens before a painting is done? March 13 2014, 0 Comments

The next few photos is of the progress of my Star Keeper painting.
I find it fascinating to see how it all works together!

The idea is loose and a start.

 

Somehow the tree was first. My first mistake, do the background first!

 

A little background, roughly put in. Note to self: do the background to the best of your skill, first.

 

Paint pieces of paper for the leaves, tree trunk and grass. Fun and easy.

 

Started putting in cut pieces of paper to make the tree. I loved this part!

 

This sketch was done at another time. When came time to decide what would go along with the tree... these two decided they would be perfect.

 

Cut out of old papers, next step is to make them come alive.

 

They are looking good, cute and perfect for this colorful tree.
Now to work on that background....

 

Remember that background that wasn't perfect to start with?

We'll I went and painting around each little leaf, which took forever and was SO worth it!

It turned out great!

Want to own your own Star Keeper print?


what is your word? January 17 2014, 0 Comments

believe. 
To choose one word that will guide you and be your mantra for the year.
I thought it was such a lovely idea. I read about it at,  One little word by Ali Edwards. 
It took me a bit of time for that word to find me. Believe in myself, kept coming up.
Believe.
That is my word for 2014. 
I will believe that I am an artist.
I will believe in my talents.
I will believe that I have a voice and my artwork with touch hearts.
I will believe in the small, but crucial steps that brings me closer to the next mountain top.
I'll live with this word, I'll let it speak to me and let it nudge me, remind me.
I would love to know what word moves you. Share it here on my blog.

found hearts November 19 2013, 0 Comments

Part of my daily noticing is finding hearts. It's magical, try it!


making of my crow October 18 2013, 0 Comments

First I began with a huge wooden canvas. Just started with lots of scraps of paper and using gel medium began gluing them down. No real plan, just cover the canvas! This is so fun and addicting. 
next step is to sketch out my crow onto the canvas. Then using a bit of blue paint, put in the background. Starting to take shape!
My crow looks like a crow, or penguin... used reds, purples, browns in the body of the crow. Use fingers, toothbrushes to make great textures.
 
Here she is, all done!
Happily this painting sold, for a print.

make a driftwood mirror October 10 2013, 1 Comment

I started with a cheap mirror base that I picked up at a discount store. Popped out the mirror. Next have a good stash of driftwood. I love medium size sticks, from straight to curvy. I left the mirror base black, but you could paint it white. Next I used small nails with heads. The job would be easier if you had a nail gun.... next time.

Then just start nailing them to the mirror base. You may need to use a few nails in each piece.

First round of driftwood. Then go back and find the perfect pieces to do another layer, just to cover the black background.

All done! Put the mirror back in and since it already had a picture hanger it went straight on the wall. Another fun idea, would be to spray paint the wood all one color, striking white or bold pink.

I love the little piece of driftwood on the left that has a bit of green and white paint.


a circus painting September 27 2013, 0 Comments

These are the steps behind my circus painting, "balancing act"
Balancing act was created from a book on "how to be a banker,"
that is over 100 years old! I found the book in the recycle bin in bad repair.
The patina and softness of the pages spoke to me. The cast is a chicken, of course, on a unicycle,
a giraffe and the adorable elephant. I wonder if the elephant is
leaving by the balloons and just landing? Magical! Want to see how it turns out? Read on...
I started with a large wood panel canvas. I drew on a piece of tracing paper the shape of the big top.
Then I choose pages from the old banker book, used my lightbox to trace the shapes of each panel onto the old paper.
Then cut them out and used gel medium to put them on the canvas.
The fun part, applying the first layer of paint. As you can see it doesn't look like much at this point.
the next layer is the circus animals... a chicken on a unicycle.
A giraffe made out of a map from Africa.
My favorite is the sweet little elephant made from on old airmail note. Same process as above.
A bit of paint added to the balloons and animals. The foreground is still smeary.
The layering paint is the secret to give it the richness in the end.
More color and a little banner at the top. Inside the tent, behind the giraffe is funny... what to do?
This is the finish piece. Added a bit of white delicate lines with a gel pen for the banner and balloons.
More background paint and shadows on the tent,
which I wanted it to look almost tea stained... old worn tent.
Remember the inside of the tent... I made the dark brown fade out into the foreground. That's it!

simple inspiration idea May 10 2013, 0 Comments

I love doing these little inspiration exercises. 
Simply choose a color and take as many pictures as you want. 
I find that it helps me notice simple things and motivates me to be creative in a different way.
The above photo took all of 15 minutes and all items where found in my house. 
How simple and fun is that?

making art from the heart March 27 2013, 0 Comments

The start of a class.
The table is set with a canvas and all the tools needed to create something special.
creative. paper. paint.
a few of the final paintings.
I am always blessed when I teach a class. Each person that came to paint, also had something deep inside that they wanted to say. Some shared stories that brought tears, some just painted what they felt. 
My students come to learn from me, but in the end, I learn from them too.
Thank YOU!

making a tree painting February 11 2013, 0 Comments

The start of a painting.
This one turned out completely different then what I had planned.
Funny how that happens. This was going to have a small poem smack dab in the middle... something about "brilliant hues and believing"
I save little bits of paper, much like a magpie and used gel medium to randomly glue the papers down onto the canvas.
Then I thought, less words might be better. I love using tracing paper to play with ideas.
A tree sprouted.
For a long time I had a white tree and swing. But it looked to unfinished. 
I painted the background quite a few times with blue and then with green just to make the Dr. Seuss looking tree stand out.
The final painting. 
I love how the base of the tree has so much color and energy, 
sending it up into the sky!

creative retreat! January 10 2013, 0 Comments

This year we (my creative sisters) made our retreat happen again! 
We traveled to beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado, nestled in foothills of the mountains.
Every year I look forward to this time to relax and reflect on my own creative journey and share in theirs. These women are nurturing, strong and honest. We spend our time talking about our strengths and weakness. It helps to see what others see of you. We are either deep in thought or tearful or laughing. We fill our hearts and share our hopes. 
One of my creative sisters is a NIA instructor, and we had the luxury of a private class. What a moving experience, literally and soulfully! 
Next year it maybe in Sante Fe or the Oregon coast.
Doesn't matter where as long as we make it happen!
xo to my creative sisters

creative class December 03 2012, 0 Comments

I had the honor of teaching a mixed media class in my studio.
A wonderful group of creative women! 
Happy to see finished masterpieces.
Creative and eager to learn and play.
 Each one brought a wonderful and unique approach to the class.
Pure joy in helping them find their voice.
After the group left, I felt like the end of a wonderful party with friends. 
The kind you don't want to end.
I gathered up the bits scraps and washed the brushes.
Chocolate, wine and creating art. 
What could be better?