MCP 2013: Mario World Map

And this year's Most Challenging Painting award goes to..... MARIO WORLD MAP!!!!

















This painting was so challenging. In theory, it is an awesome idea. An awesome idea from my interent friend Swagman. In completion, it is an awesome painting. In the hours it took me to paint it, it was so flippin' tough! There is soooooooooooo much little detail. I did not mentally prepare myself for this painting. I just saw the idea, fell in love with it, accepted the job, and then started. It took a lot of repainting, abandoning a color because I didn't mix enough, and then mixing far too much. I better paint some things that require green and blue, because I have large yogurt containers full or mixed colors.

Last year, the 2012 MCP painting hands down went to Barretts on the Bay. Both that painting, and Mario, took way longer than I anticipated and took many "I just can't do this today" days. But ultimately, they have both ended up joining the ranks of my favorite paintings ever. They also have both broken the metaphorical wall in my creative mind. At moments in both I thought I couldn't do it. I would give up. It would never be completed and never look good. Yet, they both were completed and (fingers crossed for Mario and Swagman) loved by their owners.

This painting also joins the ranks of paintings that go to people who are not immediate friends or family. I've sold two paintings on to complete strangers. This by no means goes to a stranger, but someone that I have not met in person. I've only met Swagman through the Internets. I, and the Gaming Chronicles crew, met Swagman last year when we did the Sonic Video Game Marathon for Child's Play Charity. He was one of our faithful audience members and really made the marathon a ton of fun for us.

He joined us again this year for the New Vs. Nostalgia Marathon, again for Child's Play, and while in the chat, he and I discussed this exact painting. Two months later, it is complete and sitting on my bedroom floor waiting for me to give it to the good old UPS. And I am so paranoid about getting this to him! The only paintings I have ever shipped have been 8x16 inches. They arrived fine and I probably did not pack them nearly as well as I have packed this one. Nonetheless, this painting is 2 feet by 2 feet, and it was 2013's MCP. So it better get to Swagman safely. I do not want to have to redo it!

Positive shipping thoughts everyone please!


A Gameathon Success!

KirbyCrashmanWaddle DeeMegaman








This past weekend was the Gaming Chronicles Nostalgia vs New Video Game Marathon. A group of friends and I played video games for 84 hours straight while streaming it over the internet to raise money for Child's Play Charity. And raise money we did! Over $1,600!! Child's Play's mission is to get video game systems and games into hospitals for children who are ill so that the hospital is not such a scary place. So what better way to raise money than to play video games. It was a weekend of tons of laughs, a Reddit Internet Flash Mob, Megaman the musical, and little to no sleep.

Punchout Streaming LiveI joined Thursday night after a pretty big day at work. I walked in on a total life high ready for more. I was there as the resident Gaming Chronicles staff artist. I was going to paint live as prizes for those watching online and donating. Painting is the only thing that got me through the first night. Planning to stay up the whole night, I was about ready to tap out at 2 AM. I pushed through, knocked out Kirby and Megaman, then took a quick 2 hour nap from 4:30 am to 6:30 am, then got back up to be Ian's (aka Grenn Balze) relief as he took off to work. Matt aka Capital M and I rang in the morning - me painting, him playing Kirby's Dreamland (nostalgia). Once this was beaten, Matt, Oliver, Holly and I worked our way through Kirby's Adventure (new). We quickly all agreed this was the cutest game ever. In multiplayer, if say Kirby (Oliver) got health, he could hug Waddle Dee (Holly) or Menonite (me) and share health. Cutest thing EVER. At this point we had made some new friends - shout out to Farronox, our official Quote Technician. He started up Gameathon Quotes, tweeting the more hilarious and cracked out things we said in our sleep deprived gaming states. Once this game was done, Holly donated to get the customized Waddle Dee painting pictured above.

Later Friday night I got to play Spyro (my fave!) and amuse the masses with my temper tantrums and spazz like gaming. The real highlight of the night was when our good friend Tom Hanley came over to play Punchout, a game requested and donation paid for by our friend Boy Named Sue, who was back from last year. Tom Hanley beat the game, but had a hard time defeating Mr. Dream. The rematch was scheduled for Sunday night.

Saturday during the day - stuff happened. To be perfectly honest I think this was the most cracked out day for us all. The no sleep of Thursday and Friday was catching up to us, as can be seen in this picture of Jed, asleep amisdst all the mattresses. Naps were occurring left and right, anyway possible. The only painting I was able to do Saturday was the Crashman painting above commissioned via donation from Matt.

Matt hugging a blanket with 925 viewersSaturday night - none of us saw coming. The first day Matt, Joe, Holly, and crew had promised if we had over 10 viewers they would do a happy dance. Goal achieved, they set the bar higher. Over 100 viewers we would put on Megaman the Musical. Not a likley goal, unless... INTERNET FLASH MOB! Late Saturday night into Sunday morning, little unsuspecting Gaming Chronicles marathon had made their way to the front page of UStream (the site we were streaming through). As Ian played Metroid the viewers started jumping. 6, 10, 20, 80, 120! Megaman the Musical was happening. It didn't stop there. As we were singing and dancing, the number over viewers rose to over 925. Nothing like making a fool of yourself to a huge group of people! It was hysterical and one of the funniest things I've been a part of in a long time. In walked user "Le Reddit Army". I was totally out of my element with what was happening, not being as Internet savy as those who would stage an internet flash mob, I simply sat back, laughed, and sang opposite Matt when called upon. I can only imagine what those 925 people were thinking. I'm sure they thought it would just be people sitting around playing video games. Instead they got us, dancing.

After techincal difficulties during the day, this was definitely a boost to our spirits. We got Internet Flash Mobbed!!! Cool.

Sunday, we ended on a strong note. There were two paintings left for me to do. The only thing that kept me sane Sunday morning was the fan input painting. I had a heart painting that had yet to be completed and I put it out to the viewers to decide what should be painted in that heart. The winning idea ended up being Matt's - Tom Hanley and Mr. Dream - the ultimate matchup. But not just Tom Hanley, the idea was to get a picture of Mr. Dream and one of Litlle Mac, then put Tom's hair on Little Mac's face. And I did it. And I laughed the entire time time because it was just too good!

Little Mac and DocTom Hanley is my Punchout Hero

Mr. DreamTom Hanley is Little Mac










We decided that rather than raffling this off to the lucky donator, this painting needed to find a home with everyone's punchout hero Tom. It was presented to him an encouragement to defeat Mr. Dream. Which, to make this article totally anti-climatic, I have no idea if Mr. Dream was defeated. I had to leave. Work Monday was already going to be tough enough after barely sleeping all weekend, but if I stayed till then end on the last night, I would be truly dead. I went home early and went to bed, satisfied from an amazing weekend of amazing friends, charity and painting. My goal of at least 1 painting a month for 2013 was already half way there. In one weekend I completed 6 paintings. The last one not shown here, it was decided that we would present it to Mike and Jerry at PAX 2013. That was my amazing guy friends' idea, to hopefully help bolster me to artist stardom through some PAX exposure.

The coolest thing about that was Monday we still recieved more donations. We had already passed our 2012 record of $1,230. Through more generousity Monday from family members and Gaming Chronicles friend Swagman, we were able to raise a total of $1,625. Not too bad for a group of friends doing something they love.


Please join me January 31st at Noon for

Second Annual Video Game Marathon

Nostalgia VS Now Marathon

hosted by



 with Live art by me!


Join us once more as we game through day and night for Child’s Play Charity! The crew at Gaming Chronicles (as well as their friends, families, and enemies) are playing through two entries in various popular gaming franchises including Super Mario Bros, Sonic the Hedgehog, Metroid, Mega Man, and more! Featuring special guests, gaming challenges, and prizes! Follow the action here on Gaming Chronicles or via our UStream account from Thursday, January 31st 12:00 Noon to Sunday, February 3rd at 12 Midnight.


 To watch the Live Stream (1/31/13 to 2/3/13) and donate (anytime!):

Child's play is great charity that helps children in hospitals by providing them with videos games to play so the hospital isn't such a scary place.

For more information visit the site here: Child's Play Charity

Make sure to tune in and watch me, Julia Dennebaum, paint for charity and play Spyro the Dragon! Chances are you can pay to pie me. For Charity!


The Doctor is Retired

A couple weeks ago, my friend Christine Rochelle asked me to do another painting. My first painting I did for her was last year for her now fiancée (congrats again!) of him fishing at Cuttyhunk Island. This year she needed a painting for her Mom's retirement as a school counselor. Her mother had an image of Lucy on her office door reading "The Doctor is In". Christine wanted a painting of it saying "The Doctor is Retired".

Not only was this painting a ton of fun, but it was an interesting task to have to not paint straight lines. Generally my paintings have very straight black outlines. This time I had to make my hand shake. While this is relatively easy task, it was very strange. For once I didn't mind if someone came in and sat on the bed next to me while painting. In fact, this time is was encouraged.

Upon handing it off, I couldn't have been happier with this painting. It was a good one to end 2012. I really didn't paint much this year. This makes #8 for the year. Whereas 2009, 2010 and 2011 I averaged about 28 paintings a year. I'm going to try and focus on art again in 2013. I don't know why I lost focus this year. Some of it could be work related, I got a significant promotion in June. It's more demanding, but also more rewarding. I also was involved in several weddings. While a ton of fun, are also a lot of work.

2013 has to be a year of better balance in my life. Balance of work, weddings, fun, and painting. My goal is at least 12 paintings for the year. One a month. I think I can handle that and hopefully continue to create things that can be part of others homes.




Julie Britto Strikes Again

Yet another Romero Britto painting assignment! The first one I did was a Britto inspired engagement painting (click here to see). This time an old soccer friend wanted a replica of an actual Britto painting. Steph sent me the below picture of the painting and asked if I could do it. And I did.

My Interpertation

Romero Britto Painting












It was a great painting to work on and great way to kick of my inspiration coming back. I had a hard time painting this past year. Some of that I think had to do with not liking my painting space as much. Let's face it, an apartment that nearly kills you with Carbon Monoxide does not inspire imagination or creativity. It kills it, almost literally.

Being back at my parents has been great so far. I moved out for a year, had a great year being on my own, but ultimately I decided it was too hard to do it on my own. And I was lonely. I decided to move home for a year until I could a. find a roomate (Kathrny maybe? Ryan??) b. buy a house (am I ready for that much adulthood?) or c. just needed to get out.

So far so good at home. I have a bigger room (with heat! and cable!!) so my prospects are clearly looking up. And the room has lead to a great painting already. I think this Britto assignment has been an omen of good things to come. 

I do miss my apartment and being on my own, but having laundry at my fingers, my dog and someone to cook me dinner occasionally really kicks but. And I can save money! Which is good because of potential life choice b. buy a house and also I am finally going to make my movie. I am currently in the process of collaborating with some talented people and will hopefully have a script written and a production under way. All in all life is pretty good. I leave you with some fun recent pictures. My new favorite of Ryan and me being photo bombed by Ellis and then Ellis and me sticking our heads out the window during Hurricane Sandy.