Tuesday
May032011

Art + Facebook = A Marriage of Convenience (P.S. Riley is the cutest kid ever)

I hate facebook. I am just not a fan anymore. First it was the snow and everyone's comments. You're trapped in you house and can't survive without the government plowing your street, I get it. Just wait till technology fails and you have no where to complain. See how that goes for you. Second, everyone feels like it is their forum to spout out their belief, regardless of how ignorant or how much no one cares. Third, I'm just over it. I seriously ponder de-activating on a regular basis, but one thing holds me back: ART.

I can't deny it, this world is all about networking and facebook is great for that. I have received several art commissions from facebook. Like my most recent painting:


Riley, 2011 
It all stemmed from the engagement painting for Brooke and John. As I do after completing a painting, I post a blog about it, showing off the painting, telling the story about it, and any thoughts I feel are relevant and worth sharing at the moment. Whether you agree is of no importance. This was no different with Brooke and John, and to ensure that people actually see that there is an update to my site, I posted it to my profile on facebook. Not sure how it got to my future client as I am not friends with her on facebook, but it did, and I couldn't be happier.
 
Riley, so you can agree on her cuteness.I was sitting at work on day when I got a phone call. It was the mother of my old co-worker and film co-star Kristine. She had seen the post through somewhere, which is awesome that apparently I am advertising and accessible to people other than my very carefully selected facebook friends (Not! I have no idea who several of my friends are. You could send me a request and I would assume I met you somewhere and just say yes - unless you are a creeper, then I will detect it and delete you!).

Anyway, I was asked by Kristine's mother Doreen to come over for lunch and discuss a painting for her granddaughter Riley. I went and was immediately dropped into a childhood world of Wonderpets, Yo Gabba Gabba and Elmo. It was a cool project. My artwork and style really caters to paintings for children's rooms. I also learned I can paint Guinea Pigs, really fraking well.
 
I had a secret spy at the party too, my friend Lisa, who knew about the painting and reported to me about Riley's reaction to the painting. She said upon opening it, Riley, the cutest little 2 year old (look to you left and nod your head in agreement), looked at it and just said "Wow". I think that says it all right now. I nailed it.
 
It was a fun project. Although I don't see Kris as much as I used to when we worked together every day in the good old Markel fileroom (or as much as I would like to for that matter) it was nice to be able to be involved in something that was going to be a part of her daughter's life. And it was nice to be involved in something that would mean something to her. She's a wonderful person and she has a wonderful family and it's just amazing to be able to be a part of that.
 
That's really what I love about art so much. Through a gift that was given to my the universe, my own determination, God, or sheer luck of my genetic makeup (thanks mom and dad!), I am able to be a part of other people's lives in a really profound way. I am able to give them something that makes them happy, and I hope, makes them smile every time they look at it. That is what I feel art does. It brightens the world we live in. I feel so blessed that this is a gift I have been given and am glad I am able to share it with my friends and their families.

In sumation: Art = Good, Facebook = a necessary evil. I will now post this to Facebook.

Saturday
Mar052011

A Bridal Gift for Brooke and Jon

Recently, at work I was sitting at my desk doing awesome insurance-like things when my boss came over. I figured it was something to do with the recent "SME" work I've been doing (that's Subject Matter Expert to you. Booyah!) I was on the phone at the moment discussing something very important with my favorite collegue Kevin from Dallas. I politely told him to hold for one moment and lowered the phone to see what Fern wanted. She told me I could finish the conversation and then give her a ring. When I called her I was delightfully surprised to be invited into her office as she wanted to discuss something not work-related - a painting from me for her daughter Brooke's Bridal Shower.

Now one of the cool things about Fern is not only does she know who Romero Britto is, but she OWNS a Romero Britto. Seriously, like a real one. When I was asked to photograph Brooke and her fiancee's engagement party back in August, I got to see it. To say the least, it was beautiful and I am totally lime green Jell-o. One day. One day I will own one too. Who knows, maybe I'll get to meet him and we could trade paintings!

Anyway, back on track, Fern wanted a Romero Britto inspired painting as the gift from the bridal party to the bride. I instantly accepted and got to work finding the Romero Britto piece to use as inspiration. A little bit of googling later I found the piece and I got my sketch.

Once I had the sketch it was time to start with the painting. I have learned from all the other myriads of Britto paintings that the key is, start with the people and work your way out.

What I forgot was that I tend to HATE the paintings until I get the black lining in. Last week on Saturday, I had a mini-melt down about how terrible it was coming out and how Fern wouldn't like it. From there, the painting just turned more and more stressful. I wasn't liking the colors of the background - where the aqua was I had breght green and the whole top was dark blue. The heart looked incomplete and I didn't know how to fill in all of the background - I didn't have the wings added yet so there was a lot of dead space in the background. The painting was just turning into a stress mess. Not only was I doing this for my boss, but she is a fellow Romero Britto aficionado and I was cutting it close to the deadline. Not good at all.

I didn't make the progress I needed last weekend. That meant the entire next week, I needed to spend literally EVERY moment not at work painting. Working out? Don't think so. Going to dinner at Oliver Garden with Ryan? Not so much. Game night with Matt Siciliano? Nope. On top of the non-progress I made, I didn't even know how to proceed and now I was getting stress headaches.

Then Monday, I had a breakthrough. I remembered another Romero Britto design I liked that was on the bag I got when I bought something at Britto Central in Miami. I hopped on google again and typed in "Romero Britto hearts". I found the following image and the rest of the painting materialized in my head:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From there I spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday holed up in my room marathoning season 1 of Friday Night Lights as Ryan sat next to me and kept me company. Friday I brought it in to Fern. I couldn't have been more excited. Giving the painting to the client is always my favorite part. It is the payoff for all the hard work I put into it. First, I've never had a client who hasn't loved the end result, and second, I get money.

This painting has definitely made it to my favorite painting list. I think it is a perfect representation of happiness, love and the vibrancy of life. It's so amazing to be able to do something that I love and that brings light into and becomes part of someone else's life forever.

Best wishes to Brooke and Jon <3

Saturday
Jan222011

Painting for Nick of Time Silent Auction

On Saturday January 29, 2011, at 7pm at the Asbury Lanes, a group of wonderful ladies and I are working with our friend Nick Villapiano and tons of other awesome musicians, artists, local businesses, friends and family, to put together a benefit for Nick and his treatment of MS. He was recently diagnosed with A Typical MS and like so many Americans and young people, doesn't have health insurance. This is where everyone came in. The event should be amazing. We have great bands playing: The Jack Moves, The Amboys, Only Living Boy, Atlantic, Atlantic, and The Gay Blades.

We have tons of awesome gift baskets being auctioned off as well. One of the baskets we are doing is a "Nick Basket". It's going to be filled with all things Nick. He's a huge fan of the Yankees so I offered to do a painting of the Yankee logo for the basket and I couldn't be happier with how it came out. After finishing this one, I definitely feel that compared to this time last year, I have significantly improved in my paintings skills. I also have a commission job to do one of the Mets logo.

This event has really been a wonderful thing to be involved in. Not only am I glad to help Nick, but it has shown me a wonderful side of human kind. The generosity of the community we live in has been uplifting and hope inspiring. From Red Bank, to Asbury, to Bradley Beach to the musical community to the art community to all the way in California and New York. People have opened their hearts and it's a wonderful thing to witness. Hope to see everyone there!

Details:

January 29, 2011 at the Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park

7PM Doors

$10 cover, $10 for unlimited bowling

Facebook event

 

Sunday
Dec262010

Christmas paintings for cute kids & learning I can paint fish well

My niece AmburMy nephew Blaize

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, my sister Marlyn commissioned me to do 8 paintings for all her nieces and nephews as Christmas presents. Two of them, just happened to also be my niece and nephew and are probably two of the flippin' cutest kids ever. It was a lot of fun and gave me a chance to try painting several different things. 

We also went down to visit our father in Florida. He's real big into fishing and I painted a couple fish on his wall as part of a mural. I found that I kind of dig painting fish. Who knew?


 

 

 

Monday
Sep062010

An Oldie but a Goodie

The Care of Tomorrow, 2010


Sea of Green, 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is one of my very first acrylic paintings ever. I did this back in college, right when I was starting my foray into acrylic. I painted this on 6 canvas boards, measuring 1 foot by 1 foot. For about 4 years it sat under my bed. Eventually I decided to frame it, but it still sat under my bed. Then April came along and I had an art show at Atlantic Artisans, in Atlantic Highlands. I decided to give it a shot, and brought this painting along. 

To my great pleasure, the owner of Atlantic Artisans loved it. She said it was one of her favorite of my pieces. She asked me the paintings name and the price. I had no idea of either, and named it on the spot, Sea of Green (an obvious homage to The Beatles). The painting was displayed beautifully there and I came to love the painting myself.

Unfortunately, nothing sold at my show there and all my pieces returned home with me. I hung them all up nicely in my Grandma's basement and somewhat discouraged and feeling totally uninspired, decided to take the summer off. 

Ultimately this decision was rewarded. About two weeks ago, I sold Sea of Green to a repeat customer, my Aunt Sue. She holds the title of my first ever paying customer, when she bought Scar Tissue. Last December The Tree joined her collection. Now, in addition to this purchase, she commissioned an additional painting The Care of Tomorrow (pictured above) based on Sea of Green painting.  

This makes the current standings of Julie supporting as such:

Tied for 1st with 5 each: Aunt Sue and Ryan 

Tied for 2nd with 3 each: Gina, Christian, my cousin MaryBeth and my Aunt Sarah and Uncle Yuri

And last but not least, tied for 3rd place with 2 each: My Aunt Judi and my cousin Jennifer

For those of you not part of the standings, what are you doing? Buy two of my paintings already!