Lady Bird Lake

9 May

Me and Lady Bird Lake are like this! Every big thing that has ever happened to me has been thought of, thought out, shaken off, mulled over and otherwise decided on this lake. So it’s kind of a big deal and serves as an endless source of  inspiration, energy and re-starts. This morning when I got back home from walking around the lake with my camera, I thought I’d try something new and make a collage limiting my choices to just images I shot today. This is what happened:

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You can get a print here.

These are a few of the photos I worked from:

Happy Thursday!

Judy

Mother’s Day Quick-Draw

7 May

Lately, quick-draw sessions have been effective elements in Judy’s artistic recipe. Here’s what this process looks like. Follow along, and find out how you can have the finished product FREE!

1. Choose a simple subject.
Take a photo, or use good old Google Image Search. Judy chose roses because they’re her mom’s favorite, and Mother’s Day is this Sunday.

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This found photo would make a great reference!

2. Grab your materials.
Judy folds plain old computer paper in half x2 to create four “boxes” to draw inside of. Her drawing tools vary from an oil pastel, crayola marker, or a paintbrush with India ink. Whichever medium you prefer, use black for this step.

3. Draw, draw, draw.
And draw some more. In this example, Judy quickly made 4 line-drawings of a rose. Be loose. Don’t strive for perfection or too much detail here. If you want, keep going on multiple sheets, or try filling up a full sheet!

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4. Pick your favorite.
Once a favorite is chosen, it can become a painting, a t-shirt design, you name it!

5. Make something more.
Judy scanned her favorite drawing, and printed that image onto multiple greeting cards. Then, she added water color on top of the black-and-white print to make a series of hand-painted greeting cards.

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6. Share your creation.
For Mother’s Day, Judy is sending one card to her mom, but she’s also sharing them with YOU! Today, you are invited to come to her home and pick one up to send to your mom. Each one is complete with an envelope, and and Judy’s signature on the back. Lovely.

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Judy’s home studio is at 2205 Bridle Path, Austin, TX 78703. A card is waiting for you on her screened-in porch (TODAY ONLY). The door is open, come on in. Please take only one.

Follow these directions to find my screened-porch.

Follow these directions to find your hand-made card.

I hope you enjoy, create, and pass it on.

-Hannah

Creating

4 May

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Outside Inspiration

1 May

One of my favorite sources for energy and inspiration for art making is the outdoors, I love it outside! I spend as much time as I can walking, running or biking around town. In an effort to get outside and out of town on a regular basis, I recently started a monthly hiking and camping club with friends. Our criteria for these weekend adventures are that the trip be within 3 hours from Austin, that we leave on Saturdays and return on Sundays by about noon and that the park have hiking trails. So far we’ve been to Russell Park, TX, part of Georgetown Lake, Inks Lake State Park and Buescher State Park. This weekend we are headed to Colorado Bend State Park. I’m very excited since the weather is unusually cool for May and it’s one of my favorite parks in Texas.

Our first trip to Russell Park in Georgetown, TX in January.

Our first trip to Russell Park in Georgetown, TX in January. It was cold! Great weather for a campfire!

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Russell Park is on Lake Georgetown and has a 16.5 mile hiking trail.

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Inks Lake State Park is beautiful! This is a photo from park’s web site.

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This was my first trip to Buescher and it made me wonder why it took me so long! Amazing trees! Great 7 mile hike. This is a photo from the park’s web site.

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Wow! I can’t wait to visit Colorado Bend State Park! This is a photo from the park’s web site.

Can’t wait for my walk in the wood this weekend! Happy Wednesday to you!

Judy

Works in Progress

30 Apr

A few shots of what’s going on in Judy’s studio today –

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Two new paintings, in progress.

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Progress detail of Judy’s painting.

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Progress detail of Judy’s painting.

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Judy preparing to screen-print on her paintings.

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Ode to Trees

25 Apr

I can remember two things about an 8am art class I took in college: It was early, and we were constantly reminded that we “better not make trees”. Our teacher thought they were boring, and for a long time I figured if I learned it in school, it must be true.

So then, why does Judy paint trees if they really are so boring?

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Judy Paul painting “In the Woods”

Watching Judy paint directed me to take a closer look at trees. Why is she drawn to them? And Judy’s not the only artist. After all, trees were primary subject matter for Paul Cezanne, Ansel Adams, Paul Gauguin, and many others.

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“Large Pine Tree, and Red Earth” by Paul Cezanne

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“Oak Tree, Sunrise” by Ansel Adams

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“Mata Mua” by Paul Gauguin

The reality is, trees are not boring. They’re the longest living organisms on Earth, and one of our greatest natural resources. They clean the air, decrease noise pollution, help to prevent erosion, improve water quality, offer food and building materials, create shade, and they’re also just beautiful!

I’ve been unlearning some of what I was taught in that class, and rediscovering the beauty of the natural world. Here’s a quick shot of Judy’s latest finished tree series, and I think it’s anything but boring. (See these in person at Austin Art Garage this weekend. It’s part of the West Austin Studio Tour!)

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“In the Woods 1-3” by Judy Paul

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“In the Woods 1” (detail) by Judy Paul

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-Hannah

Blue J Art Club

18 Apr

Since fall of 2012, I have been helping with Judy’s Blue J Art Club – art classes for kinder through 5th graders. It’s been an inspiring learning experience for us, watching these kids work and play, helping them collaborate, and seeing what they come up with! It’s often beyond our imagination. Here are a few recent highlights…

Beetle Art

We made beetle art! Beginning with a black oil pastel line drawing, a chalk pastel background, and watercolor for the body, these kids came up with some beautiful, jewely bugs.

Group Mural

Collaboration is a big deal in Blue J Art Club. The kids did a giant, loose painting that we used for a later project.

LOVE Screen-Print

After the kids finished the mural, Judy had the idea to cut up the mural and help the kids screen-print “LOVE” on top. Great Mother’s Day gift!

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It’s always fun!

– Hannah

In the Wildflowers

18 Apr

Looking at a neat finished painting can easily make us think that of art-making as pure creative joy. A time when a person frees themselves of all that binds them, skipping merrily through a figurative field of flowers with a paintbrush made of rainbows.

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In some ways, that thought edges on truth, but in reality, there’s a part of art-making that can feel more like this…

Along with happiness, the creative process comes with uncertainty, struggle, and sometimes failure. I’ve witnessed many journeys Judy has taken as a painter and person. Like most of us, her path is not always clear, sometimes brings on a wave of frustration and even grief, all the while knowing that she will eventually have to put something new and personal on public display. #vulnerable

Part of what makes her successful is her persistence to keep going through the uncertainty, allowing it to push her where she wouldn’t have gone if she had stayed comfortable. There is a level of fear in painting, but she paints anyway.

By not seeing failure as means to an end, but as a necessary ingredient to a breakthrough, she keeps on making surprising work. The process may not be a field of daisies the whole way, but by not throwing down her paintbrushes, Judy usually ends up in the wildflowers.

"1 Million Flowers" by Judy Paul

“1 Million Flowers” by Judy Paul

-Hannah

Free Birds

9 Apr

Last week, I posted about Judy’s ventures with her new Sumi brush. Remember this photo?

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Detail of Judy’s painting in early stages.

After the weekend, I came back to her studio to find the painting (pictured above) had been transformed into this complete painting:

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Wow! I think the geometric shapes and bird pattern are pretty amazing, especially on top of her loose layers of Sumi brushstrokes and collage. And, while birds are well-loved classic subjects found in Judy’s work, there’s something extra fresh about these. I can’t put my finger on it, but whatever it is, it’s good. What do you think? Take a closer look…

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-Hannah

Sumi Experiments

5 Apr

There’s often an experiment happening in Judy’s studio. A new tool, technique or medium. Her latest addition in the studio is the Sumi Brush. It’s a giant paint brush, originally used in China and Japan for calligraphy, but it can be used in painting to make one-of-a-kind lines.

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Judy’s Sumi Brush

Judy found this guy’s videos: Bill Buchman. He’s using the Sumi brushes in inventive ways, and offers his own line of brushes at www.sumibrushes.com. A few YouTube videos in, and Judy was inspired to try one out for herself.

Ever since, I’ve seen her shake it up with her paintings, as she allows her art to wander with this cool new tool. Check out these studio shots what’s in progress. It will be fun watching these develop.

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Judy’s studio today

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Detail of Judy’s work-in-progress

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Detail of Judy’s work-in-progress


-Hannah