Friday, July 5, 2013

talking a little shop

To answer Beth's question posed in the comments of the last post, I will try to explain the difference between two of the most popular traditional and contemporary choices artists have to paint on today. 
I prefer one over the other, but it is based solely on preference. Both are archival quality and galleries accept both supports (or painting surfaces).
Above, is pictured what I was heading to Lowe's for materials to build. A cradled hardboard is basically a piece of masonite painted with several layers of gesso (special off-white acrylic paint used to prepare rigid or flexible surfaces for painting- sort-of like an artist's primer) and then glued to a box frame, or cradle.

Below are two ways to wrap a frame with canvas. One leaves the frame on the side somewhat exposed and will need to be framed, the other wraps all the way around the internal frame and can be hung as is (assuming the board is wide enough to not look weird unframed on the wall--I would say no thinner than an inch or inch and a half).

Because I was on my way to get materials for the first support described, you are safe to assume that masonite is where my preferences lie. I do not like the texture of canvas, or the way it gives when the brush makes contact. Certain techniques in painting, like rubbing out, certainly lend themselves more to using canvas, but I find I much prefer a rigid surface. A side note, the Mona Lisa was painted on poplar board.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

back to it

I am working on a recent commission. I wish I could give the subject's name, it is such a good one. But alas, he is a six year old boy and I am sure I would be breaking some cosmic-internet-child-protection law or something. Can I give first names?
Anyway, I have not accepted a commission in over 5 years. And I wanted to talk a little about that today. I have a degree in Illustration, but it did not take me long to realize that I hated having the subject matter of a project dictated to me. Hence, my path to gallery representation and fine art. What is it about tasks of obligation and expectation that suck the fun away from the job at hand? Don't get me wrong, I would not trade my background in illustration, I just don't like being told what to do in the studio.
So what made this commission different? Why would I consider it, and ultimately accept it? The money? Something to jump-start me? (I took a few weeks off after SQUARED). I still don't know.  But I am excited about it. This little boy melted my heart during the photo shoot and I'll post progression pictures as I go along. (Probably shouldn't post the references.)

Get ready Lowe's. I am coming with my four children to get materials to make my own cradled gesso board panels.

It's party time, chumps.

Monday, July 1, 2013

cover of Country Roads Magazine

What an awesome opportunity to have my work featured on the front cover of THE CUISINE ISSUE of Country Roads Magazine out of Baton Rouge. (Maybe the issue will help improve my culinary skills- My sister-in-law loving jokes that my kitchen is wasted on me.)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Two weeks into the show and I am still receiving pleasantly surprising texts of admiration. Thank you to all who came out to support and all who wanted to but couldn't. 

Purchase inquiries can be made at calling the director of NCLACJessica Slaughter at (318) 255-1450 or by e-mail:

Here is a little bit about the project:

I recently investigated a call for entries for show in Chicago. It advertised to its applicants “the inventive use of materials to express challenging concepts”. I thought, “Well, that’s not me.” I use oil in a traditional, not inventive way and I do not address challenging concepts. So naturally, I didn't apply. Then, on a separate occasion I heard a colleague of mine say, “I don’t do pretty pictures, if you want pretty pictures, go to Wal-Mart.” That statement repulsed me in a way. I thought, “OH NO! Do I paint pretty pictures?”
 I also recently spent year without painting.That is a brutal confession. And no artist wants to make it.

 Of course I have my excuses. Who wouldn't after showing such a long display of inconsistency, and apparent lack of discipline and commitment? The surprising thing is that the break was calculated and intentional. And my excuses all dealt with various levels of domesticity. (Closing my studio downtown and building a house being the major directing forces of that decision.) 

In preparing for SQUARED I had a difficult problem to work through: atrophy. I knew I would not be painting for just under a year and I tried to prepare emotionally for it. But really, how do you do that? The longer you are away the harder it is to return. I decided to push through fear in the studio and focus on the very scenes of domestic life that take me from painting. I love both facets of my life and it seemed natural to integrate them. My intent is not to create nostalgic tomes of motherhood. Nor is it to idealize or glorify my role in the home. Rather, to provide an intimate glimpse of my personal life. Some scenes require self-portrayal; others are simply familiar scenes of my daily dealings. I believe I land somewhere in the middle of “challenging concepts with innovative use of materials” and “pretty pictures”. My challenging concept is happiness in the home, and choosing to see a beautiful life amid the mundane. And I choose it even if that means my “pictures” end up being “pretty”. 
Kitchen (SOLD)
To be featured on the cover of COUNTRY ROADS Magazine in July 2013

My husband and my children came to say hello.

At the Light
I-20 runs right through our town, and sitting at this intersection/overpass is a daily occurrence.

This is the pool where I take my children swimming.

Bottom of Corley Street
I pass these street cones every time I drive home.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

upcoming show

Photo: 250 glossy 4x6 postcards for an upcoming art show.  #nlcac #finelineprintlab #finelineartsupply

 NCLAC and Crescent City Coffee present Squared
stopped in trafficThis June, the North Central Louisiana Arts Council with Crescent City will be featuring the work of Julie Crews. 

An opening reception for the show entitled Squared will be held on Saturday, June 1st from 2-4 pm. Join us for light snacks and good company. The pieces will be on display at Crescent City through August 2013. Those interested in purchasing work from the exhibition may contact NCLAC’s Executive Director Jessica Slaughter at (318) 255-1450, or Gallery Intern Jess Van Alstyne at the reception.
Julie Crews’ new series focuses on balancing the roles of mother, wife, and artist. Each small, unique, square panel contains what would otherwise be a mundane scene of everyday life, but then becomes a quiet moment of artistic introspection and clarity.
Julie grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, and spent many years as a young adult in California. In 2007, Crews received an Associate Degree in Illustration from Brigham the bottom of CorleyYoung University, Idaho, and in 2010 she began her education again, seeking a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. In 2008, Julie had her first solo exhibit, Ruralscapes, sponsored by the Salt Lake City Public Library System, and was a featured artist in the Louisiana Public Broadcasting Art Auction in 2011. She lives and works alongside her husband and four children.

Monday, March 25, 2013

give your two ¢ents worth

Eating some breakfast this morning made me realize for about the 36th time how much I love my new house, and how badly we need curtains. Color or pattern suggestions anyone?

Friday, March 15, 2013

a couple rooms

Well, I finally did go to bed, but I made brownies first and watched a video I had been meaning to watch...and also ate some of the aforementioned brownies.

I am a bargain hunter by nature, so I'm going to share some of the great finds.
HERE IS MY SHELF. ($75, used IKEA shelf form closing store downtown)
It never ceases to amaze me what a little organization can do.

kids living/family media room
The square, blue chairs are SOOOOO comfy. ($20 each-thrift store moving sale!!!) They are down-filled, and they are on casters so they can be moved around, making the space here at the top of the stairs pretty versatile.

 homework/game/puzzle/play room
The little brown shelf here was one a neighbor (a long time ago) was getting rid of from his workshop. $$free$$. The farm table was once our kitchen table. I sawed the legs off to fit those little chairs we've had forever. Lamp: yard sale. $3.

Now, for some fun in the guest bathroom downstairs.

(Crooked picture....sorry).

 THESE BLOCKS CRACK ME UP. All this stuff, except the picture frames, which I spray painted over a year ago, came from thrift stores and a closing antique shop in town. (The picture frames hold a couple pages from a cute children's book about the seasons of the year... I chose winter.) Total price without the frames: $$less than $10.
gotta have some breakfast

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

procrastinating going to bed

My husband is in Washington D.C., and when he is gone on trips I have a really hard time going to bed. So, while I procrastinate that lonely hour, I will update a little.

This was the view from my kitchen window this morning. The Bradford pear trees are in their full spring glory. It has been rather cold at night these days and there was a good frost on the ground when we got up. I love it. The days of a fire in the fireplace are growing short. 

 The sun comes up right outside our living room window and just past the tree line is a big pond. You can see a little fog rolling off.

Two days ago, miss Mallie got her first loose tooth. Yes, TWO days ago. She worked it TOO much, TOO soon, and it caused her a great deal of pain and suffering, to the point it began to get abscessed and she could only drink milkshakes and the like yesterday. So today, I had the dentist pull it. What a traumatic first wiggly tooth! The fairy tool good care of her tonight though: A dollar bill. A bunch of loose change and a token I found to ride the carousel at the mall.

PROJECT ORGANIZE. Pretty proud of myself, I got a shelf built today! I haven't put anything ON that shelf yet, but, tomorrow is a new day. AND NIEL COMES HOME, so that puts a fire under me to have something great to show him.

And that's my update. I am done procrastinating. Good night.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

getting settled

The inside of our home is starting to take shape. Niel's mother came down to help last Tuesday and will fly home to New York tomorrow. I have chuckled on several occasions when I have told friends that my mother-in-law has come to help. Some would look at me squarely and ask, "is THAT helpful?" I get the question. So many spouses do not have a good relationship with their in-laws; I have been extremely blessed to not fall into that category.
So here is my shout out:
 I LOVE YOU MOM!! I am so glad you've come to help and we really could not have done it with out you!
Now, when the computer was set up here, the SD card reader wasn't hooked up so I've got no photos until Niel comes back from Huston.
You'll just have to wait.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

day# two

Here is a picture of a hideous couch made to not look hideous:

I woke up to this song this morning:

Day two in the countdown to ONE, and guess what? We got the certificate of occupancy TODAY!!!! We are moving! The builders were nearly dead on:  a day early. What do you think of that?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

day, hmmmm? what day is it? And where is my husband???

I absolutely CANNOT wait to show the after picture of what this couch looks like in our living room.
(I just love using cannot as one word. Mmmm.)
Come back from L.A. soon, dear.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

day # five


Took a funny picture tonight of the kids all zonked out in the back of my van with Mardi Gras beads hanging all about them. Can't figure out how to get a picture off my very UN-smart phone. I realized then that there are a lot of videos and pictures that will probably never escape that thing.

I get to look at the final invoices on the house tomorrow. Then I'm off to the banker to order the appraisal.


Friday, February 8, 2013

day # nine

A while ago a friend of mine took the baker's rack from her kitchen, and gifted it to me. She didn't like how it was installed kiddy-corner over her kitchen island, and wasn't crazy about the style. I was sure I would find a way to use it it the house, so I was happy to take it from her.
Come to find out, I did not care for the style either, so this is what I did with it:



I lost the bakers rack, cause lets face it, I'm not hanging any pots on a bakers rack, and I never saw ANYBODY hanging a rolling pin or a cookie sheet from one. Painted it green and got a new silver chain for it. Mikey, pretty much the coolest electrician I know, showed me how to separate the chain links without mangling them. I used vice grips. His tip: Don't use vice grips. He was right, there are better tools out there.
The rim is a bunch of different map pieces of places we've lived. (I may or may not keep it on there. I am having adhesive issues, and don't want to tape the outside.)

Carpet is in but they have to come back and fix a hideous seam.

We'll be getting the Certificate of Occupancy NEXT WEEK!!!!
(Niel will be in LA and I'm gonna see what kind of magic 
I can work while he is away.)

Lamar Hancock: the best contractor EVER!

Now, who wants to come out and help me clean this beast out, and save me $400?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

day# 11

The sun is hiding again.
Got a rejection letter today, but the Masur Museum will hear from me again next year.

Nan got tall all of a sudden. She gonna cook me some dinners! That makes me feel better.

Monday, February 4, 2013

day # thirteen

I don't know how many times I have heard my father say, A project takes the time allotted." And so, in true form, I attest it took me three weeks and two hours to take my Christmas tree down.
With that being said, I am giving myself a deadline: the kitchen chairs I have been wanting to re-do are going to be done by 2 pm today. Once they are finished, I think I can say they took me five months and four hours to finish.

Thank you, Joshua Chambers. I discovered the link to the online catalog of the show we were included in on your blog:

 Louisiana Purchase
National Biennial Juried Exhibition
January 15 – February 19, 2013

Excerpt from text:

"Louisiana Purchase is the School of Art’s second national juried exhibition. This 
is a multi-media show for two and three dimensional works exploring any theme. 
The School of Art received over 165 submissions for a total of over 800 artworks, 
many of which were from our region. The overwhelming response reflects a 
continued commitment and passion for the arts in our communities. We hope that 
the exhibition not only highlights regional artists, but also exposes all of us to 
contemporary works created around the country.
After a difficult deliberation, juror Dr. Paul Manoguerra chose 49 artists to share 
their work in the exhibition. The School of Art would like to thank all of the 
artists that submitted to the show and encourage all to apply again in 2015."

The following two paintings were included:

Sunday, February 3, 2013

day # fourteen

Day #14, counting down to the proposed finish date of our new crash pad.

An updated list for you list-checkers out there:

Get gas turned on at Corley Street: UPDATE: MONDAY
re-cover dining chairs
go through the "game" closet that has become an unsatisfactory filling cabinet over the last four years (yikes!)
make my "MAP" hanging pendant light to go over the bar (pics on that later)
take Simon to speech therapy
empty out the storage unit
take outdoor bench to Corley
figure out what in the world I am going to make for dinner ordered pizza for the kids, got a babysitter 

                                                                                         and went out on a date with my sweetie
go grocery shopping
fold AND PUT AWAY the laundry
have a dance party in the living room with Simon and Wesley
make posters for my Relief Society event

go to post office
get oil changed
pay the beaver trapper (that's right, some people have bug guys, we have a beaver guy)
get dressed (maybe this should be closer to the top of the list)
find babysitters for our trip to LA (Valentine's week)

             Update: NOT going to LA with Niel
                    going to stick it out here and see what I get done in the way of packing and etc.
                                          (AND holding out for a shorter trip to D.C. in March!)
get the file cabinet off the carport
put up the new mailbox GOT IT SET IN THE CEMENT, THEN IT GOT TOO DARK....
hang pegboards in shop
paint tool outlines on the pegboard

So what did YOU do?

Friday, February 1, 2013

sweet sixteen and paying the beaver guy

I have learned two things:

You can't stretch carpet in cold weather.
And running an industrial size electric heater for over month straight will cause one's electric bill to rise significantly. (We are talking from $23 to over 500.)

I am wheeling away at the computer just now this morning, listening to Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros trying to decide what of all the one million things I need to do 
will actually get done. Here's to you Christie Wild, I am going to make a list. (Be not confused however, this is a
partial list of the one million things, not what is going to get accomplished today.)

Get gas turned on at Corley Street
re-cover dining chairs
go through the "game" closet that has become an unsatisfactory filling cabinet over the last four years (yikes!)
make my "MAP" hanging pendant light to go over the bar (pics on that later)
take Simon to speech therapy
empty out the storage unit
take outdoor bench to Corley
figure out what in the world I am going to make for dinner
go grocery shopping
fold AND PUT AWAY the laundry
have a dance party in the living room with Simon and Wesley
make a poster for my Relief Society event
balance the checkbook
blog a post

I haven't had any caffeine or sugar for almost a week now...looking at my list... Hmmm?

go to post office
get oil changed
pay the beaver trapper (that's right, some people have bug guys, we have a beaver guy)
get dressed (maybe this should be closer to the top of the list)
find babysitters for our trip to LA (Valentine's week)
get the file cabinet off the carport
put up the new mailbox
hang pegboards in shop
paint tool outlines on the pegboard

Like I said, this is a partial list.
Oh yeah, and pack.

 That's right, they look sweet, but we prefer trees. I guess you gotta choose which one you're gonna hug.