"God's art [Creation] speaks of Himself, reflecting who He is and what He is like."
Francis Chan

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

My Very Bones ...

"My Vey Bones Cry Out, Who is Like You"  36x36 oil
           This is number three in a series of paintings based on the poetry of the book of Psalms. I have spent the past Spring and Summer contemplating these beautiful words . Often times titles of paintings come more from the things I was going through/ thinking through than what the painting actually "looks" like. For this one, it is both.  From the time I first sketched this out, from the unfurling petals to the bursting insides, this was to me, a picture of something I have felt a million times over. 
      When I don't have a paint brush in my hand, you will often find me with a mic in hand. I have been singing since my early teens, most often with a worship band. It is hard to put  into words, but many times when either painting or singing, especially when my attention is on the God who made me to do these very things - there is that incredible feeling of knowing- this is why I am here. All that I have and am and every ounce of my being is meant, not to whisper, but to cry out with a loud voice to Him. I'm not meant to hold back. My very bones are meant to shout  "who is like Him?!"
     This painting is available for purchase.  Please contact me (julskul@msn.com ) for more information.  Here are the other paintings in this series, so far...
"The Glory and the Lifter of My Head" 36x48 oil

"Why so Downcast, Oh My Soul? Put Your Hope In God" 36x48 oil

Friday, June 30, 2017

Commissioned Artwork

         I have been very fortunate this year to be asked to do several commission pieces.  When people think of commissioned art work, they often imagine it to be quite expensive, and a little bit, well, extravagant.  I have people tell me that they would love to have such- and- such painted ( a scene from a childhood memory, a special flower , etc.) but they felt that was something only rich people do.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  Art is for everyone, and most artists work with a customer to find the size of painting that will fit their budget.  Original artwork is usually an investment that appreciates with age, not to mention that art created especially for a person, is often times something wonderful to pass down to future generations.

       So how does the commission process work?  I will use an example from some work I did recently.  I had a lovely lady approach me last winter about doing one of her favorite flowers, a poppy.  She had a clear vision of what she wanted.  She liked my style, and wanted to incorporate a poppy garden in a triptych (three paneled painting).  She had very specific colors in mind, and I was thankful to have her send me some paint chips and even a piece of tissue paper she had, that showcased the colors she wanted.  We discussed sizes and prices and came to an agreement.  From that point forward I began sketching, letting her see the sketches so she would know the direction I was going.  She told me things she liked and areas she wanted to change.  I really appreciated that, because, honestly, I so want the painting to be what the customer not just likes, but loves!
       Above is the finished painting.  I would love to have been able to set them up side by side (modern technology - it does everything, except lay out three paintings side by side - ugh!).  All three pieces, although they will hang with gaps between them, are a continuation of each other.  My client came and picked it up the other day and I am happy to report that she loved it!  Can't wait to receive a picture of the paintings hanging on her wall.

This was another commission piece I did in the Spring.  It was a gift from a daughter to her mother on her 90th birthday.  Mom loved Hummingbirds and Snapdragons and bright colors.  This was a smaller painting, 9x11, and therefore very reasonably priced.  Again, during the process, lots of progress pictures were sent and changes made per request.  I had never done snapdragons before, so I found this challenging - but I love a good challenge!

  Finally, here is a work in progress that I am very excited about.  This was commissioned by someone who I have done other work for.  She knows my style and wanted to have me do a special piece for her son and daughter -in-law as a wedding gift.  This will be a painting of their wedding bouquet. ( Can I just say, that is one of the neatest ideas I have heard of in a long time!)   I am so tempted to post a photo of the actual bouquet, because it. is. gorgeous.  But I want to wait until the painting is all done and post them together.  This is a big one - 30x40, which means I am in my happy place, painting on a big canvas.  One of the things that I am most excited about, is the customer's request for me to post the whole process.  When I did previous work for her, she said she really enjoyed seeing the process.  If you would like to follow along and watch the formation of this painting, tune in to FB and watch for updates!

So what about you, have you ever considered having a commission piece done?  Maybe as a gift for someone special? Or as a rememberance of a special event or memory?  Feel free to contact me, I would love to discuss ideas and options with you!


Friday, May 26, 2017

"The Glory and the Lifter of My Head"
36x48 oil

             This Spring has been busy here in the studio, with lots of special projects going on. 
      I started and completed this big guy!  This is a 36x48 oil on wrap around                             canvas #dontfearthebigart!  I cannot even begin to describe how much I love painting on a big canvas.  It is thrilling to stand before a big canvas of white and begin to paint something bigger than life, with the hopes of making it extraordinary. 

            This painting has quite a story behind it. When began I had an image in my mind of what I wanted to convey, but not necessarily a theme or message behind it.  My time standing before a canvas with paintbrush in hand, is often spent in quiet contemplation and even prayer.  The goings on of life, both the good and the bad, are pondered in a deep way.  During the painting of this one, I had a lot on my mind and was really struggling with some situations that felt daunting.  I spent lots of time, while painting this, praying and thinking about different scriptures I have read that give me peace. 
      Fast forward to the completion of the painting.  I was happy with the way it turned out - I really felt like my heart was really out there for all to see on it.  But I had no name.  Not one idea for one!  So I posted a picture of it on my Facebook page and asked my followers to help me out.   I am so thankful for all of the answers I received!  All in all I was given 63 wonderful suggestions! It took me a while to go over all of the ideas. Many of them took paths that I hadn't expected. It was so fun to get a glimpse of the thought process viewers go through when they see your art! 
    The name, "the Glory and the Lifter of My Head"  really spoke to me. It put into words ideas I had while painting, but hadn't quite been able to convey with words myself. The title comes from the Book of Psalms and was written by David at a very difficult time in his life, when everything around him told him all was hopeless. But he chose not to believe that. Instead, he turned his eyes Heavenward and declared where his hope came from. In so many ways, that described my thoughts while I painted this- struggling to find peace in the midst of voices that screamed, all is hopeless. As I look back over my time spent before this canvas, I can see many "David" moments when I took my stand, choosing to trust in the One who gives hope. Amazing sometimes, the twists and turns a painting takes.
      This painting is for available for purchase.  You will find pricing and more information here.  If you are interested in purchasing this painting, please email me at julskul@msn.com.

Monday, March 27, 2017

My Hand in a Little Bit of Everything

     Sometimes it is all too easy to let ourselves slide into a pattern of doing the same old routine.  This holds true in life, and in art.  One thing I have tried to focus on in the past few months is keeping the creative spark going by getting out of my comfort zone and exploring new or seldom used mediums and departing a bit from my floral subject routine.  Here is a glimpse into the different activities around the studio...

WATERCOLOR - Something I started out, eons ago, doing a lot of, and had mostly set aside when I fell in love with oils.  I have rekindled a friendship with watercolor.  The thing about them, is they force me to paint looser - which is something I am constantly striving to do.  I began, a couple of months ago, to keep an watercolor journal, in which I can do quick, warm -ups that get the creative juices flowing!



My schedule this school year has my youngest taking some special classes a couple of times a week, which means precious hours for me at local coffee shops with a sketchbook before me.  Drawing is a discipline that I committed to work on this year.  It gives me opportunity to work out compositions for future paintings and explore subjects that I might not want to put the time in, at this point, to paint .  

About two years ago, I began teaching classes, both for adults and children, as well as giving private lessons.  One thing I determined, when I began teaching, was to make classes both casual and fun (in the style of the social painting classes), but I also wanted to make sure I taught techniques and that people walked away with a sense of having learned something.  
Private lessons

Mother/daughter class

Honestly, I love teaching.  I love interacting with people and seeing the light come on when they paint something they never thought they could.  I love it when I see a love for art develop in someone.  And I love how teaching art, makes grow as an artist.  Most of my classes are opened to the public.  If you would like to try you hand at painting, you can sign up for a class, here.


I feel incredibly fortunate when someone enjoys my work enough to ask me to paint something for them or for someone they love.  It is challenging to try and bring someone's vision to fruition, but so worth it!  And being challenged to paint something I might not normally, or paint it in a different color scheme or style than I might normally do, has a huge effect on my over all painting.  I am thankful to have had quite a few opportunites lately to do commission pieces.


I also began a new series of work of smaller pieces, that I am calling "Art for Everyone".  The idea came out the desire to debunk the myth that owning original artwork is one, only for hoity toity collectors (lol), or two, out of the average persons' price range.  This year I challenged myself to create four series paintings ( one for each season), that are small enough to be in a price range that anyone can afford.  This is is the first of the series, released for Valentines Day.  Each painting is 8x10 and sells for 50.00 each.  Maybe they belong on your wall?  They can be purchased here.
  It amazes me how doing something as simple as painting smaller, makes me think in a different creative way.

To see more of what I have been up to, follow me on Instagram


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