Fall in love with Art.

I always share this sentence with potential clients, and viewers of my work.  No, you don’t have to know the ” how’s” and the “why’s” of any piece of artwork.  All that you truly need to know is that you have fallen in love with it.  Sometimes art collectors fall in love with works because of meeting the artist & learning about the process of the painting, as well as what the inspiration was.  I am here to tell you though, that with me, not every single painting has a story.  As I have said before, I am guided with my artwork and sometimes just have no explanation as to how it comes together. 

When purchasing artwork, trust your gut and your heart (not always your designer).  You are the one who has to live with the artwork, not them.  Artwork should speak to you, it should inspire you, and every time you look at it, you should fall in love again and again.

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What is Mixed Media Artwork?

I am asked this question hundreds of times per year.  Many people really have no idea what mixed media is.  I am here to clear up any confusion & to clarify what I choose to incorporate into my artwork.  By definition, in visual art mixed media refers to an artwork in the making of which more than one medium has been used.  Mixed Media is also basically defined as using any materials other than paint.

My base medium for all of my paintings is Acrylic paint.  I then “build” each painting incorporating a multitude of mixed media elements.  My mixed media elements include textiles, handmade papers, glass beads, opaque flakes, threads, sand, crushed leaves, oil pastels, and graphite to name a few.  I incorporate these components within all 6 layers of my paintings.  6 layers?  Yes… 6 layers, and sometimes even more. Along with the mixed media, I also include about 8 different paint mediums into my works.  My paint mediums include gel mediums, pouring mediums, modeling pastes, self- leveling gels and many more.  Mmmmmmm….it is so scrumptious! 

I am admittedly a tactile addict.  Okay, I said it.  I thrive on textures and the sense of materials that have a variety of compositions.  Take me into a store, whether it is a clothing store, or an art supply store, I have to touch everything!  Who doesn’t want to touch beautiful luxurious fabrics, or the gel mediums that go into a creation. This is why I incorporate mixed media of all varieties into my paintings.  And, if you see my artwork, I invite you to touch it.  It gives the art life, and gives the viewer a connection to my paintings. 

Patrons often say to me “It looks like you have a lot of fun.” My response is ALWAYS, “I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t have fun.”  I hope you enjoy my work as much as I have enjoyed creating it.

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“What inspires you?”

I am probably asked this question hundreds of times a year.  For me, this is one of the toughest questions to answer.  It is also one of the most challenging things to describe.abstract julie havel

I believe that inspiration comes from two places.  The first is from the physical, and what the eye can see.  Nature is definitely the biggest physical influence.  Sometimes it is the greens, orange and yellow tones from leaves on a tree or the vast openness of the light blue sky, or the tranquil deep ocean and all of the mysteries that it holds. When I look at our beautiful world, I am very deeply impacted by texture and patterns.   I suppose this is the reason that I am so attracted to two dimensional mixed media.  When I see an inspiring pattern in nature, I try to recreate that pattern and texture using mixed media.  This physical inspiration comes in what I describe as “flashes” to me.  These “flashes” are images that come to my mind along with what the inspiration was. It will happen, and within seconds it is gone.  Since it happens so quickly, it is sometimes difficult to recall.  I really have to sit to connect with it, and to write down what I have experienced at that moment & how I could transform this “flash” idea into a painting.  These moments don’t happen all too often, but when they do, I get butterflies in my stomach & get very excited to begin creating.  There is so much more to describe this, but I truly can’t put it in words.  Ask any artist, and I believe they would tell you the same.

The second type of inspiration comes from the world that we cannot see.  I have spoken before about my creative guides, and I believe that they flow through me when I paint.  I call this inspiration, because I am putting to canvas, what I have no words to explain.  I cannot describe why I put a certain color in a particular painting, in a particular place.  I am only guided to do so.  My guides work through me, and I am solely a conduit in this physical world in which they can work.  Having this unknown force flowing through me is incredibly inspiring. 

“Abstract” 36×36 Acrylic & Mixed Media  #JulieHavelArt #ContemporaryArt #Decor

The word transformation can take on different meanings for many people.

Whether it is a life or work transformation, it is usually drastic even though it does take small steps to achieve it.  In addition, I believe that transformation is an ongoing process, never to really find a means to an end, but to keep the possibilities of discovery open to all beings.

Transformation within my world of creativity takes on a multitude of meanings.  From day one as a “professional artist” my work has transformed on a daily basis.  From landscapes, street scenes, houses on hills, to Rothko inspired color blocks, my work is always changing.  Not only from what the physical eye can see, but flowing into the actual painting process. 

I truly have my guides to thank for this, as I have had no professional training as an artist working in many techniques.  It just happens…yes, that is my explanation.  It just happens…..  And yes, I do believe that a lot of the changes in technique as well as style are “happy accidents”.  How much fun is that?  I make a mistake while working, and it ends up being one of the greatest elements of my artistic journey. 

When I look back at what I have created over the past 15 years, it makes me smile.  Yes, I do look back at some paintings that I have done and say to myself “what was I thinking?” I need to remind myself that my art represents where I was at any specific time in my career and life.  I just can’t imagine as an artist, creating the same style /technique all of the time.  I definitely know that I get bored creating the same thing time after time.  Even though no two paintings are exactly alike, even working in the same palette can get a bit dull for me. 

I thrive on the excitement of discovering a new way to paint, a new inspired look and how that makes me feel.  When I am in one of these states of blissful creating, I will often look with excitement at my creations morning, noon and night. I don’t know of many jobs where people have the pleasure of doing that. I am so thrilled for the future of my paintings, career and life, and can only imagine what transformations will take place along my path.

Influences in childhood, shape who we are as adults.

As we grow and change it is our choice to accept these influences. At least this is what I believe.  Who influenced me as a child…in regards to Art?  Truthfully, it was a combination of individuals.

My first influence was grandmother.  She was always making ceramic figurines.  I even remember her kiln in her basement & loved to watch her create.  That creative gene was passed down to my mother who was also an amateur artist.  I remember when I was very young, she would sit at her easel & create beautiful landscape paintings, as I would sit on the floor next to her and paint as well. 

I also had two amazing art teachers all through grade school and high school.  It was such a beautiful thing to have supportive teachers that accepted a child’s imagination, opening up worlds of possibilities. 

Lastly, in grade school, I had a pal in crime.  She was a beautiful soul who was insanely creative.  We would sit and draw together, paint together & create something out of nothing.  We went to art camp in the summers, and were always known in school as being the “creative ones”.  She was my soul sister and artistic partner. She is no longer in this world, but I do feel that she is often with me when I am creating. She was a wonderful influence on me & I hope to live out this dream for both of us.

“Imagine” 36×36 Available for purchase. #JulieHavel #MixedMediaArt #AbstractArt #Art #CreateArt #ContemporaryArt

Imagine Julie Havel

Did I major in Art in College?

Not even close.  Although I did take a few art classes at The University of Arizona (Go Wildcats!) it was not my major.  I majored in Early Childhood Development.  This took me through a gamut of jobs not even related.  Okay, I’ll just throw it out there.  Flight Attendant, Major League Baseball, Sales Director,  Colorado Manager a large Marketing Firm & again at an Advertising Firm.   ALL of us have been there.  When you had a JOB, not a CAREER.  I knew in my heart of hearts that being an artist was still down deep inside & at some point taking that leap would happen.  I just wasn’t sure when it would happen.  Yes, I have a career now… not a job.  Although I don’t even know that I consider it a career.  I consider myself to be one of the “lucky” ones to have known my passion since a very early age.  I am blessed an honored to call myself an artist.  I wouldn’t be where I am today, had it not been for all of the ups and downs with my past jobs.  Stages of life have helped me to grow into the creative being that I am now.  I am simply a conduit, and am one of the chosen ones to be able to portray that onto a canvas.

Acrylic & Mixed Media on Gallery Wrapped Canvas

Acrylic & Mixed Media on Gallery Wrapped CanvasIn my past I have created with so many different mediums, but have landed safely in a zone where I am superbly comfortable.  Acrylics….AHHHH…. They definitely have their own personality.  And don’t forget the Mixed Media, where possibilities are truly endless.  A few of the elements that I include are crushed leaves, handmade papers, textiles…just to name a few.  Not to mention about 15 different mediums that definitely let you know their personalities.  Personalities of paint?  Whaaat? 

Yes, I believe…in fact I know… that paint & mediums have beautiful bursting personalities if you learn how to deal with them.  Trial and error have gotten me into the operating systems of paint.  If it is an unhappy day, they may yellow, they may crack, they may run off of the canvas or the ultimate… bubble.  They are very tempremental.  But, if you treat them with love, they can be fantastic, beautiful and inspiring.  It is a dance that comes with discovery.  A discovery that I am still in awe of and search for every day.