I am a self- taught artist

Julie Havel Abstract ArtistI do have a college degree, but did not study art.  I took a few art classes at the University of Arizona, but did not pursue a degree in Fine Art.  The reason?  My parents told me that I could never make a living as an artist.

Here I am today…15 years later as a full-time artist.  Just know that you can accomplish anything if you believe in yourself & your goals.

I did grow up painting, drawing and creating, and had an amazing elementary school art teacher.  When I went to high school I had a fabulous art teacher as well.  In college, I only took about 4 art classes before I decided to give up.  I waited another 10 years before I picked up a brush again.  Yes, I did grow up with amazing influences artistically, but I still do consider myself as a self-taught artist.

People often say to me that they can’t even draw a stick figure.  Honestly…. Who cares?  In my world of Abstract, you don’t need to know how to draw a stick figure.  Just let yourself go, and know that there is no “right or wrong” when it comes to creating art.  This is my philosophy, as Abstract art allows me to create just about anything that I choose.

Just remember to HAVE FUN…LET GO… AND CREATE!

Color OUTSIDE the lines.

This is definitely my theory when I create.  It is also something that I tell my children repeatedly when they too create.  Life is so rigid, we follow and obey rules.  Who said that creating has to have rules?How many times did you hear as a child, “Stay inside the lines?”  For me, it was probably hundreds.  What the hell for?  So the colors didn’t blend?  So that you could streamline yourself to fit into the mold of being a child who could color inside of the lines well?  It is our innate ability to create what comes from our hearts, not to use guidelines and rules of how one should create. 

So take those paints, have them blend together, flow this way & that, add some water, spread it around with palette knives & see what beautiful creations come about.  To have no rules about creating opens your mind to a space that is infinite with possibilities.  Why limit yourself to brushes?  Grab a few palette knives, some rollers, papertowels, trowels, whatever you can find to apply the layers.  I can’t tell you how many amazing “happy accidents” happen in this free form of flow.  I even get so caught up in the moment, that I truly forget how and what the process was for any individual painting. 

For 12 years now, I still paint with a 3 inch palette knife.  It is AWESOME.  Often times, the paint gets so thick on it, that I have to peel back the layers.  It is so fun to see the back side of blended colors from the paintings that it was used to create.  Layer upon layer of paint creates its own entity.

So make it a point this week, or in the near future to get outside the lines….see what magic takes place!

Have some fun…let go of boundaries….get dirty & create something you love.

My beautiful palette knife that has seen oh so many creations come to life.
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My 5 lb apron, that has about 10 layers of paint, sand, gel mediums and varnish is a bit of art in and of itself!
out of lines 4 out of lines 3

I am ready for a change. Okay, I said it.

I have worked in my home for my entire artistic career.  I am now at an interesting juncture with my work, and amJulie Havel Studio
ready to take it to a new level of exploration.  I have been pondering getting a studio space for the past few months, and am opening myself up to this new realm.  I know that it may not seem like a big deal to others, but for me it really is.

I have been thinking quite a bit about what having my own space might mean to me, and what I desire.  I will admit I really love my solitude.  I love to listen to what I want, when I want.  I love to create what I want, when I want & love to have my own space.

I dream of large windows with beautiful natural light, high vaulted ceilings, a wonderful view & a fabulous outdoor patio where I can meditate, practice yoga or read for inspiration.  A studio where I can create large scale artwork, say 10ft x 10ft paintings. How wonderful would that be?  This is my intention, my manifestation & my dream.

With that said, I have been considering getting a studio in the middle of nowhere…maybe a renovated warehouse etc…. Being in my own space with no one around….sounds very blissful to me.

Then there is the flip side of the coin.  I also have a desire to be around other creative beings.  On the road, I do love the vibe of having my artist friends around to chat about the ups and downs of being an artist.  We lean on each other in good and bad, & the comradery is wonderful.  I wonder if I would like an artist loft style space, with other artists sharing ideas, thoughts and creations.  Where would a space like this lead me?

So… where do I go from here?  Well, I have begun my search, and I believe that the Universe will bring me what I desire.  I am learning to give up the control of this situation & know that it will all work out in the end.  I am very excited for this new path in front of me, and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

As I tell my two kiddos every day before they go to school… “Expect Great Things”… words that I myself could live by.

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

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