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.
out of lines 2 out of lines 1

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!
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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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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.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Yes, it may be common….but it is TRUE!  Since I was 7 years old, I knew that I wanted to be an artist.  Truly, how many people say that as a child, and live out their dream as an adult?  I would find anything I could to create something out of nothing and that still continues today. I am a self-taught artist, and as my career has grown so has my art.  I started out painting in watercolors, where my subject matter was landscapes and European street scenes.   And yes, it made me CRAZY!  I finally picked up a palette knife, a few textural elements and my life changed.

UrbaniteUrbanite 48×48 Acrylic & Mixed Media

 

changesChanges 15×60 Acrylic & Mixed Media 

blendzBlendz 24×24 Acrylic & Mixed Media