Follow Me On Twitter Join My Facebook Fan Page Pin Me Follow Me On Google+ Watch Me on Vimeo

a painting start to finish

TITLE: With You, I am Warm. Prints available in my etsy shop.
lately i’ve found that documenting my painting process reminds me that it’s never easy. it’s been a really helpful thing for me to remember whenever i’m stuck with a piece. because whenever i paint, i always end up at that place where i feel like i can’t do it and that i’ll never create anything new. but i’ve learned if i just stop trying and connect with what i’m feeling, i’ll push through and uncover the beauty.
if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know i don’t start out with a plan, just a feeling. and that’s what i try to paint. 
so for this painting, my intention was to express the joy and ease i felt playing in my backyard between the ash trees as a child. i wanted my owl to resemble the carved wood statue i had growing up. and i had this vision of endless blue-green with cadmium red tulips.
so that’s what i started to paint. but i wasn’t happy with the way those red tulips floated in midair.
 i tried painting white stems on them, but that turned into me spreading the white out all across the canvas. and here i was trying to give the owl dark, round eyes like the carved wood statue, but that all resulted in this weird spiked owl.
i knew it was weird as i painted it, but i operate with the philosophy that you have to just go with what’s inside of you and trying to get out. so, i kept on painting what i felt.
but i knew i didn’t like what i was seeing in that face. and so i covered it up. and this was the part where i felt like i had no idea what i was doing.
so i painted over all the parts i really disliked, leaving what i did like and filling back in the blue-green i so desired to see on canvas.
i didn’t know what to do next. whenever i get this feeling, i ask myself, “am i still having fun?” and i realized i was totally set on the end result of having a beautiful painting rather than enjoying my process. 
so i took a break. and when i came back, i got out my stencils and played.
i don’t know if you can see the difference here, but to me, there’s such a different energy! i gave up my attachment to making something perfect and beautiful and i just started playing with paint! whenever that happens, something beautiful seems to arise.
and that’s when i started to find my owl. i got out my pastels and started drawing. i went ahead and just put this big bold red stroke down for no reason. and i found that lovely scalloped blue edge along the top-and i went with it!
i was so busy painting and being totally into it all that i stopped documenting my process. you can tell the eyes and wings are different here too.
once i was in love with my owl, i knew it and the background needed to come together by repeating some of the existing colors and patterns. 
so i added some more origami paper in the sky to match the circle in the belly and more blue stencils to the sky. i also repeated the yellow from the background in a bold collar under her chin and added charcoal lines to mirror those above the owl’s eyes.
TITLE: With You, I am Warm. Prints available in my etsy shop.
to keep all of the pastel in place, i apply a coat of spray on fixative. once it’s dried, i add my top coat-a vintage decoupage that really brings out the colors and gives the painting a real sense of warmth and beauty.


  1. Wow..thanks for sharing the process…The outcome is wonderful…Your Owls are devine…!

  2. love seeing your process, really fun, and it really is just like that for me too!! xo

  3. I love seeing paintings in progress. I love how freely you paint over things that you don't like. I am not good at doing that at all. But seeing how wonderful it turns out, I need to just “erase” the things that I don't like and try again.

    Thank you for sharing your process.

  4. Love your owl and I like seeing the process. Whnever I paint, it always ends up much differently from what it looked like in the beginning–adding different layers of colors until it feels right!!

  5. wow- what a very interesting post today! i love getting to see how art is created, and how much experimentation and change goes on during the process!

  6. Well that was great! I really LOVED seeing your process!! SO inspiring. My son and I both agree your paintings have wonderful depth and richness. My son is 13, he loves art. He's one of those part jock part art boys. Very rare. 🙂 Anyway thanks for sharing!!

  7. Oh wow, I love seeing your process…it's so interesting how much it changes…I wish I could work this freely…it turned out beautifully and I love that you pushed through, cause your right I guess most of us hit that wall in almost every piece don't we, ha ha…your owls are a delight and it's an honour to see one in progress, thanks for sharing Juliette. XO.

  8. Hello Juliette (^_^)

    Wow, such an interesting post you have here! Thanks for sharing your working process, and with a marvelous end result too! I do love the textures you put in and definitely your expressive brushstrokes. 🙂

  9. I really love reading about your process Juliette. I have those “I can't” moments with each piece I make too, and you're right, connecting with the love of the process is the way forward. I could really see the energy shift between when you stepped away and when you came back. You're work is beautiful and I can't wait to buy an original from you one day.

  10. I love hearing about the creative process of artists but to see it unfold visually is wonderful – thank you for including us!

  11. I sooo admire how you trust that feeling and keep going until you have in paint what you feel in your heart…very courageous. I so LOVE your art! 🙂

  12. what a fabulous post….i love watching your process and i love how you work through it to get to such an amazing end result.

    i always go back to what i learned in a class i took from kelly rae….she mentioned how many times a painting will come to an “ugly phase” and we just need to believe and work through it.

    the warmth of this sweet painting speaks so loudly!!!

    you are such a talent

  13. So great to see your painting evolve and change and be wonderfully finished. SO beautiful. xx

  14. Thank you for sharing your painting process….it takes courage to erase what you start, especially when you have an ending in mind. When you let go of the end result – beautiful things happen! Love your owls and your colors.

  15. This is so cool!!! Wow I'm impressed & I am obsessed with Owls 🙂

  16. Loved seeing your process….interesting how a piece evolves!

  17. So many transformations. This post was fascinating.

  18. I thought the first layer (white owl) looked pretty good until I scrolled slowly down to the finished owl. Absolutely stunning.

  19. Wow, thank you for sharing.

  20. This is amazing and so generous of you to share the process.
    Your art is sooooooooo delightful!

  21. Thank you so much for your kindness! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed seeing the process 

    Best wishes!

  22. Wicked cool – I've just started making art and I love seeing the different phases that lead to an end creation. Your end product is so much richer now that I can see a little bit of how you got there. Thanks for being so open!

  23. that's so nice to hear…thanks, katheen! have fun with creating your art!!!

  24. this is gorgeous! thank you for sharing your process; i loved following along. 🙂

Leave a comment... I would love to hear from you!