Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Donut Holes

Donut Holes                   5 x 5 inch oil

No donut painting series can be complete without donut holes...  At first, painting the glaze of icing on these and the other glazed donuts seemed daunting, but when it came down to it was pretty simple.  The secret is to just paint thinly and only in areas where the glaze was thickest.

Purple, With Sprinkles

Purple, With Sprinkles                  5 x 5 inches

Donut 5 seemed so out of place at the donut counter--all pastel and purply in the midst of the Christmas reds and greens.  All "Island of Misfit Toys" like...I had to claim her!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Boston Creme

Boston Creme                            5 x 5 in., oil

The Boston Creme.   Chocolate.  Custard.   Need I say more?

I loved painting the warm browns and highlights of the chocolate frosting.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Jelly Donut

Jelly Donut, oil, 5 x 5 inches

Donut number 3 in the series is a jelly donut.  Looks delicious doesn't it?  Well, let me tell you, it tasted even better than it looks!  5 x 5" may seem like an odd size, but both Hobby Lobby and Aaron Brothers sell 5 x 5" frames.

Click here to bid 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

White Icing

"White Icing," 5x5 inches         oil

I'm rolling out the donuts starting this week, so be on the look out for your personal favorite!  These will be great gifts for the donut lovers that you know and also look great framed in sets for yourself.  I have a baker's dozen, and today's offering is a classic white iced donut!  Bidding starts at $30, so don't miss out!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Win a Painting!

A Pretty Good Pear       6x6 inch oil                $125

Visit me this weekend on the 10th Annual Pikes Peak Studio Tour and register to win "A Pretty Good Pear."  Tour my home studio and choose from a large selection of my paintings for yourself or for holiday gift giving.  This year, I'm offering just a few 2013 desk calendars for sale.  And don't forget, I have all those donuts I talked about.  First come, first served!

Mostly, I'd just love to see you and chat in my home studio!  Look me up on the map; I'm Studio 14.

For more information on the tour hours, and a map, visit

If you have any questions, contact me at

Love to All,  Julie

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Old Fashion, Glazed

Old Fashion,  Glazed         6 x 6 inches, oil

In preparation for the Pikes Peak Studio Tour, I set out to paint some small, very affordable paintings,  5 x 5" in size.  Who knows why, but I decided to start with a donut.  One thing led to another, and I ended up painting a dozen donuts and a cup of coffee.  Powdered sugar, chocolate covered, jelly-filled, sprinkled, boston creme....  They're charming on their own and will be great displayed in groupings.  This Old Fashion Donut I painted expressly to auction on Daily Paintworks, so it is the traditional 6 x 6".  

I'm dying to show you all of them, but am keeping them under wraps for the tour.  Your first chance to see them will be at the First Friday ArtWalk in Old Colorado City.  Did I paint your favorite donut?  Come see on November 2nd.

In hopes of preserving my figure, I'm now turning my attention to painting inedible things...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Cosmopolitan                                   9 x 12" Oil  

I've had this photo of my daughter Audrey for two years now, and finally decided to tackle it.  The style's a bit different for me, and I took some liberties with the photo, adding a background, changing her scarf color and dressing her up with some jewelry (including that big rock on her finger).  I had so much fun painting it that I'm planning to do some more portraits in like this if I can find some suitable subjects in my reference photos (or get my daughter to model for me again).

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I See London

"I See London..."     8 x 10" oil         $250 unframed

If you don't know this already, it's probably time that you found out.  I get "wild hairs", and I get them pretty frequently.  I just get an overwhelming impulse to paint something out of the ordinary, just as I did with this painting.  It's actually leading me to paint a series called "The Unmentionables."

 Here's number two in the series:

"Line Dancing"      14  x 11" oil    $350 unframed

You may have noticed that I've been specifying the unframed price on my work.  This is because my online sales are mostly made to people outside of my area who need the painting shipped to them.  I'm always happy to help you  choose a complementary frame at very reasonable prices.

I've been painting up a storm and have quite a few new pieces to show you in the upcoming weeks!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bottoms Up!

"Bottoms Up!"        6 x 6" oil on panel

This little painting was inspired by the Daily Paintworks challenge to paint an egg--out of its shell.  I loved painting this shot glass, so don't be surprised if you see more of it!

Visit My Website

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Aspen Grove

Aspen Grove, oil on solid oak panel                           $180

I tried two new things on this panel.  First, I hadn't yet attempted painting aspens in oil and second, I painted it on a solid oak panel.  The painting is in the center of the panel, and the carved wood around it creates a wide frame.  This required me to paint and finish the "frame," and so I've learned a whole new skill set.  Sanding, masking, painting,  bringing out the color with steel wool, burnishing with rottenstone, more burnishing, more masking, gessoing, waxing to bring out a warm glow...and then I paint the painting!  Below, you'll see the finished result.

I've been occupied with preparing for several shows lately, and will now have time to post the new pieces starting this week.  My biggest event of the year is fast approaching:  The 2012 Pikes Peak Studio Tour here in Colorado Springs.  I'll be opening my home studio November 10 and November 11 for people to visit and view all of my art, cards and prints in one place.  I'll have both framed and unframed originals and hopefully something for everyone's budget.  Put it on your calendar now if you're interested.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Double Barrels

"Double Barrels"                      6x6 inch oil on canvas panel

I have a collection of vintage items from the 1950's:  lipsticks, dishes, toys, cat eye glasses, compacts, high heels, lamps, coffee pots.....I'm a sucker for all things retro!  So, when I walked into Retrospect Dry Goods in Monument, CO, I was in heaven.  The owner, Lisa, offered to host a one evening show of my work that featured vintage items, so I'm working on some new paintings  that will complement the themes of her store.  You can see these new works in person on Thursday, September 20th from 5 to 8 pm during Monument's Art Hop.  Retrospect Dry Goods is located on Front Street, just behind The Coffee Cup restaurant.  I'm now turning my thoughts toward a retro outfit to wear!

Don't forget that I'm giving away a small painting this month to one of the lucky subscribers of my blog!  Just enter your email in the "Enter you email address" box on the upper right of this page.

Visit my Website:

Monday, September 10, 2012

60 Watts

60 Watts                         6 x 6 inch oil on canvas panel

Click to Bid

One morning last week, I put a white light bulb on a white background and immediately realized that the challenge for me would be to keep the light colors dark enough for the white highlight to pop out.  Also, it was my first attempt to put writing on an object.  The trick was to make the bulb information recognizable, but not legible.

Contact me with questions at
Vist my website:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"The Girls"

"The Girls"                        12 x 16 oil on hardboard panel

Bibi and Madeline are referred to as "The Girls" by their loving owners.  One of them is quiet and reserved, and the other is outgoing and energetic.  Can you guess which description fits which dog?  

This portrait was commissioned by the dogs owners.  If you would be interested in having your own pet, (or perhaps someone else's pet as a memorable holiday gift) please contact me at  Portraits start as low as $100.  You can see more of my animal paintings on my website.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Grateful Bouquet

Grateful Bouquet                6 x 6 inch oil on stretched canvas

This month, I'm giving away the small painting pictured above!  If you are already subscribed to my blog,   you're automatically entered for a chance to win it.  If you haven't already subscribed, just go to the top of the sidebar on the right and enter your email address. 
That's it!  

On September 30th, I'll have my handsome husband (David) pull a name out of a hat and I'll announce the winner here in a blog post that should arrive in your inbox no later than October 1.  I will actually post the email address of the winner, as that is the only record I have of my subscribers.  Since I object to having my personal address posted online due to the spam it generates, I'll only post the part of your address that come before the "@"  and leave off your email provider.  

Good luck!

Questions?  Email me

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer's Warmth

Summer's Warmth          6 x 6 inch oil on canvas panel

Long, hot summers....I soak them up knowing that winter comes quickly.  I like to think that I can store summer's warmth in my bones to summon up on cold winter days.

Sunflowers, and now Rudebekia, continue to entertain me and I'm having fun exploring different ways of painting them.  Now that the stores are no longer selling sunflowers,  I've purchased some gallon plants to model for me in the sun.  I have photos to continue working from, but have noticed that the subjects that I paint from life are so much more expressive.

I'd love for you to sign up to have my blog posts sent directly to your email inbox.  Sometime in September, I plan to give away a small painting to someone on my subscriber list!

Contact me at or by commenting below.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Indian Summer"

Looking at this painting,  I feel the weight of late summer heat on a still day and hear lazy, buzzing bees and chirruping cicadas.   Ahhhhh....where's my iced tea?

While sunflowers are tall and narrow, I put this blossom in a short, wide format because it communicates the calm, drowsy mood and the weight of the flower's heavy head. The composition I chose is unusual, but I really like it.

"Indian Summer" is a 6" x 12" oil on canvas panel.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Glamour Girls

Glamour Girls, 6 x 8 inch oil on panel                   $95, unframed

I'm really enjoying painting sunflowers--each piece seems to unfold with an energy that's all its own.  I need to take a break from them temporarily to complete a couple of commissions and to prepare for a show that I have coming up in mid-September.  That show is at Retrospect, a store featuring nostalgic items from the 50's and 60's in Monument, CO.  I'll be creating works featuring some of the retro pieces in my still life collection and expect to have a lot of fun with it!

This painting is now being auctioned on Daily Paintworks with an opening bid of only $39.    I'm new to the auction game, and still building a following, so right now, the auctions are a great opportunity for you to own my work at very low prices.  Until there is a bid on "Glamour Girls," I offer a "Buy it now" option in case you'd like to insure that this painting will be hanging on your walls!

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sunshine Petals

Sunshine Petals                                 6 x 6 inch oil

Sunflowers are harbingers of summer, sunshine and happiness.  When you see one, you're obliged to smile!  I'm having fun with lusciously thick paint.  My painting process is a combination of brushwork, scraping and palette knife.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Joy and Happiness

Joy and Happiness                  6 x 4 inch oil

The sunflowers that I brought to the studio on Monday are holding up beautifully, especially considering the heat.  As long as they continue to pose so prettily, I'll happily keep painting them.  Today I tried a closer cropping, and really like the result.  Next, I'll paint them with a blue background in hopes that the coolness of the blue will help me ignore the air temperature!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Three Sisters in Blue

Three Sisters in Blue         6x8 oil on panel

The temperature in the studio today was in the 90's.  I can even feel the heat in the colors and haziness of this little painting.  Maybe gazing at "Three Sisters in Blue" next winter will bring back a little of that heat!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pearfect Fit

This mug fits the pear to "pearfection" and she looks so 
comfortable that I don't think she'll be leaving anytime soon! 
 "Pearfect Fit," 6x6" oil on panel.  $65 unframed, or by
 auction at my Daily Paintworks Gallery.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Sunny Face

There's nothing happier than a sunny face shining your way!  "A Sunny Face," 5 x 5 inch oil.

To bid or purchase, click here:   My Daily Paintworks Gallery

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pig in a Poke

According to the Oxford American Dictionary, "a pig in a poke" is something that is bought without seeing it first (with reference to the formerly common trick of selling a cat concealed in a bag (poke) to someone who was expecting a pig.)  It is apparently a centuries old piece of advice to unwary shoppers.  When one went off to market, they had to be certain to check the contents of the sack they were handed, less they risk being defrauded by an unscrupulous merchant.

Does this pig look unscrupulous to you?

To purchase or bid on this 6 x 6 inch oil, click here:   My Daily Paintworks Gallery


Thursday, June 21, 2012

June Meadow

June Meadow   6x8" oil                 

There is no greater painting pleasure for me than painting outdoors!  I love being out in nature with all of her sights, smells, and sounds.  This meadow with it's contrasting greens caught my eye last week.  Starting bid is only $35, or you can buy it now for $95.

Click to Bid in my Daily Paintworks Auction  Opening  bid is $35.


Buy It Now

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Cherries Are Out of The Bowl

I walked into the room too late to see what happened, but if you ask me, the pig is trying to look casual and the cherries seem dazed and confused....

8 x 8" oil on canvas panel.  To bid or purchase, click here:  My Daily Paintworks Gallery.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Striped Mug and Company

6 x 6" oil on canvas panel    

 The Impressionists hung out in a cafe, the artists in Old Colorado City hang out at Jives, a local coffee shop just beneath my studio.  While getting my coffee last week, I spied this striped mug and asked to borrow it to use in a painting.  24 hours later, I returned to the coffee shop owner, mug pressed against my cheek to say, "We're in love.  My facebook status now reads "In relationship with Striped Mug."  I MUST HAVE THIS MUG to paint for the rest of my life."  And so, after a strategic trade, the mug is now mine. Expect to see it again!

Opening bid $25  Click to bid

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

White Peony

I live in what's considered an alpine desert climate with a short growing season.  Between that and the 6 or 7 deer who hang out in my yard, my flower options are very limited.  The jewel in my garden is a white peony.  It's so gorgeous, and I'm always torn whether to cut a bouquet to bring inside, or to admire them in the yard.  This year, I selected one to bring indoors to model for me.  This 6 x 6" canvas was painted with the flower on my studio windowsill.

Click to Bid

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mr. Pepsi Head

"Mr. Pepsi Head"   6 x 8" Oil      NFS

Today's post is just for the fun of it.  I painted this for a friend with whom 
I share a Pepsi One obsession.  Every time I run across a photo of this guy, he 
makes me happy.  I'm hoping that he'll make you smile today too!  I may need
 to paint a happy couple of Mr. and Mrs. Pepsi Head for myself....

To see more of my paintings, visit my website and my Daily Paintworks gallery.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Trimmed With Sunlight

I completed this painting several weeks ago, but have held off putting it up for auction because I wanted to enjoy looking at it for awhile!  

"Trimmed With Sunlight" is a 5 x 5" oil on panel.  Auction begins tomorrow on Daily Paintworks.  If you'd like to bid on it, click here.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 5

Carol demonstrated glass today and I enjoyed painting this little jar and daisy. I loved painting glass and reflective surfaces in watercolor, but have stayed away from those subjects in oil. I think I'm ready to get back to them now though.

I highly recommend Carol's workshop to anyone who enjoys painting still life, and if you are interested, she'll be teaching a streetscape workshop in San Francisco this upcoming October. The students going will include many of my classmates here in Sedona, and I can recommend them as a great group to paint and play with.

Stop by my studio on the first Friday ArtWalk (June 1) and see in person the paintings I did this week as well as the work I do between now and then.  I'm pretty excited to get back to work tomorrow!

If you are interested in purchasing this painting, click here:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 4

I'm very happy with this strawberry painting and accomplished it on my own with only one comment from the instructor. Carol pointed out that the background strawberry on the left was blending in too closely with it's shadow, but that was an easy fix.

We did a color mixing exercise using the warm and cool primaries. Carol doesn't use the terms "warm" and "cool" though; she instead likes to talk about a color "leaning" toward red, green, blue or yellow. I talk to my students about this "leaning" when trying to explain what colors are warmer or cooler than others, but personally will probably always think in terms of warm and cool as I did when painting these strawberries. Cool reds in shadow and distance, warm reds closer and in warm light. If you look at the painting, you'll be able to distinguish reds with more blue in them and reds with more yellow.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day 3

2 paintings today, but I forgot to photograph the second one. Carol's emphasis today was on brushwork and composition. Those skills are ones that I've spent a lot of time on, so I was able to focus on painting whites. I think that I tend to paint shadows and things in shadow too colorfully, so I struggled to neutralize my colors a lot more. In the end, I may just prefer sticking with luminous shadow colors, but the other students really responded to this piece, so I'n paying attention to that...

By the way, this was a brushstroke exercise. Every single brushstroke had to be a different color. No dipping into previously mixed piles; every stroke had to be altered somewhat. Looking at the photo now, I'm happy to see that my edges are coming along.

Day 2

After thinking more about why yesterday's painting seemed so easy to paint, I realized that it was because of the canvas panels and the brushes that Carol Marine recommends. Normally, I would take my usual canvas panels and the brushes I like to a class, but a few weeks ago, I was listening to the Internet radio show "Artist's Helping Artists.". The topic was how to get the most out of a workshop, and they highly recommended using the supplies that the instructor calls for, simply because you may discover something that you really like. Well, I REALLY like the smooth canvas Raymar panels and the brush Carol recommends! I think that painting has been easier the last two days because I'm not wrestling the paint onto the canvas; there's a greater ease in application. I'm definitely switching to the Raymar panels. If anyone is interested in buying my current supply of panels, let me know!

Tuesday's focus was on values and an afternoon of 10 minute paintings.


Lately, I've felt I'd reached a plateau in my work, as though I was stagnating a bit. I knew that it was time for some new input. I've had a couple of terrific oil instructors on a regular basis, but their primary subject matters aren't still life, the subject that still appeals most to me. I've been following a painter named Carol Marine for the last six years and admire so many things about her work that her workshop was an easy choice. Easy to choose, not so easy to get into. She's an excellent instructor as well as painter, and her classes fill up rapidly. A year and a half ago, I registered for this May 2012 workshop in Sedona, Arizona, and here I finally am!

This afternoon's assignment was to paint anything that we wanted, just to give her an idea of our levels and to see how far we could get in an hour. I looked at my paint and the canvas, and decided that I'd forgotten
how to even hold the brush (I hadn't painted at all in the last two weeks and had workshop jitters.) I just had to close my eyes and go for it without thinking too much about it, otherwise I may have stood there paralyzed for the rest of the week. The resulting painting was actually a pleasant surprise. I don't think that any of my little paintings has been that effortless. Go figure...

I've come this week to learn more about color mixing, edges, and composition (as well as marketing.). After today, I've figured out that I could coast this week if I wanted to, but instead I'm going to challenge myself. I stopped at the grocery store this evening to buy a lot of white items to paint. White still stumps me, so I'll try to work on that this week. I'll try to post all of my paintings, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Forgive me if my pieces look like Carol Marine's, but I always start by trying to duplicate what the instructor is doing and then by using those skills consistently, it doesn't take long to make my own twists on technique and color.

Here's this afternoon's painting.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Africa Commission

11x14" oil on canvas

This is my newest painting from my experiences in Africa.  While in the villages, we kept our cameras in our bags unless we could ask someone for permission to photograph them.  One afternoon, we did have an hour in the market of Kwaggafontein with the freedom to photograph everyone and everything of interest to us.  The photo of this young shopkeeper was taken across the street from her with my zoom lens.  It's obvious from her posture and expression that her business didn't welcome any "monkey business."   I wanted to capture her youthful beauty and strength. 

To read a bit about my trip, and see all of the resulting paintings, please visit my blog  Painting By Heart

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Glimmer

It feels like ages since I last posted something.  I've been hard at work, but only recently am I wrapping up some "blog worthy" pieces.  I experienced a two week period where I wiped the paint off of every single canvas I touched.   It was a (thankfully) short, but very frustrating period that had me seriously doubting that I'd ever get anywhere with oils (I feel this way on a semi-regular basis!).  I took a day or two off, painted some more bad paintings, wiped them off and then suddenly had a few successes.  I have three paintings right now that are close to being finished, along with the one I'm posting today.

Sun Drenched Blossom,  5 x 5"            $75, unframed

This little painting was exciting to me for two reasons.  First, it was the first painting that I hadn't had to wipe out after 80 hours of painting and secondly, it's a glimmer of where I think I'd like to go with oils.  I love the glow and the expressive brushwork I achieved here, especially since I so often rely on extremely dark backgrounds to push the intensity of light.  In this painting it's produced by the warm petals on the cool background.

I'm looking forward to soon showing you the other paintings I mentioned!

Questions?  Contact me at

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sprinkles On Top

This week's challenge was to paint donuts.  It was pointed out that we could paint them instead of eating them.  Yea. Right.  The biggest challenge in painting these (besides not eating them until I was finished) was that the stack of donuts kept falling over.  The combination of the hot light I had focused on them and the weight of the upper donuts slowly crushing the lower donuts was evidently less than ideal donut engineering.  Did you know that when donuts topple over, they make no sound?  

This 6 x 12 inch original oil (unframed) is $175 plus shipping and applicable tax.  Don't hesitate to contact me at if you have any questions. I'd appreciate it if you'd "Like" this painting on Facebook (button below).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Still Life with Egg

It's only March, but it feels like spring here in the Rockies.  Of course, every March, Mother Nature coaxes us into believing that winter is over--the days grow warm and the trees begin budding and leafing out.  And even though anyone who has lived here anytime at all knows that it will turn cold and snowy in an instant, we all like to believe that we've seen the last of our parkas until next winter...

I'm celebrating spring today with lighter colors that reflect the season. The color of this vintage tablecloth is a perfect compliment to this blue robin's egg.  My favorite part of this painting is the dogwood petals and the multiple colors I used to paint them "white."

Buy it now price on this painting is $85 unframed.  It goes up for auction tomorrow on Daily Paintworks with a starting bid of $30.  Click on the link to my Daily Paintworks Gallery in the right sidebar of this page.

Follow me on Facebook:  Julie Kirkland Fine Art