Palm Springs Photo Festival : Julie Blackmon

“[...]the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”"

Julie Blackmon is one of the mad ones.  She's kind and brilliant.  I love how her mind can create such layered stories.  I've admired her for so long and it was a dream come true to take a workshop from her.   I had wanted to take Julie's class last year and we couldn't quite fit it in the schedule.  So finally at long last I was sitting in the courtyard of the Korakia with a handful of other artists and Julie.  

Julie is a fine art portrait artist and I would say her work can best be described as a satirical look at domestic life in the midwest.  She draws inspiration from so many painters and places it was so nice to get to be in her brain and see how she creates her magic.  I hope some of her magic rubs off on me and adds a new ingredient to my creative vision.  Isn't that what we are all really looking for?  I know I'm always looking to add color, movement, a new sense of time and space to my work.  She's really inspired by 17th Century Dutch and Flemish paintings of domestic life.  My photographic journey has always been fueled by paintings as well, mostly Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism, and the Bay Area Figurative Movement. I think our shared love of paintings is one of the things that makes her work so compelling to me.  As a teacher she's laid back and cool and really open to sharing her process with us.  She has a beautiful color palette and a certain optimism that I'm drawn to. If you are thinking of taking a workshop I would highly suggest Julie's.  The class also came with the added bonus of meeting some really cool photographers.  The critiques were a lot of fun, I loved seeing everyone's work.  I left wanting to shoot every single day and not wanting to do any adulting - only fun.  If I'm honest it took me a few days to find my balance again ha ha.

 Here are a few of my impressions of Julie Blackmon's class Day 1 at the Palm Springs Photo Festival.

xoxo Suzanne

 

 

The $40,900 Question : Ashley Hizer

Ashley is a talented abstract artist living in Atlanta, Georgia. We had the pleasure of photographing her stunning wedding years ago, and her sweet personality is still shining on. When we interviewed, we found out a little bit more about her artwork, what inspires her, and what she would do with $40,900. Check out her website here to view her beautiful work.1. When did you decide you wanted to be a painter?

A: I started making art as a young girl – I’ve naturally always been creating in some form, but I started dabbling in abstract art a few years ago as time allowed, then decided to go full-time the fall of 2013. It’s been one of the most rewarding decisions!

2. What has been inspiring you lately?

A: Life itself inspires me. My husband and marriage, music, surroundings new and familiar (travels, my hometown, San Diego, and where I live, Georgia), architecture, nature, style, other art, the list goes on.

3. What medium do you prefer to do your work in?

A: I mostly work with acrylic paint followed by oils, and just lately I have been adding hints of charcoal, graphite and pastels. I love mixing it up and overlapping textures and colors.

4. Is there a specific color palette that you have been loving lately?

A: I tend to evolve with the seasons, so I’ve been particularly drawn to bright colors and pastel hues. Lots of blues and turquoises, pinks, greens, and peaches.

5. Do you enjoy listening to music or background noise when you work, or do you prefer

the quiet?

A: Music and painting go hand in hand for me. I cannot create without a soundtrack to accompany the process. I’ll often adjust the playlist based on my mood that day, which often impacts my art – lyrics, rhythms, melodies, and all.

6. What do you do to unwind and recharge?

A: I love to go on walks or runs with my husband and Goldendoodle, explore new places, read, listen to music, and eat delicious food.

7. What summer activity have you been enjoying?

A: My husband and I just moved to a neighborhood that has a pool, which I cannot get enough of. I do not know how I survived the humid Georgia summers before!

8. Do you have any advice for aspiring painters who wish to sell their work?

A: I encourage them to go for it, and as cheesy as it sounds, believe in their work, as it takes some time to get the ball rolling. Take advantage of free/almost free sites like Etsy and social media such as Instagram.

9. If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do?

A: Man, that would be nice! I would definitely get my travel on – namely Italy and Greece, the countries on my bucket list.

 

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Artist Manifesto

These are ten mottos we live by at SheWanders. We look to these often for inspiration and they can be applied to any type of art or creativity. Try it out and see what gets your creative juices flowing.1. Be surrounded by other creatives.

2. Spend time with family and friends.

3. Go somewhere you've never been before.

4. Alone time is epic.

5. Be present: have a daily ritual, move around.

6. Music: it gets you through.

7. Seek inspiration out of your comfort zone.

8. Use analog tools.

9. Experiment with other art forms.

10. Reach out and collaborate with others.

Happy Sunday

xoxo,

Suzanne

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You're my favorite work of art

Frank Sinatra-My Funny ValentineMy funny valentine Sweet comic valentine You make me smile with my heart Your looks are laughable Unphotographable Yet you're my favourite work of art

Is your figure less than greek Is your mouth a little weak When you open it to speak Are you smart?

But don't change a hair for me Not if you care for me Stay little valentine stay Each day is valentines day

Is your figure less than greek Is your mouth a little weak When you open it to speak Are you smart?

But don't you change one hair for me Not if you care for me Stay little valentine stay Each day is valentines day

 

Here is something sweet for you. As seen on the Bride Suite.

xoxo,

Suzanne

 

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