Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Full Circle" by Judy Crowe

"Full Circle"  16x16 oil on linen

Hi Friends and fellow artists!

I hope this post finds you well and getting to paint a lot if you are a fellow artist!  It's been a long time since I've blogged....can't believe how fast the time passes and we just don't realize it.  I haven't dropped off the edge or anything but I have been busy as usual.  In between family responsibilities and caring for an aging stepmother, I've been painting a lot too.  I'm really looking forward to next week.  I'm teaching a workshop on Monday in Bellville Texas, my first in a while.  It's a one day workshop and here is the info if anyone is inclined that direction.  You can also email me or call me if you have questions and it's not to late to sign up if you are interested.

One Day Still Life workshop

Location: Holland Street Gallery, Bellville, Texas
United States
This is a one day workshop.  We'll paint the still life and have fun!  Learn how to set up a still life and paint the whole thing from start to finish.  My hope is that each of the students will take home a painting they are proud to say is their own.
Please contact Judy or Jane McKinley at the Holland St. Gallery for more info.
Contact Information:
Jane McKinley
979 865 4278 or 979 885 9259
I'll be traveling to Tucson, Arizona by the end of next week for the annual American Women Artists show.  In addition to the gallery show is our museum show that will be held at the Sonora Desert Museum there in Tucson.  The painting above is my piece for the museum.  The theme of this museum show is "Visions of the Southwest" featuring still life, landscape and sculpture depicting the Sonoran Desert and it's inhabitants.  Here is a little info about the painting and my ideas that inspired the work and some research which I totally enjoyed.  During my research, I learned so much about our native american brothers.....  Take care and thanks for taking the time to read my blog.

“Full Circle” by Judy Crowe
The wedding vase is a treasured and sacred element of many Native Southwest American Indian tribes, particularly the Navajo and Pueblo peoples. The vases are a beautiful and symbolic part of the ceremony performed just prior to the wedding.

First the groom offers his bride the vase his parents have made for the couple and she drinks from one side. She then turns the vase, and the groom drinks from the same side.  In the culmination of the ceremony, they both drink from the wedding vase together from opposite sides attempting to drink without spilling the nectar made for the ceremony by the medicine man.

The vessel itself is beautiful, but its design and construction are an integral part of its meaning. The two spouts represent the couple, both the bride and the groom. The rounded base suggests the couple’s shared lives. The looped handle portrays this unity in a visual way, much like a wedding band is a visual reminder of the deeper, spiritual connection that a husband and wife share. The handle creates a circle in the center of the vase that represents the circle of life.
There is power in the circle in the Native American culture.  The sky and earth are round.  The wind whirls in a circular motion. The sun comes up and goes down again in a circle, as does the moon.  Birds make their nests in circles. The life of man and all living things, flowers and animals, is a circle, from life to life.  My painting, “Full Circle”, embodies these ideas in a representational way by depicting elements of life from man-made objects that will decay.   The animal pelt, bird’s nest and flowers are here today but will, as all living things, pass on.  The Bible says that the grass withers, flowers fade and our lives are like a vapor, but there is one thing that remains: the Love of God.

Friday, May 18, 2012

New work, new day

Texas Hay 9x12
New Work, New Day

Every day is a new day in the studio.  I am so glad to be back at work on a regular basis but I'm finding that I'm a bit more rusty than I had hoped.  Not all work is great, some just so so.  I haven't been posting regularly for that reason.  I'm so enjoying the process though and thankful for that.  I am starting to work on a series of paintings from a Provence trip I took several years ago.  I taught a workshop there and then stayed on to paint for about a week.  I'll be posting some of those soon I hope when I start getting something I am proud of.  I'm getting really picky!  This is a plein air painting that I did a couple of weeks ago in Independence Texas.

Monday, April 30, 2012

New Studio Opening

The Purple Elephant Gallery and Iron Butterfly Studio
12802 McSwain, Cypress Texas 77429
Open House,   May 5,  11 am to 6 pm
Hi Friends,  I have moved.  For 2 years my studio was located at my home.  I have moved and would like to invite you to attend the open house at my new studio location this weekend if you live in the Houston area.  This is a funky little place with a lot of character.  You can meet Lucky, Lucy, and Lola plus Picasso our mascot mini pig!  Maybe she'll wear her tutu!  Lucky, Lucy, and Lola are pygmy goats that are so cute and make their home at the back of the property in "Purple Acres".  This is a fun place.  Come join us if you can.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring Wildflowers

'Spring Wildflowers'  12x9 oil on linen panel
Tonight my husband and I watched a movie.  It was sad and inspiring about Margaret Thatcher.  No matter her politics, she had spunk and still does.  What an inspiring lady!  I need women like this (or need to know of women like this).  I've been fortunate to have a few since my own mother passed when I was young.  My friend Bernice among others.  She's tough.  And at her age...she still can paint me under the table.  Anyway, I digress, :).  Margaret Thatcher said a couple of things that I thought was worth remembering.  One was 'A woman must do something worth while other than washing the tea cups!' which made me feel better since my carpet is dirty!!  The other thing she quoted was this, and you will recognize this if you saw the movie, "Iron Lady".

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character,
And Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
What we think, we become.
I hope this next week finds you having the time to think.  As for me, I'm going to be mindful of how I think about mine-I plan to be positive and not remember how far I've become as an think about how I can better myself not only in my art but in my life and how I can help others....because that's who I will become-
Ok, Enough psychoanalysis!  

Blessings, Friend.  Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Country Spring Harmony

Country Spring Harmony  11x14 oil on linen panel
Hi Friends, I have been working, just not blogging.  Wow I can't believe it's easy to let time pass by but I have purposely been trying to limit my time on the computer-to paint more.  Painting is becoming my number one priority.  I am hoping to enter some new shows and some shows that I haven't had the work to enter in recent years.  Since my son left in January, I have tried to clear my schedule for everything except painting.  I have tried to be more critical of my work also so that I don't put images out there that I 'm not happy with.  I hope to get better--- as we all do I suppose.

This painting was done a couple of weeks ago on a country road outside of Magnolia Texas.  It was a little overcast, the sun was in and out, but this scene caught me eye.  Even with clouds, it was pretty.  I hope I captured the morning.  These are Texas bluebonnets.  Bluebonnets can be a picky flower are a little hard to paint if you want to keep them loose.  I prefer simplicity and color over detail.

Thank  you for visiting my blog!

Judy's website
Contact Judy

Friday, March 16, 2012

Best Friends Forever

Best Friends
I recently was asked to paint a commission for a dear friend, her two really cute King Charles Spaniels, Desi and Reese.   I had some other commitments and so was not able to start the painting right away.  I finally finished it last week but as I was working on Desi, the little white and brown dog, I found out she had passed away.  Our pets are our friends for sure.  I understand that Reese is having a tough time with the loss of her best bud.  I'm glad she still has Linda and Ron to love on her.  It was fun and gratifying to get the opportunity to paint these cute dogs.

Monday, March 12, 2012


'Gloria'  20x16 oil on linen (head study)
Hi Friends,
I attend a portrait group on Fridays in The Woodlands, Texas and Gloria was our model last week.  She had such an interesting face and she was so still.  It was fun painting her and I thought I'd share this study with you even though I didn't finish it.  Richard Schmid says in his book 'Alla Prima, Everything I know about painting' that  a painting should hold it's own even if you don't have the time to finish it.  (check out his website at

I was happy with her face for the most part, I mean to say, at this point in my study of faces and heads.  I'm really enjoying working on these character studies and I'm really learning a lot about drawing, edges, and color.
I've revamped my website, changed the color and added prices for all work.

Thanks for letting me share with you!

Judy's Website
Judy's Contact info

Monday, March 05, 2012

Back to Work

Artwork on Tile "Gardening Day" 
Dear Friends,

Well, I have been out of pocket.  Usually when I've been gone, it's hard for me to get back into the swing of blogging but I am back and hope to get a few paintings done in the next few weeks and post them for you.  I have finished my small works project.  I did not post all of the paintings but the experiment taught me some things.  One of those things is that I am not meant to paint the 6x6 paintings.  I'm not happy just doing those.  So I have decided to move on, take what I've learned about myself and do some things differently.  Tonight I ordered a book on Amazon entitled "Steal Like and Artist-10 things no one told you about being creative".  It only had 14 reviews but they were rave ones, so I ordered it.  It's supposed to be a short book too which suits me...I'm not an avid reader.  I do better with books on cd while I travel or short ones.   As for the pic above, this is one of my older paintings but I thought I would show you what a mural of my work on tile looks like.  This is through a company out of North Carolina called Artwork on tile.  Take care and I'll be posting more new work soon.  Thanks for visiting my blog!

Judy's Website
Contact LInk

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Here's lookin at you!

Jill's Mouse Friend
Hi Friends,  Well, I've been very busy.  Last week I put together about 45 paintings for an upcoming one day show, "Art Party" 2012.  This is the second time I've been involved in this fun event that is only one day.  At the art party there will be quite a few small 6x6 paintings along with about 25 framed pieces sizes 8x10 and up.  If you live in the area of Houston and vicinity, and would like to come, just contact me and I'll be happy to send you an email invite!

The little painting above is just a fun little 4x4 (approx) painting I did for my daughter a couple of years ago.  She's a research tech in a genetics lab and she works with mice.  :)  This guy is a bit cuter than most of her lab mice I think but I saw this pic and couldn't resist.  I think she still keeps this little painting on her desk at work.

I listened to a very good "Artist's Helping Artist's Blog Talk" radio program today.  If you are interested in hearing an interview with Peggy Kroll Roberts, ( just click the link on the side bar of my blog here and you can hear the conversation with Ms. Roberts who started her career as an illustrator.  I enjoyed the program because she talked about the journey she and her husband Ray Roberts have taken while making a living as full time artists.  It's interesting to hear the struggles of artists who have 'made it'.  Gives me hope that there is still time for the rest of us!

Thank you as always for visiting my blog and stay tuned, in coming days I'll be posting another figurative work along with a large still life that I've completed.  At present, I am working on a pet portrait commission and having fun with that!  Blessings...

Judy's Website
Contact Judy Link

Friday, January 20, 2012

End of Summer Sunflowers

End of Summer Sunflowers  7x5

I did this painting a month or so ago and forgot that I did not post it!  That's where my head is these days...this painting will be in the upcoming Art Party show that I'm in on February 4.  The info is on my Facebook page if you are interested in coming and live in the Houston area.  Would love to see you.  Art Party is a one day event.  My friend Jimmy McDonald puts it on in his studio which at one time was his home.  It's a very fun event with fabulous food, live entertainment and a variety of very good art.  I am proud that Jim asked me to come again.  This will be my second 'art party'.  :)  I'll be selling some of these smaller paintings at very very affordable prices.

On anther note, I read a great article last night.  Would like to share it with you. This article makes a wonderful argument for why the arts are so important in our everyday lives.  It made me thankful once again to be an artist and to be able to hopefully contribute something of value to the world we live in and thankful that there are other artists with completely different visions that do the same.  Enjoy:  

Thanks for stopping in today!  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Flow blue and pansies

Flow Blue and Pansies  
Flow Blue with Pansies 10x10

I love to paint pansies.  Pansies and roses are probably my favorite flowers.  I like sunflowers too but pansies are so colorful.  Color is king I think.  :)  This is one of my few flow blue pieces.  Wish I had more but they are pretty expensive so I buy the Wabi Sabi ones.  I pick these up where I can.  Usually they are chipped or the lid is missing or something.  This sugar bowl has no lid but it makes a perfect flower pot.  I like Wabi Sabi things.  If you don't know what Wabi Sabi means, here it is in a nutshell:  Wabi-Sabi is a traditional Japanese idea based on the acceptance of transience. It also means seeing beauty in imperfection, impermanence, incompletion and decay. This sort of beauty can be found both in nature and in man-made things. 
Thanks for visiting my blog today!  

My website
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Artist by Judy Crowe

The Artist  12x9 oil on linen

Hi Friends,  I have been negligent about posting.  Life is busy and 2012 has started off no differently.  But I am painting and I am thankful.  I did not make New Year's resolutions to speak of but there is one thing I did tell myself~I will not post or put work on my blog or website until I have had a chance to really contemplate the work.
I hope you enjoy this link:  There are beautiful showings of some of the works in the American Wing of the Met.  Take care and thank you for visiting my blog!

My Website
Contact Judy Link

Monday, January 02, 2012

For Auld Lang Syne

Dear Friends,  I painted on my rose floral this morning but did not finish it.  I have actually been on an emotional roller coaster today as my son, John, packed his belongings into his car and headed off to Austin where he starts his first real job tomorrow morning as a recent computer science graduate.  He has a bright future ahead of him and I'm so happy for him.  I helped him pack.  Then we waved him away.  Then this sadness came.  For those of you that have also done this, you understand......... and I know it will pass.  
He's left before many times, but that was different.  Somehow this time seems final even though I know he'll be back to visit and he isn't that far away.  (thank goodness) 
I have actually waved 3 others goodbye.  What is it though, about the last one?   Many things I suppose that I won't go into further.  But it reminded me of the song that we sing this time of year so I leave you with the words and a posting of a painting from 2011.  I'll finish my roses tomorrow - I am taking it slow but still trying to keep it fresh and loose-and will post it for you then.  In the meantime, here is a painting from 2011 and a note below about my green mixing theory....for what it's worth.  Thanks as always for stopping by!
"New Year's Gift"  
PS  Thanks so much to Dana for leaving that nice comment.  Dana, For my greens, I usually always mix them from Ultramarine Blue and the yellows-I mix it up.  Ultramarine and Indian Yellow makes a wonderful dark, transparent olive green that is so common in earthy greens in nature (I think.).  Then I lighten with one of my cad yellows on my palette.  The Rembrandt Cad Yellow light mixture makes a nice middle green depending on how much yellow you use.  The lemon makes a really nice cooler green-then I modify with white, adding more yellow or blue back in to get the color I need.  I hope this makes sense...
I sometime alternate Indian Yellow with a Gamblin Transparent Orange which, with blue makes an ever darker olive green.  The inner most parts of foliage sometimes has this olive, earth green.  I also alternate my blues at times and use cobalt instead of the Ultramarine when making greens.  Richard Schmid suggests making color charts with all the colors on the palette that you like so that you know ahead of time what they are going to look like when you need them.  You can find this info in his book, "Alla Prima, Everything I know about Painting" which you can purchase off his website at  

About Auld Lang Syne According to  Wikepedia:

The song's Scots title may be translated into English literally as "old long since", or more idiomatically, "long long ago", "days gone by" or "old times". Consequently "For auld lang syne", as it appears in the first line of the chorus, is loosely translated as "for (the sake of) old times".
The James Watson version, 1711
Should Old Acquaintance be forgot, and never thought upon;
The flames of Love extinguished, and fully past and gone:  Is thy sweet Heart now grown so cold,
that loving Breast of thine;
That thou canst never once reflect  on Old long syne.
On Old long syne my Jo,  in Old long syne,  That thou canst never once reflect,   on Old long syne.
My Heart is ravisht with delight,
when thee I think upon;
All Grief and Sorrow takes the flight,
and speedily is gone;
The bright resemblance of thy Face,
so fills this, Heart of mine;
That Force nor Fate can me displease,
for Old long syne.
Since thoughts of thee doth banish grief,
when from thee I am gone;
will not thy presence yield relief,
to this sad Heart of mine:
Why doth thy presence me defeat,
with excellence divine?
Especially when I reflect
on Old long syne

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Work in Progress

Paint mixtures and Palette
In the kitchen this afternoon
Different Vase

Hi Friends,  Well, I did paint today even after I woke up not feeling wonderfully....with a little sore throat.  I have made it through the day though thanks to ibuprofen...-didn't make it to church which I usually do on Sunday morning but watched In Touch with Charles Stanley instead on TV.  It was very good...... If my studio had been anywhere else but home, I probably would not have attempted to make it there but since I already had these beautiful flowers sitting waiting on me, I at least pushed some paint around.  Here is my progress.  The flowers that were sitting in the kitchen (1st photo) were so pretty.  My husband had brought them in from the yard, but I did not want to attempt to paint the whole lot, so I took several out and put them in a smaller vase in the studio.  (2nd photo) I thought I would show you my progress and hopefully will finish this tomorrow.  I hope this painting turns out and we'll see how I feel tomorrow!  At any rate, I painted and that was my goal today.  Wish me luck and thanks for checking in!  Now off to finish the black eyed peas.  I have to feed my son who leaves for his new job in Austin tomorrow!

My palette:  Cad Lemon, Rembrandt, Cad Yellow lt, Rembrandt, Indian Yellow, Gamblin, Permanent Rose, Windsor Newton,  Scarlett, Rembrandt, Permanent Alizarin, Gamblin, Ultramarine Blue, Rembrandt

My Start
Will have to finish tomorrow!  (hopefully)
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