Sep 28, 2012

Red Fox Mini Painting

I recently finished this little mini painting of a red fox in what I considered a rather elegant pose. I like the sleek lines and curves in this pose. This is from a reference photo I took when I went to a photo shoot at the Triple D Game Farm in Kalispell, MT. 

7"x5" oil on canvas
Currently up for auction at Daily Paintworks.

Sep 24, 2012

Waterfall Wildlife Crossing Painting

Here's something I'm working on, a painting of a waterfall (obviously) with the intention of adding some animals crossing the stream. I'm trying to decide if I put bears, deer, or wolves in the scene. A few people I asked mentioned that bears are more commonly seen around water. True. But keep in mind this is just a scene of animals crossing the stream. They're not fishing or lounging about, so association with water isn't necessary. The animals just want to get to the other side. So it's really just a matter of what animal you would most like to see in this painting. What should it be?


What's your vote?

Sep 23, 2012

Leopard Coloring Page for Kids

I have another coloring book page for your kids to print out and enjoy. This time it is of leopard on the prowl.
As with the previous coloring pages, have your kids download it, print it out, and color it or paint it any way they want, realistic or wild and crazy! (Click on the image to see a larger version. Then right-click on the larger image and select "save image as..." to save it to your hard drive.) If they want to color it realistically they can use the image below of my original painting as a reference and try to match the colors.
If you'd like to send me your child's finished colored page I'd be happy to share it on my blog here. You can email it to me at

Sep 18, 2012

Religion, Politics, Money, and Art

They say there are three things you should never discuss at the dinner table: religion, politics, and money.

I think this is pretty much true when it comes to your art career too.

I bring up this topic because, as elections are nearing, politics has become a hot top in all sorts of places. Facebook in particular for me has been inundated with political cartoons, articles, and volatile commentary about politics. Since many of these cartoons, articles, and comments are being posted by fellow artists I thought this was a good time to talk about these things.

I respect that everyone is entitled to their own ideas and opinions about these topics. I have no problem with that. But I do think it's a bad idea do associate your opinions on these topics with your art.


Your art collectors, buyers, and fans want to know you and like you! Art collectors like to learn about the artist whose paintings they buy. They want to know things about your daily life, what makes you tick, what kind of person you are. As artists, by them doing these things, we hope they like us. If they find us interesting and likeable it will be more enjoyable for them to own our art and they'll want more of it.

Keep that in mind when sharing your political or religious views. No matter how right you think you are, there's always going to be the other side. Some of that other half will be your collectors and fans. You really don't want to turn them off with offensive political remarks.

I have several artist "friends" on Facebook whose political views oppose mine. They've made it obvious their stance on things. Good for them. But what bothers me is they are not doing this just amongst family and friends. They are making such statements from the professional art pages. I "Liked" their pages because I respect them as artists and want to see their work. I like seeing new art being posted on their pages. But when they start flooding those pages with politically offensive cartoons, jokes, etc., I have to filter them out at some point. Of course they have the right to post their views, but I don't have to read it. When it becomes bothersome, I filter them out.

This is unfortunate. Not only is it harder for me to like the artist as a person now, but I am no longer getting to enjoy their new works and art experiences. Sure, there are many who will agree with them and think it's great. But there's the other half who will not. This is just no way to build a fan base, by turning off half your viewers. If someone becomes offended enough, they may just decide they no longer like you as a person or an artist and may quit collecting your art. Do you really want to lose art buyers just so you can get another "lol" about a presidential candidate from a Facebook friend?

I don't think it's worth it. Unless you do politically themed art, your art is not your political views and should be kept separate.

Just my opinion, but I think it's wise to keep your political views off your art websites, blogs, and art related social media sites. You just might regret it later in the form of lost buyers.

Sep 15, 2012

Join Me on Facebook

In case you aren't aware, I do have a Facebook page. Two, in fact. I have Wildlife Art page, and my personal page.

I post, comment, and 'Like' there frequently. Being a visual person, I just love the lively visual interaction that Facebook offers. I love to see and share all the wonderful images people post, especially those relating to animals and wildlife, of course!

I've recently started doing a "Daily dose of ..." thing on my Wildlife Art page. Here's an example.

Your daily dose of Cute:

Your daily dose of Beauty:

Your daily dose of Funny:

Your daily dose of Amazing:

Your daily dose of Wildlife Art:

"American Original: The Boss"

by Julie T. Chapman

32 x 48 oil on gallery-wrapped canvas

If you'd like to see my daily posts related to animals and wildlife art visit and 'Like' my Wildlife Art Facebook page.

If you'd like to see my daily non-art ramblings as well, feel free to 'Friend' me on my personal Facebook page.

See you there!

Sep 12, 2012

New Gallery Representation

I'm happy to announce I'll soon be working with a new gallery, Decoys and Wildlife Gallery in Frenchtown, NJ. In fact, three of my paintings are in transit there as I write this. I've spoken with several wildlife artists who are represented by this gallery and they have had nothing but good things to say about it.

The three paintings that will be there first (and available for purchase) are:

Love's Golden Touch
12"x12"x1.5" oil on wrap-around canvas

11"x14" oil on multimedia board

And, my personal favorite of the three:

It's a Big World Out There
12"x16" oil on canvas

This last painting was particularly hard to pack up and send off knowing I may never see it again. Paintings that are "milestones" for me are sometimes hard to part with. This painting was one of those milestones because it was the first painting I ever did with only the 3 primary colors of red, yellow, and blue. All the greens, grays, browns, and other colors were all mixed. The subtle variations in the mixings made the normally dull grays and browns quite beautiful. You can see a little bit of it in the wood here in this detail. As you can see, brown wood isn't just brown. There are lovely shades of violet, blue, green, and orange in there as well.

Of course, seeing a digital image online is nothing like seeing the real thing. If you live in the New York/New Jersey area you now have the opportunity to go see it in person! It's due to arrive at the gallery next week. Call Decoys and Wildlife Gallery for more information.

Of course, if you're ever in the Seattle area, feel free to come by and see my other available paintings ... and me ... here! You can find my contact information on my website.

Sep 10, 2012

Are You Thinking of the Holidays?

Wow, I can't believe I took the dog on a walk today and trees are turning fall colors already! It's still summer. But barely. Autumn is just around the corner. Summer went by so fast!

But, even, though summer's not quite over yet, it's getting close to fall. I'm already thinking of the holidays. Of course, it doesn't help that the stores have had Halloween items for sale since August. But, like them, we artists have to thinking ahead about our artwork subjects sometimes.

I'm starting to think about paintings of Halloween themes, and Christmas snow. No, I'm not thinking of Thanksgiving much. I don't fancy the idea of painting a turkey. But such things as black kittens with pumpkins, or deer in the snow at night with the north star shining brightly, would be fun things to paint.

Now's the time to start painting those things if you want them to be available for purchase when the holiday frenzies start. So starting getting those holiday-themed creative juices flowing!

Are you considering the holidays in your art now? What sorts of things do you plan to paint that are related to the holidays?

Sep 6, 2012

Staying Focused with Your Art

I must admit I sometimes get artist block. Frequently lately, in fact. But it's not the artist's block you'd think. Most people thinking of artist's block as not being able to come up with something to paint, draw, sculpt, etc. I have the opposite problem. I get blocked because I have so many ideas I don't know which one to work on.

Sometimes it's just too many potential paintings of a subject. I think I have enough reference of certain subjects, like wolves, to last me for years. I struggle with, which of these 400 wolf photos would make the nicest painting??

But on top of that, it's also trying to decide what subject to paint, and what style.

Oh, I think, this idea would be cool to paint! But maybe it's too different from the style I usually do.

Oh, that would make such a unique painting! But, it would probably lack wide appeal.

Creativity aside, then I have to get past the issue of size. What size paintings should I do?

It's no secret that I want to make a living at my art so that, naturally, I can keep doing art, instead of shuffling papers in a cubicle somewhere. Because of this, I need to consider marketability. There's a nice little online market for small original works, under 8"x10". So should I paint that size? I can sell quick and make a few bucks here and there.

The problem is, besides the fact that small sizes don't allow me to do the level of fine detail I'm obsessed with, I don't want to just sell my originals. I want to license my art. Product manufacturers want large originals to work with. So all really small work is basically unlicensable. But, of course, larger works take more time, are priced higher and, thus, harder to sell than small works. So, sell quick now? Or hold off on a sale and license later?

Ugh. So what do I work on? New styles? Unique subjects? Small pieces? Large pieces?

I have had a hard time focusing lately on just where to go with my art. I finally realized I'm getting nowhere thinking about all these things intellectually. I had to decide what drives me emotionally. What do I really want to paint? Thinking about what I really want to paint, not just what will sell the quickest or license the best, is the only way I can get focused.

Sure, making a living at art means you need to consider things like market appeal. But it shouldn't be the main goal. There are so many different potential markets out there it will drive you nuts trying to decide which way to go if that is your only objective. You need to consider the marketability of your art within the context of what you want to do. Then you'll be able to zero in on just what you need to work on today.

Sep 2, 2012

New Golden Eagle Print Available

As always, I struggle with getting good photographs of my art. Good thing my art is not as bad as my photography! But, every once in a while I do manage to get a good photo ... after a thousand tries. I don't know. Maybe I'm just too picky. I want the photo to be absolutely perfect, to match the painting as close as possible to real life. Am I'm being unrealistic?

Anyway, I finally did get a decent picture of the golden eagle painting I revised a not long ago that I was able to upload it to Fine Art America, which means it's now available as a fine art print, canvas print, and as note cards. I hope you'll enjoy them!

(Click the eagle image below to visit the FAA site and see a higher res version of the painting)

Sep 1, 2012

Saying Good-Bye to Your Art

I sold a painting today and the buyer asked me, do you ever get emotional about letting go of your artwork? It's odd because I was just having this same conversation in an art forum the other day. Do I feel sad when I sell a painting?

I have to say, normally, no. Normally I'm quite happy to sell a painting. Besides the obvious fact that it means money in the bank, I'm also happy to know someone likes my art enough to buy it. What good is my art if I couldn't share it and no one enjoyed it? Yeah, there are whole debates about who artists create art for. Do we do it solely to express ourselves and not care what anyone thinks of it? Or do we do it to share it with the world? I fall into the latter group. If I knew every painting I ever did would be buried deep in a tomb never to be seen again, I would not bother to paint anymore. Expressing myself is only a small part of it. I want others to see it, enjoy it, and feel the same sense of pleasure I do when I view a representation of an animal, a beautiful work of Mother Nature.

So, of course it feels good to know someone is going to see it, appreciate it, and enjoy it for years to come.

Yes, normally I am quite happy to sell a painting. But, every once in a while I am sad to see a painting go. Or, for certain paintings, I don't even put them up for sale for months or years because I don't want to even risk them being sold.

I was wondering the other day why. Why is it only once in a while I don't want to part with a piece? Sometimes there's no apparent explanation as to why I get emotional about parting with a certain painting.

Finally, during the conversation in the art forum, someone said something that turned on a light bulb in my head. She said it was the "milestone" paintings she had a hard time letting go of. I realized that was it. As I said, the artwork I got most emotional about parting with was not necessarily my best or favorite. But I realized it was my "milestone" work. It was the painting where I had truly stretched myself. I had attempted a challenging new technique or style and succeeded. They are "milestone" paintings in my journey to develop my skills. They mark triumphs over setbacks. They mark achievements despite frustrations. They are special paintings on an emotional level. And, yes, letting those milestone markers go is sometimes hard. But, at the same time, it is very rewarding. It means I achieved what I wanted and someone noticed. Someone appreciated my efforts and loved the results. What more could I ask? It is a bitter-sweet separation.

If you're an artist, what do you feel about letting go of your work?

If you're an art collector, have you ever had an artist get emotional about your purchase? What did you think of it?

Share your experiences in the comments section below.

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