Monthly Archives: December 2010

Mutual Admiration – An Original Oil Painting by Julie Behm

Initial sketch for Mutual Admiration A few years back, my best friend and I started a tradition.  For our Christmas gift (or at least part of it) we would create something for each other.  I’ve given paintings each year and in return I’ve gotten a wonderful hand-painted plaster mask, a painting and this year, a wonderful piece of art done with watercolor pencils, plus a gorgeous handmade necklace and earring set.  I’ve been very spoiled!

This year, I was pondering what to do.  I started out with the idea to paint a realistic nude and the initial sketch came out gorgeous.  Somehow, things went downhill between finishing the sketch and transferring it to the gessobord.  I didn’t like the composition and I found I wasn’t very excited about it and realized that I needed to rethink things.  I do enjoy the challenge of painting realistically, but honestly, I don’t want to do that every time.  And this time I wanted to do something different – something fun and colorful but not too realistic.  By the end of the day, I had a new sketch of a woman and her cat completed.  And I found myself getting excited about painting this one.  It just felt right.  By this time, it was already into December, but I knew that I wanted to do this one in oils.

So, I got to work.  The skin tones came together fairly easily.    Painting in oils was the right choice.  I’m so much more at ease with the oils, especially when it comes to painting people.  Working on this painting helped solidify my decision to focus more on oils this upcoming year and less on acrylics.  Some things, such as my owl and the Art-o-mat blocks will still be done in acrylics.  But the rest will mostly be done in oils.  And I’m really excited about that!

Mutual Admiration To the left, you can see the finished painting.  I’m pretty happy with it and feel that I made the right decision to scrap the original idea for now.  Best of all, it was done before Christmas and in time to exchange today, though just barely!  Thanks to thesunnysidebiz on ArtFire, it has a name, which is Mutual Admiration.  (I’m simply horrible at naming paintings and when I mentioned it needed one on the forums on ArtFire, she put forth her idea.  I’m very grateful!)   It was done on a 9×12 stretched canvas.

My next project is another owl, a special custom painting for my darling aunt.  This owl will be a red hat owl and it promises to be a fun project.  After that, another oil painting and I’m narrowing down the possibilities out of several promising sketches. I hope to spend New Year’s Eve doing what I love best… painting!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and may the New Year be filled with many blessings!

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Quirky Dame Designs available in Art-o-mats!

That’s right, I just received word that my mini paintings have been shipped to the following three locations:

  • The Smithsonian in Washington D.C.
  • The Studios of Key West in Florida
  • The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas (Opening on December 15, 2010)

Ah, now I’m wishing I could arrange a long weekend in Vegas!  🙂  It feels great to know that my paintings are now out and about and available for purchase.  I have started painting backgrounds on a few of the remaining 30 blocks that I have left to paint.  Ideas are brimming in my brain and I’m excited to start creating some more pieces soon!  If you have found this page after purchasing one of my pieces, please comment or email me.  I’d love to hear from you and find out which painting you received!

While I was in Seattle at the beginning of last month, I had the pleasure of visiting a delightful shop called Venue Ballard.  It was full of wonderful jewelry and art.  I found a charming owl print that I just couldn’t resist.

Owl print

And how did I discover this business?

Art-o-mat at Venue

Art-o-mat!  Yes, they have one there and I was lucky enough to pick out six wonderful pieces, though I’m wishing that I had gotten a few more!  🙂  I took the pieces back to my Aunt’s home where we were staying and had a great time checking out the pieces I had purchased.  Here’s what I got:

The little robot dude makes a great pendant.  🙂  My aunt was kind enough to give me a silver chain and I ended up wearing him to the Art Walk the next day. I’m looking forward to the day when I have another chance to visit one of these machines!

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Holiday Happenings at Quirky Dame Designs!

Fantasy Flower pinI am back from a much-needed, very restful vacation and am getting back into the swing of things creatively. I’ve added a few new items to my shop.  To the left is the Fantasy Flower pin and there are two more featuring cats. I also have some hand painted pendants in the works.  I’ve been having fun playing around with the smaller scale pieces. I love unique, playful jewelry and creating it?  So much fun!

While I was away, I was gathering inspiration.  I spent two weeks soaking up the sights in Hawaii and have come away with many wonderful photos to use as references and a couple of sketches.  I attended two one-hour demonstrations featuring Hawaiian musicians and hula dancers.  I am fascinated by the hula and plan on studying it more in-depth.  In the meantime, I worked on a sketch of a hula dancer and hope to turn it into a painting soon.  I’m also working on a whimsical 8×6 oval painting of a mermaid.

But first, I must paint my Christmas present for my best friend.  Each year, we create something for each other instead of just buying something from the store.  I love having the chance to dream up and create something special with her in mind.  That’s also one of the things that I love about custom orders.  Being able to tailor something to another person’s taste and vision is quite a challenge and it’s so rewarding when you have managed to capture what they wanted and even more in a piece.

Polka Dot Cat pinOkay, I had to share the picture of this crazy cat!  It is another one of the hand painted pins.  He was a fun one to work on!  If you are looking for some colorful, quirky items as gifts for Christmas, I do have a few special deals at Quirky Dame Designs.

First, all prints, cards, hand painted magnets and pins ship USPS first class for free!  If you need quicker shipping, please contact me.  I will deduct what the first class postage would have been from the total of the faster shipping cost.

Also, all mini paintings with easels, such as the oneSleepy Owl to the left, are 20% off!  I do accept custom orders, so if you see anything you like, but would prefer different colors, etc., please contact me about having something special made to your specifications.

Be back again soon with more news from Quirky Dame Designs!

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