Dear readers,

I'm always happy to see the days starting to get longer, even if rather slowly. Winter is a good time to cloister myself in my studio and get new work prepared for shows and deadlines over the next several months. For the first time, I'm sharing a photo progression of a scratchboard from start to finish, and it's a piece with a lot of impact - read on!

In this issue:

* Does this email look wonky? See the issue online.

Newsbytes / calendar

  • -- WORKSHOPS IN 2014 and 2015 --
    I have retitled my workshops to "The Art of Seeing Animals" - a better description of our focus in these events.

    KALISPELL, MT (Triple D Game Farm) - Sept. 26-29, 2014. There are just 3 slots left in this workshop!

    WIMBERLEY, TX (Creekhaven Inn) - Feb. 2-5, 2015


In this issue

  • American Miniatures Show at Settlers West
  • Scratchboard time lapse

African Elegance
12 x 12 scratchboard
This piece will be hanging at Holland & Holland in London (just off Bond Street) as part of an Africa show in February. WOOT!!! (thank you Mr. G.!!)


Tidbits - on art

"Good art is not what it looks like, but what it does to us." - Roy Adzak

"The purpose of art is not a rarified, intellectual distillate – it is life, intensified, brilliant life." - Alain Arias-Misson

"What is art? Nature concentrated." - Honore de Balzac

"You can’t have too much original art." - Monty D., one of my best collectors


American Miniatures Show - Settlers West Gallery, Tucson, AZ
February 8

This is my first time exhibiting with the Settlers West American Miniatures Show, and I'm proud to take part. I'm sending two 9x12 pieces which form a diptych - a lovely pair when hung together. This bunch of blaze-faced youngsters had just come galloping up and were swirling about in a wonderful jumble of color and snort.

"Blaze Jumble #1"
9x12 oil on panel

"Blaze Jumble #2"
9x12 oil on panel


Scratchboard time lapse
(for the Western Masters show, March 19-22 - Great Falls)

For the first time, I've tackled a sizable scratchboard - an 18x24 - and decided to make a photo progression of the piece to share with everyone. I was a bit intimidated by the sheer acreage of the board, since scratchboards require much more time to complete than a painting of equivalent size. Once I got going, however, I was hooked! The impact of a board this size is hard to describe.

Once my composition is worked out to size, I use transfer paper under the composition to create the guiding white outlines on my board.

The board, after several days of work, is starting to reveal its secrets.

Scratching with my tool of choice, your basic #11 xacto knife. The once-white glove with cut-off fingers is there to protect the board from hand oils.

...After another day or two of work - and you can get a sense of the scale of the piece. (The board is propped on my painting easel).

Finis. "Future Imperfect: Puma concolor", 18 x 24
Available in my room (Room 183) at Western Masters, March 19-22, Great Falls

Recently, two researchers at the University of Montana (right here in Missoula) co-authered a study with other scientists around the world which finds that most of the world's large carnivores - including cougars - are declining in number. (A lay summary of the study can be read here, and the full text here.) This has large ramifications for their respective ecosystems; effects can already be seen in West Africa, where olive baboons have proliferated due to the decline in lion and leopard numbers - and the baboons are having a deleterious impact on small ungulates, livestock, and crops.

In Montana, the "trophic cascade" effects of the removal - and reinstatement - of wolves are well-documented. Once wolves were gone, deer and elk increased in number and in browsing of vegetation, disrupting birds, small mammals, and other parts of the ecosystem. A different cascade effect occurred with the near-extinction of sea otters - sea urchins proliferated, drastically reducing kelp, with negative effects on habitat for other sea life and on coastal waves (kelp help dampen these.)

I have had the priceless privilege of seeing some of these predators in the wild (including lion, leopard, black bear, grizzly bear, sea otter, and wolf) and cannot imagine wild landscapes without these signature species. This is the first image in a series I plan to do honoring - and hopefully helping - the predators in decline; this cougar is asking what we will do about the situation.


READERS RESPOND - footnotes to the January Artzine:

"Happy New Year to you Julie and thanks for making our world a more joyous and positive place with your talent. I sure like the Blaze Jumbles!!!!" Thank you, Rebecca L.!

"I LOVE Trio, Really shows how important to understand how what isn't there...IS.
Now, does that make sense?"
Thank you, Mary L.!
---- This reminds me of a Voltaire quote: "The secret of being a bore is to tell everything."

"Each piece of Julie's art will now come with an insurance policy attached as people have been known to fall out of chairs when viewing these amazing pieces and we hate the thought of anyone being hurt by this work."... one of the funniest reader replies I can recall....thank you, Kara!

That's it for February. I hope you have enjoyed this newsletter (and thank you to the many readers who respond after each Artzine, thus giving me good material for the "Footnotes" section :-) - if so, I encourage you to share it with anyone and everyone. I appreciate your help in building a bigger audience for my work!

Warmest regards,
Julie T. Chapman

Painting Today’s Wild West (and Africa!) with Contemporary Flair
(406) 546-2636
20900 Whitetail Ridge Road * Huson, MT 59846
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** All images and text in this newsletter are copyright (c) 2013 Julie T. Chapman. I encourage you to forward this email as long as it includes this copyright notice - thank you!**