Dear readers,

Summertime in Montana is racing season (for those who don't know, I'm a distance runner - a good way to stay fit and to reflect on my studio work, generate ideas, solve problems...) and I've recently had great fun in several.

In early June I ran the Missoula Mile (see right) - the shortest race I've ever run - and on the solstice I raced the Trail Rail Run 12K, ending in St. Regis, Montana (pop. 315) with free beer, pulled pork, and a commemorative railroad spike. In both I won my age group (whoop!). Right now I'm preparing for the Missoula Half Marathon in mid July. Wish me luck in my pacing!

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. Due to a recent cancellation there is now ONE opening for this workshop!

    WIMBERLEY, TX (Creekhaven Inn) - Feb. 2-5, 2015. An intensive experience in the beautiful comfort of Creekhaven Inn in Wimberley, an hour outside of Austin in the lovely Texas hill country. Call Bill Appleman at 800-827-1913 or visit the workshop website.

  • CALGARY, ALBERTA - July 10, Stampede Art Auction: CHECK OUT PAGE 70 of the June issue of Southwest Art magazine for a good view of my painting in the auction! WHOOP!!

  • CHEYENNE, WY- July 17, Cheyenne Frontier Days Western Art Show: I'm participating again this year - see the June Artzine for several of the pieces I'm sending to the show.

  • JACKSON, WY - Sept 11-12: the National Museum of Wildlife Art has revamped its Western Visions show to become the "Wild 100", featuring 100 of the best internationally known animal artists. I am incredibly proud to say I am one of those artists, and will be part of the show this September. Stay tuned for images in the next several issues!

How the West Was Won
36 x 28 oil on gallery-wrap canvas
Newly available at Creighton Block Gallery, Big Sky, MT

12 x 24 scratchboard
newly available at Rowe Gallery, Sedona, AZ
Any time spent observing wolves is time well spent, in my book. This particular wolf - a high-ranking individual, as you can see from his tail carriage - is in pursuit; his quarry is left to your imagination.

Tidbits - on appreciation

"I certainly consider a great appreciation of painting to be the best indication of a most perfect mind." - Leon Battista Alberti

"You don't have to be a cave man to appreciate Lascaux." - Darby Bannard

"I feel that when I am painting, it is a form of worship. I see how wonderful nature is and how wonderful art is... and by trying to produce these works of art, I feel that I am just showing my appreciation of these creations." - E. J. Hughes

"Art appreciation, like love, cannot be done by proxy." - Robert Henri


Commission Time Lapse

In late 2013, my best collectors contacted me about a potential lion painting commission; they had made their first trip to Africa not long after I did, and - like me - fell in love with the continent's beautiful wildlife.

A series of sketches ensued, but it wasn't until I sent a sketch based on my one remaining bit of amorous lion reference that we had a match. (I was lucky enough to observe several different pairs of courting lions during the course of our five days in Kruger Park, South Africa.) Follow along below with the development of the painting - and enjoy!

The approved sketch for the painting that my collectors dubbed "Lionhearts", which I thought was a superb title.

The first day of work on the piece: I've transferred the composition to the 30x40 canvas in vine charcoal, via freehand drawing - you can see evidence of rubbing out incorrect lines. (I did quarter the canvas to help me get my placement and proportions correct). I'm looking at the big monitor which is set up to my left side and which shows my reference material; I used several different photos as the basis for my lions. Here I'm putting a wash of thinned oils over my subjects to 'kill the white' and establish base colors.

The base layer wash completed on my cats.

I've done a bit of thinned oil wash on the bottom part of the piece, and am now brushing on thicker final paint for the top half of the background.

After several days of work, the background is coming along; I'll be starting real work on the lions next.

A closeup view of final paint starting to go on the lion.

....aaaannnd...after more days of work, the finished piece... "Lionhearts", 30x40 oil on gallery-wrapped canvas. I'm delighted to say that the collectors are happy with the piece; it's a painting I would have enjoyed keeping for myself. An aspect I particularly loved about the reference material is the way the pair were so affectionate, rubbing up against each other and flipping tails around happily.

One of the more striking elements of our lion observations was the very noticeable size differential between males and females; until seeing them in the wild and right next to our vehicle, I had no idea that male lions were so impressively damn BIG.


READERS RESPOND - footnotes to the June Artzine:

"As I prepare to move into a new house this month, I'm considering furniture purchases that will best coordinate with a future collection of awesome scratch board prints."-- thank you, Kara K. :-)

"In my view you are one of the rare artists that continue to grow, evolve and continue to create better and BETTER pieces......I have watched your work for some time now and when I think you have reached your zenith with your most marvelous work ever I am utterly astounded to see another and another that is different and fabulous......makes for much fun each month when you send your "Pigments" newsletter out!" -- what a *fabulous* note - thank you, Joanie W.!

"Love your newsletter and look forward to it every month. You are such a wonderful artist. One question, how do you decide what color back ground to use in each picture?" -- Kathryn K.

Kathryn (and anyone else interested): my preliminary sketches for each painting are value studies in charcoal (or, occasionally, pastel pencil). In these, I work out - loosely - the overall value arrangement in the background of the piece. As I consider this value study, and the colors I plan to use in the main subject(s), ideas for background color arrangements suggest themselves. Sometimes these colors are based on complements, sometimes on other color relationships (triadic, split complement, and so on.) A color wheel is useful in this stage of the planning. I hope this helps!

That's it for July. 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

Artwork of 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) 2014 Julie T. Chapman. I encourage you to forward this email as long as it includes this copyright notice - thank you!**