What's New in Julliette Carignan's World?
2020 Update, Year End
Although this COVID-constrained year had many downsides, I made the most of the isolation to do most of a major upgrade to this website. I learned and used modern website coding technologies and tools to make the main pages easier to view on small screens. That was a big project and very satisfying since I love a challenge and, besides being artistic, I'm also geeky.
First among my ambitious plans for the next site upgrade is to re-design all the artwork detail pages.
I also got to do more painting in 2020 than in many years! Cooperative weekend weather was a factor, as was planning in advance weekly plein air paintouts for my group, thus averting for all of us many mornings of familiar, frustrating indecision about where to paint.
I'm loving watercolor more and having more success with it. I added to this site a new page of watercolor paintings and I'll post more that I hope to finish soon.
I've always studied art a lot, but I did so even more this year. I'm inspired! I hope I don't die young because it will take a long and mobile life to paint even a fraction of all the ideas I constantly gather.
2020 Update, Spring
I haven't been posting new work on my site the past few years since I've been taking a time-out from oil painting to learn watercolor. Watercolor used to intimidate me, but now I'm thoroughly enjoying its quirks and steep learning curve.
I trust that my oil painting will benefit from the watercolor side-trip when I return to it. In fact one reason I took up watercolor is to facilitate doing many more studies and experiments before undertaking large oil paintings. My overall aim is to simplify my painting designs in order to make more clear, powerful statements.
I haven't posted many new works on my site in the past several years since I've continued to work primarily on two series of large works that I won't post until after they've been exhibited, but those paintings can be viewed electronically upon request. For the two series, I've done about 160 new paintings, many large and most showing a lot of growth and artistic development.
If I could foresee having the time to project-manage exhibitions and had space to store the frames, I'd start to approach galleries to exhibit them. But my income-earning career is demanding more time than ever these years and I'm out of storage space for frames, so all that new work is just biding time in storage for now.
This winter I did quite a bit of life drawing. Not only was it a thoroughly enjoyable activity and great practice, but it reminded me how much I have always loved drawing. I've posted a handful of the drawings on my Drawings page.
2007 provided extraordinary opportunity, first to paint in Italy with a group of fellow artists, and then to attend master artist Scott Christensen's ten-day intensive workshop in Idaho. Both of those plein air experiences and another outdoor Vermont workshop in late 2006 were so fantastic that, through the rest of 2007, I couldn't resist continuing to paint en plein air back home in New England. I was eager to put into practice all I had learned from Scott Christensen and Albert Handell.
Despite having painted a good deal in 2007, since I was challenged by limiting myself to much shorter sessions than I can actually handle, most of 2007's works are not worthy of posting or have joined the hundreds of other in-process paintings that fill shelves in my studio. I keep hoping to have time to finish at least the best of them, but time is in short supply and too often I'm more inclined to paint outdoors and confront new challenges.
While I have every intention of carrying out the series of large studio paintings I committed to in 2005, my self-assigned MFA program equivalent, currently I'm revisiting drawing skills and exploring new ideas and techniques through plein air practice. I trust this "back-to-basics" and further development will make the studio paintings stronger when I return to them.
I'm excited this year about a new series of paintings I've just begun. Since this will be a large body of new work that I don't anticipate completing for many years, it'll be a while before any of these works are exhibited and then posted. I consider this project to be the equivalent of a Master's in Fine Art degree program. I'll refrain from revealing too many details until the series is completed, but I just wanted to give you a sneak preview that there'll be some new work coming. Essentially, this is a series of studio paintings that are larger and significantly more complex than the smaller pieces I've primarily been doing since I've been working mostly en plein air. Do send me an email if you'd like to know when I finish this series or if you'd like to see a preview.
International Exhibition: I've been invited to exhibit in Paris this month in the 1st International Fair devoted to small format in contemporary art (officially: 1er Salon International des petits format dans l'art d'aujourd'hui a Paris). Click here to see the the show invitation.
I've also just exhibited in the inaugural exhibition of Belmont Gallery of Art, my town's brand new, very attractive gallery. The juried show included one work each of 59 selected Belmont artists, most of whom are also professional artists. There's great enthusiasm as this exhibition has brought to light so many talented artists whom there's been no way to know about or meet!
News of 2003 and 2004:
I got to take three very fun and visually inspiring trips in '03 and '04! I was also lucky to be able to do all my photography (one of my long-time avid interests) using a new digital camera. The availability thereafter of thousands of terrific digital images sparked a new form of creative joy from creating quite elaborate photo books, which made use of a layout skill I've always really enjoyed using. The process was creatively enlivening and addictive. I spent many hundreds of hours on image selection, retouching in Photoshop, and laying out and printing the four books. I've consciously elected to delay starting any more because I wanted to get back to painting, but I got SUCH a kick out of the projects. As a painter, however, the downside of being so lucky with trips and photography and book-making joys was that I was so busy training for and taking the trips and making the books that I didn't do get to do much painting those two years, given that, like most artists today, I also have a day job.
That said, during the 2004 trip to the Dordogne in France, I did get to paint for a week, and I also got out to do several days of plein air painting on Cape Ann in the Fall. However, I haven't yet gotten to finish most of those paintings. Now that I'm into my new series, who knows if and when I will. As it is, I already have about 80 paintings to finish! I also haven't yet photographed the ones I did finish. Someday!
Written in 2003 when I finished Phase II of the site development, the addition of the detail artwork pages: I'm excited to share this site with you! All the full-size image pages that give details about each painting are now available if you haven't checked out the site in awhile.
There is now a Current Directions page. This page brings together the paintings that are representative of the style and subject matter I'm most interested in pursuing farther, now and into the future. It's the electronic equivalent of the slide sheet artists used to send to galleries. There's also a page provides an index to the largest paintings in my collection.
I added five new paintings in 2003. There's a painting of pumpkins on the Still Life page, three new farm/rural scenes on the New England page, and a new Gloucester Harbor painting on the Boston page.
To view the plein air paintings done during my 2001 trip to France, see my Europe Landscapes page.