Sunday, December 21, 2014

Julie Beck: Recently Completed Work

Recent Completed Works:

This portrait was done with Iliya Mirochnik during his workshop at the Academy of Realist Art Boston

This cast painting is my final cast painting at the academy. On to still life paintings!

 Also a recently completed still life:
Fox in the Hen house, 16 by 20, Oil on Panel

More to post soon!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Currently on my easel

These 2 paintings are currently on different easels in mid-progress. Top one is in the middle of first painting on my easel at home, and the bottom one is in the dead coloring stage over at the Academy of Realist Art Boston.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Why I love the Academy of Realist Art Boston

There is an interesting group on Facebook now called the Atelier Movement. Someone recently put up a side by side comparison of what level he was at after 3 years of college, versus 3 months at an atelier. The difference was night and day. I had my own "Before and After" set up to post recently but never went through, wondering if it was worth it to show my really early horrible horrible work.

I think it's worthwhile, because it shows the benefit of what atelier training (like the Academy of Realist Art, Boston) can offer. It may not be for everyone but I struggled for a very long time on my own and I hit a wall in terms of development. I knew I wanted to be a realistic painter, but none of the college classes (even CE classes at RISD) were giving me actual training.

I will continue to preach the gospel of atelier training for those who really want to improve their technical skills. Do with them what you will (many go on to do imaginative, abstract, impressionistic work) but you'll never be disappointed that you learned the in depth technical skills that today's ateliers are teaching.

Behold! The awkwardness of my early years of painting:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

It's about time!

Making a website is a giant pain in the ass. There are a lot of options for artists portfolios and I know people who have used them all. Here are the ways I was considering:
  1. You can hire someone else to make it for you. (Expensive! You have to rely on another person for updates!)
  2. Portfolio sites such as Square Space, 4ormat, Other People's Pixels. (Very reasonable cost, you control everything and can make/add changes yourself but can be limiting depending on what you pay, formats, etc)
  3. Create one on a free site like (Free, you make all changes, but can be limiting in terms of format.)
  4. Use a CMS like on your own hosting (Hosting and domain costs, limited only by your imagination, unlimited content, total control, but also total responsibility)

I opted for number 4 because I already had hosting that I liked and all my DNS junk already worked out (which I don't really understand so I didn't really want to mess with it! it's all a series of tubes!) and I really wanted a responsive (mobile, ipad, etc formats) website. We're in the digital age, after all!

The nice thing about Wordpress is you can buy AMAZING templates and then modify them to any degree if you have any knowledge of basic web code/CSS. I like Theme Forest. Cheap and reliable. Also, it's EASY. Seriously. It's easy to use if you have a basic knowledge of websites.

It took me about 48 hours to go from a basic html hand coded website, and turn into a responsive, mobile ready, slick and clean looking website with the ability to sort items by keyword (such as drawing, animals, portrait, still life etc.) I can also add videos I have hosted on Vimeo or YouTube, stream pictures from my Flickr and embed all my social media. I am very, very happy.

Check it out and let me know if you have questions or feedback on the site (or if you find any mis-spellings on my website!)


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Painting in Progress: Small study 4

These are the stages I've been using for the recent quick painting studies. First, the drawing stage. Once the drawing is complete enough, I transfer to a canvas and then place in the Dry Brush stage.... this is when I look at values and general shapes of light and dark.

Dry Brush Stage
I've had 2 days of working on color for this. I feel like it's taking longer than I should, but I'm pretty sure being distracted by the internets didn't help.

2 Days of painting color

Monday, November 05, 2012

Best Custom Unique Gift Ideas Ever

I have a lot of people who are extremely hard to buy for, so every year I go through an endless search for the perfect gift for these "hard to buy for" people. They include people who have enough money to buy anything they want and people who never tell you what they actually would like.

So I've decided to make a list of all of the gift ideas that have blown people's minds over the years, so hopefully this will make your gift giving holidays easier and you get to be known as "that person who gives the most creative gifts ever."

Custom Wine Charms of People
Have a friend or couple that entertains a lot of the same people? Or if there one large family or group that always get's together? Have custom wine charms made of the people's faces! I had these made for my parents... faces included my Aunts, my Uncles, their friends, and ourselves. They were absolutely floored and they made a big splash the next time there was a huge get-together. I'm not sure if this vendor still does them, but I'm sure there are plenty of people on Etsy who will do this.

Custom Key Hooks
Know someone who recently moved, or has location-love (someone who LOVES where they live). Get them a key hook/leash hook in the shape of the state they live in.I have one of Massachusetts and it's amazing!

Custom Fingerless Gloves with Flaps
I cannot say enough about Deb's gloves. They are the greatest gloves ever and they are CUSTOM made to fit your hands. I got the ones with Alpaca hair and after 3 years of use, they are still like brand new.

Custom Travel/Map Journal
Know someone who travels a lot? Or another person with location-love? Kristin makes hand-made map journals. She will work with you to make the perfect gift for that special someone.

Custom Necklace
More location-love. This artist makes necklaces with hearts in custom locations. Tell her what state/country and location you want the heart.

Custom and Not Custom Awesome Things
I've ordered many things from BaconSquareFarm. They're all top notch. Custom Dog-feeders, birdhouses, hooks, EVERYTHING. Shabby chic and rustic. Love them!

Hollow Books
They're cool! And you can get a title that would be funny for the gift recipient. I have a bunch of these and love them.

Do you have any good links to add to this list? If you do, please leave them in the comments and I'll do another post with your link as well as a credit to your site!!!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

I Heart Justin Taylor

Since I just started life drawing, I have been more and more intrigued by people who have a creative take or portraits and people. Justin Taylor is one of these artists. I love his choice of color palette for each one. They are relatively simple in terms of content but his composition and the body language speak in-depth about the people. The "echos" of the people are amazing!!
One by Justin Taylor
Clarity at the End of Things by Justin Taylor