Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tropic Fever

Nothing can energize my creative mind and blast my brain full of new ideas like TRAVEL can! I make it a priority and try to have something like 2 big trips per year, with some little ones added in.

I went to Mexico in the summer, and this winter I visited Hawaii for the first time since I was a child.

You know how, when you're little, everything seems magical and beautiful; and as you get older, you get more cynical and see more negative things about everything? That's why I thought that I might see a slightly less-glamorous Hawaii than I did when I was 4, but guess what?

Hawaii put a giant shush-finger on my mouth and made me see this. Right in my neighborhood.

And I saw that the WAVES themselves are bright teal as they come crashing down toward the shore, floofing into a foamy blanket of white.

And I saw that the plain old "overrated" sunsets look like this.

And that when you go into the mountains, there are slices of sideways, impossibly steep angles covered from bottom to top in lush green. I didn't see any scary bugs, either. Not even one. It was just peaceful, breezy quietness. Probably because all the carpets of green absorb all noise.

And real sea turtles come up and sleep on the beach next to where you're staying. At first they were so still that I was afraid they were dead... but then as I stared at one, he slowly opened his giant dark eyes and gave me a knowing nod. I didn't see any other movement from any of them after that. Magical moment!

And you can chase and find the boldest, hugest, clearest rainbows you've ever dreamed of.

And, since the islands aren't that big, pretty much every common place looks like some variation of this.

And the fruit tastes like heaven in your mouth. Papayas in Oklahoma Wal-mart produce section, please change your name, since it's an insult to the real Papayas that commonly grow in people's yards in Hawaii.

And the sand is ├╝ber-soft between your toes. And the people are friendly, kind, and welcoming. And colorful geckos and random wild chickens are as abundant as squirrels! And the weather truly is perfect, even in the dead of winter. And everything is alive in blazing, brilliant color.

My color-loving heart is about to burst with excitement! Looking forward to a very vibrant 2014.


(All photos are © JUURI Art. You can share them, but please give credit. Thanks!)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Mysterious Girl! "Relentless - Yousha Nashi -"

"Relentless -Yousha Nashi-" | Mixed media on wood panel | 18x24"

 I made this unprecedented-ly wild (for me) painting for Gauntlet Gallery in San Francisco. They had asked me to participate in their 1-year anniversary show, which opened last Saturday. At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to join, since the show's theme of "SEX, DRUGS, MONEY & GUNS" is so decidedly un-JUURI; and I felt like anything I made to go with the theme would just be me trying to be something I'm simply not.

But then suddenly I realized that I do have an opinion on the topic. I have to, since I live in the state which is ranked #1 for drug abuse in the entire country, and this entire country is #1 for illegal drug consumption in this whole world. Did you know that? I didn't before, but now I do; because these days I live in happy proximity to the other (good) side of the law.

I always have to make everything symbolic, though. It's very rewarding to me to hear people's interpretations of the piece, because often they discover something about themselves by thinking deeply! I wonder if you can work out the symbolism. Here are some clues:

My scary AR-15 wielding girl is several people at once: Mexico's Santa Muerte, Japanese folklore monster Hone-Onna (bone-woman), with a touch of a modern Grim Reaper, the Angel of Death, and Lady Justice all rolled into one peony-crowned girl with a ferocious, confident stare and skeleton hands. If the piece had a tagline, it'd be something like this:
If you want to play the game, don't cry when you die.
So, as naughty she may look, my girl is a goodguy, as per my interpretation (and probably most people's) interpretation of the goodguys. You only have to be afraid of her merciless powers if you are doing wrong. And if so, be afraid... she doesn't take prisoners.

Hope she captures some hearts in SF. If you are interested in purchasing, please contact Gauntlet Gallery.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sneek Peek of "Relentless - Yousha Nashi -"

Here is a sneak peek of a piece that is on its way to Gauntlet Gallery in San Francisco. It's for their 1-year anniversary group show. The piece is acrylic and colored pencil on birch board. The fleshtone of my girl's face is actually the wood tone.

If you are in SF, drop by the opening on 12/14 to see it! The artist lineup is quite stellar. I will post the full piece here on the blog after the show opens. Enjoy! <3

Detail of "Relentless -Yousha Nashi-" | Acrylic, colored pencil, oil pastel, & gold pen on birch board | 16x20

Monday, November 25, 2013


The words "moving house" probably fill any Western person with a slight amount of dread at the great undertaking. You'll have to set aside several whole days (or weeks) to pack, hire movers, hold a garage sale, empty the storage facility, and generally sort through the unbelievable amount of stuff that you're accumulated through the years.

I know, because it fills me with dread too. Why should it be like this?

These days, I see more and more how possessions control us. They prevent us from getting up and easily traveling to experience new places, new scenery, new friendships. They command us to live in a state of servitude to their great massiveness. They are cruel masters, and give little in return but momentary happiness.

I saw this meme recently and think it's 100% right!

I've done Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales in the past, but this year I want to do something different. I'm announcing a WHITE FRIDAY event! Let's turn the tables on greed and concentrate on giving. ^^/

Sooooo, this is where I need your help! Tell me who you think should have this framed limited edition "Spring" print, and why. (It can't be yourself. ;)

Comment on this post, on my Facebook, or Twitter. You can even email me [watashi(at)juuriart.com] your suggestion. I will read all the entries and decide upon a recipient over the weekend. Hopefully then you'll see a future post about how it all turned out.

Enjoy a wonderful time with your families or friends! Even if you go stalking those Black Friday deals, don't lose sight of what is most important in the whole world. :)

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Fear of Feeling Home

The more I go through this life, the more I realize that I seem to be in a strange never-ending state of solitude-seeking. A constant state of suspended-reality-seeking. A constant avoidance of those things that make feel like I'm here, now, this this city, in this life, even in this room.

I tend to avoid joining clubs or other social organizations. I have few friends. I have few connections. I float by day after day. Sometimes I feel lonely, but when I try to suddenly delve into connections and clubs and meetings and places, I feel instantly smothered. I feel chained. I feel mired in an inescapable, dreadful sense of real. And real is boring. So off I go again into my dreamy, no-reality, no-place, no-schedule world filled only with ambient electropop, furious painting, sunlight, coffee, and dreams.

It's not that I'm unhappy there... I actually feel quite comfortable. More comfortable than any other place.

Is this even normal? To be afraid of ever feeling "home." To always have the need to be slightly disconnected from everything, everyone, and every place. This constant need to wander, the get lost, to never be quite sure of my surroundings or circumstances.

What does all this have to do with my art? I'm not sure. I feel like there's a connection, but I haven't discovered it yet. Must go wandering into the night again... maybe I'll find it someday...

Photo via Pinterest. This is how I feel, or wish to feel most of the time.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Exciting Changes! + I Need Your Advice

I've been taking a little break from my Japanese art and exploring colors and forms with my abstracts. It's refreshing to switch gears sometimes, and keep my creative brain working without getting too stale.

 However now I've got some new ideas for my Japanese art, which I'm excited to try out. Maybe more faces on wood (only faces!) and a few more kimono patterns surrounding. Perhaps a few smaller square pieces.

This past Friday, I QUIT MY DAY JOB! So now I'm a 100% full-time artist. I am super excited and not afraid at all. My creativity and ideas are exploding, and so are my new ventures.

I learned that positive attitudes really show in your art, and negative attitudes really poison them. I'm not quite sure how this is possible, but it absolutely is: if you are happy, excited, and passionate about what you create, other people will respond and be excited alongside you. If you have a negative attitude and always complain about how people don't respect art, how no-one will attend your shows or buy your paintings, that comes true too. Make an effort to be positive and refuse to think dark thoughts! It might be a struggle at first, but you'll see how your world completely changes because of it.

Photo by Julie Ann Tingley. via Flickr

I also started a new fashion blog called "The Fierce Lamb." It shows off my unique style of girly & tomboyish fashions. Though I try to dedicate enough time to art, I can't live without enjoying fashion. I am so passionate about it, and when I push it to the side to make more time for painting, my creativity suffers. It's strange how all these facets of my interests affect one another.

"The Fierce Lamb" has some exciting projects in the works, too. Announcements soon!

OK, so here's my conundrum amidst all this wonderfulness. I have so many wonderful, exciting ventures that I can't keep up with all my websites! Marketing them all separately is hard, too. I have so many blogs, Facebook pages, and Twitters, ah!

However I hesitate to combine them because I know the value of a carefully curated website with one consistent topic only. What to do, what to doooooo.

Does anyone have advice for me? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

<3 JUURI / Julie

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Letting Loose with Crazy Colors & Abstraction

Sometimes I need to create wild, vibrantly abstract works especially after doing so many pieces with tight detail. It's very therapeutic, and I love painting these riots of pure color and energy! I hope you enjoy them too.

Prism I & Prism II | Mixed media on canvas | 12x12" each

Prism I
Detail of Prism I
Detail of Prism I
Prism II
Detail of Prism II
Detail of Prism II

I even like my newspaper palette after I'm done. What a party!