Friday, June 20, 2014

New Piece: "Baien"

I decided to go back to a previous method or working: cutting girls out of paper and pasting them on wood! Whooo, it was exhilarating and fun. I've missed it!

This piece is quite large, a 2x2 foot square. The girl is watercolor & colored pencil on paper. The background is acrylic paint on top of a birch panel. The golden parts are real gold leaf that shine in the light. She took me about a fortnight to complete.

Baien -梅園- | Watercolor, acrylic, & colored pencil on wood | 24 x 24"

She is called "Baien" after a heavenly nature park which I visited last time I was in Japan. Baien is in the sleepy little seaside town of Atami, not far outside of Tokyo. Atami is famous for its onsen (natural hot springs.) The town is a bit old fashioned and quaint, and that's what I love about it! You can explore its slightly shabby steep streets endlessly and be greeted by friendly faces everywhere you turn.

Anyway: I'm glad we decided to pay the small entry fee for Baien. It was well worth it because it turned out to be one of the most beautiful, serene, and peaceful places I've ever been. The area was in a quiet valley filled with plum and cherry trees of all sorts. Waterfalls and rivers wove alongside the walking paths, and filtered sunlight streamed in from above. Here and there were old style Japanese houses and gardens through which you could wander. It was early spring, so the weather was perfect.









We stayed in a hotel close by. And yes, the onsen (hot springs) are marrrrvelouuuuuus.

One morning, I got up early and had a peaceful soak in the hot water. There weren't many people there, so I felt like I was in my own private paradise. The water was soooo warm and comforting, the sunlight was streaming in through the windows and making the steam glow all around me, and my stress level was truly at 0. I closed my eyes and tried to lock in that memory, since it was such a perfectly blissful moment.

Those happy feelings have come back to me lately. And that's why I wanted to paint "Baien" girl, to remind me of being perfectly happy and enveloped softly by the warmth of the natural water. The bright pink flowers in her hair remind me of that beautiful Baien park forevermore. I hope you feel serene, peaceful, and content when you look at her.

So now you know the story behind her. Check out this step-by-step process video! It's just 52 seconds long, don't worry.



C-ya,
Julie (JUURI)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Nurturing Your "Mood"

If you're an A+ blood type person like me, you're always looking for ways to organize, save time and energy, and make things efficient.

For me, that included cutting out TV watching, movie watching, searching for less new Japanese music online and just being content with the Spotify stream, less online clothes shopping, and less browsing of fashion / interior design magazines.

All those changes were fine and made me into some sort of efficient, time-saving art robot.

But after awhile, I missed being human!

That's when I realized that one's "mood" is very important, and very conducive to good creativity! Not to mention that you'll feel happy and fulfilled to set aside a little bit of time for those "other fun" things that you enjoy, even if they seemingly have nothing to do with your concrete goals, such as finishing a painting by the end of the week.

So this is what I do now.

When an episode of my favorite Japanese variety show "Smapxsmap" is made available online, I watch it during lunchtime. I never laugh so hard as I do when watching Smap and their hilarious antics. It makes me have a great mood, and gets my brain thinking in Japanese. When I think in Japanese, Japanese inspiration soaks into my head more easily. I'm not sure why, but it does.

番組の激しい字幕が何より面白い...

I periodically browse Netflix for new artistic-looking foreign films. The beautiful visuals recharge my brain and creativity like nothing else! I especially like slow, visually luscious films with deep meaning. My recent favorite is "Hara-Kiri: The Death of a Samurai." (And not just because I loooooooove Ichikawa Ebizo!) (✿ ♥‿♥)

相変わらず市川海老蔵っていつもカッコいい〜!やーめーて!

I look online for Japanese radio streams, and browse YouTube for my favorite artists and save good songs to a playlist. I have so many favorite artists that there's no end to new releases from them. I made this drawing late at night whilst listening to Moriyama Naotaro's beautiful song 「愛のデーゼ」.


I renewed my subscription to Elle Decor, since there's something special about having a magazine in your hands... and curling into a comfy chair with a cup of coffee, and reading the evening away. That's a special feeling that fast browsing of online blogs can't give you.

I could spend lots of time checking out the visual feast of this room!
 I also don't stop myself from browsing at Lookbook and shopping online for clothes (though I usually don't buy... I just put things into my shopping cart and feel happy.)

Great look... exciting combination of texture & color!

 Beauty and happiness are everywhere, and it's good to soak it up into your mind to nurture a healthy mood without being too rigid about a "schedule."

Let me know what things you do to keep a creative feeling going!

J


Friday, May 30, 2014

Changes to Simplify Things

The "illustration" section of my consolidated website.












Recently I feel so very busy— I'm doing a million things but not doing any of them well. Part of the problem is that the number of websites, online stores, and Facebook / Twitter pages for my creative stuff has gotten a little out of hand. I meant well enough... separating things by genre and audience. However, I've come to the conclusion that running myself ragged trying to market and promote several sites (all for my art) is a bit silly.

I don't think it's bad that I explored all those options... you can't know what works or doesn't until you try it. So it wasn't a wasted journey.

Anyway:

All my art is now here under my usual website: www.juuriart.com

I've put my Japanese-flavored art, my "abstract" art, and my crazy colorful illustrations. That's basically everything I create. I sometimes create random things (like motorcycle & gun art, t-shirt designs, photography, etc) but I realized that I don't have to have a website for everything I do in life. A very clever person once told me that my website should be a curated viewing experience. I've remembered his sage advice now and shall endeavor to live by it.

I'm phasing out my Storenvy shop called "Fash Art Home" and simply keeping one Etsy shop for Japanese art, one Etsy shop for non-objective art. That's all. They are both linked on my website so it shouldn't be too confusing.

I tried Storenvy for awhile and really like the interface and the fact that it's free; however I never got much traffic there anyway and all the spontaneous sales came through Etsy. So, bye-bye to that for now.

Huzzah to simplifications and consolidations! Now that everything's straightened out, I hope I can get to work on some new pieces, whether they are Japanese, abstracts, or just plain old wild sketches. And you can get all that news on one website, one Facebook, and one blog. Just as it should be!

Cheers,
J

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wandering...

For the past few months, I feel like I'm flitting to and fro in a mysterious landscape full of inspiration. Wild, fervent inspiration that only lasts a few minutes and then burns out in a spectacular flame.

I can't even finish the sketch before the vision is gone. A few hours later, I come upon another mind-numbing inspiring thought... try to capture her, but then she disappears before I can even find a pencil.

Why can I not find a bleeding pencil!? I need to buy a bucketload and have them available absolutely everywhere.

So, I haven't finished anything worthwhile in months.

Most of the time these days I can't even draw. My skill eludes me. I don't know what's going on.

How long do I have to say in this strange place, I wonder?  Why am I full of thoughts I can't express?

It's terribly, horribly frustrating. I'm not sure when I'll find a cure.


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 über-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.

<3 JUURI

(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 to explore a grim topic that I had been thinking about lately. That is illegal drugs. I realize that it's a bit weird for an artist to be so opposed to drugs, (aren't we all supposed to smoke weed and say f*** the police all the time whilst creating angst-y, shocking works?) Maybe so, but I've never fit in with the crowd.

Anyway, I currently 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. I had never known those facts before. But I do now. It bothers me a lot to see so many mentally distressed people wandering the streets in my city, many who got into their present condition from years of drug abuse.

So, back to the (mostly symbolic) painting: 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. I believe everyone who traffics or manufactures drugs for profit without regard to the suffering it causes will all be punished somehow in the end. In the real world, the punisher won't be a pretty slight girl like the one in this painting... that's just my JUURI imagination working as usual.

I hope you like the look of her face and the vivid colors. I had a lot of fun creating this beautiful yet somber piece. Hopefully it reminds people that justice is coming.

<3 JUURI






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