Art for a cause

Victoria Street

Victoria Street Edinburgh. Available.

If you subscribe to my newsletter or follow my Facebook page, you may already know that my husband’s leukemia has recently returned. The first time he was sick, in 2013, I really struggled to keep making art during his treatment and recovery. This time around, I am trying to make art a priority as much as possible. I am sneaking in short sessions in the studio whenever I can, while still fulfilling the role of caregiver to the best of my ability.

The Street to the Castle

The Street to the Castle. Available.

I’m keeping myself motivated with a pledge to donate at least 10% of all my art sales through the end of 2016 to charities which serve blood cancer patients (through research, stem cell donor registries, and other support). If you’d like to see what work I have available, check out my online shop.

Tuscan farmhouse yellow

Yellow Farmhouse Tuscany. Available.

So far I’ve raised almost ¬£500 through sales and other donations, which feels amazing and makes me want to keep going. Scott and I are reading up on various charities to decide how the funds will be split. Some will definitely go to DKMS to help with the costs of registering new potential donors (myself and many friends included).


Cocooned. Available.

We also want to direct some of the donation towards whichever registry managed to find Scott’s donor – so far we have been told that a match has indeed been found for him (a huge relief), but we don’t have any more details yet. Once we find out, I’ll share them in a future update.

Biergarten at Chinese Tower

Biergarten at Chinese Tower. Available.

Scott will be receiving his transplant in Glasgow, where he’ll be in hospital for at least four weeks (and possibly much longer). I’m currently trying to figure out what type of art I want to make while there in my temporary accommodation. What supplies should I bring along? What subjects could I tackle?

Missing Faces

Hold Me 2

Untitled work in progress, mixed media.

I love painting and drawing faces. Portraiture has always been a big part of my artistic practice. So why have faces been missing from so much of my recent work?


Untitled work in progress, mixed media.

It’s possible that I was too focused on faces, to the point of not paying enough attention to other parts of the composition, the body, the scene. These faceless pieces feel like a challenge I’ve set for myself to see if I can still create interesting art without relying on facial details and expression. I’m finding them intriguing, and I’ve had some positive feedback from others so far, as well, so I guess I am doing something right.


Untitled work in progress, mixed media.

I’m certainly not done with faces forever – in fact a number of my current works in progress are very face-focused – but for now I want to continue to explore these faceless figures, too. My husband thinks they look like robots. To me they evoke those little wooden artists’ manikins, or possibly some of the mannequins found in Giorgio de Chirico’s work.

I’m raising money for leukemia research! At least 10% of all my art sales through the end of the year will be donated to blood cancer charities. If you’d like to help me out, you can shop my available work online here.

New work

In the Water by Julie Galante

In the Water, 16.5x15cm, mixed media on paper. [SOLD]

I’ve been pretty quiet for the past several months – not just here but all over the place. I wasn’t making tons of art, at least not finished pieces, but I was mulling over lots of ideas for what I want to do next. An artist friend of mine said she calls this a chrysalis period.

You and Me

You and Me, 32x24cm, mixed media on paper. [SOLD]

So here I am, emerging from the chrysalis. The new work I’m creating weaves together many different ideas and subjects. I’ve been thinking a lot about migration and our relationships with places, and with other people. I’ve been incorporating¬†imagery from old family photos and history, public archives, and my everyday life.

Hold Me

Hold Me, 15.5x15cm, mixed media on paper. [SOLD]

My oil paints are still on the shelf, as mixed-media supplies have taken over all of my working surfaces: inks, watercolors, gesso, acrylics, pencils, pastels, conte, charcoal, and a bunch of other things. I do love my art supplies.

newart - 2

Untitled (Italian woman at Ellis Island). [SOLD]

Expressive inky layers

inkdrawings - 1

I’m still here, working through the exercises in my expressive drawing course. Overall I’m still really enjoying it. The exercises are confirming my love for working in mixed media on paper, so much so that it might be another month or two before I go back to oil painting.

These first two images are experiments in creating narrative scenes. Using imagery from a variety of photographs, sketches, and previous exercises, I combined unrelated pictorial elements to make these scenes. I started with no particular themes or ideas, but as the images came together I found myself spontaneously thinking up narratives to go with them. I really liked this, and would like to incorporate it into future work. How delightful is the idea of a piece that inspires stories to be written in the viewer’s mind? Sounds like something to strive for in my art.

inkdrawings - 3

Below are six partial faces. I am so bad at knowing when to stop, and it’s twice as hard when the goal is to create an image that is incomplete. There’s something I like about each one of them, but they could all probably use another pass. Perhaps I’ll come back to them later.

inkdrawings - 2

All of these pieces are primarily ink and ink wash.

Art Every Day Month, day 30

stockbridgeview - 1

A work in progress for you today, the very last day of Art Every Day Month. Today my expressive drawing course is tackling architecture, which is a different challenge than we’ve had so far. Mostly we’ve been looking at organic shapes until now. How to maintain expressiveness while communicating straight lines and right angles?

I ran out of daylight on this one, so I’ll have to come back to it tomorrow and hope that the light conditions are similar. It’s the view out my studio window, a view I never get tired of. I’d like to build up more layers on top of what I have now, and create some areas of detail and others of lost edges and haziness.

Thank you so much to all of you who have been visiting and commenting here during Art Every Day Month. It has been a lot of fun, and I feel so much warm, fuzzy appreciation for all of the kind support you’ve offered me. I plan to continue to post about my progress with expressive drawing and everything else I get up to in the studio, just not quite as often as we head into December.

Art Every Day Month, day 29

reworkedportrait - 1

The end of the month is sneaking up on us, I fear. Today I took an unsuccessful piece from earlier in the month and worked a portrait on top of it. I enjoyed the process but I think I took it a little too far – it was more interesting when more of the earlier image showed through. Plus I was a little too aggressive with my mark-making, shredding the paper in places (like around her cheek). We’ll just call it another learning experience, shall we? I could have avoided the tears if I had just put it aside and worked on something else in between some of the wet layers. Always good to have several pieces going at once, isn’t it?

Art Every Day Month, day 28

MuybridgeDrawings - 1

Today’s assignment was to draw a series of Muybridge poses using layers of gesso and marks-all pencil. I tried it twice, but I’m still disappointed with the results. Both would have been better if I had overlapped the figures more, been more forceful with the pencil marks, and been more expressive with my mark-making. Probably if I spent more time with them, I could bring them to a more satisfying place, but I’m not sure whether it’s worth the time. Perhaps I should just move on to the next exercise.

MuybridgeDrawings - 2

I think I’m disappointed with these in part because I was so happy with the portrait exercises from earlier in the week. I feel like I’m going backwards somehow. Perhaps it just means that I need to work on my figure drawing skills more. It’s always good to look for opportunities to develop as an artist.

Art Evert Day Month, day 27

figuresinklayers - 1

OK, I don’t really know what’s going on here. There are bits I like, here and there, so overall I’m going to consider it a successful experiment with a new technique. This week my online course is all about pushing things further by building up layers. This piece has many layers of inks and ink washes. It might be worth re-attacking at a later date with different materials, or maybe it’s just going in the recycle bin. Time will tell.

Art Every Day Month, day 26

inklineportrait - 1

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I baked a pumpkin pie this morning and now the whole house smells like pie and I’m wondering how I’m going to keep myself from eating the pie before dinner tonight.

This was an exercise in discipline, in a way. The idea was to build up the image using only ink wash lines with a small brush.

Art Every Day Month, day 25

pencillayerportrait - 1

This was an exercise in adding and taking away using pencils, graphite powder, and erasers, leaving a history of mark-making on the page. I think I could have pushed it further, but I started to run out of daylight. I’ve found that I can work comfortably after dark with bolder materials such as ink and even charcoal, but for materials such as oil paint or (as it turns out) graphite, my studio lighting seems insufficient for me to see as much nuance as I want to. With the short days in Scotland these days, I’m going to have to either shift all my studio time back to the mornings, or figure out more lighting.