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Judith Monroe Posts

Above and Beyond…

Earlier this month I took a four day trip down to Scottsdale, Arizona, primarily to attend my opening reception for my show, Land of the Living, at Xanadu Gallery. I took some photos and video, and recently got some from the gallery owner, Jason Horejs, and put a little video together to show you what the trip was like.

I’ve been having fun making the occasional movie and I’ve started posted them on YouTube, so feel free to follow me there, if you like.

 

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Behind the Art – Land of the Living

Land of the Living mixed media artwork by Judith Monroe

 

This piece was pretty unusual in that I suddenly had an image in my mind while sitting in a church service. The lyrics of a song, “land of the living” had stuck in my mind and I first had an image of a tree growing out of a nest with roots coming from below, which I quickly sketched in the border of the bulletin I had with the lyrics, which became the title for the piece. This is also the first piece that I collaged together different photos in a surrealistic manner, and when I sat down to play with different photos, I much preferred the flowers growing out of the nest to a tree. When I work with photos to collage together, I’m not comfortable working on the computer, but rather I prefer to print out lots of small images and play with them together, like working with a jigsaw puzzle. The text that is in a receding layer, is actually a Psalm that includes the title phrase. I’ve also included photos of insects, including a cicada, another insect that goes through metamorphosis and speaks of life transformation, a recurrent theme in many of my pieces.

 

Land of the Living is currently available at Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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P. S. I love you.

This is an update on last week’s post, where I showed you the butterfly – later identified as a Pipevine Swallowtail (P.S.) –  I found while out on a walk and how I decided to bring it home to photograph. Today I’m sharing a couple of my favorite shots with you and offering something, too. I will create a piece of artwork just for you from any one of these five images, just email me! Standard sizes are 6×6″ ($95), 8×8″ ($150), 12×12″ ($250) and 20×20″ ($800) This is going to be fun…

P.S. #1 Pipevine Swallowtail on airplant by Judith Monroe
P.S. #1 Pipevine Swallowtail on airplant by Judith Monroe (above)

 

P.S. #2 Pipevine Swallowtail on airplant by Judith Monroe
P.S. #2 Pipevine Swallowtail on airplant by Judith Monroe (above)

 

P.S. #3 Pipevine Swallowtail on airplant by Judith Monroe
P.S. #3 Pipevine Swallowtail on airplant by Judith Monroe (above)

 

P.S. #4 Pipevine Swallowtail on airplant by Judith Monroe
P.S. #4 Pipevine Swallowtail on airplant by Judith Monroe (above)

 

P.S. #5 Pipevine Swallowtail on airplant by Judith Monroe
P.S. #5 Pipevine Swallowtail on airplant by Judith Monroe (above)
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Like a Child

Sometimes I can be just like a little kid, like when out on a walk and we find a butterfly. This time I just happened to have someone along to take photos of me for a new portrait…

 

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Look! Right there on the path, a butterfly…

 

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I better take a photo of it before it flies away…

 

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Oh my gosh, it isn’t flying away and it just crawled right onto my hand!

 

This is just the coolest thing, I think I’ll take it home and take photos of it in the studio! And wow, doesn’t that make a nice portrait, too?

 

 

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Behind the Art – Fallen

Fallen

This piece, titled “Fallen” is one of the artworks that I have at Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, right now. I am often touched by the beauty of a fallen bird, in this case a small goldfinch that I think flew into a large window. This is the basis for my ongoing Memento Mori series; inspired by the beauty of things even in death and expressing the idea of cherishing life, especially in light of death and the fleeting nature of physical life. The fallen birds also remind me of the Bible story in Matthew of how God knows when even a small bird falls, and how much more he watches over each of us, which gives me great comfort when I feel like things aren’t going the way that I would like them to, and it’s this idea that gives this piece its title. This piece is a little different than some of my work with the inclusion of the frame around the image itself. It has actual leaves and a seedling, as well as one of my sketches and collected papers in the layers. Like most of my pieces, I signed this piece in texture in the lower right hand corner, as well as on the back of the piece. Many people say my Memento Mori series reminds them of the “circle of life” that they find uplifting.

“Fallen” is 20×20″ and  is available at XanaduGallery.com

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A Peek Into the Studio Tonight

Worktable in the art studio of Judith Monroe

I’ve been working on a few things in the studio lately. On the big worktable, the final piece that I’ll be sending to my show at Xanadu Gallery in April, and four little pieces just because. If you’re in the Phoenix area, I’ll be down at Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale for the reception on April 7th – less than a month away! Which is why I need to be finishing up this piece.

I’ve also got a good sized piece of a Sedona landscape going on a smaller worktable, and there are several small pieces I need to get started to send to the Lanning Gallery there. Okay, I better get back to work…

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Behind the Art – The Marriage Bed

The Marriage Bed, mixed media artwork by Judith Monroe

This work started as one of the pieces that I paint live during a church service, it was first painted over the course of two services on one Sunday morning, and was inspired by the subject of marriage, which was the sermon topic. I approached the subject by looking to my own set of natural symbols, here a nest represents a home. This nest holds broken eggs and dead baby birds that stand in for the difficulties that any marriage is bound to face, but is also accompanied by a pair of butterflies, a pair of lives that are transformed by the bond of marriage. The nest image consists of nine separate iPhone photographs, creating a photo mosaic that was first posted to Instagram – I often create photo mosaics there that are later used in artworks. Like most of my work, The Marriage Bed depicts nature and consists of many layers of media, but unlike most, I came back to it after maybe a year from when I first thought I had finished it and realized that it needed a little something more, so I came back to it and added more layers of paint and texture around the outer edges of the piece. I have used actual dried pressed flower stalks as collage elements, as well as my own photographs and collected papers. People often enjoy finding all the little things hidden in my work.

The Marriage Bed – photo transfers, color pencil, acrylic, ephemera, wax pastel & dried pressed flowers on cradled panel (40×40″) Contact for availability.

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Making Art – Tree of Life

I recently finished a big piece I was working on, called Tree of Life. While I was working on part of it, I actually thought to take some time-lapse video of it, then I figured out how to edit things together and make a whole video. I think it’s pretty cool to learn how to do new stuff.

In this video you get to see me cutting a stencil from my own design, then using that stencil to add texture to the piece with modeling paste. After the paste dries, I paint the extra textured part and then add paint to the background. After that, I added more little details by collaging on more of my photos printed pretty small. These are the kind of things that you don’t really see at a distance but that add interest up close and make living with the piece more fun, as you can be discovering new little things in it for some time to come.

 

Tree of Life is 42×42″ and currently available in my studio…

 

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Transition

 

The only constant in life is that things are always changing… and you are likely to see some changes here on my website over the next few days and maybe weeks. My website is getting a little makeover and in the process of this transition it is possible that this blog page will be the only page that is up. (This, by the way, has everything to do with my personal lack of planning, but we won’t dwell on that now.)

 

I will still be posting weekly and hopefully will have portfolio pages so you can see more of my artwork back up rapidly, if you happen to land here when they are missing. 

 

Dakota and the deer skull in Judith Monroe's art studio

 

I just don’t feel right posting without a photo, so I took a quick shot of my small work table with my newest addition to my small taxidermy collection on it. Combined with the deer skull, it kind of has a Halloween flavor to it, so I thought it would be appropriate enough, though honestly this is just everyday stuff in my studio.

 

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