Saturday, January 25, 2020

Out of the Blue

An astonishing thing happened to me this week.

Out of the blue, I got an email from a woman who explained she had inherited a painting that had been in her family most of her life.  Her words "When I was a kid, I never thought about what I wanted to inherit from my parents when they passed away … except for this piece!  It was the one thing I would fight for, I thought."

She did her research online looking for information on the artist Lee Jurick and couldn't find anything, but did find my name then read that my mom was an artist and "Viola!", the mystery was solved.  The magic of the internet. 

This was a meaningful gift to me - to see a tangible reminder of part of my mom's creative soul and it happened to be on the anniversary of my mom's passing 38 years ago.

The painting shows my mom's love for color and especially painting in the Cubism style.  She loved Picasso and Braque.  She really loved all styles of art.  She did pen and ink drawings of life around her in Thailand, then scenery in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  She did linoleum and wood prints and mono-prints, which is when I learned all about printmaking as a young girl.  She even sculpted.  She belonged to the Doylestown Art League during our time in Pennsylvania, where this painting changed hands to the parents of this wonderful woman, who took the time, found me and wrote me an email that made my day.  My week.  My year.

I'm lucky to have a dozen or so pieces of my mom's work.  This has encouraged me to photograph all of what I have and create a devoted page on my website - I'll let you know when that's published.

Good things happen when you least expect it.  Thank you Kris.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

"Rest in Peace"

6 x 8"
oil on panel

I imagine chefs, who prepared elaborate dishes in their restaurant's kitchens all day, sometimes go home hungry and the last thing they want to do is spend their time off whipping up something as elaborate.  I imagine they kick off their shoes and wing it. Maybe a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup.

Today I opted for grilled cheese.  First staining a white panel with a rosy/lipstick red - then, without sketching anything out, just paint.  It's liberating.  It's necessary.

Part of my mindset this morning was to work with the paint much like one of my favorite artist, Jennifer McChristian.  Her paintings have life.  She shows constraint in overworking edges, using the rosy base color peeking through the colors she loads on top. 

From the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, a woman rests in a sunlit area.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

"Feast Your Eyes"

6 x 8"
oil on panel

There are some artists who don't have much in the way of biographies, especially those who practiced their craft in the early 1800's.  Henri Lehmann is one of those artists.

Henri Lehmann was a German-born French painter and at the age of 17, Lehmann's father sent him to Paris to study under the well-known classical painter Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres.  The portrait in my painting, The Girl, could very well be mistaken for an Ingres piece.  Very precise, classical pose, elaborate garb.  In fact, this painting shares the same room in the National Gallery of Art with his tutor Ingres.

Lehmann went on to teach at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts) in Paris and taught notable artists such as George Seurat and Pierre Bonnard and you'll find many works of art in museums by those and other alumni.

Monday, January 6, 2020


6 x 8"
oil on panel

The very wise art historian Sister Wendy once explained Mark Rothko's work as the natural world around us.  This painting, Untitled, 1952, reminds me of autumn tones - Indian summer skies, leaves of browns/reds/golds.

Painting Rothko's colors is my way of practicing the mixing of paints, perhaps discovering tones I may have neglected in my own work.  Kinda like adding different spices or herbs to a recipe.  It's good exercise.