“You don’t decide to be an artist – art gets inside of you. It’s like falling in love.” –Carmen Herra

Henrietta 14x10 birch panel

14×10 birch panel

Living in the city these days makes me miss all the farm animals I used to see and hear daily. We do get to enjoy our mountain home a couple of times a month, but this month has been extremely busy. We’ve traveled and had company and I haven’t had much chance to be in my studio. Although this week is finally all mine! I gessoed four boards yesterday – all different sizes and hope to paint daily. I started with this small board first – I laid down the underpainting last night and this morning Henrietta was born.

So happy to be painting again. I get a little cranky when I’m away too long.

“The truth of a thing is the feel of it, not the think of it.” -Stanley Kubrick

Posted in acrylics, folk art, Judy Shreve, mixed media, painting | 4 Comments


“If you feel something calling you to dance or write or paint or sing, please refuse to worry about whether you’re good enough. Just do it. Be generous. Offer a gift to the world no one else can offer: yourself.” -Glennon Doyle Melton

October is a busy tourist month in the mountains. Especially in North Georgia. There are apples to pick, corn mazes to lose yourself in, mountain music to listen to and the fall colors to take in. Or if you don’t want to be part of the crowds, you can take a hike and immerse yourself in all the beautiful colors. Fall is also a busy month for the storekeepers. I sold five pieces at High Country Art & Antique. Again, I wish I could personally thank each person who took one of my paintings home. I am honored and amazed. These are the pieces that sold:

Also this Friday night, November 13 is the opening reception for ‘Spotlight’ at Bennett Galleries Nashville. This show will run through the holidays.


I have twelve pieces available for this show – different sizes and prices. Hope you can come if you are in the area. Bennetts will sell by phone and ship.

“The thing to remember when you’re writing is, it’s not whether or not what you put on paper is true. It’s whether it wakes a truth in your reader.” – Charles de Lint

Posted in acrylics, folk art, galleries, Judy Shreve | 2 Comments

New Work Headed to the Galleries

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” –Twyla Tharp

Being able to use social media to share my work is wonderful – I love the feedback and the conversations, but it has also caused some confusion for those wishing to purchase a particular piece. I only sell my work through my two galleries (if you are interested look under the above tab ‘Where to Purchase My Work’). So with that in mind, I will try to do a better job at indicating where each painting is headed. You can always message me on Facebook or leave a comment here, too.

This is the new work headed to Bennett Galleries Nashville. This work will be included in a show, Spotlight, that opens on November 13. The show will feature nine artists – all new to their gallery this year. The work will be up through the holidays. Bennetts sells by phone and ships.

I’m also taking new work to High Country Art in Blue Ridge. They will also sell by phone and ship.

“I wish to paint in such a manner as if I were photographing dreams.” -Zdzislaw Beksinski

Posted in folk art, galleries, Judy Shreve | 9 Comments

And the Band Played

“The imagination is a palette of bright colors. You can use it to touch up memories or you can use it to paint dreams.” -Robert Brault

And the Band Played acrylics and charcoal 12x12 birch panel

And the Band Played
acrylics and charcoal
12×12 birch panel

The above photo is taken with my iPhone instead of my Canon point and shoot. I usually take my photos outside and it has been raining for days with more to come. This painting is headed to Bennett Galleries Nashville for the show, ‘Spotlight’ which opens November 13 and runs through the holidays.

And I just heard yesterday that my gallery, High Country Art in Blue Ridge has sold 5 paintings this month, so I need to get busy and get them some new work too. Good thing I love to paint. Have you seen the articles lately about ‘coloring’ being as good as meditation for calmness and stress relief? No wonder I get cranky if I haven’t painted in a few days.

“The purpose of art is not to produce a product. The purpose of art is to produce thinking. The secret is not the mechanics or technical skill that create art, but the process of introspection and different levels of contemplation that generate it. Once you learn to embrace this process, your creative potential is limitless.” –Erik Wahl

Posted in acrylics, art philosophy, charcoal, folk art, galleries, Judy Shreve, painting | Comments Off on And the Band Played

Zelda and Her Mystical Tabby

“I am on a journey – with my work, my explorations and a few stories. I travel with a suitcase full of outrageous blessings. I am on a quest for truth, beauty + quiet joy. I am an artist, a writer. I am an explorer.” -Anonymous

Zelda and Her Mystical Tabby acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels 12x12 birch panel

Zelda and Her Mystical Tabby
acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels
12×12 birch panel

I was surprised to find I have not posted on this blog in a month! Time is funny. Sometimes it flies by and some days it just drags on. I am busy getting ready for a show at Bennett Galleries Nashville. They are highlighting their new artists and the show, ‘Spotlight’ opens November 13 and runs through the holidays. Happily I can say I will be at the opening! YAY!

I don’t paint cats very often. I used to have a cat – Miss Lucy. When I met my (future) husband over 30 years ago, I invited him to dinner. He sneezed from the moment he arrived – politely ate dinner and left as soon as he could – still sneezing. Needless to say, he’s allergic to cats. We did have one — a very mystical black cat that started out being an outdoor cat. She won him over and she ended up moving inside — and with her magical power – she temporarily  cured him of his allergies. She’s the only one that ever accomplished that. I tried a couple more times to bring a cat home and he sneezed at every one.

“I want to be magic. I want to touch the heart of the world and make it smile. I want to be a friend of elves and live in a tree or under a hill. I want to marry a moonbeam and hear the stars sing. I don’t want to pretend at magic anymore. I want to be magic.” -Charles de Lint

Posted in acrylics, folk art, galleries, Judy Shreve, painting | 2 Comments

New work at Bennett Galleries Nashville

“A person’s life purpose is nothing more than to rediscover, through the detours of art or love or passionate work, those one or two images in the presence of which his heart first opened.” -Albert Camus


Just shipped these four pieces to Bennett Galleries Nashville (info on the gallery is under the above tab – ‘Where to Purchase My Work’). Bennett Galleries has been a great place for my work. I was accepted into their gallery this past June and I took seven pieces. They have two pieces left, so I’ve been working hard these last few weeks to get them more work.

Having my work there has been great. Hunter Museum in Chattanooga has a big fundraiser/silent auction every year. A committee from the museum goes to several big city galleries to choose work for the auction. One of my pieces was selected from Bennetts. YAY!

Also Bennett Galleries ran an ad in the Nashville Art Magazine last month and used an image of one of my paintings in the ad.

Ad in Nashville Arts Magazine

Ad in Nashville Arts Magazine

A friend of mine who lives in Nashville emailed me when he saw it. I was taken by surprise. I had no idea this would be in the magazine. It ended up in a sale! YAY!

And finally I will be part of a show at Bennetts which opens November 13 and runs through the holidays.The show will feature nine of their newest artists – so happy to be included!

Success when you are older has a frivolous sort of charm unlike anything one can experience in their youthful twenties and thirties. It feels like a deliciously surprising treat – as if I’ve entered a second childhood. Whatever the nature of the feeling, it lets me know that it is absolutely possible to re-create happiness at any age. It astonishes me. It also proves that one should never give up on their dreams.

“I have been in love with painting ever since I became conscious of it at the age of six. I drew some pictures I thought fairly good when I was fifty, but really nothing I did before the age of seventy was of any value at all. At seventy-three I have a last caught every aspect of nature – birds, fish, animals, insects, trees, grasses, all. When I am eighty I shall have developed still further and I will really master the secrets of art at ninety. When I reach a hundred my work will be truly sublime and my final goal will be attained around the age of one hundred and ten, when every line and dot I draw will be imbued with life.” -Hokusai

Posted in folk art, Judy Shreve | 10 Comments

When Elephants Dream

“The imagination is a palette of bright colors. You can use it to touch  up memories or you can use it to paint dreams.” -Robert Brault

When Elephants Dream acrylics and charcoal 24x24 birch panel

When Elephants Dream
acrylics and charcoal
24×24 birch panel

I’ve been intrigued by elephants lately. I am not surprised we are finally realizing how intelligent this animal is — capable of thinking, remembering and showing emotional empathy for their own species and others.

I’ve also been reading about folklore associated with elephants. Some people believe if you have an image or sculpted elephant in your home the trunk must be up and if so it will bring happiness and good fortune. Others believe that the trunk must be down so all the good fortune can shower down on your path. That reminds me of the horseshoe — up or down?

So do you think animals dream? Do they just dream of food and foraging? Or do they dream of their mates and their children?  Do they hear music playing? Do animals have their own dreams and wishes?

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” -Mark Twain

Posted in folk art, Judy Shreve | 9 Comments

The Believer

“That’s the thing about magic; you’ve got to know it’s still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you.” -Charles de Lint

The Believer acrylics and charcoal 36x30 cradled birch panel

The Believer
acrylics and charcoal
36×30 cradled birch panel

This is a big piece for me. Getting all the paint on it for the background wore me out more than once. And then reaching across the wide space was a challenge. I actually painted upside down a couple of times. I want to paint even bigger, but thought I would start slowly and work my way up. Each painting –  no matter the size – teaches me. The last painting I purchased is impressive in its content – but even more impressive because of its size (48×40). It has a presence.

This magical girl shows up in a lot of my work. Sometimes she dances. Sometimes she plays a musical instrument. And sometimes she communicates with animals. Each time she does any of these things, it requires me — and I hope the viewer – to suspend their normal way of seeing things. To believe in something larger than themselves — and of course, that is different for different people. Anyway — just hope you are a true believer of your own magic.

“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic – the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.” -Charles de Lint

Posted in acrylics, folk art, Judy Shreve, mixed media, painting | 6 Comments

New Studio – New Process

“I am an artist — It’s self-evident that what that word implies is looking for something all the time without ever finding it in full. It is the opposite of saying, ‘I know all about it. I’ve already found it.’ As far as I’m concerned, the word, artist, means – ‘I am looking. I am hunting for it. I am deeply involved.'” –Vincent van Gogh

By The Light of the Moon acrylics 24x24 birch panel

By The Light of the Moon
24×24 birch panel

I’ve always heard that changing your studio location will change your work. It seems logical that your surroundings would influence your thoughts and ideas which would result in a change in your subject matter. But I am actually approaching the canvas (birch panel) differently. I have a bigger space and a better layout and that helps, but instead of painting a background and then drawing my images and painting them, I am now painting the background and then finding the images in the painting. It’s a lot like laying in the grass and finding the shapes in the clouds. For example, in the above painting the girl and the bird are both the background. After highlighting those shapes by painting around them, I finished the painting.

I like this process, because it’s a much more intuitive way of working. This process helps to keep my thinking/critical mind quiet. I like that this also seems to create bolder, simpler paintings. This piece was also painted with this process. In this piece the bird and the woman are the background. I ‘saw’ the woman’s hair and hat first, then her body. I had to set it aside for a little while and when I came back to it, there was the bird. And as you can see, I painted over the background to create the bird’s color. The grass, sky, tree and orb were all added after the woman and bird.

The Bird Listener (24x24)

The Bird Listener (24×24) (sold)

I’m sure I will continue to paint rabbits. I think there will be a few more that will emerge. They are so fun to paint – almost a release. The above van Gogh quote really nails it – art making is a constant search.

Can’t believe it’s already September. Soon the leaves will begin to change and we will be wearing coats before we know it.

“When you’re an artist, nobody ever tells you or hits you with the magic wand of legitimacy. You have to hit your own head with your own handmade wand. And you feel stupid doing it. There’s no ‘correct path’ to becoming a real artist. You might think you’ll gain legitimacy by going to a university, getting published, getting signed to a record label, but it’s all in your head. You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.” -Amanda Palmer

Posted in acrylics, art philosophy, drawing, Judy Shreve, painting, rabbits, studio space | 4 Comments

How A Rabbit Is Born (safe for work)

“Play is the essence of creativity. Creative play and gut reaction, instinct. When I work on a piece I play. I have a whole huge selection of the studio where I have an inventory of sculptural forms, simple abstract, non-specific shapes that I find beautiful and enjoy making. Then I start building these shapes together. And then I find myself smiling. I say ‘hello! I think I’ve got something.’ The process is intuitive, not intellectual. You have to learn to be spontaneous and trust yourself.” -Ruth Duckworth

I’ve described my process for making my rabbits before with words, so I thought I would show you in images. They are born through a series of line marks and paint. I had two birch panels each 12×12 gessoed and ready to go. I knew I wanted to paint a couple of rabbits, but as I applied the background paint, I decided to do them both the same. Once the background was complete, I began the rabbit with a rough sketch. At this stage I can erase the charcoal lines until I feel the rabbit’s personality start to emerge. I then spray a fixative so I can continue without smudging the charcoal lines.

WIP - rabbit 12x12

WIP – rabbit

WIP - other rabbit 12x12

WIP – other rabbit

At first these were going to be two separate paintings, but after painting in the first layer of paint, I set them on my easel side-by-side and walked away to let the paint dry. When I came back and looked, I knew that these needed to be framed together in the same frame.

This step is often repeated, line marks with charcoal, fixative, more paint.

WIP - step 2 12x12

WIP – step 2

And below is the final image.  They will be framed, shadow-box style together. Not just two rabbits — but best friends, born together, friends forever.

Best Friends acrylics, charcoal 12x24 birch panel

Best Friends
acrylics, charcoal
12×24 birch panel


When we framed the two 12×12 birch panels, we decided on switching the position. And that position called for a new title – ‘Old Friends.’ You know those friends you’ve had forever. The ones that you can disagree with and still love each other.

Which position do you like best?

Old Friends  acrylics, charcoal, cold wax 12x24 birch panel

Old Friends
acrylics, charcoal, cold wax
12×24 birch panel

“To say that making art is a conversation or dialogue between the maker and the paper is to oversimplify. It is a series of attractions and repulsion that may begin with intention and end with analysis, but the real meaning (the truth of the work) is arrived at in the processes and moments of making.” –William Kentridge

Posted in acrylics, charcoal, folk art, Judy Shreve, rabbits | 8 Comments