Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Oh Tanenbaum!

Went to the Tate Britain today to see Tacita Dean's tree. Doh! They took it down before the Christmas break. I hear it was lovely...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I hope your holidays are cheerful and the new year sees your dreams come true!

(Image is from the Christmas card we made this year!)

Monday, December 07, 2009

Private View Dec 4th, Waltham Forest Arts Club Winter Show, Vestry House Museum

My small painting "Twilight No. 1" from the Twilight Series, in the lovely Walthamstow exhibition. Some really good work on show and nicely hung.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Waltham Forest Arts Club Winter Show, Vestry House Museum

Waltham Forest Arts Club, that infamous and mischievous bunch of creatives from NorthEast London, is proud to present a Winter Exhibition with an eclectic mix of works in print, paint and sculpture as well as an interactive piece and film.

at the Vestry House Museum
Vestry Road, Walthamstow E17 9NH
Wednesday to Sunday 5-24 December, 10am-5pm

We cordially invite you to our opening night on Friday 4 December, 7-9pm.

We hope to see you there!

Martin Adams
Roan Allen
David Barette
Valeria Bateson
Anna Bisset
Janet Bowstead
Julie Caves
Monika Cilmi
Brenda Coyle
Nancy Crowe
Ashleigh Dix
Cheryl Dix
Sieglinde Dlabal
Duncan Evans
Pauline Evans
Diana Furlong
Amy Henson
Wayne Keenan
Kim Kirby
Jo Landau
Wendy LeBer
Yvonne Overton
Anna Pczuska
Nadiya Pavliv
Helen Porter
Shirley Pountney
Katja Rosenberg
Sono Scott
Christina Sibley
Anna Spain
David Sullivan
Pete Tomlinson
Trish Willock

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The latest news

October and November have been quite busy.

* I finished the 2 series' for the #MailArt project and posted them off. I have been receiving the exchange cards almost every day and have been scanning them and posting them to the Flickr page.

* I will have a small painting in the Waltham Forest Art Club Winter Show in December. One of the Twilight series.

* I am making a big painting to take to the States next week. First time to roll a painting. Will be good to learn how that works out. Especially since the oil will not be bone dry.

* The CREATE conference in Gargnano, Italy was fantastic. Lots of conservation science. Really fascinating. And gratifying to know there are people out there devoting their time to preserving art, old and new. I have plans to work with some Italian scientists to look at the longevity of some of the materials I use. We also have a collaborative art project going and I am working with some great people, it should be interesting.

* The Twitter 140 Art Show finished its exhibition in Arizona and is looking for its next home. Anyone with ideas please contact me.

* I participated in Ryan Gander's We Are Constant project at the Frieze Art Fair. It was my favourite piece at the show.

* I attended an intensive workshop on colour with Jane de Sausmarez. It was great to do all the exercises I had read about in all the good colour theory books like Johannes Itten's book. We did 20 hours of exact mixing and painting of charts, ruthless.

* I ran out of the studio last night just in time to make it to see the last of the Guy Fawkes Night fireworks in Victoria Park. Beautiful, reflecting on the canal. Ooh, ahh.

* It looks like the Colour Group of Great Britain will not be having an exhibition in December as planned. Don't know when, now.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Artist of the Week

I am Artist of the Week on the Twitter 140 Art Show blog.
Sheree Rensel has done a great job!

Friday, October 16, 2009


At this stage of making the postcard paintings I have painted the fourth layer of acrylic paint, still wet.

This is 3 of the 10 postcards sent from the series Leaves From My Street.

The #MailArt2 mailart project was organised on Twitter. In September and October 2009, the 29 participants in my group, from the USA, UK, Ireland, Australia and Canada, mailed each other art.

Each artist made 28 unique postcard-sized artworks and posted them (without an envelope, so they would show the signs of the mail system and wear and tear).

I made two series:

Leaves From My Street is a series of 10 unique pieces.
The postcards, made from 300lb smooth watercolour board, are painted with layers of transparent acrylic paint and acrylic resin gel, built up over a few weeks. This creates a depth that gives a three-dimensional aspect to the paintings. The lower layers create a green landscape with blue sky. The top layer has the branch of a tree painted in the foreground. There is also a small autumn leaf embedded in the top layer of clear gel, floating above the scene. A poem about blue skies and trees is handwritten on the back. They are each signed and numbered.

The Whole Picture
is a painting cut into 18 pieces.
I cut the 22x30 inch painting, made by pouring and layering transparent acrylic paints and resin gels onto gessoed 300lb smooth watercolour board, into 18 pieces. Each was given an identifying code as to its place in the picture. Each postcard is an individual painting, but it is also part of a greater whole. The pieces were posted to 18 different cities in four countries. Perhaps one day they will be re-united and the recipients can see the whole picture.

This is the original image intact, 22x30 inches. Acrylic on gessoed 300lb paper.

This is the painting cut in to 18 parts for the series The Whole Picture.

A detail shot, some of the 18 small paintings / postcards.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

CREATE at Lake Garda!

I will be in Italy next week for the next CREATE training conference: Training Course 5: Colour Heritage and Conservation, hosted by the Università Degli Studi Di Milano. A whole week at Lake Garda (think: backdrop for the last 007) learning and sharing ideas about colour! Heaven!

Friday, October 09, 2009

4 year blogiversary

It doesn't seem possible but I have been writing this blog for four years now. Wow.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Not working builds up pressure

"When an artist is not working, there is mounting pressure that nothing can relieve but work." -Julia Cameron

This quote was tweeted on Twitter last week. The sentiment is true for me. I get more and more difficult to live with (or so I am told) if I go through a patch, for some reason, where I cannot go to the studio and work. I think it might be this: I use a part of my brain when making work that I do not use in regular life. When this part is used it keeps a balance in my brain. When it is not used I become "unbalanced". (Mostly irritable and snappish).
That's my thinking on it for today anyway.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Tiny Touring Print Show

I have a 5cm square print, Autumn Leaf, in the Tiny Touring Print Show in Bristol. It is a group of tiny prints exhibited in a travelling trunk. Its first stop will be the IMPACT print conference in September. Then it's off to see the world!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Collective Egg

The Giant Egg Event: Artists, Writers, Architects, Photographers, Poets, Working together to help Save the Rainforests of Madagascar has been organised to draw attention to the now extinct Elephant Bird.

Tim Grosvenor has also started up the Collective Egg, a group of artists organised through Twitter, who have given him art and words to include on one of the giant decorated eggs commemorating the Elephant Bird.

I have an egg-themed piece on his website.
Eggsistential Crisis by Julie Caves 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Twitter 140 mentioned

The Twitter 140 art show was mentioned on Moshe Mikanovsky's Art Blog in an article on using social networking tools.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Twitter Art Show Opening Night Pictures

I have a painting in the Twitter 140 art exhibition in Arizona.
This picture is from ZephyrusNYC's photostream on Flikr. More on the group's website!
(Mine is the white framed square with the coloured overlapping circles.)

Friday, September 18, 2009

IMPACT print conference in Bristol

My panel discussion went very well yesterday.
I wasn't sure if people would find my talk interesting but I had so many people come up to me afterward to tell me how much they enjoyed it, that it seems it was! Turns out that an artist telling people how they do things and why, giving insight into the thought process, how the work is approached and how decisions are made, is fascinating to people! Who knew.

I had to miss the rest of the print conference to come back to London. They are doing some interesting workshops today including colour management (which I need), so I am sad to miss it. Because the topics are relevant and it is such a lovely bunch of people, I do plan on attending the whole thing next time!

I will start saving for the airfare now...


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Blackhorse Lane Studios Open Studios

The 3-day weekend of open studios has been great! Lots of good conversations and I have met some great people. Today is the last day, I am going there in a few minutes.

Someone has bid on one of my paintings in the Silent Auction! Very exciting!

The image is of the display I have up in my space, this is the left wall looking through my door.

Friday, September 11, 2009

E17 Art Trail Blog

I have been interviewed for the E17 Art Trail Blog. It is a good blog, a commissioned project for the trail. Thanks Valerie!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Open Studios, so soon!

This weekend I hung half of the paintings for the Open Studios that begins next Friday at noon!
The rest I will hang this week. As well as doing the signs, labels, copies of cv and the table of my book works. Hope I get a chance to mop the floor...

Open Studios at Blackhorse Lane Studios

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

E17 Art Trail

Our studios at Blackhorse Lane will be having our annual open studios event for 3 days (Sept 11th-13th) during the E17 Art Trail. The Art Trail website has just listed the loads of other art exhibitions that will be going on for the full 9 days of the trail.
You can also download the Trail Guide.
It's a really good website that lets you download all the events, check for events by date, check by a map (not quite finished yet), shows accessible events, and more.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Silent Auction at the Blackhorse Lane Studios Open Studios

Today I chose the 5 paintings for the Silent Auction and got them over to the designated area for photographs to be taken. Soon they will go up on a website with other work in preparation for the Open Studios Sept 11th-13th.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Cafe Gallery Open Exhibition 2009

I had a small oil and acrylic on canvas painting "Twilight No.2" in Southwark Park at Cafe Gallery Projects. This is at the end of the exhibition, just as things were being taken down.

New studio!

Moved into the new studio at Blackhorse Lane Studios yesterday!

I will post pictures when I have unpacked a bit.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Waltham Forest Arts Club

Today I joined the Waltham Forest Arts Club.

It sounds like they have a good membership and are active in exhibiting. I can't wait to meet everyone!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

E17 Art Trail

The E17 Art Trail launched in 2004 as a one day event. The annual event now covers nine days with over 150 exhibitions and events already listed for September 2009. The art trail exhibitions feature professional artists, cultural industries, community projects and local residents work.
The fold out map is no longer sufficient and this year the guide will be an A4 magazine. There is a loose theme of At Home in Walthamstow.

Blackhorse Lane Studios will be having our annual Open Studios as part of the E17 Art Trail 11-13 Sept.
32 artists will all have their studios open for the weekend. There will also be a silent auction, starting at just £80 for work by the resident artists. A huge selection of work will be lining the corridors. It sounds like fun and auctions always get exciting at the end - I am sure I will find something I cannot live without!

X marks the spot of the Blackhorse Lane Studios in North East London. (Walthamstow)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Twitter 140 Art Show

In Sept. I will have two small paintings about the Twitter experience in a group show called Twitter 140 at
The Grandon Art Gallery
20 N. Leroux
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Then it will travel to the next, as yet unknown, destination. Like Twitter, the show will make friends along the way, connections and communication.

Monday, July 20, 2009

All Change Please, All Change.

When this year started I thought it was going to be the best ever. I think I was feeling super positive because Obama getting elected meant the world was a good place.

It has turned out to be a very changeable, expensive, sad and devastating year, so far, for me and mine. Topsy-turvy and tragic.

I have not been painting as much as usual (which is often everyday). I am not one of those painters like Maggi Hambling said she is, when I saw her speak in Soho a few years ago, who paints to get through the hard times, who soothes themselves with the act of creating. When I am sad, it is difficult to find the place I paint in, I have less access to that part of my brain. I have been experimenting with oil painting on gessoed paper and on wood panels. I have done a few nice paintings. If you came to the Open Studios at the Abbey Art Centre a few weeks ago, and came all the way out back, you may have seen some of the new work.

I will have even moved studio twice in 4 months! My paintings are so big and so numerous that it takes 2 huge van trips. Which is both expensive, and exhausting. Moved house, too. Also expensive and exhausting. Still waiting for the phone to be connected so no broadband. Will upload some new paintings when it is set up again.

I have been fortunate enough to be accepted by the Barbican Arts Group Trust and I am moving to Blackhorse Lane Studios in a few days. It will be very different to the Abbey, which I will miss, it is so beautiful there. I was there such a short time but I feel honoured to be a part of the history of such a great place. The new studio is close to home so more painting will get done and then I will feel myself. We are having an Open Studios in Sept. Come by and see the new work.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Twitter:140 Art Show

24 Artists who are active on Twitter are organising a show about all things Twitter. It is the subject of the work and the 140-character statement! My piece is a small painting about the overlapping circles of engagement. It was thought up by and is being coordinated by Sheree Rensel.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Portrait Competition by Kim Barker

Win your own free mini portait by Kim Barker at

I have entered the competition because her work is great!
Good luck to everyone who enters!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Phenomena of Change

'Phenomena of Change'
Alexandra Blum’s drawings of Dalston construction 2008/9.

July 3-10. Check the days and hours on her site, they vary.
Labyrinth Tower, off Beechwood Road, Dalston Square, London, E8.

Alex is a friend from my former studios, the Chocolate Factory N16.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This Will Kill That

This Will Kill That is a showcase of new talent emerging from Camberwell’s BA Illustration course. 2-5 July in Shoreditch.
My friend Sine Skovsen is in this!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Camberwell Summer Shows

Just back from Camberwell's BA shows. Some good stuff. Very warm inside...
My friend Sine Skovsen did Illustration.
Sine is showing 6 of the 17 illustrations for a children's book she will be putting together this summer.

University of the Arts London Camberwell : 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

July Mail Art Project

I will be participating in a mail art project with Mark Philip Venema next month.

The rules state that each card must be unique (so not all 30 cards the same) and must be sent through the post (so not in an envelope) so that the handling process is visible on the work and perhaps even part of the concept, and all 30 made and posted in a one-month period.

I can’t wait!

At this writing there looks like there is still room in the group.
The limit is 30. (Then I think another group will form of the next 30.)

Monday, June 08, 2009

Friday, June 05, 2009

IMPACT print conference

It looks like I will be speaking at IMPACT in Bristol, about a painter's approach to colour when making digital prints (original work, painting reproductions and artists' books.)

Impact 6 : International Multidisciplinary Printmaking Conference

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Open Studio Dates!

The Open Studio dates for my new studio group have been announced.
We will be opening the grounds and our studios to visitors on July 11th and 12th.

The Abbey Art Centre
89 Park Road,
New Barnet,

The nearest tube is Cockfosters on the Picadilly line.
The nearest overground is New Barnet.
Street parking is very close.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Bristol Festival of Ideas

I understand The Bristol Festival of Ideas last week was great. But I was away and missed it. Anyone have reviews? A friend says "Raymond Tallis was brilliant as always". I am now reading CP Snow's The Two Cultures because of this.

Monday, May 25, 2009


The CREATE colour conference and workshop was very informative and enjoyable. I did not bring the correct clothes for the warm weather and suffered a bit for that. Who knew that Hungary was so tropical? I learned a bit of Hungarian and of course being able to say thank you properly goes a long way. I made new friends, too!

Kek is the colour blue in Hungarian. It is pronounced like cake.
Is that not fantastic!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Rainy day at the new studio

Still setting up things in the new studio. Took pictures of the lovely rainy day yesterday. As always, click on image for a larger one.

Rain on the window.

Looking out from my porch at all the Cow's Parsley or Queen Anne's Lace that has overgrown the area behind my studio!

Rainy day in the garden. My studio is to the right.

Looking from the bottom of the garden. My studio is behind all that.

The path from the lower studio to my painting studio has a flower covered arched tunnel bower. I didn't know what kind of plant it was until this week when it did it's thing!

Our Laburnum walk!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I'm back!

I was away for a few weeks to take care of some family problems.
But all is getting better now!

Next week I am off to Hungary for the CREATE colour conference and training session. Colour scientists mix with artists and try to understand each others language. Fun times!

Here is a new thing I am working on: analysing a finished painting by making changes in Photoshop to see if it could be better if it were painted with different values, hues or combinations. Have just started trying it, may be a tool to learn more about painting. We shall see.
I started it because I always have to colour correct my photos of my paintings, they are never right. And I always have ended up playing around with them and some looked better with the additional changes. So now I am going backwards and trying to put the changes to use back in the original painting or in another painting.

Original Painting

High key. Saturated lights and few darks.

Hue variation. Closer values and less saturation.

Hue variation. Dark values. Low contrast and medium saturation.

Original oil painting of a house in Florida.

Higher contrast with more saturated lights.

Less contrast with closer values at the dark end of the scale.

Hue and contrast variation. I love this one, looks like moonlight!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My new contact details:

Julie Caves studio
Abbey Arts Centre
89 Park Road,
New Barnet,

(Piccadilly line, Cockfosters station)

Recent studio pictures

Here is a batch of more recent studio pictures.

Spring is progressing and the gardens are really gorgeous. Forget-me-nots along the paths, the doves cooing by the drive, and ivy growing in through my wall. Life everywhere! (And as you can see, one of the former occupants didn't know how to repair a window. Luckily I can glaze.)

We finished the major part of the move this weekend. Exhausted but pleased. Yes.

As always- click image for a larger version.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Abbey Art Centre

The promised pictures of my new studio.
It is a walled oasis of countryside in the middle of the suburbs of North London!

So far just exterior pictures.
Click for larger images.