24″x36″ oil on canvas

Please come see my show “Walking to School”! It will open at the Sunderman Gallery There will be an opening reception 6-8pm, Thursday, September 13th. 5100 Ross Avenue, DALLAS,TX 75206

I use my art as a way to notice something beautiful everyday. “Walking to School” has been a whimsical fun series chronicaling my second grade daughter’s daily walks to school.   My 3 older children all start school an hour before my youngest. We like to eat breakfast as a family, so that leaves Lydia and I an extra hour every morning. What I am trying to do is not waste our gift of time, the phrase “killing time” is a phrase that makes me so sad. Instead of “killing” that time I have painted it, and all the adventures and beauty that we found in those extra hours. This series is about half landscapes of what we have seen on our daily walks and half mixed media pieces of people walking. It includes: homework, tardy slips and bit and pieces we collected along the way.  In addition to many kinds of media, I have used a bit of magical realism in these paintings. For example, in “Spokes and Shadows” the light was beautiful, the shadows were beautiful, but the backdrop was generic new suburbia. In my mind, I saw a fantastic tree lined drive, with a young girl pumping up a hill onto great things. In the painting, I created the leaves with bits of homework. As the leaves fell, I could imagine the days and years and the entirety of Lydia’s childhood landing on the drive as she confidently rode into the future.

These paintings are about being present: we put away the phone, compose a rhyme or poem, talk about the day, share our hopes and dreams, plan dinner or our next family celebration.  We notice what is in bloom, when the leaves change color, or when someone repainted their front door. We have noted that all those carpoolers don’t have a chance to: meet a new neighbor, pet a kitten, do a cartwheel, twirl a tutu, pick a flower or sneak a fresh fig hanging over the fence.

In painting this series, my hope is you will be reminded of a sweet memory of when you walked with your friends, siblings, or parent to school. Or you will be reminded of when your child walked to school. Perhaps you will be inspired to be present and get out and find the beauty and life that is in YOUR neighborhood waiting for you to just enjoy and discover!  Perhaps you can grab your dog, or kid, or mom, or neighbor and embark in a simple way to really live your life…go for a walk.

3 thoughts on “Walking to School – SHOW!

  1. Hi Juliana,

    I have been following your paintandsimple posts for a little more than 5 years now. . . always looking forward to the daily joy you bring (or as often as you can make a new posting :-)).

    I love your artwork, but even more your attitude, commitment, the quotes you include, and most of all, your commentary, which always speaks to me of keeping it simple, paying attention to the beauty that is all  around us, and basically living life to the fullest, which you truly exemplify.  Your overall philosophy, as expressed in greater detail in your longer text below is truly inspiring.

    I can’t make it to Dallas for your show, but I went back through the many “walking” pieces you have posted in recent months and in the past, and I envy those who will get to observe your work in its original size in a gallery setting. I’m sure it will be a great success for you, and richly deserved.

    With retirement and our 3 children now fully grown and on their own, my wife and I like to travel throughout Colorado and down into New Mexico several times each year. Besides the many hot springs throughout the area, I love Santa Fe and the sights along the old 2-lane “Turquoise Highway” between there and Albuquerque.  I really enjoyed your recent series of works from visiting the Colorado high country, and I love how you capture the New Mexico scenery as well.  I think of your work every time we take the old highway from Pagosa down to Santa Fe, particularly when I get to drive it during the late afternoon golden hours.

    I also paint (but much more lazily, sad to say). Gratefully, your artwork, your philosophy, and your example of not wasting whatever gifts and talents we have been blessed with, will continue to inspire me, and, being retired, I no longer have any real excuses for wasting what time I have left ;-).

    I have pasted in below my painting titled “Let the Day Begin”.  It’s a little more fantasy oriented, but I’m sure I was having some similar feelings to those you were probably experiencing during the excellent “children walking” pieces you have created.

    Again, my sincere thanks for your continued sharing of great artwork, your excellent work ethic and philosophy, and your appreciation of life in general, all truly commendable.

    Regards, Jack

    1. Jack,
      Thank you for your kind words! I feel honored that you have followed my blog for so long. Your painting didn’t post, but I would love to see it. Would you mind emailing it to me? Julianacrownover@gmail.com?

      If I could share one gift with my fellow artists it would be the habit of creating. I work hard at it, and sometimes days or weeks pass and I don’t make art. But most of the time I manage, and I have so many little tricks to get me there. Perhaps I can include them on my blog, I know there are tons of out there: with ability, and supplies, but still we don’t create.

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