Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Mysterious Girl! "Relentless - Yousha Nashi -"

"Relentless -Yousha Nashi-" | Mixed media on wood panel | 18x24"

I made this unprecedented-ly wild (for me) painting to explore a grim topic that I had been thinking about lately. That is illegal drugs. I realize that it's a bit weird for an artist to be so opposed to drugs, (aren't we all supposed to smoke weed and say f*** the police all the time whilst creating angst-y, shocking works?) Maybe so, but I've never fit in with the crowd.

Anyway, I currently live in the state which is ranked #1 for drug abuse in the entire country, and this entire country is #1 for illegal drug consumption in this whole world. I had never known those facts before. But I do now. It bothers me a lot to see so many mentally distressed people wandering the streets in my city, many who got into their present condition from years of drug abuse.

So, back to the (mostly symbolic) painting: my scary AR-15 wielding girl is several people at once: Mexico's Santa Muerte, Japanese folklore monster Hone-Onna (bone-woman), with a touch of a modern Grim Reaper, the Angel of Death, and Lady Justice all rolled into one peony-crowned girl with a ferocious, confident stare and skeleton hands. I believe everyone who traffics or manufactures drugs for profit without regard to the suffering it causes will all be punished somehow in the end. In the real world, the punisher won't be a pretty slight girl like the one in this painting... that's just my JUURI imagination working as usual.

I hope you like the look of her face and the vivid colors. I had a lot of fun creating this beautiful yet somber piece. Hopefully it reminds people that justice is coming.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sneek Peek of "Relentless - Yousha Nashi -"

Here is a sneak peek of a piece that is on its way to Gauntlet Gallery in San Francisco. It's for their 1-year anniversary group show. The piece is acrylic and colored pencil on birch board. The fleshtone of my girl's face is actually the wood tone.

If you are in SF, drop by the opening on 12/14 to see it! The artist lineup is quite stellar. I will post the full piece here on the blog after the show opens. Enjoy! <3

Detail of "Relentless -Yousha Nashi-" | Acrylic, colored pencil, oil pastel, & gold pen on birch board | 16x20

Monday, November 25, 2013


The words "moving house" probably fill any Western person with a slight amount of dread at the great undertaking. You'll have to set aside several whole days (or weeks) to pack, hire movers, hold a garage sale, empty the storage facility, and generally sort through the unbelievable amount of stuff that you're accumulated through the years.

I know, because it fills me with dread too. Why should it be like this?

These days, I see more and more how possessions control us. They prevent us from getting up and easily traveling to experience new places, new scenery, new friendships. They command us to live in a state of servitude to their great massiveness. They are cruel masters, and give little in return but momentary happiness.

I saw this meme recently and think it's 100% right!

I've done Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales in the past, but this year I want to do something different. I'm announcing a WHITE FRIDAY event! Let's turn the tables on greed and concentrate on giving. ^^/

Sooooo, this is where I need your help! Tell me who you think should have this framed limited edition "Spring" print, and why. (It can't be yourself. ;)

Comment on this post, on my Facebook, or Twitter. You can even email me [watashi(at)] your suggestion. I will read all the entries and decide upon a recipient over the weekend. Hopefully then you'll see a future post about how it all turned out.

Enjoy a wonderful time with your families or friends! Even if you go stalking those Black Friday deals, don't lose sight of what is most important in the whole world. :)

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Fear of Feeling Home

The more I go through this life, the more I realize that I seem to be in a strange never-ending state of solitude-seeking. A constant state of suspended-reality-seeking. A constant avoidance of those things that make feel like I'm here, now, this this city, in this life, even in this room.

I tend to avoid joining clubs or other social organizations. I have few friends. I have few connections. I float by day after day. Sometimes I feel lonely, but when I try to suddenly delve into connections and clubs and meetings and places, I feel instantly smothered. I feel chained. I feel mired in an inescapable, dreadful sense of real. And real is boring. So off I go again into my dreamy, no-reality, no-place, no-schedule world filled only with ambient electropop, furious painting, sunlight, coffee, and dreams.

It's not that I'm unhappy there... I actually feel quite comfortable. More comfortable than any other place.

Is this even normal? To be afraid of ever feeling "home." To always have the need to be slightly disconnected from everything, everyone, and every place. This constant need to wander, the get lost, to never be quite sure of my surroundings or circumstances.

What does all this have to do with my art? I'm not sure. I feel like there's a connection, but I haven't discovered it yet. Must go wandering into the night again... maybe I'll find it someday...

Photo via Pinterest. This is how I feel, or wish to feel most of the time.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Exciting Changes! + I Need Your Advice

I've been taking a little break from my Japanese art and exploring colors and forms with my abstracts. It's refreshing to switch gears sometimes, and keep my creative brain working without getting too stale.

 However now I've got some new ideas for my Japanese art, which I'm excited to try out. Maybe more faces on wood (only faces!) and a few more kimono patterns surrounding. Perhaps a few smaller square pieces.

This past Friday, I QUIT MY DAY JOB! So now I'm a 100% full-time artist. I am super excited and not afraid at all. My creativity and ideas are exploding, and so are my new ventures.

I learned that positive attitudes really show in your art, and negative attitudes really poison them. I'm not quite sure how this is possible, but it absolutely is: if you are happy, excited, and passionate about what you create, other people will respond and be excited alongside you. If you have a negative attitude and always complain about how people don't respect art, how no-one will attend your shows or buy your paintings, that comes true too. Make an effort to be positive and refuse to think dark thoughts! It might be a struggle at first, but you'll see how your world completely changes because of it.

Photo by Julie Ann Tingley. via Flickr

I also started a new fashion blog called "The Fierce Lamb." It shows off my unique style of girly & tomboyish fashions. Though I try to dedicate enough time to art, I can't live without enjoying fashion. I am so passionate about it, and when I push it to the side to make more time for painting, my creativity suffers. It's strange how all these facets of my interests affect one another.

"The Fierce Lamb" has some exciting projects in the works, too. Announcements soon!

OK, so here's my conundrum amidst all this wonderfulness. I have so many wonderful, exciting ventures that I can't keep up with all my websites! Marketing them all separately is hard, too. I have so many blogs, Facebook pages, and Twitters, ah!

However I hesitate to combine them because I know the value of a carefully curated website with one consistent topic only. What to do, what to doooooo.

Does anyone have advice for me? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

<3 JUURI / Julie

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Letting Loose with Crazy Colors & Abstraction

Sometimes I need to create wild, vibrantly abstract works especially after doing so many pieces with tight detail. It's very therapeutic, and I love painting these riots of pure color and energy! I hope you enjoy them too.

Prism I & Prism II | Mixed media on canvas | 12x12" each

Prism I
Detail of Prism I
Detail of Prism I
Prism II
Detail of Prism II
Detail of Prism II

I even like my newspaper palette after I'm done. What a party!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

New Painting: "Broken or Whole?"

The last painting I finished for my "A Vivid Paradox" show was this one, Broken or Whole.

"Broken or Whole" Mixed media & gold leaf on board | 20x30"

"A Vivid Paradox" Exhibition Night

Well well, after months of hard work and a week or so of pure stress and seemingly insurmountable deadlines, we have safely opened "A Vivid Paradox"! Plaza Night was lovely with lots of visitors stopping by to see the show. Thank you thank you everyone who came to see it. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

JUURI & Amanda Bradway
View of the space including my mom's vintage handmade kimono on display in the window!
Collaboration pieces: JUURI x Amanda Bradway

If you missed opening night, you can still stop by DNA Galleries anytime to see the works (until the end of August.) Remember that there are signed prints of several pieces ($35-$65), and wonderful 6-card packs featuring one of each painting of mine at this show ($15.) Let me know if you have questions about anything. ^^/

Monday, July 29, 2013

Promo Video by James Harber for "A Vivid Paradox"

Amanda Bradway's (and now also my!) friend James Harber made this fantastic video to promote our 2-person show coming up on August 9th. He is such a talented and inspired videographer. I think the mood he created captures both my and Amanda's work perfectly without giving away too much about the show. ;)

Enjoy, and please let me know what you think of it!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Yucatan Inspiration from Mexico: Maya

The Caribbean Sea at Tulum
A moodier, more monochromatic version of the Caribbean

I went to Mexico for a week and had a very refreshing time swimming in the Caribbean Sea! You can't imagine how emerald and turquoise the warm water is. I also found so many wonderful new plants, flowers, animals, and fish... so inspiring.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Summer Show Announcement! “A Vivid Paradox” Featuring JUURI & Amanda Bradway

Yaaaay, it’s official. My big show of this year will be on August 9th during Live on the Plaza in OKC. It will be a two-person show with my lovely artist friend Amanda Bradway. She and her husband Dylan own the space in which the show will be hung, the gorgeous new DNA Galleries! The space is a fantastic old building which they have redone, but some of the original walls are still visible. Check it out.

 I will be showing my “Question” series that I have been working on lately, all featuring figures & flowers against dark backgrounds. There will be a limited edition print release just for the night, and an exciting promo video is soon to be released, as well!

More info to come, but please mark your calendars for “A Vivid Paradox”!

New painting: “Rotten or Redeemed”

Here is my latest piece, just in time for the Easter-ly themes of newness & life! Phooo, this one took longer than most because of all the intricate tattoos. :O I actually did them in watercolor pencil so I could be precise, and then added careful little washes of water to give the watercolor effect. The large kanji character is gilded in real gold leaf.

New Painting: “Trash or Treasure?”

I really felt the need to get back to painting watercolor on paper instead of acrylics on wood for awhile. There’s something about that paper texture that endlessly inspires me. Maybe it my “meant-to-be” after all.

So here’s the piece I finished today. It’s called “Trash or Treasure?” The girl has the Japanese word “muyou” inscribed on her neck. It literally  means “no use” or “useless.” I’m sure it’s a feeling we all struggle with sometimes, and I feel it acutely these days. Below her, floating beside the orchid blossom, is the Japanese word “takara” or “treasure” written in gold. I really hope the girl finds that she is treasure, not trash.

Stylistically, I really enjoyed the simplicity and flat expanse of black. I’m crazy about Scandinavian interiors these days with their minimal palettes and forms. I’m sure that has had an influence on my mind and this piece.

What do you think about this piece? Do you like the message?

“Trash or Treasure?” | by JUURI | Watercolor, acrylic, and colored pencil on board | 15×19″

First Print Release of 2013: “The Standing Death of Ben-Kei St. Sebastian”

Yaaay, let’s start off the new year with a lovely print release.

“The Standing Death of Ben-Kei St. Sebastian” is now available to purchase through Thumbprint Gallery in La Jolla, CA. It’s a 12×16″ gorgeously vibrant gicleé print on archival paper. Of course, each one of the prints in this limited edition is signed, stamped, and numbered by me personally.

Thumbprint was also kind enough to write an article about the piece. I’m really impressed that they touched on every element of symbolism I put into the painting and interpreted even the most subtle of messages perfectly. Wow!

And of course, here is the order page for you to grab one for yourself before they sell out. They are also available in the gallery if you happen to be in La Jolla.