Julie Maida


Month: January, 2013

Kitchen Art

This month, I had the pleasure of making a custom backsplash for someone’s kitchen! How great is that?! The buyer (Christina) found me on Etsy and already had an idea for what she wanted, so all I really had to do was try not to screw it up make sure I got it right.

She asked me for 15 tiles that sit horizontally across a spot above her stove. Because she liked my birds and trees, she requested one long tree branch that would continue along all 15 tiles. She wanted each tile to be adorned with whimsical birds sitting along the branch. After sending me some photos of her kitchen, and giving me a good idea of the color scheme she had in mind, I went to work.

The resulting tiles are featured below! The tiles go in order from right to left, (green, gray, red, and yellow). For the photo’s sake I had to stack them, but it is meant to be one row of alternating colors and birds.


backsplashkitchen backsplashkitchen2 backsplashkitchen3 backsplashkitchen4

This was such a fun project!

Oh, Sunshine, Why hath thou forsaken me?

Seriously. If I crawled under a dark wet rock it would be less oppressive than looking out of the window. Blech. I need sunshine like I need (okay, I don’t REALLY need one, but it IS delicious) a good glass of wine after a loooong day of filling orders. Sadly, there isn’t even a partially sunny day in our forecast until Thursday. I am boycotting January (also February). Down with winter!

I’m done with the rant (sort of). What else does one (an artist who LOVES to be outside) do in her personal hell on a day such as this? One experiments. One daydreams about nature. One gets creative with the hot wax (even though one should probably be filling orders). Granted, this is still the same thing that I do everyday, but if it isn’t an order, it counts as “playtime”.

I have some wood laying around as I always do because I love wood so very much. I love the organic feel, smell, and look of natural wood. I take said wood, and play around with a bit of oil paint and a power sander (nothing beats a power sander except for maybe a heat gun). In order to keep the wood grain visible, I mix a thinning solution into the paint (to make it translucent). I also add a drying medium so that I can be impatient enough to move through the process quickly (unfortunately patience is not one of my natural virtues).

After the oil is just barely dry enough completely dry and ready for drawing, I think up a few things that I enjoy drawing and proceed. This part is straight forward enough. It is always important to spray the drawing with a fixative to protect it and prevent it from rubbing off or melting when applying the wax.

Finally, I add a few clear coats of beeswax (assisted by my favorite tool, the heat gun).             I really do love beeswax. Thank. you, bees! The result of todays projects…

Oil, graphite, beeswax
8″ x 6″

"Wings"Oil, graphite pencil, beeswax8" x 6"$21

Oil, graphite pencil, beeswax
8″ x 6″

You can also see these here http://www.maidasomeart.etsy.com

Even if I was pretty productive today, I am still boycotting the next two months.

Art as a Privilege

Approximately once per month Every once in while I have a day in which I am unmotivated and don’t feel like making orders. Usually it is because someone ordered something on Etsy that I have already made 25 times and I am “over it” because I am a “free spirit ” (picture 70’s hippie meets Snow White ) and want to make something new and exciting because, well, that is what I feel like doing.

Today is one of those days. It is 60 degrees outside and I am absolutely pining for spring weather. Cue visions of hiking, camping, gardening and frolicking around out back with my dogs. However, I have a responsibility to  the people who make my business work and I need to get to work whether I “feel like it” or not.

I had a moment today though. When I really think about it, I kind of want to punch myself in the face for feeling that way. Really, Julie? You don’t feel like filling orders today and your whining about it? You are complaining because you are BLESSED and privileged enough to do what you love for a living? So, I say to myself, “Self, you are acting like a jerk. Get over it and fill your orders!” I even gave myself an angry face. 😡

Art is really a privilege. It is a gift and a blessing, and I have a wonderful life. Don’t forget that, self.


A Short Gummi Poem

Oh, Gummi, you are the best,

You share with me your happiness!

A delicious rainbow of delight,

Each, a lovely color in my sight!

Gummi, you fill my heart with glee,

They must have made you just for me!


Art As a Gift

I love it when someone gives me a piece of art as a gift. I am grateful for the thought and consideration that goes into such a personal gift. I consider it to be personal because in order to buy a person art, you have to know them well enough to know what type of art will best suit their tastes and sensibilities. It’s kind of like buying a person clothes or a bag. You can’t just walk into any old store and pick something out without knowing that person’s style, and size, and color preferences. It is the same with art.

Recently I have been on a kick with house projects. This weekend we are building a table (and when I say we, I mean, my husband is building a table and I am painting it), we are picking out curtains (literally), and I starting hanging up art. Much of this art has been gifted, which is the reason I am so very fond of it. I think I will share this art with you, too.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I always credit the artist if I know who it is, so hopefully, you will take the time to stalk them a little on the internet (like I did), and learn more about their craft. Maybe you will even find something to gift to someone else!