Posts by juliejao

My Life is a Spiral

My Life is a Spiral. It will turn, turn, turn. My Day is a Circle. I will learn, learn, learn. And so it is. I did a few speed paintings last week. I challenged myself to do them on a smaller scale so that people can buy them and actually fit them in their house.…

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“Spider’s Web Diatom”

Spider’s Web Diatom, 16″ x 16″ Egg Tempera on Board by Julie JAO Searching for geometric patterns in nature, I found diatoms. This painting based on a “spiders-web” diatom is made with homemade egg tempera paint. Approximately twenty-five percent of earth’s oxygen comes from diatoms. So take four deeps breaths and thank diatoms for one…

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The Allure of the Grid

The Allure of the Grid The arcs are drawn. The grid develops. The first crossings of lines come as a surprise. The gentle sweeps of the compass rock back and forth. Everything fits together. The last lines glide into place. Breathe deeply, satisfied.

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How to Make a Circular Grid for Celtic Key Patterns

Digging around my Irish roots, I found Celtic Key Patterns. Celtic Key Patterns are described in my little Wooden Book as great space filling devices. Although I aspire to much more than filling space I decided to give key patterns a try. It’s not as easy as it looks. Ok, it doesn’t look easy. The…

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Hilma af Klint at the Guggenheim

The Most Visited Exhibition in Guggenheim’s History. I saw it. I flew to NYC to see “Paintings for the Future by Hilma af Klint” at the Guggenheim. On Saturday, April 20, last weekend of the show I cruised past the line brandishing my membership card and got in a full thirty minutes before the museum…

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A Painter of Spirals

Back in February I posted a sketch of a 13-armed Fibonacci Spiral. That sketch was executed on canvas. That canvas hung around the studio for a few weeks before I snuck up on it with a palette of blues. I spread the paint (acrylic) around with a combination of gesture and tight control until I…

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A Visit to Altavista Petroglyphs

Last week I was blessed with the opportunity to visit the Altavista Petroglyph Site in Nayarit, Mexico. Also known locally as “La Pila del Rey,” which could be translated as “The Basin of the King.” Note that basin carries a sense of fountain, spring or source. Our tour guide, Maurizio, breezed past the signs explaining…

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How getting studded Bike Tires led me to Oil Paints.

First let’s talk about paint. What is paint, anyway? Paint always consists of at least two parts: pigment and binder. The pigment is the color and the binder is what keeps the pigment on the canvas. Not believing this I took some pigment, red oxide powder to be exact, and mixed it with water. “This…

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Harmonic Ratios

A basic theory behind sacred geometry is that there are certain ratios that struck us sentient beings as harmonic. Musicians know these harmonic ratios and even if you don’t play you still probably squirm at a wrong note. So you know it in your heart and in your ear and in your gut and in…

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How to Draw a 13-Armed Fibonacci Spiral

  It is impossible to draw a Fibonacci spiral, you can only draw a close approximation of one. As it is impossible to draw a 13-sided shape, you can only draw an approximation of one. So I set out this past week to draw a 13-armed Fibonnaci spiral. To do this I start with a…

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