Clouds, clouds, clouds

Blue days under sun, grey without, and fire before darkness gives way to glimpses of ancient light… We are blessed with sky, and its abundant garden! (Note: All paintings are sold, but I will have a large variety of cards, prints, and posters available this Fall. Currently painting for 3 shows this year in Utah and Colorado.  Please contact with any questions or visit me at Julia Buckwalter Art on Facebook.)

Maynard's Cloud photo

I photographed this beauty, which reminds me of Maynard Dixon, while gently drifting across Arches National Park in Moab, Utah.

“Maynard’s Cloud” 2014 36″ x 48″ oil on canvas

Photo by Albert

Photo taken by my late Grandfather

“The Great Gig in the Sky” 2014 36″ x 24″ oil on canvas

In progress clouds

In progress in the studio, August clouds above my home in Moab, Utah

“Ballet Clouds” 2014 30″ x 40″ oil on canvas


Over Sea Under Sky

Quite a bit of this Summer of 2014 has been spent by the sea in Maryland, Delaware, and North Carolina.  The ocean has been inspirational as a place of renewal, the beach both a place of birth and burial ground.  The sea is constantly shifting, the light endlessly changing the face of the water, the sky witnessed as large as possible from the earth.  Pods of dolphins passed day after day, I experienced the annual return of the horseshoe crabs, fisherman releasing sting rays accidentally caught, avoided stepping on jellyfish floating in the froth, and discerned among scatterings of shells.  Here are some excerpts via my photographs and paintings that evoke the magic…


"Cape Henlopen Sky" 2014 36" x 48" oil on canvas (sold)

“Cape Henlopen Sky” 2014 36″ x 48″ oil on canvas (sold)

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"Virginia's Shells" 2014 36" x 48" oil on canvas (sold)

“Virginia’s Shells” 2014 36″ x 48″ oil on canvas (sold)



Art travels East

fixed w squall

Squall in the Maryland studio under desert skies, otherwise known as “Clouds on I – 70”,  March 2014.  Oil on canvas, sold.

manhattan georgia

Took in O’Keeffe’s “Manhattan” at the National Gallery last week.  Great juxtaposition for my timing; Southwest painter meets Eastern city, though she is revisiting a New York she lived in before.  This was painted after discovering Abiquiu, and Ghost Ranch in New Mexico.


Typical studio wall coverings…


Castle Valley painting, oil on board, 2013. NFS


The La Sals are now living in Salt Lake City, pictured here in the studio in Moab, Utah in June, 2013.  Oil on canvas, sold.


Painting Delicate Arch with a fellow artist.  Moab, Utah, August 2012.


“Delicate Arch” and blooms at Back of Beyond Books in Moab, Utah, April 2013.  All works oil on canvas, sold.


“Inspired”, a view of the Colorado River and the Amasa trail in the far distance.  Oil on canvas, 2013, sold.


Braving the winter chill hot cider and a fellow artist (for added bravery), who happens to be a park ranger where we are pictured, in Arches National Park, 2013.


Evening Clouds Over Moab


“Evening Clouds Over Moab”, Oil on canvas, 3’x4′, 2013.  Sold.

This is my 2nd painting of this image, the first a study for this twice as large version. From a photograph taken on a return trip home… Considering working on a series of clouds for personal study and based on interest.

Contact me if you’d like a postcard featuring this painting mailed to you!

A B O V E – a series of satellite paintings

A small series of my satellite paintings have been showing for almost 2 months now at Sabaku in Moab. Here are some images taken in the studio and examples of what I am working from.

From the show:

“We see the landscape through the lens which we’re given.  Wind, sand, and water joined together to create the topography of the desert, and in their work we see the passage of time.  We view the rise and fall of canyon walls and the curve of rivers as we move grounded among them, sometimes adventuring to reach a greater perspective.  The higher we are, the more our world is reduced to simplified form, a two dimensional canvas of color.  Revealed via satellite, the desert becomes abstract bodies, shapes described by changes in geography and marks made by man.  The angle of the sun determines distinct and indistinct lines, and grounded in our world we are reminded of similar shapes.  Through this visual language, we choose the meanings of lines.  These paintings are an exploration of the beauty of the desert landscape in abstract, viewed from above.”   © Julia Buckwalter

All work is oil on canvas. The artist was born in Northern Africa and now lives in Moab, Utah, the landscape of which she has painted for years.  Using oil paint, watercolor, and India ink she paints en plein air and from photographs.  She collects maps and some of her favorite books are written by aviators.  This series was inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s “Wind, Sand, and Stars”.








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“Behind all seen things lies something vaster; everything is but a path, a portal or a window opening on something other than iteself. ”
― Antoine de Saint-ExupéryWind, Sand, and Stars


The Homeland


“Death Valley”, oil on canvas, 2013.

I’ve been living in Moab almost a full year now, which sounds surreal.  When you move to your place of inspiration, it can be overwhelming at first.  Many days I would wake up with a bang, propelled from sleep by the remembrance of my surroundings; the views out my front and back door paintings themselves.  The Southwest has been a part of me since my childhood in Utah and visiting surrounding states, but it’s been a long time since I’ve lived here. To be an artist in this environment feels like a tremendous gift.  During the day I feel driven to be outside and active among this beauty.  In the evening, I close my eyes, remembering the variety of colors in a single cloud, or shafts of light on a mesa under the setting sun.

Currently, I’m working towards two upcoming shows and adding to active wall space as well.  I’m creating paintings of landscapes and satellite imagery in oil, often paging through “The Art of Maynard Dixon” and “The Earth as Art, Views From Heaven”.

A few of my favorite Maynard Dixon paintings:





The desert, Edward Abbey, and Georgia O’Keeffe


Kitchen Mesa, Ghost Ranch, New Mexico. Watercolor on paper, 5″ x 8″, 2008.


Sketched on top of Kitchen Mesa, Ghost Ranch, New Mexico. Pen on paper, 2006.

I’ve been thinking about the desert and Ghost Ranch lately as the quiet of winter is ushered in.  I partially grew up there in Summers as a child, and worked there 2 different summers on college staff.  I’m remembering what it’s like to sit on top of a mesa in the desert, looking down at canyons & listening to the wind rise & fall as sparrows dive around you.  I’ve been reading Ed Abbey’s book of poetry Earth Apples.  Here are some excerpts that capture the essence of that, from “The Gift”, “North Rim”, “Where Is Your Rock”, & “Black Sun”.

“Dry season in a dry country: barren clouds above the mountains peaks, blue delirium over the cliffs, a hot wind moaning…”   “…the fragrant lupine and the quiet deer, the hawk that soars against the icy blue of noon.”   “… a juniper on a ledge of rock; overhead, wild clouds in a violet sky; far below, the river; and east, west, north, south – the distant mountains. ”   “…to lie alone in the desert and stare at the sun until the sun goes black.”

Georgia O’Keeffe painted and lived at the ranch for years.  She’s been a major influence on my work, and shared my deep, strange love of living in the desert.  I painted one of her flowers once, with a bluer tone of my own, and discovered I had a knack for it.  By exploring an experiment in understanding, I discovered I felt an actual kinship to her own “style” (to my own very limited degree). What a fascinating experience!  I highly recommend this as a practice in learning about other artists and their use of color, feel of brushstroke:


“O’Keeffe study of ‘Light of Iris'”, Julia Buckwalter, oil on canvas, 2004, NFS.


“Light of Iris”, Georgia O’Keeffe, oil on canvas, 1924.


“Summer Days”, Georgia O’Keeffe, oil on canvas, 1936.


“Pelvis with the Distance”, Georgia O’Keeffe, oil on canvas, 1943.


“Red Hills and Bones”, Georgia O’Keeffe, oil on canvas, 1941.

Odyssey series

Homer’s Odyssey is an incredibly visual story… it’s delightful to be creative and imaginative turning described scenes, and sometimes ambiguous poetry into painted imagery. The following are excerpts from full series of 15 paintings I’m considering for a children’s book.

India ink on paper. 12″x16″

Dream of Ulysses

Dream of Ulysses

Travel and Time

Travel & Time

Athena Approaching India ink on paper.

The Visitor

The Gods

The Gods

The Hand of Zeus

The Hand of Zeus

A Message in Flight

Message in Flight

"Son of Poseidon" India ink on paper.


"The Mourning" India ink on paper.


For love of classical & archetypal imagery


Laocoon & Sons, 18″ x 24″, graphite on paper.

This work above was influenced by my love of mythology, stories, archetypes.  The emotion in this work is what gets me (and everyone else); the horrifying punishment of the gods, sending a snake to strangle his sons for warning of the Trojan horse.  In creating this drawing I blocked out the original photograph, sourced online, and earned a beautiful handcramp in the studio.  But pain-staking work can result in serious beauty, so from time to time I work this way.

One of my favorite works and classical influences is Diana (when in Rome), or Artemis (the Greek):


Diana is considered the Goddess of the hunt, an independent spirit and guardian of animals, children, and maidens.  Her brother is Apollo, and they are somewhat twin-like in their attributes.  There are two fantastic books that I’ve read on archetypes by Jean Shinoda Bolen, “Goddesses In Everywoman” & appropriately, “Gods In Everyman”.

To consider a woman seeking and learning from other women is I think to consider the above archetype.  Below is a sketch I created, originating from a collage I put together and re-interpreted in charcoal on paper, entitled “Dream”: