As I sit here to write on this last day of April, the snow is falling outside. This is typical spring weather in Alberta. Hopefully, this is the last snowfall, and we all know the snow won’t last, plus my daffodils and tulips are getting their water. (painting: Is it Spring yet? Watercolor, 11x7 in. ©JulieDrew)Is it Spring Yet? watercolor, 7x11 in

I so enjoy watching the signs of life and new growth that come at this time of year as the greening ripples slowly through the trees and bushes and the perennials are waking up from their winter sleep.

Inside the house I am enjoying the last three buds blooming on my Christmas/Easter cactus. The buds started appearing in the beginning of March when I counted 24 blooms. I have lost count of how many more there have been. The blooms look like dancing fairies. I took some mornings to sketch out a portion of my plant in color pencil.

ChristmasCactus atEaster.1000w

Spring! New Life! Hope!

As it is spring, I can work again on the last bridge painting I wanted to do for the Connection: Building Bridges Series, the Tawatinâ LRT bridge. On the ceiling of the bridge pedestrian walkway is the story of the indigenous people here in Treaty 6 territory painted in shaped panels.

I can see a hint of the panels, the walkway and the bridge from the spot where I plan to paint the bridge. I can also capture the new growth of the trees on the bank.

Tawatina lrt bridge

Why paint it in spring? I want it to be a painting of hope. A willingness of people to come together – to bridge the gaps of what separates us from each other. There is much we can learn from one another. There is much we can appreciate and value.

Last year, I was particularly mulling over the disparity between factions and all the divisions cropping up in our world. I firmly believe we need each other. When one of us hurts, we all hurt. The focus on building bridges was to find ways to connect with each other again.

Along the lines of connection, even as I complete the bridge project, I am thinking of where it is taking me next; Connection => Collaboration. We not only need to connect, but to trust each other enough to work together.

Part of this is figuring out what collaboration means for me, and for us as a community, society.

We live in a very individualistic society. We have our own property, possessions, etc. We work our own jobs, have our own income which we can spend however we want. Competition is pushed and individual profit, success, and gain are glorified.

I like to play cooperative games. We purchased a couple new ones for Christmas to try out. It is a nice change to work together to solve the game, the puzzle or the clues. Working together includes listening to each other, waiting for each other and letting new ideas come forth. This is so different from the competitive games where there is only one winner and lots of losers.

This painting of the SealSeal Painting with handmade paper, acrylic sand, egg shell and ink transfer is, for me, a metaphor for collaboration. I used handmade paper, eggshells, sand and acrylic paint, and an ink drawing with the transfer process to create it., The different mediums I used are like individuals contributing their part to the whole project. And the end result is not something that could have been accomplished with just one individual part (or medium).

Collaboration is the theme we will be contemplating at this year’s Art Vocabulary for the Soul retreat. We will see where it takes us. I look forward to the collaboration.

As collaboration is a new theme for me, I welcome your comments and feedback.


I am excited to have finished mixed media painting, Regeneration 3, I started working on in the Acrylic Explorations class in the fall! 

It will be shown for the first time at the Nina Haggerty Gallery, 9225 118 Ave NW,

during the Deep Freeze Festival January 21-22, 2023 12-6 pm 

Buiding a Textured Painting:

demo blocking in color regeneration3

I blocked in the colors and used it to demonstrate texture building 

building texture regeneration3 w1000painting over the texture regeneration3adding moss regeneration3adding ink regeneration3

I added the trunk in handmade paper, eggshells create the texture of the burls and for the ground cover of pine needles I used saw dust and sand. I painted over the textures.

detail regeneration3 w1000detail handmadepaper ferns regeneration3

After adding the ink lines to the bark of the tree, I added more handmade paper for some 3D effect of the ferns and branches coming out of the burls.

I have painted this particular scene several times, each time is a little different. Here is one: Redemption-New Life Another one was part of the Waiting series that was shown at the Glenrose with this poem/ meditation.

You can see the painting this weekend at the Nina Haggerty Gallery during the Deep Freeze festival. I will be there in the building at the Artisan Market. If you come to the festival, be sure to stop by for a visit!

Birds and Flowers art Show

Birds and Flowers Art Show

Artist: Julie Drew

October 25, 2018 - Jan 2, 2019

Reception: Nov 20, 2018
2 - 6pm

Location: Blue Curve Gallery
Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital 
10230 111 Ave NW, Edmonton AB


I love flowers and birds there is something that is so joyful of the beauty of flowers and the singing, the soaring and the delight I find in watching birds. When I walk in the great outdoors, it is like a treasure hunt to see what I can find. I am thrilled when I find something that really catches my eye and my heart. I take a photo reference or sketch it right away.

Flowers come in so many shapes and colors. I seek to capture the details and essence of the flowers. Birds have a character all their own. I particularly like the ones I do not see every day, like the egret, eagle and osprey. These birds and flowers speak to me of God’s beautiful creation.


Waiting - art show


Sept 27, 2019 -Jan 2, 2020

Art on the Inside gallery, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital

10230 111 Ave, Edmonton (basement level outside the cafeteria)


     - Just being present

     - With anticipation, expectantly
What are you looking forward to?


      - For clarity, direction and inspiration

     - For redemption… and transformation

     - For Spring, new life, hope

     - For rebirth, regeneration, new growth

     Is about letting go and trusting the process


but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint. - Isaiah 40:31

Let the Rivers Flow, Art Show

I am excited! I took 19 paintings today to have them set up in an art show at The Carrot Community Coffeehouse for the month of August. Woohoo!

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted to move up my art show from November to August. On that short notice, I pulled together waterfalls and rivers that I had available and titled it “Let the Rivers Flow.” I put four of them into frames and the rest were ready to go.

Let the Rivers Flow,  August 2-27, 2022

As the rivers flow, and cascade on their downward path, spilling over rocks and making their own paths, they bring life with them to nourish the thirsty world.

I enjoy painting water, it’s movement and flow. It is peaceful to sit and take in the beauty of a river or waterfall, but to go further and capture the moment with paint is delightful. I experimented with different painting methods for capturing the water scenes: watercolor, acrylic, oil, combining ink and watercolor, and using handmade paper for texture in some of the paintings.

This series includes 19 paintings of waterfalls and rivers in Alberta, Oregon, Croatia, Iceland and Norway.

Opening Reception
7-8pm on August 4, 2022
The Carrot Community Coffeehouse
9351 118 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5G 0N3

Let the Rivers Flow Art Show will be up from August 2- 27, 2022
The Carrot Hours: Tues.-Fri. 9am to 8 pm; Sat. 9am to 10 pm. (closed Sun. and Mon.)


Part of the fun of teaching is watching the creativity start to flow. We have finished 5 out 8 classes. The students are getting comfortable with the medium and trying some ideas of their own. (After the initial classes, I have added more of the final images for some of the student paintings. I didn't remember to take photos at each class.)

In the acrylics class, we did some fun textures of adding eggshells, sand and sawdust to provide texture to the paintings. One of the students went home and added lentils and semolina to his painting. I didn’t get a picture of that one, but here are a few others:

Acrylic eggshellpainting student1Elaborate Stucco house with crushed eggshell 

Acrylic eggshellpainting student2Acrylic eggshellpainting student2 Acrylic eggshellpainting student3yellowstuccowdoorwayeggshell wall lentil path

I brought some collage scraps of my handmade paper to the class and showed them possibilities with a couple of my own pieces.

handmadepaper samples for collage 

Their ideas started flowing and they started in on creating. Their works in progress were fun to see here.

acrylic collagestudent1 1aEggshell painting reddoorway acrylic collagestudent2 2a

acrylic collagestudent3

We started the process of transfers. I brought an option of my own ink drawings photocopied for the class to use. I look forward to next class and the new possibilities the students will try. The flamingo and trio of rocks are my quick samples from my ink drawings. One student was ready with her image of a polar bear which turned out great.

acrylic transfer acrylic transfer student1 painted transfer on painted background


Some of the other projects in class:

Monochomatic painting

monochramatic painting studentwork

Experimenting with techniques: Textured backgrounds, sponging, pointilism

experimenting with texrtured backgroundspointilism flowerExploringwith pintilism

We did some work with Perspective in our last class:

perspectiveperspective painting demoperspective painting studentwork1perspective painting studentwork1Bperspective painting studentwork2

perspective painting studentwork2Bperspective painting studentwork3perspective painting studentwork3B