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Bright Bird Paintings and more from Jules of Juju & Bubba
Here at yay retro! we think that the Juju and Bubba Facebook page is one of the loveliest. It's a really fun to visit page full of gorgeous bright paintings... We thought you might be interested in hearing from the artist Jules, who talks to yay retro! here about her background and work.
above a pretty painting of a blue tit with Cornishware jug...
Jules tell us: "I don’t recall painting a great deal as a child so I can say with a degree of certainty that I didn’t have a paintbrush in my hand from an early age; more like a spade! My family moved to the Dorset coast when I was very young so I spent most of my childhood outdoors in the fresh air; hunting for tiddlers in ice-cold streams, digging for cockles in the bay, watching the fishing boats unload their silvery, flapping fish and generally getting up to a great deal of mischief with my siblings. Life was very different then. We had a great deal of freedom to roam around – unattended I might add - to explore and discover the world from the perspective of a child. These memories of wonderful times and places have stayed with me and continue to influence and inspire my work".
She recalls that at the age of about eleven, she won a painting prize in a competition run by a local department store. Unbeknown to Jules, her teacher had entered my pastel painting of ‘The Fairground at Night’ and I won second prize! Jules says: " I remember felling incredibly uncomfortable when my parents took me down to the exhibition and could barely look at my painting, convinced the judges had made a dreadful mistake. The prize was a wonderful set of poster paints, brushes, sketchpads and the like. I daubed a little but was always quite daunted by the blank page. Nothing’s changed really!"
About two years ago Jules decided it was time to experiment with paint, so knowing very little, she approached a talented artist friend and asked her if she’d be willing to show her some techniques with acrylics. It was an epiphany! "She gave me heaps of encouragement and support and has been generous with her knowledge, words of wisdom, the odd dose of nagging to get my art out there, straight talking and putting me in touch with useful contacts in the art world, so I owe her a great deal. I’ve since progressed to watercolour and oil paints and it’s opened-up a completely new and exciting world".
Jules was lucky enough to have an uncle working at the renowned Poole Pottery and in her early teens would pop in on a whim for a guided tour or a wander round the studios. She was inspired by the work of the many talented and now famous studio potters and designers she met there. So it wasn’t a surprise when she went on to study ceramics at college, specializing in enormous, hand-formed bowls and rustic slipware. From there she ventured into teaching and it remains her ‘proper’ day job, for the time being.
Jules now lives in rural Bedfordshire, and she says: "You couldn’t get any further from the sea if you tried! I desperately miss the ever changing sea and the rugged south coastline. When I visit family in Dorset, I head straight down to the beach no matter what the weather and enjoy the feeling of being ‘home’ and at one with the elements and environment. I believe I’m meant to live by the sea once again, so when I win the lottery, I’ll be straight on to ‘RightMove’ searching for a Cornish cottage on a cliff with a light-filled studio!
She says that: "Basically anything can inspire me. Whether it’s a brooding, stormy sky, or the plethora of birds that pop in and out of my garden or the rugged south coast of England - everything has potential. I tend to flit from one subject matter to the next, depending on how I’m feeling or what’s in my head at that particular time.
Very often I’ll wake up in the middle of the night with an idea for a series of paintings – it can be as simple as that".
We asked Jules if she has retro items in her home, and she tells us: "I was brought up in a home surrounded by beautiful things, many of which would now be considered as retro. My mother has a natural flair for making a house a home. As a child I remember we had curtains that were designed by the inimitable John Piper for Sanderson and our furniture was mostly G Plan or Ercol. I have an abiding memory of a white china tea service. The cups were glazed a bright, tomato red inside and had gold stars applied to the outside. If, yay retro!, you ever stumble across some, please call me first!" (**will do Jules**) Jules' home is an eclectic mix of bits and pieces bought over the years. She collects anything that pleases the eye or hand, whether it has a purpose or not. Jule's tells us that she is: "always popping over to the yay retro! website to see what’s on offer. A year ago I saw the most beautiful hand thrown pot and foolishly put a link to it on my Facebook page at which point when I went back to buy it, it had sold! Every item on the yay retro! website is covetable and always so beautifully styled and presented. What’s on offer is always favourably priced. Best of all, new things are listed on a regular basis. My all time favourites are the Poole Pottery pieces (naturally) - I remember pieces such as the Blue Moon teapot them being used on a daily basis at home".
Most of all, Jules says she covets the Washington Pottery Harlequinade Check Series, "I can imagine myself painting outdoors, having afternoon tea and cakes in the garden with the pastel coloured crockery being the centrepiece. It might even turn into a still life, you never know!"
The future for Jules looks exceptionally bright, it’s been an incredibly exciting year so far with an offer to work with a publisher and interest from galleries. She says: "When I first saw my art in print I couldn’t stop beaming and skipping about the house – it was such a complete thrill! I’ve also been approached to license some of my designs for use on home furnishings."