See My Art

I've recently begun exhibiting my art in two galleries not far from me in East Tennessee. Each is showing a variety of my original art, prints, and notecards. Stop in if you are nearby and tell them I sent you!

Fuller's Frame Shop and Gallery
302 W Bank St
Athens, Tennessee
(423) 745-7489
Fuller's Frame Shop, a family business since 1983, specializes in professional custom framing. They offer fine art prints from national and international artists, and serve the community as an art gallery featuring local artists. The large gallery display area is packed with original fine art, prints, and a wide variety of art gifts. Individual and small group art classes are offered.
9:30am-5:30pm every day but Sunday

Gallery on Main
109 E Morris St
Sweetwater, Tennessee
(423) 337-7400
Actually located a few steps from Main Street (their original location), the Gallery on Main is in a quaint downtown area of shops and boutiques. The gallery features more than 25 local artists, with many kinds of art, such as wood carving, paintings in all media, fine art prints, pebble art, fine art photography, collage works, and hand crafted jewelry. The gallery includes a tasting bar for Tsali Notch vineyards. Art Classes are offered in painting, jewelry, and other media. The Gallery sponsors "Art and Crafts Around the Park" in late April.
Spring Hours:
 Tues & Wed: 11 - 4PM
 Thurs - Sat: 10AM - 4:30PM
 Sun & Mon: Closed

In Like a Lion

March came 'in like a lion' where I live in SE Tennessee (with tornado warnings) and in many other parts of the country, so I'll stick with that as the theme I had already chosen for this month's features.

 "Her Highness" was one of my first animal paintings, during what might be called my African wildlife phase. My wonderful friends Bill and Lois had been on safaris in Africa and came home with amazing photographs. They invited me to use them as references for some new paintings, and I welcomed the challenge. I decided to paint Her Highness in watercolor on Claybord®, which is a stiff board with a thin layer of smooth white clay adhered to the surface. The clay surface reacts to paint much like hot press watercolor paper – super smooth, sharp edges, fast drying. Once the paint dries on Claybord®, it's possible to scratch or abrade the surface, revealing the white layer below. In addtion to paints and brushes, with Claybord® I use a set of dental tools (found at a flea market), steel wool, and x-acto knife, sandpaper, and other tools. I find it to be a great surface for images with fur, whiskers and other fine textures. For this painting, I scratched the areas I had already painted to create the fine long hairs in the lioness' ears and the white glint in her eyes. I rubbed fine steel wool to soften her muff and the tip of her nose fur. On Her Highness, I also used the property of removing paint from the clay coating in the grasses around the lioness. I created some of the long blades by painting a grass shape over dry paint with clear water, then blotting off the dampness. This removed the watercolor paint, revealing the whiteness again. After that area dried, I was able to paint over it, overlapping more grass blades over the new lighter ones and creating more depth. I also like Claybord® because the original painting can be sprayed with a sealer and the framed without putting it under glass, which you can't do with a conventional watercolor on paper. Incidentally, my friends Bill and Lois bought Her Highness almost before the paint dried, so I made giclee prints the same size as the original, 16" x 12". I sell the print for $75 and I have one matted and framed for $325.

For the next paintings in my wild animal series I changed my surface to a watercolor board. Watercolor papers tend to buckle when wet, but this product has the premium paper surface mounted to a thick acid-free backing board. It stays flat while being painted but has all the qualities of that bring me joy when painting with watercolors. Actually, for these two paintings I chose to paint in fluid acrylic paints, using them in a transparent manner, so the effect is like using watercolors.  "The Big Cat Nap" is group of sleepy lionesses, and it is a mate to my leopard painting "Satisfaction", each measuring 30" x 20". They have similar tones and a mottled background for an out-of-focus appearance, keeping the emphasis on the animals themselves. Satisfaction was an award-winner for me, in an exhibit of the Florida Watercolor Society. Both originals are beautifully framed with a tan suede mat and distressed gold frame, selling for $850 each (or the pair for $1500). I also created giclee prints on paper of Satisfaction, in the same size as the original painting for $350 and 14" x 10" framed with a suede mat and carved gold leafed frame for $125 or unframed for $75.

"Elephant Hide" was an experiment in texture. For my painting surface, I adhered thin pieces of tissue paper to a gessoed masonite board with acrylic medium, allowing and encouraging the tissue to wrinkle. When dry, I used rich brown tones in acrylic to create the look of leather, to use as the background. Again using some of Bill and Lois's safari photos as reference, I painted the approaching elephant, letting the textured surface emphasize the elephant's tough wrinkled hide. Soft application of light tones around the elephant's body set it off from the background, as did the dark green tones around his head and ears. This was a small painting, 12" x 16". My neighbor Vivie stopped by soon after I finished this painting, fell in love with it, and bought it!

For "Rock 'N' Roll", I started by painting the entire background with pale yellow in acrylic paint on cold press (textured) watercolor paper. I had sketched the zebra onto the paper, so I left that area pure white, so he would be emphasized. It was fun to create the fuzzy, dusty clouds created as the zebra scratched his body on the dirt, adding a softness where his back rested on the ground. The original of this painting sold many years ago.

My wild animal phase taught me how much I love to paint animals. I consider pet portraits to be one of my favorite subjects now, and I've done many as commissions. Take a look at some examples in my Dog Portrait album on my Art Gallery Facebook page.

Happy March!

February: So Sweet

My painting theme this month is "sweet" and here are four of my paintings, with a variety of subjects, which I think fit this category. Of course, February is always sweet for me, since Valentine's Day is the day I married my forever sweetheart!

"Decadence" features a super sweet display of yummy chocolates. This painting was a real departure from my usual subject matter. I purposely aimed at creating a strong and unusual image, since my intention was to enter the painting in a watercolor competition and I've learned that a painting needs to be different to attract the juror's interest. This painting is about 2' x 3' so the chocolates really jump out! Technically, it was a good challenge to paint so many variation on brown, and I also had fun making the foil look shiny silver on the outside and matte brown on the inside of the pleated cups. Not only did this painting get accepted into the exhibition, it was also an award winner. The original, painted with acrylic paints used transparently on watercolor paper, is for sale for $700, unframed.

"When She Was Three" was inspired under very different circumstances. I had photographed sweet little Aubrey while attending a friend's family reunion, as she innocently played along the edge of the Tellico River. I loved how the sunlight sparkled on her tousled fine hair and backlit her shirt, her right arm and the greenery. The pail, shovel, and denim jeans gave me lots of color variation and texture to paint, while the rocky ground was primarily rendered by the use of highlights and shadows. The transparency of the shallow river water was another challenge. I created this painting in acrylic paints on canvas.
The original When She Was Three painting sold to Aubrey's family, but I have limited edition giclee prints on canvas for sale, which look so close to the original that I can barely tell the difference myself.
    Image Size, same as the original art:  16" x 20" in charcoal wood frame $325; unframed $225       
    Image Size:  10" x 8" in white wood frame with red highlights $150; unframed $100

I've done many paintings which include glass canning jars, and "Miss Shirley's Zinnias" was the first. I've added this to my "sweet" theme, because my friend Shirley is one of the sweetest ladies you could ever meet. I think this was also my first attempt to depict lace in a watercolor painting, which is a big challenge. In traditional watercolor painting technique, which I used here, the areas of white are the unpainted paper. So to make it look like lace, I lightly stained the paper with ivory tones to make the lace look old. Once that dried, I had to paint the dark holes which are the surface showing through the lace… it sort of requires you to think backwards. The original of this painting resides with Shirley, but because so many people loved the painting I have open edition prints on paper available in 8"x10" and 5"x7", at $17, and $9 respectively, and I have two prints 12.5" x 17.5", @ $40.

My final "sweet" painting is my portrait of Ellie Mae. I can take no credit for the gentle, loving, and easy nature of this sweetheart, who wandered from the woods onto our friends' porch as a puppy on a cold February day ten years ago. We don't know her lineage, but she has the appearance and traits of a breed which was added to the AKC a few years ago, the American English Coonhound. More than likely she was bred to be a hunting dog but either got separated from the pack or discarded because she's very afraid of gunshot… we'll never know. She won our hearts and has captured many others in her journeys with us. As with all my animal portraits (which I do as commissions for many pet-loving parents), I painted this in acrylics on canvas. This painting hangs in my own little dog gallery, along with portraits of my other doggie babies, and, sorry, it is not for sale!

Calendar Pin-Ups

I've been asked many times if any of the 12 images of my paintings in my 2017 Calendar can be purchased. Four of the original paintings are still for sale, and most of those shown on the calendar are available as prints. I've made an inventory and list it here, along with links to each painting in my online gallery so you can find out more about any image which interests you.

You'll notice information about the prints with each listing below. I make prints of my paintings in order to make affordable reproductions in a variety of sizes, and to make each painting available to more people (including me!)

I create two different types of prints from my art, and you can read the details about each at the end of this post. My originals and prints on paper are matted to separate the art from touching any surfaces and, most often, placed under clear plexiglas (plexi weighs less than glass and, of course, is less breakable.) My originals and prints on canvas do not need matting or glazing, so they are in simply in complementary frames, and all the canvas surfaces are sealed with a protective and UV block clear coat. Many of my prints are also available unframed, protected in clear bags. Most are in sizes which fit precut mats and ready made frames, making it easy for you to frame them yourself to fit your decor.

January: "Winter Beauty” - Original is sold; Available as:
Open edition prints
    Image Size:  10" x 8" unframed $17
    Image Size: 7" x 5" unframed $9

February: “Winter Buddies” - Available as Original Watercolor Painting on Watercolor Paper 14" x 17", double white/grey mat and grey wood frame 22" x 26" OD $450

March: "Gone Fishin'" - Original is sold; Available as
Canvas Giclees:
    Image Size:  10" x 8" , unframed $100
Paper Giclees:
    Image Size: 30" x 22", unframed $300
    Image Size: 20" x 16", unframed $150
    Image Size: 14" x 11", unframed $70
    Image Size: 10" x 8", unframed $38   
    Image Size: 7" x 5", unframed $17

April: "April in Paradise" - Original is sold; Available as:
Canvas Giclees:
    Image Size: 24" x 18", framed in rustic barnwood, $425
    Image Size: 12" x 9", unframed, $125
    Image Size: 10" x 8", framed in antique silver finish or rustic barnyard $150; unframed $100
    Image Size: 7" x 5", framed, $45
Paper Giclees:
    Image Size: 24" x 18", unframed, $195
    Image Size: 10" x 8", unframed, $38
    Image Size: 7" x 5", double mat of green/mauve in wood silver finished frame $100; unframed, $17

May: "Grandpa's Fiddle Break" - Available as Original Watercolor Painting on Watercolor Paper, 30" x 22", framed in a double brown suede and ivory mat in a brown wood and copper accent frame, $1200

June: "Pushin' Up Daisies" - Original is sold; Available as:
Open edition laser prints:
    Image Size:  8" x 10" in double mat white/black in custom oak barnyard frame 16" x 12" OD $115; unframed $17
    Image Size: 5" x 7" unframed $9

July: "Land That I Love" - Original is sold

August: "Good Luck" - Original is sold; Available as:
Open edition laser prints:
    Image Size:  8" x 10" unframed $17
    Image Size:  7" x 5",  unframed $9

September: "Jesus Saves" - Original is sold; Available as:
Open edition laser prints:
    Image Size:  8" x 10" unframed $17
    Image Size:  7" x 5",  unframed $9

October: "Telliquah Falls" - Original is sold; Available as:
Canvas Giclees:
    Image Size:  16" x 12" in custom oak barnboard frame $215; unframed $150           
    Image Size:  10" x 8" framed incustom oak barnboard $125; unframed $75
Paper Giclees:
    Image Size: 14" x 11" unframed $70
    Image Size: 10" x 8", unframed $38   
    Image Size: 7" x 5", unframed $17

November: "Elles Tobacco Planter" - Available as Original Watercolor Painting on Watercolor Paper, 30" x 22", framed in a double ivory/ivory mat in a black sectional frame, $1000
Open edition laser prints:
    Image Size:  10" x 8" unframed $17

December: "December Snow" - Available as Original Acrylic Painting on Canvas, 20" x 16", framed in rustic barnyard grey/white wood frame $575
Also available:
Open edition laser prints:
    Image Size:  8" x 10" unframed $18
(Companion painting to "Let It Snow")

  • GICLEE:  A "giclee" (pronounced 'zhee-clay' or 'gee-clay') is the finest quality fine art digital print. It is museum-quality and I limit the number in each edition I create. I individually sign and number each print, and provide a Certificate of Authenticity. Technically, giclee prints are created by very high end ink-jet printers, with up to 12 pigmented fade-resistant inks. Many of these printers can reproduce art several feet wide and any height. The surfaces on which the inks are printed are of the highest quality, including acid-free longevity papers. Giclees are the closest reproductions to the original art, and their cost is higher than other types of prints due to all the high-end production steps. I have giclees produced both on paper (which is very close to the watercolor papers I paint on) and also on canvas, which I often use in my acrylic paintings. Like any artwork on paper, giclees on paper should be protected under glass or plexiglas and kept out of direct light in order to reduce the chance of fading. It is often difficult even for me to tell which is the original and which is a giclee print!
  •  OPEN EDITION: My "open edition" prints are produced on color laser printers. The reproduction is very close to my original paintings. This is a less costly process than giclee printing, thus the price of the prints is less.

January: Start the Year Off Fine

"Let It Snow" © Judy Lavoie
"December Snow" © Judy Lavoie
Based on the popularity of my new 2017 Calendar (still a few available @ $15), I am beginning a monthly Artwork Feature. The calendar features one of my paintings for each month, and, similarly, my blog posts will focus on one of my painting themes each month. This month it's "snow!"

Paintings of snowy landscapes are one of my favorite subjects. We don't get a lot of snow where I live in SE Tennessee, except in the higher mountains we view from our front porch. When there is any accumulation near the house, I can hardly wait to get outside with my camera. This month's featured artwork combines my love of snow with another favorite painting subject of mine, barns. The two barns shown in this artwork are on my neighbor's property, so they are very familiar and dear to me.

I painted "Let It Snow" as a barnyard scene in the midst of a snow storm. The horses are shown in and out of the barn, perhaps disturbed by the weather. The snow is wet and heavy, bearing down on the branches of the evergreens. The scene is grey and chilly.

The companion to this painting is "December Snow," showing the blue sky breaking through just after the snow has stopped. Near this sceond barn, some of the heavy snow has been blown off the background pines, and the sun is casting blue shadows on the snow covered barnyard.

I did each of these paintings in acrylics on canvas, measuring 20" x 16". They are simply framed in rustic grey barnboard, to accent the barns' weathered siding. Each original painting retails for $575, and I would sell the two together for $1000. Also available are open-edition prints on paper of each of these two paintings, sized to fit a pre-cut 8"x10" mat and readymade frame, @ $18.

If you are interested in purchasing any of this artwork or a calendar (while they last), please email me at Thanks!