Click on palette and watch Judy paint a portrait in 2 minutes!

Click on palette and watch Judy paint a portrait in 2 minutes!
Click on palette above and watch Judy paint a portrait in 2 minutes!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

New Acrylic Painting

"Flamingo" 20" x 24" Acrylic Painting

This one doesn't fall into the category of an actual "portrait," but it is an animal portrait that just happens to have a little landscape in it.  I had planned to just do a base coat of acrylic, then overlay with oils in full detail, but got carried away when handling the acrylic and just finished it off.  Spent many days on this one, but it sure was a pleasure to do.  I must do more birds, I love the looks of them and they are all around us here on the Treasure Coast. This was painted from a photo I took at the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, a wonderful place to find animal subjects to paint.

"Flamingo" 20"x24" acrylic painting

I painted this for the Vero Beach Art Club's Art By The Sea show in the Vero Beach Museum of Art, next weekend.  Looking forward to that one, I'll be helping out with QC and hanging.  The Opening Reception is Friday night, 5-8.  Hope you can join us.

Judy Burgarella

Friday, December 26, 2014

Lucy Finished!

"Lucy" oil portrait by Judy Burgarella
Finished this oil portrait of "Lucy," Ruth Steer's great granddaughter.  Ruth, my student and friend from Grand Harbor in Vero Beach, had started the portrait even though she had limited time left on this planet.  She tried her best to get it done but her time just ran out.  I helped her paint from her sickbed, she loved to paint.  She was no longer able to finish "Lucy," but I put the brush in her hand and she painted a lovely rose in a vase, which was exhibited at her memorial service.

Ruth was a great lady, an accomplished artist, and I felt privileged to be her art instructor and friend.  She gave me much wise advice on many topics over the years, and I admired her strength, courage and upbeat attitude in spite of her condition.  And she sure did love her family, and chatted about them often while painting.  I hope she would be happy with what I've done to the remains of her painting.  I sent it to her family just before Christmas.

One of Ruth's old wooden paintboxes is on the easel, with the Mona Lisa's beginnings on it.  Since Leonardo took over 4 years to complete his Mona Lisa, I think it will take me a while to finish mine.  On one other of Ruth's wood paintboxes I painted a rooster and donated towards the Sebastian River Art Club's scholarship fund.  Also, I recently purchased an old wooden ironing board which I will soon paint a portrait of an old black woman hanging clothes on a clothesline, leaving much of the wood untouched.  What a wonderful conversation piece--can't wait to work on that one too.  The design is drawn out, now to paint it.  Perhaps I'll paint coordinating wine glasses to set on it as a cocktail table.  Life's a banquet when you paint--full of adventure, color, interesting people, and new ideas that just keep rolling around in your head just waiting to come out through your paintbrush!

Looking forward to new creations and art experiences in 2015!  Happy New Year to all!

Judy Burgarella

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pretty Little Brittany

To see me paint, click on

"Brittany" 12"x15" Pastel by Judy Burgarella

This is a sweet little pastel I started over a year ago, and just finished it up to bring to Connecticut for a wedding in October and give it to my beautiful niece Brittany.  But as things go, we had a mishap involving hospital, delays, visit cancellations, and it ended up going back to Florida with us.  And so I am finally getting around to the tedious job of packing it up tonight, redesigning a box for it, and all that stuff.  Shipping paintings can be costly unless you do it yourself, but one must be fussy when shipping glass.  I hope it still looks like her.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New Rag Reduction Oil Portrait

In the last couple of hours of the Sebastian River Art Club's show in Riverview Park I decided to start a painting ... silly me.  But I must follow my "muse" whever it calls me, otherwise it may not come back again soon after.  So I slopped some alizarin crimson and sap green all over the unprimed canvas with a palette knife putting globs here and there at random.  Then I took a big brsh and squished it all over the canvas, allowing the colors to be somewhat separate in spots.

Then I looked for a rag, and found I had none in my bag, and I was stuck.  So I took a paper towel and some Q-tips I had packed and went to it, wiping the highlights away, leaving the shadowed areas intact.  Looked pretty bad at first, but within about a half hour it started looking like a face.  I lightly glazed alizarin on the cheeks, prussian blue on the iris, orange at the bottom of the eyeball for the glow under the sparkle at the top.  It was such fun to begin to see that face looking out at me--that's the part I love.  I think she's beautiful, and can't wait to frame her, although I looked and looked today and could't find a 9"x12" frame.  Not a common size.  I will be demonstrating this technique tomorrow at the Sebastian River Art Club during my class.  Enjoy.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Two New Portraits Started Out As Demonstrations

Finished the African woman in acrylic which start out as a demo, put hair on her based on Ethiopian hair designs, lipstick, and an ear adornment.  I think she's beautiful.  It will be hard to find an appropriate frame for this lovely little 9"x12 portrait on canvas.

Below is another acrylic of mine, starting out as a demo at the Sebastian River Art Club.  I'm quite happy with this one too, although I got too into detail.  Don't need a frame for this one, it's a gallery-wrapped stretched canvas, 12"x16"x1-1/2", continuous painting on all sides.

That's it for now, this blogger has to get ready for an art show at Riverview Park, Sebastian, for the Sebastian River Art Club.  Framing, packing, etc.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Not quite finished with this one, but it started out today as a quick acrylic demo at the Sebastian River Art Club, in my class, and I just couldn't let it alone.  What a face on this native African, strong cheekbones, great cut of his chin ... except when I got it home and looked at it in another light, he looked a bit feminine ...  and beautiful.  Consequently, he may turn out to be a she.  Besides, there were some wonderful female ear adornments and headdresses and hairdos that I would just love to paint in.  Just have to soften the cut of the chin, make the lips a little redder, and put some eyelashes in and she'll be stunning.  I love the way she's looking straight at you with such strength, courage and conviction.  An intelligent and agile mind behind those eyes I would say.  . . . What a bunch of dribble because she's not real--and she's not even a she yet.  But people will entertain themselves reading her face and her eyes long after she is launched into a frame.

This photo doesn't do it justice, as there are so many colors mixed into his lights and shadows that can't be seen except in person.  Can't wait to work on this one again ... hope I can keep my inspiration with it.

"Ethiopian" Acrylic by Judy Burgarella, 8"x10"

Monday, January 13, 2014

Osceola, From His DEATH MASK

Had to pull a couple of all-nighters, but finally finished "Osceola, From His Death Mask," a 12"x18" pastel portrait.  Cut the mat, have the frame, and it's ready to be put together.  However, I will have it digitally scanned and professionally printed before entering it into the Vero Beach Art Club's "Art By The Sea" at the Vero Beach Museum of Art in VB, Florida.

I first sculpted a bust of Osceola from the photos I took of the plaster casting of his death mask in NYC.  Using the sculpted bust, I positioned him exactly profiled for the portrait.  I now can repaint him in any light and position I want, and it will be from his original image.  How exciting is that?  Stay tuned for many more paintings of this famous Seminole Warrior.  The below is copyrighted, and cannot legally be copied. 

"Osceola, From His Death Mask" 12"x18" Pastel by Judy Burgarella
I have been fascinated with the story of Osceola since moving to Florida in 2005.  His is an exciting, dramatic, and tragic story ... one which would make a terrific movie or documentary.  Look around, you Floridians, his name is everywhere, and so his legacy lives on.

Hope you enjoyed this posting.

Judy Burgarella