Puppy & Plush Toy Watercolor Pencil Painting by Judy Jones

GUEST ARTIST: “My Happy Place” by Judy Jones

Hi all! My name is Judy Jones, I grew up and still live in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside here in the United Kingdom. As a child my home was always full of family, friends and pets. Between my parents my two brothers and myself we had fish, budgies, canaries, finches hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, dogs and horses over the years. So as you can imagine, I grew up with a real love of animals.

My other passion was art. I loved to draw, colour and paint. My dad would draw cartoon characters for me. Yogi Bear was one of his favorites. In those days, my art supplies consisted of pencils, felt tipped pens, Crayola crayons, and cheap watercolours. I loved colouring books and would spend hours colouring. As I got older, I ventured into creating more of my own art. Finding inspiration in everything around me from the beautiful scenery to my pets, and pop stars I admired.

Red Chilies Watercolor Pencil Drawing Judy JonesI got an O level in art at school which was as far as any formal training went. After I left school, my time was taken up with my job as a florist and taking care of my horse. There was little time for art and it took a back seat in my life. I grew up, got married, tried eight years to have children. I longed for my own family and after several failed IVF attempts, I gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl. My family was complete or so I thought.

Around seven months later, I found out I was pregnant naturally, but sadly when the twins turned one, I lost the baby. Less than a year later, I discovered I was having another baby and along came my youngest, another little girl. I rediscovered my creative side with the kids, we would draw, paint, and make weird and wonderful creations like Halloween masks, Plasticine swans, hedgehogs, and even an Egyptian pyramid with sarcophagus and mummy.

Snowman Watercolor Painting by Judy Jones

Ten years ago, I split from my husband and life has been difficult. I suffered from depression after the loss of the baby and the break up of my marriage. I was in a rut and unsure where my life was heading. Around 5 years ago, I was scrolling through YouTube videos when I came across an artist by the name of Dede Willingham. I watched several of her videos and soon joined her on you-stream (now live on YouTube) for live stream and chat. Her carefree style and love to create rubbed off on me. I was soon creating again. I have met some wonderful people online in the art community on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Many of whom I would now consider friends.

I find if I have a bad day just the simple act of picking up a pencil and a sketchbook calms me and takes me to my happy place. I am now trying to draw or paint something every day.

My favorite mediums are Faber-Castell Polychromos coloured pencils and Winsor & Newton watercolours. I also enjoy the simplicity of just a graphite pencil. I do love to buy art supplies of all kinds. Some of which get used more frequently than others. I will sit with a sketchbook whilst watching TV or YouTube and doodle ideas that come to me. I have also rediscovered my love of drawing animals.

I love to draw a wide variety of subjects but animals will always be my favorite. I am not currently employed and would love to make a living from my art, maybe illustrating children’s books. Julia Donaldson if you ever part ways with Axel Scheffler give me a call! I have done some commission work but it doesn’t pay the bills.

Little Red Riding Hood And Wolf Watercolor Pencil Painting by Judy Jones

My children are now 18 and almost 16 and have my creative streak. My oldest daughter is studying photography at university, my younger daughter is doing a GCSE in 3D Art, though her true passion is dance and my son has done some great digital art. I feel my artwork has improved a lot over the last few years.

Christmas Mice Watercolor Painting

I watch a lot of YouTube artists and have learned a lot from them, though I think the best way to learn is to just do it. Getting over the fear of “doing it wrong” was a hurdle for me and my confidence in my ability could be better. But you know what, it’s just a bit of pigment and paper and if it goes wrong no one has to see it.

I have had my share of disasters along the way. It’s all part of the fun. I learn something from every piece I do even if it’s just “don’t do that again!” But, if you are looking to be an artist, the best advice I can give is keep practicing. You don’t get good at something by not doing it like everything else in life. It’s a learning process. We are not all born with a whole set of skills, we learn them. You couldn’t just pick up a football and be a professional footballer as you can’t just pick up a pencil and be an artist. But, the more you do the better you get. I’m striving to get better little by little.

Puppy Watercolor Painting by Judy Jones

Some days, I will have a specific thing I want to draw and other days I have no clue. I find mind mapping and keeping any ideas that pop into my head in a notebook really useful to go back to when artist block hits. Inspiration is all around us. I sometimes draw what’s on my desk or, other times, I will look online for ideas or just going out for a walk and observing the things around me be it a flower, a leaf, a pebble, a person, a building or anything else that grabs my attention.

Venice Watercolor Painting

I take my phone out and will often take a photo of something I would like to draw later. All you need is a passion for what you are doing and determination to do it. Looking back at my artwork, I can see that the more I enjoyed doing a piece the better it came out.

Reindeer Colored Pencil Painting by Judy Jones

Going into the new year, I would love to get better at watercolour and inking and I intend to do more along those lines. I have loved doing the daily prompts in the monthly Doodlewash art challenges, even though it’s time consuming it makes me create something every day and I, for one, need that push. Daily life often gets in the way and it’s easy to say, “oh, I’ll just do something tomorrow,” but as long as I am creating something each day I will be happy. Even if it’s just a doodle on the side of my shopping list.

Dog Under Blanket Watercolor Painting Judy Jones

Finally I want to thank Charlie for this wonderful opportunity to be a featured artist here and if you want to see more of my art or just say hi, you’ll find me on Instagram at the link below.

Judy Jones

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46 thoughts on “GUEST ARTIST: “My Happy Place” by Judy Jones

  1. JuJu, I am so very proud of you and your tenacity to work every day to give all of us joy in your Art. Overcoming disappointments in life is a huge mountain to climb and you have found your path. I am so honored that you chose to share your gift with the World and the FIBS. You’re a true inspiration and please continue to delight us with your brilliant talent. Honor and love to a fellow Dede FIB…..Elaine in Oklahoma, USA.

    1. Thank you so much Elaine I have made some truly lovely friends through Dede and the other fibs who stream I am happy to share my art with you and I’m glad you enjoy it hugs to you and I’ll try get to a stream soon for a chat x

  2. Stunning art, you’ve come along way and I wish you continue happiness in life and your art. Thank you for sharing, its one thing to allow others know about your struggles and depression, takes strength. Very happy to know you’ve found You Tube and yes this place has a lot of encouragement and inspiration , I always venture over their for motivation when depression wonders back. And having Charlie’s stories, drawings and Guest artists is always a happy pleasure. Take care

  3. Hi Judy! 🙋‍♀️ Your art is spectacular! 💗🎨 The way you create animals is amazing, especially how you draw the fur… your black lab really caught my eye! 😊 I am also impressed with your portraits. You are very skilled! I like how you combine color pencils and watercolor. I have done some of this combination but have only used Prismacolor pencils which I hear can be more waxy. I will have to try the ones you use. My style tends to be more whimsical than realistic but I am really in awe of your work. Life can be a struggle at times but I have found art to help me through the difficulties. I will follow you on Instagram. ❤️

    1. thank you so much Jill i definitely find polychromos pencils better for fur though i do like prismas for portraits i will mix and match preferring again the polychromos for detail as they keep a sharp point for longer but for skin the prismas do blend easier in my portraits the young lady with the glasses is my youngest daughter keep on arting see you on Instagram

  4. Congratulations Judy! I am a great fan of your drawings ! Go on to share it , you are very talented. I hope you will live of your work , may be illustrating book or other job where you can show your art , you deserve it. 😍👏

  5. Love your art. Check out Nina Rycroft as an illustrator. I think her website would give you some direction as to how to reach that goal. It is something you should definitely pursue with your talent.

  6. Judy, your write up is wonderful. Glad doodlewash made you the guest artist! Your art works are amazing and i think each piece is fabulous. i especially love the way you render animals.i ve been your fan from the time i saw one of your post on doodlewash daily prompts.You have a great creative,imaginative and artistic side to you which is your greatest asset.Use it fully and i want you to soar to great height,my dear friend!

    1. Thank you so much Purnima you too have a great talent I’m glad you enjoyed my write up I’m looking forward to what this year brings me in my art adventure 😁

  7. I’ve just read your story. Made me cry!!! You’re a survivor – amazing how you had your twins after all the IVF. Wonderful.
    Your art is absolutely beautiful
    Judy – good on you. I would love to draw like you. You’ve done some stunning pieces & animals are your best.
    Keep it up & thank you for sharing. 👍👍😜😜💛💛

    1. thank you for your lovely kind words, sorry i made you cry. i do feel totally blessed to have my children they are my life i’m happy you like my art i’m sure with lots of practice you could draw just as well. i got a lot of tips from YouTube artists if you have the determination to draw well you will eventually.

  8. Judy, I’ve read your story 3 times, inspired by how you’ve lifted yourself from despair to create a visual library of great beauty. You’ve achieved so much by working at the craft you love. You are fierce in your courage and talented beyond measure. Every artwork is gorgeous and exhibits skill and grace – such pleasure to see. I wish you success in your future endeavors and hope you realize your dream of illustrating children’s books.

  9. Hello Judy, Your artwork is fantastic. I look for your sketches every day in IG. Art is a great way to pull one out of depression, worries, and anxieties because art engages the right brain where creativity flows. I’m finding it especially helpful during this pandemic isolation. Keep showing us your wonderful work, and I will keep practicing to be a good artist. Thanks for sharing your story. May you have a wildly creative year!

    1. Thank you ever so much Rissi so sorry for the very late reply not been on here for ages take care i have been taking a break from art but have just started to create again so hopefully you will se me back on instagram very soon. x

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