Target Reader for book: Art & Money?

Art Money Julia Trops Kelowna Canadian Artist

I was asked the other day, who is the artist who should read Art & Money?

Well, I answered, that’s a tricky question.  There is no one group who “should” read it, whether beginning, mid or late career.  I believe that we can all benefit from many streams of information, and that having read something is superior to not having read it.

The book talks about a lot of areas, and would be good for those who are beginning, as it gathers the information that I wish I knew about when I was first starting out.

This book would have a long shelf life because there are a great many things in the book that take years to develop, and by this I mean items on the cv, and renewed perspective on the biography, as time goes by, and you are active in your career and your community.

The book touches on the media, and how I believe they are interested in their community too, in helping it grow, and expand.  It touches on the city – or at least my city – on how those in the cultural departments are interested in helping their city grow, and how the artist can be and is a valuable resource. It describes ways that you as an artist, or a believer in culture, can encourage this kind of investment of your city. This book would help the patron understand what goes on behind the easel.

The book also describes how the beginning, mid or late career artist can interact with charities, giving a number of points of view to do with supporting non profits.  The charities would benefit from reading this information to see how they could change or adapt their policies to be more artist friendly. The patrons who frequent charities would benefit because they, as patrons, are interested in the success of their charity, and I believe they wish to see everyone successful. This book would help the patron or supporter understand what goes on behind the easel, and how they could help.

Am I an expert? No, I don’t say that I am.  I am just an interested party, and believe in the growth for the good of all. I care enough to say something, and I care enough to believe that artists can take control of their career. This book is for those who believe in culture, who believe in their community.

Art and Money – dear to my heart

Art Money Julia Trops Kelowna Canadian Artist
Art Money Marketing Artist Julia Trops Kelowna Canadian
Art & Money by Julia Trops

In November of last year, I made the decision to write a book about Art and Money because I was asked so many times to do marketing seminars. When I was accepted to Can Serrat in Spain for April 2013, I also booked the month of May at our friend’s friend’s condo in Vinaros with this part of the Venus is Rising project in mind. During that month, before my husband arrived to do some touring, I worked on the book. It was bliss to just sit down and focus and get everything organized. It’s been three months longer than I anticipated, but the book is finally done.

So what is it about?  This is on the back cover:

This is not a book for those who like to fly by the seat of their pants.

This book will give you candid practical advice on what you need to do from a business perspective, to the art documents you require to manouevre around the art world, pricing your artwork, who are your cheerleaders, and what kind of requirements you should expect from dealing with charities as an art professional, who you might want to donate to and how, and consideration of who to stay away from, how to get involved with your local community, and create your own events.

Currently, it is self published, but if it works out, I’d love to have it published through a major printing house. Guess we’ll see. At least, for me, it was something I needed to do for myself, and it hopefully will fill a need in the community.

I will have the book in two formats – one printed, and the other electronic. Prices will be 15.00 plus tax and 5.00 plus tax.  If you are local, you do not need to pay for shipping, you can pick the book up from me, at a book signing.  I am told that it is the thing to do for a new book, so stay tuned for the dates.  Also the book will be available locally at Mosaic Books on Bernard.  This post here is for pre-ordering.  I expect that I will have the books here for mid September or perhaps before.

Painting Plein Air at Silver Star Ski Resort Aug 9/10

This weekend, I will be at Silver Star Ski Resort, painting plein air for Gallery Odin and the Wine Festival there.  On Saturday, there will be a live auction of a work from each of the artists to benefit Jubilee Hospital in Vernon.  Thank you to Kal and Maria Molnar for making the live auction artist friendly.

If you see me paint there, this is what I am using.   I’ve ordered two so far, and know I will be ordering many more.  I can attest to the simplicity of set up, and how tight the canvas is.  I’m excited.  If you order any canvases from this link I’ve given you, I get a 5% commission – it’s a nice that the creator of the canvas system is appreciating his artist customers … no wonder as his sister Patty Baker is a well known artist in the States.  So thank you Mike Schwed!  By the way, the system is copyrighted in Canada and the US.  We artists are protective of those who help us out – I know I am, and I will report you. Nothing like loyalty! On a happier note, I am super excited for the weekend!

Gallery Odin Artists Village
Gallery Odin Artists Village Silver Star Ski Resort 9-10 August 2013

An unexpected pilgrimage to the self

I was very lucky to be chosen to attend Can Serrat just outside of Barcelona Spain. I highly recommend it to any artist who would like to be immersed in a life from 100 years ago. Both residencies that I went to involved highly spiritual influences, though I dislike to use spiritual, it is the only way to describe it. Mont Serrat is the mountain that dominates the area, and being from the Rockies, I was thinking, oh, another mountain.

How wrong I was.

There was a magic, a being-ness about that mountain; it would not be ignored. The days that I found myself wandering about, I inevitably ended up at its base. One day, a few of us decided to climb to the monastery, and I am glad I did. The trek up felt like a pilgrimage, and took about 3 hours. It felt like it was straight up, but you know, there was something that happened to me that day. I arrived at the monastery, ended up in the cathedral of the black virgin, touched her for hope of enlightenment. I fancy she did speak to me on some level, I am still not sure what the message was, but I felt/feel different and I believe this has come through in my work.

I am finding that the work coming out right now, is all to do with transient nature of existence. Skies change and evolve and blossom. Outside of the studio, I spent much time on my own, absorbing the culture, the surroundings, and the flavours of the people in the area. The food was amazing of course – it is Catalunya after all. I found the people to be very friendly and pleasant. I made the effort to communicate with them in Spanish, and there were times when I am sure I was confusing my French and my Italian. One time, the book shop lady responded to me in Italian, because she thought that is where I was from! So maybe my Italian was not so bad after all. With the help of my trusty little dictionary, I made out okay. I made up words, I am sure, and my pronunciation was horrible probably, but I felt that they appreciated my effort to live within their country and their comfort zones. I really enjoyed being out of mine.

Much of the work you see from these residencies are because of this fresh perspective. There were no boxes where I was, I was free to roam the earth and I did.

Can Serrat Artist Residency


Since moving to Kelowna in 2002, Julia Trops has taught drawing, trained life drawing models, and was the sole founding organizer of the weekly Life Drawing sessions at the Rotary Centre for the Arts. These sessions began the development of the non profit life drawing group, incorporated two years later in 2005 as Livessence Society of Figurative Artists and Models. Heavily involved in the arts community, a Kelowna Museums board director for the past seven years, a founder of Okanagan Erotic Art Show, co-founder of Okanagan Arts Awards (as part of the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan). Encouraging other artists to get their name in print, 2009 onwards, Julia has compiled the Okanagan Erotic Art Show Catalog and the Simplicity in Mind for Livessence. In 2011, Julia was shortlisted for the City of Kelowna’s Honour in the Arts.

Julia keeps pretty busy in her studio, having sold over 1000 works worldwide since 2004 and shows at Gallery Odin at Silver Star Mountain Ski Resort.

Julia Trops at Can Serrat
photo by Nancy Hendrickson

Statement: I came to Can Serrat without any constraints or preconceived ideas about the direction my work would take. I was looking forward to letting inspiration guide the expression. Montserrat became the primary source of ideas pertaining to place and identity.

Montserrat's Village Acrylic Painting on canvas, 80x40 Julia Trops

The mountain is ever changing. Standing tall in the landscape, unashamedly evolving, dissolving, renewing and creating, it is made of disparate materials, conglomerate rocks. It is a refuge and a home for many animals, including man. It reaches to the sky, tantalizing climbers. It´s a tower of babel, a place of many languages, all striving to be understood. Rock climbers and pilgrims alike find a sense of self within the landscape, one of the human spirit and the earth mother, an answer to “where am I, who am I,” and a sense of relevance to the world.

The colours, bold reds and blues are the same palette I am known for at home in Canada. Though until now my work has been dominated by the human form, here it is the naturally occurring figures in the mountain that inspire me. Having completed some works, and named them, it came as a surprise and yet not really a surprise, that the mountain peaks actually have names. There are “Monks”, “Angels”, and even “a Giant”.

Can Serrat artworks Julia Trops

My process is tactile. I paint with my hands, – I like the immediacy, the intimacy, the direct contact with paint, feeling it between my fingers, seeing each stroke on the canvas, shaping with light and colour. I layer colour upon colour, creating vibrations and relationships, some jarring and some in harmony, just like human interactions.

One day I was so full of the mountain, I had to recreate it in stones that I found along the path to Vinya Nova,(a beautiful restaurant snug at the base of the mountain). This piece is an assemblage of slate and quartzite mounted on tile from the nearby tile factory, which I also passed along the way. I called it Little Montserrat and is about 24 inches long by 8 inches high.

Little Montserrat Graphite and Slate mounted on Tile Julia Trops
Little Montserrat Graphite and Slate mounted on Tile

Like other mountain ranges, created from the clashing of tectonic plates, Montserrat symbolizes strength over adversity, the subconscious brought to the surface, the recognition of buried treasures, brought in to the warm friendship of the Catalan sun, shaped by the whipping criticism of the wind and the gentle pressing of falling rain.

For all the artwork from this residency, here is the album:

The journey continues.

The last works in Otranto

These are the last works from Otranto.

The experience has been a very positive one. There will be a few changes when I get back to Canada. I feel much more confident, more assured, more in control and cognizant of my own abilities, in so many different ways.

These artworks are based on the birds that flew in the courtyard where I was staying, but they were hard to catch in a photo. They had a joy of life, of freedom, and they taught me so much.

Untitled Charcoal Pastel Acrylic Painting Julia Trops
Untitled Charcoal Pastel Acrylic Painting Julia Trops - now in the BAU collection
Untitled Charcoal Pastel Acrylic Painting Julia Trops
Untitled Charcoal Pastel Acrylic Painting Julia Trops
Untitled Charcoal Pastel Acrylic Painting Julia Trops
Untitled Charcoal Pastel Acrylic Painting Julia Trops
Untitled Charcoal Pastel Acrylic Painting Julia Trops
Untitled Charcoal Pastel Acrylic Painting Julia Trops
Untitled Charcoal Pastel Acrylic Painting Julia Trops
Untitled Charcoal Pastel Acrylic Painting Julia Trops
Untitled Charcoal Pastel Acrylic Painting Julia Trops
Untitled Charcoal Pastel Acrylic Painting Julia Trops

Butterflies do it – the concept of faith

One of the things I have been dealing with over my life is the concept of faith, what it is, and how it works.  In the past I have wanted everything defined, marked, columnized, articulated, specific. Who what where when why. As I move away from this left brain existence, I still have no answers, no definitions, and that I have come to the conclusion that that is okay. I feel that just by accepting this small premise is a step forward.

My father died in 2008. As mentioned in this post, he was a very important part of my life. I’ve thought about his life time, how he treated people, how he lived in the world …. and I feel sad for him. He lived in fear – fear of his own abilities. For whatever reason, he shut himself down, I am sure before I was even born, and he allowed no light in. I know he was a very sensitive man, and I wonder what happened. He became the consummate victim, took on that role and never put it aside. Everything happened TO him.  My mom has told me a few things, that has helped me to understand why he was so angry, why he was so distant, and to me in particular. Maybe one day I will write a book, who knows. But for now, at this point in the journey, it is enough to understand, and to understand that I do not have to take on his pain, his fear, his mistrust.

My father hated the church, hated religion. He didn’t believe in the idea of Santa Claus. He didn’t believe in fairy tales. … at least outwardly. Inside, secretly, I think he did.

My father did not have faith. And if he ever did, it was reluctantly and because he had no choice.   This is what I learned from him. At one point I remember him saying he did not believe in God. I think at the very end of his life he thought differently, but I don’t  know as I was not there, and our discussions on anything serious were non-existent. I remember one particularly painful event, I think it was the last time I saw him alive. I had traveled to Calgary from Kelowna specifically to visit,  I came to the hospital room with my mom, where he had been living for the past year – and he said, “Oh it’s you, hi.”  Then when my sister and her eldest daughter showed up about an hour later, he was all smiles and hugs and quite joyful. About five or ten minutes later, I left my mom and sister and niece in his room to continue the visit, and as I walked back to my mom’s house from the hospital, I realized there was no point on me ever being there again.

As I walked, I pondered the significance of my first family in my own life, never wanting to acknowledge their pushing away, always wanting to be close and realized that would probably never happen. I think it is because our family never really had much in common other than we were in the same family. There was no other esoteric or spiritual significance to our being together, no real commonality between our personalities. No real ties or beliefs or faiths were ever given or imposed, which mind you, I am glad about, because it gave me the freedom to make my own decisions about life, the universe, and everything. But near his death, about a year or so later, my mom said he did come round to having faith – to a point – but certainly, it was because he had no choice.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, my mom always said Let go and let God. I think I am finally learning to do that. Yes it is scary. But I console myself by saying there is really nothing to lose in having this attitude and belief. It does take some effort, but it’s not a big jump, more like a gentle floating on to a breeze that is already in existence …. Butterflies do it ….

Sketched Out Studio Sale

Sketched Out Studio Sale
Sketched Out Studio Sale

Three artists are joining forces to try to get their works out to the community. We are making room for new projects, new beginnings, and it is your chance to own an original artwork.

Trying to make the situation a win win for all involved, and fully aware that Christmas is coming, too,  Julia Trops, Trina Ganson and Angela Bonten will be at Studio 113 from 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday December 10th offering their work at hugely discounted prices.

For a preview of what I will be offering, please see the Facebook Album for works that are presently available. Or you can go to and see if there is anything else that appeals to you.

From my latest newsletter:

The next step in my artist career:

I am going to Italy for a residency in June 2012.  The port town of Otranto will be my studio for the month where I will be researching and creating works based on the myths  and stories of the female.

In order to raise funds for the residency,  I am holding two specials:

The first way is through works from 2010 to present.

Some of these are available in person  at my studio in the Rotary Centre for the Arts, and  others are available to be viewed and purchased online at my Ruby Lane shop:

Venus is Rising

Or you can come and see me at the Rotary Centre for the Arts on Saturday November 26th, 9 to 3 pm during the Sketched Out studio sale, for the second special.  You can see most of these works on Facebook:

Look for the painting called Blueberry Bliss. These works are a whopping 66% off. I mean business!

If you see anything you like, send me a note. Or if you have seen the work already and you want to reserve it, then paypal is just fine, please send to, and indicate which work you want. It’s a great time to support an artist’s career, a Christmas gift for you or your loved ones, or a CyberMonday purchase…. once the $5000 is raised, all prices return to normal and your investment has just increased!

Thank you for helping me reach one of my goals. I have a ten year business plan, and the residencies are one of the things on my check list. Cross your fingers!

Artwalk 2011 – a preview

Artwalk 2011 is just around the corner! This year the theme is Eye Tunes… and as you know already most of my work is centred around music and dance….

If you would like a preview of some of the works that will be in the show, please go to my Facebook artist page

The album is called Artwalk 2011, and will have a range of works, from extremely large charcoals, to tiny 3×3 inch watercolours. I have tried to cover all the price points, so if you have wanted to get a work for a while, please consider this weekend!

Remember, I do not do prints, only originals, so once a work is sold, it is sold.

Also if you see something in Ruby Lane but it is not in the album, let me know, I can bring it with me.

Any questions, as always, please ask.

New work – Lahaina bound

Chris and I spent some time last year on Oahu, mostly at Honolulu, but we took the time to travel around the island itself. Most impactful was the trip to the Bishop Museum in the city.

This year, we went back to Hawaii, but this time to Maui. It was our first trip since we were married, with no children. We had a really nice time, and would love to go back. We will one day, I am sure.

Hawaii has had a profound impact upon me, and my artmaking. The colour goes without saying, though I am feeling that much of what I was painting already was in those bivrant jewel tones of the islands. I am thinking more along the lines of the expression, the dignity and the supreme gentleness of the Hawaiian people. This is what I would like to see grow in my work.

One of the towns we stayed in, Lahaina, has a poster contest every year. This year I am entering, with the three works below. Wish me luck. It is a juried show, and I hope I get in…

The Lahaina Lost
The Lahaina Lost, Oil on board, 24x30, 2011
Along Front Street, Oil on canvas, 12x20, 2011
Along Front Street, Oil on canvas, 12x20, 2011
The Guardian, Oil on board, 30x24, 2011
The Guardian, Oil on board, 30x24, 2011

Spent time in Hawaii last year and this year.

Influence of the islands.