Thursday, January 28

Expanding Blossom

So I was getting ready to do a post on my Facebook Fan Page when I saw this great photo of a really cute owl. It was, I guess what one could call “my style” of artwork. I like many styles but some stuff really grabs my eye. I loved it. I just had to click. Then I came to the world of Quirky Dame! Her shop was sprinkled with all kinds of great items. Of course, you knowing me, I had to zip an email off right away and track this quirky dame down!

That is how I came to meet Julie Behm, our artist for today. Her work is unique. It is whimsical, fun and well quirky! I loved bright mix of colors! My favorite by far is the wide eyed owls perched precariously on a sprawling tree. They make me wonder what they are thinking. Silly maybe, but great art is supposed to make you think, it captures you and doesn’t let you go. It leaves you wanting more.

More I did want so ….here we go with

Quirky Dame Designs

Artist Julie Behm , has always had art and creativity as part of her life. Her first classes were in high school and eventually she went on to take more and more classes right into her thirties. I think this speaks volumes about a person when they are willing to keep learning, and expanding themselves. Expanding. I asked Julie her goals for her work and the reply seemed to fit perfectly with what I would have expected. Every year, instead of making resolutions, I choose a word for the year. Or rather, I believe the word chooses me. :) This year my word is “expand.” We’re not even through January and already God’s been quite busy presenting me with opportunities to expand!”

Maybe the expansive Alaskan skies are her inspiration as she is based out of Anchorage Alaska. Not one to enjoy winter Julie went on to say about Alaska “ I’m not a winter person, I don’t enjoy the dark and cold and snow. But I love it up here in the summers. Constant daylight, even at midnight, it’s light out. The scenery is beautiful – gorgeous greenery everywhere, with mountains and water all around.” I would think living with darkness for half the year would be paralyzing but reading about what defines Julie it is no wonder she is not only living but thriving. So, the one thing that defines Julie, “I think it is the choices I make every day that define who I am. I can choose to see the good and find the positive in a situation or I can let myself get bogged down with negativity. I can choose to run away when a challenge presents itself or I can face it head on and do my best. When my doubts about my art surface, I can let them paralyze me or I can push past it and continue to create. The past few years have taught me this time and time again! “

This go-get “em attitude rang through her entire interview and I found her both vulnerable and tenacious at the same time. I loved when she stated “As for painting, most of my life I believed I couldn’t. I was absolutely, positively convinced I couldn’t! Yet I longed to try. About 4 years ago, someone in my life challenged me to paint something, anything. Okay, it was my therapist and I had to bring the painting in the next week. LOL! But that forced me to finally try. It wasn’t very good, but the feeling I got while painting surprised me. It opened something up in me and I knew I had to continue” Originally it was her fifth grade teacher that had seen her creative spark and unlimited potential and convinced her parent to put her into art lessons. I am so glad they did. Now we can all enjoy this amazing folk artist. Not just a folk artist, Quirky Dame Designs has some great photography in it as well!

Julie can be found on several sites where she sells and each one is unique. You will definitely want to give all of them a peek because her work will bring a definite smile to your face! You can find her on any of the three sites. Quirky Dame on Artifire Quirky Dame on Etsy or as Julie Behm at Boundless Gallery

She started small, “It took me a while – over a year – before I finally got the nerve to list my first painting. And I literally did list the only painting I had at the time. I meant to have at least 3 – 5 before I opened shop, but late one night I got the nerve to take that step and felt that I needed to do it then.” Sheesh… to think she almost didn’t find the courage to put her work online? And now her work is hanging gracing homes all over the United States, embellishing the viewers with hints of whimsy and lots of charm filled smiles.

Her long term goals? “I’d love to get to a place where I could just work a part-time day job (or none at all!) and spend the rest of my time working on my art. I dream of it and am working towards it. Even if I never succeed at that, I will continue to create. It is something that is essential to me, to who I am. I’ve gone years without creating and only after keeping up with it for so long, do I realize the damage that those years without caused me.” Art really is an essential part of our souls. Once we realize we are in fact artist and quit trying to deny that part of ourselves is when we truly begin to bloom.

An unfolding of self, blooming, was her advice to other artist “Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. If there’s something that you truly want to do and feel compelled to try, but don’t think you can, try it anyway. I never thought I could paint, let alone sell something I painted. But here I am, with almost 20 paintings of mine having found new homes all over the US. Still can’t believe it! Also, connect with other artists and artisans. This is something I’m just now starting to do. I’m really quite shy and introverted in real life, so reaching out and connecting with others, even online, is terribly difficult at times. But the rewards are well worth it.”

I feel very inspired by Julie, her words her work. My humble opinion of course but the strength artist can gather from one another really is inspiring. I love it when completion drops and we can come together to inspire-to grow.

Thank you Julie not only for the great interview and even greater artwork but the chance to blossom, and expand.


  1. I loved reading about her and enjoyed the interview. Her artwork is beautiful and quite fun too. I'm glad she decided to share her talent with the world, she is fantastic. I have several pieces hanging in my home and they have give me much joy and delight. Thank you for a wonderful article about a very talented artist.

  2. beautiful work. I was just chatting with you in Etsy chat. I would love to be featured in your blog. I am following your blog now too.

  3. Thank you so much Huckleberry Bumpkin for such a great interview with one of my all time favorite artists!
    I first met this amazing artist by idly following a blog link. What I saw blew me away.
    There she had, this beautifully colored, wonderfully textured, happy orange painting. I simply had to chat with this beautiful soul who could come up with such an amazing expression of art. She was going to call that painting Joy, so appropriate!
    I then started following her blog, checking her stores, everything was (and is) so beautiful! I am so happy to see her expand!! There are already several new products that are catering to many different needs - like cards and mini-paintings - and I can't wait to see what else she will introduce this year!
    I am the happy owner of two very special owls. It's a rather cute story, so I'll share it :)
    The first owl was a dibs on one of quirkydame's "new art coming up" tweets, on a whim, just because I felt it was THE owl for me. What she created blew me away with its creativity, so I asked if she would paint a partner for the first. I had so much trust in her talent I wanted it to be a surprise painting. I didn't need to see it, I knew I would LOVE it, and I wanted that extra thrill one gets when opening Christmas presents :) They are now both sitting next to each other, an emotion filled pair of owls from this amazing artist.
    Well, this is getting long, so just two more words "Highly recommended!" :)