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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Two Solo Shows! Oy Vey!!

Having trouble with my blogs, and somehow lost over a year's worth!  ...somewhere out there in cyberspace.  Oh well, carrying on ...


For my portrait show, "Portraits of the World ... And Beyond" (postcard and further info follows) I have a couple of new ones:

"Madonna" oil on canvas, with 24K gold leaf halo

This painting was done with only 4 colors, and is painted over another portrait I did as a demo of a wipe-out face.  The wipe-out base gave it the depth and mystery I was looking for.  Gold leafing went surprisingly well, as it is very difficult to work with, and one must not waste 24K gold!  It's in a fabulous frame too, displayed over my Jesus painting which has a crown of thorns hanging on it that I purchased from a Jerusalem supplier.

A Totally Portrait Show for all my friends and students who love portraits!

Worked like crazy putting this one together.  Never showed this many portraits at once, excepting for in my own home during the Sebastian Art Studio Tour.  Carole and Peter Coe, curators of the "Pres Galleries," and members of the First Presbyterian Church in Vero Beach, flawlessly installed the show, allowing me some input as to it's setup.  There was a great turnout and the show looked beautiful.  About 30 paintings in all mediums are on display.  They decided to add a mid-show reception I guess to allow the Snowbirds to view it.  It's up through December.


My mother was a jewel, and a really pretty one with a beautiful wad of red hair.  I guess this was about 1942, before I was born.  It was painted from a black-and-white photograph.

"Millie, 1942" oil on canvas by Judy Burgarella

Tonight at 9:00 pm I finally got around to entering something in the Portrait Society of America, which I am a member of.  Decided to enter my mom.  It would be such an honor if they accepted my entry.  First time entering a national competition.


Just delivered this show today.  Over 40 paintings of Florida-inspired works.  What a job putting all this together, repairing the frames, reframing where needed, cleaning and rematting.  I have too many paintings, so they're priced to go, to make room for more. Looking forward to the opening to see how the public receives them.  I revised a portrait I did of Osceola in 2014 which I have shown around here but it never received much attention.  So I took it apart (not an easy job with pastels) and redesigned the face, clothes, position, and values, contrast and background.  Basically it's all redone.  I am very happy with it now, and I am a better artist than I was in 2014.  That's what's amazing about this art thing, everyone gets better with each painting.  I teach so I see it happen right before my eyes to my students.  Below is Osceola, I love it now.

"Osceola" Pastel by Judy Burgarella


Monday I had my first of five classes for the semester in the Vero Beach Museum of Art, and below is my subject lesson.  I brought her back from the 4th Century B.C.  Found her sculptured image in an old sculpture book I got at a thrift shop.  I opened the book and fell in love with her face.  So regal, strong, intelligent-looking and beautiful.  And that headdress!  Wow!  I later found out that the bust, which is hollow and presumed to have been used as a funerary urn, is in a museum in Madrid.

"Lady of Elche" Acrylic on Canvas by Judy Burgarella
Well, that's all for tonight ... I hope you enjoyed my images.

Judy Burgarella

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

MIA Too long!

Where to start?  Just remembering why I hadn't posted in some time ... husband's multiple hospitalizations, my hospitalization, also my eye surgery which greatly impacted my eyesight, and lots of other of "life's interruptions."  Oh, and I am now serving as President of the Sebastian River Art Club which keeps me incredibly busy as I work to improve upon what past presidents and members have created.

 So now I'll post a few things, what I remember I've done since then, starting with most recent.

Below is a show I just installed Thursday.  All portraits, and several of the following portraits are in that show.  One down, one to go.  Have to get ready for the Emerson Center show to be installed November 1st, entitled "Florida - Paradise through the Eyes of an Artist"

"Madonna" Oil w/24K Gold Leafing  11"x14" w/5" ornate gold frame
 This one came so easy, and the gold leafing went surprisingly smoothly.  This one got me in the zone right away.  Divine intervention??

"Mildred" Oil
 This is my mother circa 1942?  Lovely rendition of her with all that hair.  We all (5 kids, mom & dad) had various shades of red hair, which came with freckles.  Wish I could have known her at that age.

"Girl in Victorian Dress" Acrylic, Adaptation of Da Vinci.
 Created for my portrait class in the Vero Beach Museum of Art.

"Girl with a Pearl Earring" Acrylic, Adaptation of Vermeer's
 Created for my portrait class in the Vero Beach Museum of Art.

"Monet"  Acrylic
 Created for my portrait class in the Vero Beach Museum of Art

"Wash Day" Wine Bar with Glasses, Acrylic

Antique ironing board, fun to do, and I made 6 glasses to match that had clotheslines painted on them.   It is supposed to serve as a wine bar.

"Red Sculpture at the Museum"  Acrylic

Created at the request of the Vero Beach Museum of Art for a special Faculty showing.

"Two White Pelicans" Acrylic. Available on metal or as print.
 Acrylic painting from a very lucky photo I took in Sebastian on a dock at the Indian River Lagoon.

"Sand Hill Crane"  Acrylic
 Created as an Art Party subject.

"Red Rose in Triangle Substrate" Acrylic
 Created for a special Faculty showing for the Vero Beach Museum of Art.  The Lily below too.

"Lily"  Acrylic

Pewter Ornament "Millenial Salute to our Protective Services"
Just threw this one in.  Created before I started to paint.  Part of a series of pewter ornaments I designed to be sold each Christmas as a fundraiser for the Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Committee, of which I was a member with my home business Document Magic Secretarial Service.

"David Leffel on my Palette" Oil on wood palette
 One of my favorite portraitists, and also a fantastic still life painter,.  He's a bit older now, but I liked this portrait of him I copied from his many self-portraits.

"After the bath" Oil 
 This is a nice little nude I wanted for myself, saw it in a magazine and painted it.  That's the wonderful part of being a representational artist, you can have it for yourself, almost as good if you're good enough. 

"Windy Day at the Marina" Oil
 Painted "en plein air" at the Vero Beach Yacht Club for the Cultural Council.

"At Rest"  Oil
Painted "en plein air" at the Vero Beach Yacht Club for the Cultural Council.

Well, that's all for now folks, getting late and it's been a long day.  I hope I did not repeat myself with any of these postings--did not check earlier ones.  Oh, and here's a little song I wrote for all you artists out there--sing it to the tune of "My Favorite Things":

Brush, paint and canvas, the odor of oil,
Scumbling and glazing as we artists toil
Painting on canvas a great work of art,
All of this beauty must come from the heart.

They'll be pretty, they'll be stunning, and surprising too;
When artists are working they get in the zone,
Their favorite thing, to do.

Portraits and landscapes and seascapes and abstract,
Sales and commissions and gallery contracts.
These are the things that an artist must do,
else he will starve and his family too!

He must paint, and, he must learn, and, he must suffer too;
He'd better be ready to get his hard knocks
And come up with something new.

Paint on his fingernails, paint on his clothes,
Paint on his loafers and paint on his nose,
Art books and ribbons and easels and lights,
painting most days and then into most nights.

There'll be art shows, and receptions, competitions too;
So painters must paint and create something nice,
or if they can't they'll be through.

I envision singing this song around a table with a glass of wine with a bunch of artist friends.  Just may do it at "Girls Night Out" tomorrow night at the Tiki Bar.
I also wrote a Halloween song to this tune years ago when my kids were little. They are in the 40's now, so I've been a frustrated songwriter for a long time.

It's really really late now. G'nite!

Judy Burgarella

Sunday, September 18, 2016


"Rusty" Acrylic (c)2016 by Judy Burgarella
 Just finished "Rusty," tonight.  Client sent me several photos of him and I could tell he is a wonderful family dog.  So that helps build my inspiration to paint him, especially since I haven't even met him in person.  I'm happy with the way it came out, although as of a couple of hours ago he still looked pretty rough.

When uploading Rusty from my computer, I noticed there were several recent paintings that I hadn't posted, and below is one of my mother, from a black-and-white photo that was taken before I was born.  Wasn't she beautiful with all that red hair?  Mom, Dad, and all 5 of us kids all had red hair.  What a sight when we were all together.  Unfortunately we never even got a photo of us all together, and sadly there's only two of us left.  I have hopes to have the time to do individual portraits of everyone at this same age of life.  How interesting that would be.

"Millie" oil painting (c)2016 by Judy Burgarella
 Painting deceased relatives is almost impossible for me as it is too emotional.  So I thought that since I was to paint a portrait of my mom from a photo taken before I was born, and her looking nothing like I  remembered her, that I would not get emotional.  Well, that was wrong.  Curiously, I felt a certain sadness to never have known this young beautiful woman, who was probably fun to be with, and interesting to talk to in her youth.  Millie, as an older woman, was a good conversationalist, she was funny, and she was a really good and decent person--who did not boast about it.  At her wake, friends and strangers told of her good deeds and her kindness, and brought us stories of her that I treasure.  This painting, and about 60 other portrait paintings are currently on display at the Indian River County Courthouse in Vero Beach, coming down on October 4th, 2016.UPDATE: Date the show comes down has been changed to October 13th!

Of note:  Hands ... I hate to paint them.  Everyone I know hates to paint them.  These took me forever, and I repainted, reshaped, recolored, etc. and was so glad when they were done.  Very proud I am of these lovely hands which rocked me to sleep and wiped the tears from my eyes.  I just had to get them right.  Aren't they lovely and interesting?

Detail from "St. Sebastian River" Acrylic Mural (c)2016 by Judy Burgarella
This mural, painted for a client in Micco, is 15' x 4-1/2' and is a fabulous depiction of the flora and fauna that is found along the St. Sebastian River.  Just happens that right around the day I was to paint these beautiful spoonbills I saw a small flock of them at a pond near my home and had my camera ready when they flew away, so got some great shots to use in the mural.   To see more of this mural visit my mural progress blog at

"Sandhill Crane"  Acrylic (c)2016 by Judy Burgarella 

This simple 11"x14" painting was a demo at the Sebastian River Art Club.  Several of my students painted it too, and they all came out great!  I have more work to do on it.  I happened to see a wonderful background on another painting in a magazine that has inspired me to make a similar background of nice grasses.

"Zebra" Watercolor (c)2016 by Judy Burgarella
 Another unfinished painting, which I did quickly to see if I could demo it.  This was much easier than I thought, and I had always admired other artist's rendition of zebras whenever I came across them at fairs or galleries.  So I did a much bigger one as my demo the next day, but that one is not as far along, but it's so beautiful that I have already picked out a frame for it.  

"Flower Vase by a Window" Watercolor by Judy Burgarella
 This lovely little watercolor was created in a class that I took from Bob Virelli in Hobby Lobby in Palm Bay, Florida.  He's a wonderful and entertaining teacher and has a nice healthy following.  However, we all painted the same thing, and also since it is in a classroom I cannot do anything with it, but either give it away or donate it.  It is not my copyright either.  But it was fun to paint and these exercises keep me from getting rusty with watercolor.

"David Leffel, Master Artist" Oil on Palette (c)2016 by Judy Burgarella
 David Leffel is an artist I have admired and emulated for years.  A teacher at the Art Students League in New York for years, he now resides in New Mexico where he continues doing what he did in New York.  Another of my dreams is to paint all the artists that I admire on a palette like this.  These are really fun to do, as you have the paint right there and only have to drag it over to paint the subject.  This painting can also be seen at the Indian River Courthouse along with about 60 others through October 4th, 2016.

"Robin" Oil on Stretched Canvas (c)by Judy Burgarella
"Robin" is my daughter, who moved near us here in Florida in 2013 with her husband and 1-year-old daughter, Salem, whom I am crazy about.  This painting is not finished and I don't know when in the heck I'll ever get to it, but I must sometime in this life.  Robin posed for pictures which I painted from, but I only needed to get it looking "OK," not great, as it would only be seen from afar.  She was supposed to sit for me while I painted her portrait in front of an audience at the Vero Beach Musem of Art, for only about 1-1/2 hours worth.  Unfortunately the night of the event Salem was running a high fever and she could not come.  I had planned to paint rough in the portrait which would surely be at a very ugly stage, and then at the end I would unveil the "finished" portrait so that they could see how beautiful it would eventually become.  Best laid plans as they say.  So I asked my buddy Rita Ziegler to sit instead and it was still good.  She's sitting in my studio now in such an ugly stage though, I'd better pretty her up some day for Rita so she won't be mad.

This painting can also be seen at the Indian River Courthouse along with about 60 others through October 4th, 2016.

"At Rest in the Cove" Acrylic (c)2016 by Judy Burgarella
This little beauty was painted at the Vero Beach Yacht Club, and was part of a show that night for their members.  The sales have always been great, but this time nobody was buying.  Bummer.  but at least I had a great day painting outdoors with friends.  What could be better?  ... I know what could be better ....  to sell the darned thing!!

This, and many other of my paintings, are being used to stage houses for Robin, who sells real estate for the Dale Sorensen Company in Vero Beach.  It really helps to beautify residences, especially if the owner does not have a flair for decorating.  We spiff the homes up with my art, curtains, silk flowers and plants, baskets, bedspreads, rugs, pottery, etc.  The owners can't believe the transformation.  And, although they don't get much viewing, I am happy that my paintings are out of the house and have a purpose, even if it is only temporary.

"Sailboat at Rest" Acrylic (c)2016 by Judy Burgarella
Another little sailboat painting done the same day, so I won't repeat myself.

"Coconut Palm" Acrylic (c)2016 by Judy Burgarella
This quick little painting was a demo at the Sebastian River Art Club.  Quick and easy, with big brushes.  Typical tropical painting that everybody likes.

"Path to the Beach" Oil (c)2015 by Judy Burgarella
I painted this one twice, a little different the second time, but they are both sold.  It's a lovely painting with an interesting format, the size of which will fit nicely on a tall, narrow wall.  It looked lovely in my house for a short while before it sold.  I must paint another one for myself, as I am redecorating my bedroom to be "beachy."

"Lilypads and Waterlilies" Acrylic (c)2015 by Judy Burgarella
This lovely little painting was a palette knife demo at the Sebastian River Art Club.  Most of my students wanted to try it and some found it a bit difficult handling a palette knife.  The knife needs to be just the right size for the canvas, and it can be tricky--but fast!

"Sculpture at the Vero Beach Museum of Art"
As a member of the Faculty at the Vero Beach Museum of Art (I teach acrylic portraiture), I was asked to paint this picture, along with other faculty members, in a style all my own.  So here is the boring painting, looking just like the photo.  I just couldn't come up with anything different.  Others did, and theirs were more interesting I thought.  They displayed all their teachers' work on a big wall for all to see.  So now I'm stuck with it.  Anybody want it?

Well, the time has flown and I've blown the evening posting this blog.  I hope someone sees it.  But blogging is cathartic, and I myself like to read some of the old stuff I've posted, especially if the painting is already gone.  So it's almost midnight and time to call it a day, and a nice day it always is when I've finished a painting.  An artist's life is the best.  Now what shall I do next???

Hope you enjoy checking out my blog, and maybe get inspired to paint!

Judy Burgarella

Monday, June 20, 2016

Just A Little Update

A Forgotten Photograph

This little gem of a painting is from a photograph I took in Sebastian, FL, off one of the docks.  I remember being with my friend, Dorothy Starbuck--who herself is one of the finest Florida landscape artists--and the beautiful white pelicans were all around us.  I just rediscovered the photo as one I had added to a blog years ago, and put it on my list to paint.  And so on my class June 2nd I used it for my quick demo.  It's not finished yet, a bit more tweaking and glazing in the faint green ripples above them, and it's done.

"Two White Pelicans" Acrylic by Judy Burgarella
 Next is a photo of my last demo at the Sebastian River Art Club.  This nude was inspired by one seen in a magazine.  I loved the pose, and it had just enough information to enjoy painting it.  I bumped up the values and changed the cloth considerably, and had a wonderful time painting it in acrylics.

"Nude with White Cloth" Acrylic by Judy Burgarella
The large painting I am working on is close to being done.  Just have to make my corrections and then continue painting around the sides of its gallery-wrapped edges.  I'll be glad to get this monstrosity out of my living room.  Below is half the 12'x5' painting.

"St. Sebastian River" Acrylic by Judy Burgarella
Well, that's all for now.  I hope my work inspires you to be creative ... or take a class with me in Sebastian, Florida!  (Or at the Vero Beach Museum of Art)

Judy Burgarella
Sebastian, Florida

Monday, May 30, 2016

Finally . . . An Unfinished Painting Finished!

Finally ... at least one painting finished!

"David Leffel, Portrait King" from his self-portrait, oil on wood palette

This little beauty was started as a demo at the Sebastian River Art Club (Sebastian, FL), and was about 1/3 finished.  I glue-gun globs around the perimeter at first, then put acrylic colors over the globs, then squeeze small amounts of oil paint on top in my normal color palette order, and create my portrait there in oil on raw wood.  Trouble is, the oils have to be used up before they skin over and get sticky, or it will be difficult to use them for the portrait.  So it was a week before I began playing with it again, and now finally it's done except for painting the black around the outside edges and putting a hanger on the back.  This is a young David Leffel, who now is about 85 years old, and is considered one of the finest portrait artists (great still lifes too!) in the United States.  Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, he studied and taught at the Art Students League in NYC for 25 years before moving in 1992 to Taos, NM.  I have studied his style for some time, which has made a strong impression on my own painting style.  To read more about David Leffel, visit and see other works of his simply by Googling his name.

 St. Sebastian River Mural

Now, to get back to a mural I am working on for a client who lives along the Sebastian River.  Here is a snippet from it, it's about 80% finished.  Some work to be done on the forebanks, then final tweaking of all and finishing the outside edges--which is a project in itself.  

Detail of St. Sebastian River Painting, Acrylic by Judy Burgarella
It is such a thrill to see bright pink birds in a cerulean blue sky flying overhead like this.  They are seasonal visitors, and I was so happy to have a photo published some months back in the Press Journal as "Picture of the Day" of a spoonbill fishing with an egret on a sandy bar in my canal out back.   I feel so fortunate to be living in an area of the world where I can see this beauty almost whenever I want to.  One can get complacent down here after a while, but I try not to take it for granted and continue to marvel at the exotic plants and animals coming into view as soon as I pull out of my driveway.  Pure paradise, and a feast for the eyes.

Judy Burgarella
in Sebastian, Florida

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Just A Quick Update . . .

Wow, where to begin ...
Lots to catch up on and way too little time to do it but here's some highlights:

Painting Sold!
Did a quick acrylic painting, "Grouper" on a large gallery-wrapped canvas for Gallery 14's annual show "Our Beautiful Waters," (Dec. 1-Dec. 30) and it found a good home by the end of the show.  He's a handsome guy and I had fun painting all those dots.  An abstract water background I think compliments the tedious-looking detail, which wasn't really tedious to me as all painting is fun!
"Grouper" Acrylic by Judy Burgarella

Some of the photos relating to the below will be posted at a later date when time, as I am scurrying to finish up chores for Easter, i.e., gathering candy and trinkets from the Easter Bunny for granddaughter Salem (4-1/2), baking my famous carrot-pineapple cake, cleaning up and preparing for a nice dinner tomorrow with people we love.  Now on to the postings . . . (and come back next week or so for more great pictures of paint on canvas (and some on paper)!

Administration Building
January I brought another Indian painting and forgot to pick up my old one, and so there are two Indians of mine on display there, changeover date for new work has not been decided.

Demonstrations at the Sebastian River Art Club
Did 4 demonstrations pre-class instruction at the Club in oils, acrylics and watercolor, pictures of which I will post later, sorry.

Sebastian Art Studio Tour
My home was one of 10 stops, 16 artists, of this event February 13th, 10-5:00.  Hundred of people showed up, and art was everywhere in my home--my art and my collections.  I really enjoyed telling people of my great art finds, mostly found on Ebay, yard sales and flea markets.  Met lots of new people, saw lots of old friends, and people enjoyed refreshments and video demonstrations.  Wished I could have visited the rest of the artists myself.  Weather was great and all had a good time.

Courthouse Exhibition
Jan 8-April 7 - Part of the Sebastian River Art Club's show.  I received 2nd place from this one for "Young Medicine Crow."
"Young Medicine Crow"  11"x14" oil by Judy Burgarella

January - Art on the Island
Boy did I have fun with this one!  It is called "Laundry Day Wine Bar" and when sitting upright one can enjoy a glass of wine while sitting or standing at the ironing board, gazing at the artwork.  Four wine glasses got with it, each one painted different with clotheslines.  Got lots of accolades from it, but no sale or prize.  But I look forward to showing it at another venue some time.  

Vero Beach Museum of Art
February - Last minute request for Faculty at the Vero Beach Museum of Art to do their rendition of this sculpture on their grounds.  I was not in a creative mood, so just painted what I saw.  Not very interesting and purely representational.

Chairish the Children
February 19th at the Vero Beach Country Club, to benefit the Hibiscus Children's Center, a great charity doing great work for needy children.  Happy to say my chair sold.
"Chair Planter" with bromilead by Judy Burgarella

Vero Beach Yacht Club
Just a nice sunny day painting at the Yacht Club "en plein air" with Friends for the Cultural Council.

Portrait Painting Demonstration
 at the Vero Beach Museum of Art
March 3, 7-8:30 for the Vero Beach Art Club in the Auditorium.  Everything went wrong.  My daughter, Robin, was supposed to be the model, but Salem came down with a 104.2 fever so I had to grab my friend Rita Ziegler to fill in.  I was battling a terrible cold also.  But once upon the stage my automatic pilot took over and I thoroughly enjoyed painting and telling people how much fun it is to paint portraits ... because it is!  Once those eyes look back at you from the canvas, there's nothing like it.  A tree can't do that, a boat can't do that, and certainly a vase can't.  Anyway, below is the painting I did ahead of time of Robin, planning to whip it out last minute to let them know what the end result would be, as I only had an hour and a half to demo.  Such a short period of time puts the painting at the very ugliest stage.  But I will finish Rita's at a later date, when "season" is over and I can come up for air. PS-this portrait still is not finished.
Portrait of Robin, oil by Judy Burgarella

EcoFest at the Environmental Learning Center
March 6th, 11-4 spent a lovely sunny day painting with Christine Thomas and Ann Emery at the ELC, by the Jackson-Riding house.  This painting will be on display during their Poetry Night on April 10th or 11th I believe, if I finish it in time.

Cause for Paws
Donated a custom portrait of a pet for a fundraiser for the Human Society.  I have not heard from them as yet who the winner was and how much was bid on it.  But a here's a sample of my pet portraits.
"Snowball" 5"x5" gallery-wrapped Acrylic by Judy Burgarella

"Rudy" 11" x 14" Pastel by Judy Burgarella
Well, that's all for now folks.  I'll post more when time.  Happy Easter to all, and here's my rendition of what Easter is about:

Best to you all this Easter.
Judy Burgarella