Indie Artist Spotlight: Julie Schronk of Just Folks

“Our Big Family” © 2016 Julie Schronk

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Each of Julie Schronk’s whimsical folk art paintings feels like a big-hearted welcome, a friendly invitation to step right into the scene to join all the fun.

Fancy an old fashioned church picnic, quilt show or yard sale? Maybe you’d prefer a lazy afternoon at your favorite fishing hole, a stroll down main street, or a quick bite at the local diner. Julie’s cheery, engaging slices of old-timey Americana, rendered in vibrant colors and bustling with activity, brim with just the kind of quirky details that beg a closer look.

“By the Sea”

Originally from Dallas, Julie now lives in Hillsboro, Texas, where she paints traditional, Black, Bayou and bohemian folk art. She calls herself a memory and storyteller painter who kindles memories of bygone days and inspires people to imagine their own stories in her pictures.

Julie’s now in her 16th year of creating and selling her acrylic originals, which have been shipped to almost every state in the union and to countries such as France, Singapore, Canada and New Zealand.

I love the warmth and convivial vitality in Julie’s pieces, which are like mini cultural history lessons with their depictions of cotton gins, juke joints, country stores, Amish barns, farmyards, and city skylines.

“Night Fishin’ on the Bayou”
“Trolleys” is Julie’s favorite painting.

I’m so happy to welcome Julie to Alphabet Soup today to tell us more about her joyous paintings and a bit about her children’s books. I know you’ll enjoy stepping back in time and hearing how this talented artist works.

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wang fine art: moments of beauty and simplicity

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For your viewing pleasure today, the still life paintings of California artist Youqing (Eugene) Wang.

Originally from China, Mr. Wang studied and taught fine art and graphic design there before moving to the United States in 2001. After earning his second MFA in studio art from Florida State University, he began painting and selling his work full time.

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He works primarily in oil, and most of these pieces were created as part of a daily painting practice begun in 2008. These small format paintings are less than 11×14 inches.

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In my painting, I am mainly concerned with capturing the light, order and beauty of simplicity of common objects, as well as their cultural significance. My work reflects an imagination that “feels” the joyfulness of still life or landscape from inside out. Subjects I paint come from my own personal experiences and observations. I hope to transform the simplicity of common objects into paintings which are emotionally rich and expressive.

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His work does indeed heighten one’s appreciation for objects we often take for granted, and sometimes cease to really “see.” But truly, that’s what a good artist does, right? Makes you stop and look with new eyes and marvel.

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weekend breakfast poetry buffet

“London Breakfast” by Nora Heysen

Good Morning!

Did you know that poetry is the most important meal of the day?

Spoon up a hearty bowl of metaphors, savor a sonnet, sip a warm couplet of coffee or tea.

Since man cannot live on bread alone, today we’re serving up a breakfast buffet of five poems over easy. Feel free to grab a quick nibble or graze at your leisure, whatever feeds the need over this holiday weekend. Nothing like a few choice words to tease thought, kindle fond memories, and get your motor running. Did somebody say bacon?🙂

Step right up and eat all about it.

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“Leftovers” by Mick McGinty

A LITANY OF TOAST
by Cathy Lentes

Come sit at my Grandmother’s table . . .
let your elbows rest, cool and damp,
on the scrubbed red oilcloth.

Before you a bowl of butter,
fat yellow sticks
cut and jumbled like stones,
honey clinging to comb,
jam and jelly
sealed in paraffin tombs.

A clatter of spoons,
the dance of grease on an iron pan,
the tender crack and sizzle as
morning splits open again.
Her hands blessing the stove,
she murmurs, mindful of toast.

Now, on a plate, heavy and broad,
steaming eggs like sunshine,
thick planks of bacon,
bread, crisp and golden,
butter spread crust to crust.
Eat, she says, eat.

Feed on her gospel before you.

~ from O Taste and See: Food Poems, edited by David Lee Garrison and Terry Hermsen (Bottom Dog Press, 2003).

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BREAKFAST
by Merrill Leffler

This morning I’ll skip the bacon
and eggs and have a poem over light —
two or three if you don’t mind.
I feel my appetite coming on.
And even a stack of flapjacks
which I love — with butter
and boysenberry jam spreading
their fingers of sweetness over
the ragged edges — won’t do me now.
When this hunger’s on, only a poem
will do, one that will surprise my need
like a stranger knocking
at the door (a small knock — at first,
I hardly hear it) to ask directions,
it turns out, to this house. He’s looking
for me. Who are you I ask? Your brother
he says, the one you never knew you had
or the one who you’ve been trying to remember
all your life but somehow couldn’t recall
until now, when he arrives.
And there he is
before me smiling, holding out his arms
— and all this by chance. Do you
believe it?
So serve me up a poem friend,
but just go easy on the tropes,
for instance, synecdoche and such. A simile
or two is fine and metaphor’s all right.
A rhyming quatrain, maybe on the side
would be ok, but not too much —
they sometimes give me gas.
God I love a breakfast such as this.
It gives me a running start and keeps me going
through to dark when I’m as hungry as a horse.
But that’s another poem. Let’s eat.

~ from The Poet’s Cookbook: Recipes from Germany, edited by Grace Cavalieri and Sabine Pascarelli (Forest Woods Media Productions, Inc., 2010)

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“Cracked Egg” by Vic Vicini

THE LIFE OF MAN
by Russell Edson

For breakfast a man must break an egg. Then not all the
king’s horses and all the king’s men can do very much about it.

Past perfect the broken egg no longer breaks, a dead man no
longer dies…

And as he spills the broken egg into a frying pan he murmurs,
Ah, well, too bad about Humpty Dumpty…

~ from See Jack by Russell Edson (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009)

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RENDERING
by Seth Bockley

I savored every Saturday
when she rendered
up to the gods what was theirs
(a burnt offering:
crisp edged plank of glistening
smoked pork in its glory).
at five, I marveled at the marbled
slab of sizzle–
standing on a chair, my eyes watering,
as before me a transubstantiation occurred:
bacon became Bacon, my mouth gaped adrool–
and still that sizzle echoes
through time’s larders
and the years’ open windows,
her gingham curtains wafting
as fat is forever rendered
into memory and hickory-smoke

~ finalist, 2011 Baconfest Chicago Poetry Contest, Copyright © 2011 Seth Bockley

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“Cup of Joe” by Mick McGinty

IMAGINARY CONVERSATION
by Linda Pastan

You tell me to live each day
as if it were my last. This is in the kitchen
where before coffee I complain
of the day ahead—that obstacle race
of minutes and hours,
grocery stores and doctors.

But why the last? I ask. Why not
live each day as if it were the first—
all raw astonishment, Eve rubbing
her eyes awake that first morning,
the sun coming up
like an ingénue in the east?

You grind the coffee
with the small roar of a mind
trying to clear itself. I set
the table, glance out the window
where dew has baptized every
living surface.

~ from Insomnia by Linda Pastan (W.W. Norton, 2015).

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I love entering the worlds of these poems, hearing the voices. It’s like having interesting company at the breakfast table, isn’t it?🙂

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poetry fridayThe eminently talented Julie Larios is hosting today’s Poetry Friday Roundup at The Drift Record. After you’ve had your second cup of coffee, scamper over and peruse the full menu of poetic goodies being shared in the blogosphere this week. Have a great holiday weekend!


Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

malin koort’s fascinating world of paper people

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With Malin Koort’s paper people, for me it was love at first sight — the bright cheery colors, the freshness, the quirkiness!

Her charming characters just ooze with personality and make you want to get better acquainted.

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After graduating from Konstfack (University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm), Malin began working on editorial illustrations and book covers, as well as furniture, poster, and stamp design. She also writes and illustrates her own stories, and loves to make tiny paper sculptures and build worlds out of paper. One of her recent personal projects was constructing Olympic games and stadiums in matchboxes.

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Malin is based in Uppsala, Sweden.

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celebs on sandwiches, because why not?

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So, what are you having for lunch today?

To tempt your pop art palate, nibble on Jeff McCarthy’s Celebs on Sandwiches.

Aren’t we always hungry for celebrity anyway?

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Miley Cyrus on a Bacon, Egg, and Cheese.
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Barack Obama on a Tuna Melt.

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