Julia Barnickle: Taking Life As It Comes

photographer, blogger and coach, helping Introverts, Scanners and recovering creatives to connect with their creative passion, get clarity about their values and find flow

This content shows Simple View


Brighton & Hove – Project 52 – 34/52

Bandstand, Brighton, West Sussex

This week I took a trip to Brighton and Hove on the south coast of England to film my friend, photographer Lynda Kelly on the seafront – and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.

The bandstand (above) near West Pier was originally opened in 1884 and restored in 2009. It can be hired for events, but it’s generally open to the public – including roller skaters, as you’ll see in the video!

I love being by the sea, and I really enjoyed spending the day with Lynda. I can’t wait to go back again!!



Discover Your Wings painting – Project 52 – 33/52

Discover Your Wings painting - collage

One of the painting techniques I’ve learned in Alena Hennessy’s “A Year Of Painting” e-course is about blocking out an area of the canvas but allowing the background to come through. So I’ve been playing around with that idea.

It’s fun, and it reminds me of my childhood… I can remember using wax crayons to create a multi-coloured background and then going over it with black wax crayon. Once it was all covered, I would scrape away areas of the black wax crayon to reveal the colours below.

The technique I’ve used in this painting is similar to that, except that I don’t cover the whole canvas with black paint. As you’ll see in this short video. I start off with fluorescent acrylics, draw shapes with a black Posca paint pen, paint round the shapes with black acrylic and finally outline the shapes with Sakura Gelly Roll fluorescent gel pens.

This painting is now available as a greeting card in my on-line shop.

"Discover Your Wings" Greeting Card
"Discover Your Wings" Greeting Card



Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2015 – Project 52 – 32/52

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2015

This week I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition by a friend who I first met at a London Brunch Club event a couple of weeks ago. It’s well worth a visit.

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2015

What I love is the variety of exhibits, and the fact that anyone can enter. I’m seriously thinking about submitting something myself next year…!

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2015



Buckinghamshire and Mayfield Lavender Farm – Project 52 – 31/52

I’ve had two trips to the countryside this week. The first was to film an interview with Beverley Glick, The Story Archeologist, in Buckinghamshire.

Metroland - Buckinghamshire, UK

Afterwards, we went for a walk across nearby fields, despite an ominous-looking sky.

Metroland - Buckinghamshire, UK

It seemed strange to be in the countryside and still within the London Transport travel zones. Buckinghamshire is part of the original “Metro-Land” – a name coined by the marketing department of the Metropolitan line underground railway and immortalised by Sir John Betjeman in a BBC documentary.

Mayfield Lavender Farm, Banstead, Surrey, UK

Later in the week, I drove to Banstead in Surrey to visit the Mayfield Lavender Farm. I had seen photographs on Instagram – and as lavender is probably my favourite plant, I knew I had to visit.

Mayfield Lavender Farm, Banstead, Surrey, UK

It felt quite surreal, strolling through the rows of purple blooms. I’ve only ever seen them in the South of France before – and yet here I was, only a few miles from home. The farm was set up a little over 10 years ago, but the site was used to grow lavender in the 18th and 19th centuries – so it’s not a new idea!

I wish I could have used smell-o-vision for the film (below) – the scent as I brushed past the plants was heavenly. I thoroughly recommend visiting – perhaps not if you’re afraid of bees, though…



Neutral Paintings and Surprises – Project 52 – 30/52

A Year Of Painting - neutral backgrounds

We have a calendar of Kandinsky paintings on the wall in the dining room, and I noticed that he used a lot of neutral colours in the background, with bright colours on top – so I treated myself to a tube of beige paint and a tube of grey paint! And yes, I do realise you can mix other colours to get those colours – but it would take a lot of trial and error to get exactly the colours I wanted, and it would use up the other paints!

Having covered the background with the two neutral colours, I loaded a foam brush with pale pink paint and swished it across the paper – and then did the same with some pale blue paint. I rather liked the effect. Were they finished? I was only intending to paint backgrounds which I would then paint over the top of – but something told me to wait.

I posted the pictures in Alena Hennessy’s “A Year Of Painting” Facebook page, to ask others on the course what they thought. The responses were positive, and yet they all said “I would add something more.” One person suggested photocopying the backgrounds and using those to experiment with – which I thought was an excellent idea.

Then I showed the pictures to my husband. At first, I was holding them both in Portrait orientation, and he suggested turning them round to Landscape orientation…

A Year Of Painting - ghostly figures

All of a sudden, I was surprised to see a bunch of ghostly figures!!!

A Year Of Painting - ghostly figures

When I shared this with my fellow students, they still said they would add to the paintings – using the figures as a starting point. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. For now, I’m simply leaving them be. Perhaps they’re spirit guides who have come to watch over me… Who knows?!


By the way – these two paintings are now available as greeting cards in my on-line shop.

"Radiate Your Joy" Greeting Card
"Radiate Your Joy" Greeting Card
"Henri" modern abstract art Greeting Card
"Henri" modern abstract art Greeting Card




top