Sunday, March 04, 2012

IF: Intentions

My "intentions" this weekend was to get the word out about "Riding Yellow Jacket" being accepted into the Bike Art show at the Dairy Art Center in Boulder Colorado March 9th through the end of the month ( you can read all about it in the post below this one)
But like most artist, I hate promotion and after wrestling with trying to get the info up on my Facebook- Moonflower Studio page- (I love the feature that records everything - "Julia Kelly messed up the setting at 7:57, Julia Kelly messed up the setting at 8:01, Julia Kelly is too inept to use Facebook at 8:14, Julia Kelly told Facebook to go #$@@# at 8:24)
I would much rather tell you the story of how "Riding Yellow Jacket" came to be!
The illustration is actually the rejected proposal for my 2010 National Public Radio's calender entry. Don't feel sorry for me, this was the proposal they accepted...

 and it was July, I think, in their calender. It was quite an honor to be sought out by NPR. We had to have the NPR logo in the illustration. If the biker one had been picked, the water bottle said NPR...

I had a blast working on the layout for "Riding Yellow Jacket". I enlisted the help of a friend who had a bike trainer in her house, and sat on it pretending to drink for me. Then I drove down the highway towards the Utah borders and took many, many photos of the fields and the bean elevators...
The area is known for dryland farming, no irrigation. Beans, some wheat and sunflowers grow here in the hot red soil, though it was too early in the year when I took the photos.
The sunflowers do dot the highway all summer. I know this because I spent a few summers driving kiddos to Dovecreek for karate practice and documented their growth! Very pretty are the blazing yellow flowers a top such red dirt!

The highway has a lot of interesting views, relics from a time when life was slower and one did not get to "town" more then once a month, so little communities sprouted up around the elevators and the post offices....
How this railroad car got there I do not know, because there are was no train from Cortez to Dovecreek. But it served another purpose as a cafe according to the signs...
When I go back to Loveland, on the other side the mountains, I love driving east, towards the flatlands, gazing at the geometric farm houses, barns and elevators, so striking on the strong horizontal landscapes behind them...

The scene in "Riding Yellow Jacket" is not accurate to any given spot along Hwy. 491. The grain elevator is the one in Yellow Jacket, where there exist the elevator, a post office/mercantile and a few hay barns and houses.
But there are elevators at Pleasant View and Cahone along the way as well, and the mountain range, The Blues, hovering over Monticello Utah in the distance are  actually way off to the left...

A lot of "artistic license" was taken in composing the illustration. Oh just looking at the above photo and all the "organic" waves in the winter field, I know there is quite a few more illustration coming from this dry stretch of road between Cortez and Dove Creek- the "Bean Capitol of the World" no less!


  1. i enjoyed this. Thanks.

  2. Fabulous work! You have a lot of discipline and passion to go along with intention. Thanks!

  3. Fabulous post! I love getting to share in the whole process that you went through. Love your work, as usual!!

  4. Great photos, lovely work. I really like the yellow sunflowers.

  5. Great post; love your perpective on things.