Copyright 2000-2012 Julie Rodriguez Jones (Exceptions as quoted.)
Julie Rodriguez Jones is a Nevada artist whose artistic focus is liturgical art, astronomical art and other traditional subjects including graphic art.
Julie’s interest in art and astronomy started at an early age. As a young child, coloring was passion. Hearing about Sputnik as a young child, following the US space program from its inception and discovering astronomy in middle school spurred her interests. Julie’s father took her weekly to telescope making sessions where during middle school she built a large telescope. (See the story below about Julie and her dad.) In high school Julie discovered she had a real love of art but did not pursue it due to commitments to science and her first career at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) which she began as a research technician in high school.
Julie drew casually throughout college, during her career at LBNL and while raising a family. Her work at the Lab turned to the business aspects of the institution, writing contracts for LBNL’s collaborative research and development with other research institutions and contracting with the former Soviet States for the United States' Initiative for Proliferation Prevention. Though fascinating, Julie missed the creativity she had discovered in art and in 1998 began to draw again. She was encouraged by inquiries made at a local framing shop when a customer came in to have some of her art framed.
Julie studied traditional media at the Berkeley School of the Arts with Gwyneth Welch, Arngunnur Ur and Lien Truong. She also had a love of astronomical imagery but hadn’t considered pursuing space art until one day when she saw a fantasy image drawn by her son, Ross. That was the catalyst.
Julie's current focus is liturgical art and in many of her ministerial stoles and banners you can see her love of the sky. She has received numerous awards and honors for liturgical art, her astronomical art and her flowers. Julie's art can be seen nationally as she has created corporate art for businesses, has had book covers commissioned, her work has been seen in magazines and in a variety of commercial applications. Julie’s art is also now seen in churches across the US in the form of banners and stoles - a result of her being encouraged by a DOC minister, Steve Wren, who provided numerous opportunities, artistic challenges and great artistic freedom.
After a thirty-three year career, Julie left the Lab in 2003 to pursue her art full time. She and her old loves are now inseparable.
In 2004, Julie moved from San Pablo, in the San Francisco Bay Area, to Spanish Springs, Nevada with her family and is enjoying dark skies with fewer city lights and the joy of creating art on a daily basis!
When I was a child growing up in the 1950s and 60s my father, George Rodriguez, always
encouraged me in a wide variety of interests. To my mother's dismay, I climbed ladders to follow my Dad during roofing repairs, watched him make repairs under the sink and was under foot in the garage where his shop was. It was great preparation for a large future project. I was fortunate, as girls back then usually didn't do such things.
In the seventh grade I discovered science and in particular, astronomy. My science teacher, Mrs. Grosso, told my parents and me about the Contra Costa Astronomical Society. Though we had no car, my Dad always found a way for us to get there, usually with other people who drove or via bus in the evening. When the group began discussing making their own telescopes, I begged for the opportunity. It was a stretch for my folks as my Dad was a bus driver, I have a brother and a sister and spare income was a luxury. We began slowly with the purchase of a mirror blank, a piece of thick, flat Pyrex glass.
Dad took me by bus and foot every Saturday for about two years to a member's home where we received instruction and I ground the mirror. After the mirror's completion, Dad and I went to Pastime Hardware and picked out the pipe for the mounting and carried it home on the bus. (And drug it from the bus stop to home!) A mill rolled the aluminum tube and another member donated the centrifuge to act as the counterweight. Dad accompanied me on our first "star party" to Mt. Diablo to observe stars and planets late into the night, hauling the 6 foot telescope in a friend's station wagon. The building of the telescope also led to my initially studying physics in college and to my first and only other career at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which I began at age 17 in the "optics shop," grinding lenses, prisms and mirrors. I moved on from that initial position but my love of astronomy, stayed.
My Dad is no longer with us but his memory, dedication to family, and love are always present.
Dad, George John Rodriguez
April 23, 1912-June 30, 1997
A Few Favorite Quotations
"Are we the vessel, or are we the contents? Again, our culture would have us believe we are the vessel, the thing that accumulates possessions. But that is not where the dance of life takes place. It seems to me that we must be of the water within the capsule; truly being alive only when we pour out our talent, energy and love because only then is there room for more gifts to flow in." -Nicoletta Baumeister
"I experience a sense of connection with the universe, and my soul has wings when I paint."
Unknown 4-year-old learning the Lord's Prayer: "Our Father, who does art in heaven, Harold is thy name" Contributed by Louise Perry
"Surrender to The Spirit moving within you." The Rev. Pat De Jong,
First Congregational Church of Berkeley, UCC
"Sabbath is not only about letting go for a time, it is also about moving toward possibilities that don’t exist in our day-to-day living. The Sabbath journey allows us to reclaim the sacred among the ordinary, by creating room and opening the space for the extraordinary to break in." The Rev. Pat De Jong,
First Congregational Church of Berkeley, UCC
"Open your eyes. Look up to the skies and see." Queen (The Rock Group)
With thanks to Ross for opening my eyes
"Do what you love, love what you do, deliver more than you promise." -Harvey Mackay
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --Albert Einstein
I've Been Memed
What the heck is being memed?! I sure didn't know but evidently it is a pretty big honor in cyberspace. From what I can gather, it is a request for a specific set of questions to be answered and shared with the public. Recently Author Jake George was "memed" by novelist Sage Sweetwater . (Hey you know that saying about the only bad publicity...... Well, Nicholas Snow is representing her novels in Hollywood for screen adaptation.) Jake George has in turn memed me. So here is the list and my answers.
1. One book that changed your life?
“Death Be Not Proud” by John Gunther. Read it in Jr. High. I remember his spirit even in height of adversity. It made me realize that good can come out of the most negative experiences. It brought to light that we should be thankful for the simple things in our lives, every day.
2. One book you have read more than once?
Joshua by Joseph Girzone. Christ can be in our midst at any time and appear in the most humble of people and settings.
3. One book you would want on a desert island? The Little House series. Laura Ingalls Wilder tells how to do just about everything with almost nothing.
4. One book that made you laugh?
Fatherhood by Bill Cosby. I was sick at the time with really bad asthma. Had to stop reading because I laughed so hard I literally couldn’t breathe.
5. One book that made you cry?
Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. The best philosophy of life. It made me laugh too. And think.
6. One book you wish you had written?
One of the gospels. How cool would it have been to have known Christ in the flesh?!
7. One book you wish had never been written? The Rules of Work. It think it is virtually impossible to follow all the rules. Some of the rules would make you down right stuck up. The rules take all the humanity out of work. Moderation in everything.
8. One book you are currently reading?
Recently finished: A New Dawn by Jake George. (Then created his cover.) If this book isn’t made into a movie, Hollywood is nuts. Also just read “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini. It was very insightful about how Afghan’s feel about the Talaban and what daily life is like. I also read the novel, “A Red Bird Christmas” by Fannie Flagg.
1/26/12 Manzanillo, Mexico. Photo by Carol Rodriguez