Josie Azuma

Artist + Josie Azuma

I’m a classically trained painter and self-taught abstract artist living in New Orleans, Louisiana. I started painting abstract works in 2019 after it hit me one day—I’ve been painting the wrong things my entire life. I felt confined by the world of realism and frozen; more often than not, unable to finish a piece of art. When I started experimenting with abstraction, my art work came alive; I was able to express myself—my thoughts, ideas, and feelings— in each brush stroke, collage piece, line drawn. I went on a journey to discover my artistic identity through a year plus of experimentation. I came out the other side with a skill set and process that I am proud of. I love working in layers, each layer adding intrigue and meaning that are often subtly hidden in the final piece. I consider myself a mixed media artist, mostly working in acrylics and collage. 

I am inspired by music, the colors and culture of New Orleans, textiles, interiors, and nature. You’ll often find that my titles are either names of songs or lyrics to songs, which help bring my feelings alive while I’m painting. I leave my works open for interpretation; what was once my creation will be acquired and new meaning assigned by its new owner. However, sometimes the titles of my pieces will be little hints into the underlying meaning and mood if you can figure it out.

My journey here has not been straightforward. I've been a creator my whole life, and started out as a painting major at The University of Alabama in 2004. A tedious Chuck Close project scared me into changing my major to Political Science. I loved painting but had no discipline at the time, and hadn’t really found my own style. I graduated with multiple credits in Fine Art and a minor in Art History. In 2008, I moved to New Orleans and attended law school, while painting on the side. I practiced law for over four years before I quit and started a wedding planning and design business, with intentions of building my art career alongside.

In 2016 my husband and I were surprised with twins, and my art career was once again placed on hold, through what turned out to be a very difficult pregnancy and few years thereafter. In 2019, I started painting again consistently and therapeutically, with a mission to figure out what kind of art made me happy and inspired. I had never given up on the idea of being a professional artist, and over time, I came to realize I was putting it off because it was the hardest route to take—figuring out who I was as a painter and putting everything out there is one of the most challenging things I’ve done.

I’m a big believer in art education, studio art classes, and group critiques, and I have continued my art education at The New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, with classes in abstract art, color and design, and collage. 

NEW ORLEANS 

Meet the Artists

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Cathie Stuckey
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Jeremy Paten
"Birds of a Feather: Cockatoo"
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Stephanie Reed
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Kate R. Hanrahan Painting
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Kate R. Hanrahan
My people were fair and had sky in their hair
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Cheryl Anne Grace
seen
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Jessica Strahan
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Debbie Boyd Painting
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Ben Hamburger
Emotional Fury #2
Donald Fontenot Painting
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Wildlife
Mary Singleton Painting
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Mary Singleton
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Amzie Adams Painting
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Amzie Adams
The Promise
Mary Scinto Painting
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Lyla Clayre Illustration / Painting
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Lyla Clayre
Find Yourself There
Maggie Jones Boudreaux Painting
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Maggie Jones Boudreaux
Days Like This II
Cierra English Painting
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ADORNED III
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New Orleans Restaurant's
Connie Kittok Painting
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Connie Kittok
"Athena"
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Painting
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Leah Morace Painting
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Anne Blenker Painting
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Ella Albrecht Painting
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Backboard for "NOLA has Wiiings"
BE3K . Painting
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Oak Tree (Red)
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claire gowdy Painting
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Thomas Deaton Painting
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Thomas Deaton
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Painting
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"Red Sky at Night" homage to David Gilmour
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Kris Muntan Painting
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Heather Bird Harris Painting
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Anne McLeod Painting
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Anne McLeod
Harley Baby
Rise Delmar Ochsner Painting
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Rise Delmar Ochsner
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John Turner Painting
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Drew Cooke Mixed Media / Painting
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Drew Cooke
Tylor and His Dog Lemon
Paige DeVries Painting
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Paige DeVries
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Alexandra Kilburn
Ego - Print
Shelby Little Painting
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Shelby Little
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Gabrielle Tolliver Painting
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Gabrielle Tolliver
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Saegan Swanson
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Morgan Allain Painting
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Natalie Acquistapace Painting
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Louise Guidry Encaustic / Monotype / Painting / Printmaking
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Louise Guidry
Sweetness Overload
Camille Barnes Visionary Design LLC
Painting
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Camille Barnes
Ceramic Vanity Tray
Emily Lovejoy Painting
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Lee Morais Painting
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Antonio Ferachi Painting
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When the River Can't Wait to Reach the Ocean
Kat Ryalls Painting
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Katie Kut Painting
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Rebecca Birtel Madura Painting
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Painting
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Daryl D. Johnson Painting
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Tony Hollums Painting
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Ritual
Virginia Candler Painting
NEW ORLEANS
Virginia Candler
Festival des Acadiens
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Devin De Wulf
Edison
Brent Houzenga Painting
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Brent Houzenga
Carnival Series
Ayodele Owolabi Painting
JEFFERSON
Ayodele Owolabi
Magnolia Madame
Rayne Bories Painting
NEW ORLEANS
Rayne Bories
Dr. John
Toné Lowe Painting
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Toné Lowe
Orgullo
MILAGROS Collective Painting
NEW ORLEANS
MILAGROS Collective
Flowers from my Daughter - Print
Nancy Rowe Painting
NEW ORLEANS
Nancy Rowe
"Louisiana Egrets Face to Face"
Caroline Youngblood Painting
MONROE
Caroline Youngblood
persimmons on a blue tile
Jacques Soulas Painting
NEW ORLEANS
Jacques Soulas
A New Idea
Carolyn Busenlener Painting
PEARLINGTON
Carolyn Busenlener
Blue Roots 1
Emma Fick Painting
NEW ORLEANS
Emma Fick
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