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. 

UPTOWN 

Meet the Artists

Local art is the lifeblood of our culture and communities. We source work from hundreds of painters, muralists, sculptors, metal workers, printmakers, illustrators, photographers, and textile artists, every one of whom is part of your local community.

AGATE EARTHTONES
Lori Sperier Mixed Media / Painting
Lori Sperier
Okra Farms: Lower 9th Ward, New Orleans, LA
Miro Hoffmann Painting
Miro Hoffmann
The Blues
Darlene Langendonk Art Impressions
Painting
Darlene Langendonk
Yugen - Archival Print of Mixed Media Abstract on Watercolor Paper
Rachel Rice-Baham Painting / Mixed Media
Rachel Rice-Baham
Le Bon Temp Roule
Nurhan Gokturk Illustration / Painting
Nurhan Gokturk
Orgullo
MILAGROS Collective Painting
MILAGROS Collective
Waiter/Waitress
Alexandra Kilburn Illustration / Painting
Alexandra Kilburn
The Neighborhood
Ella Albrecht Painting
Ella Albrecht
Blushing Oyster Original Painting
Sarah Nelson Sarah Nelson Fine Art
Painting
Sarah Nelson
Aggressive or Soft
Katie Yaquinto Painting
Katie Yaquinto
Wildlife
Mary Singleton Painting
Mary Singleton
Aftermath
Rebecca Birtel Madura Painting
Rebecca Birtel Madura
Swamp Goddess Print
Saegan Swanson Painting
Saegan Swanson
Kermit Ruffins : BBQ swinger
Gabriel Flores New Orleans Paint and Design
Painting
Gabriel Flores
Tylor and His Dog Lemon
Paige DeVries Painting
Paige DeVries
Meeting Notes #185
Sean Clark Painting
Sean Clark
Watson 101 Print
Bruce Corona Drawing / Mixed Media / Painting
Bruce Corona
Head to Toe
Kris Muntan Painting
Kris Muntan
Alejandra
Katie Kut Painting
Katie Kut
No Coasters Needed
Kristen Albrecht Mixed Media / Painting
Kristen Albrecht
Hurricane Season homage to Trombone Shorty
George McClements Painting
George McClements
Infinite Sadness
Jeremy Paten Mixed Media / Painting
Jeremy Paten
Temperance (XIV)
Margaux Hymel Art by Gaux Gaux
Painting
Margaux Hymel
Harley Baby
Rise Delmar Ochsner Painting
Rise Delmar Ochsner
Circus Pig – on Chartres Near NOCCA
Ramiro Diaz Painting
Ramiro Diaz
Shattered Shorty
Patrick Henry Victory Arts
Painting
Patrick Henry
Summer Song
Anne McLeod Painting
Anne McLeod
Uptown Ruler
Nicole Ockmond Painting
Nicole Ockmond
seen
Jessica Strahan JHand Paints
Painting
Jessica Strahan
Pink Cadillac
Cheryl Anne Grace Painting
Cheryl Anne Grace
Grey Green Ladder
Julie Silvers Julie Silvers Art
Painting
Julie Silvers
Terrance Strikes a Pose on Lafitte Street
Drew Cooke Mixed Media / Painting
Drew Cooke
Limerita Angelica
Rayne Bories Painting
Rayne Bories
Cool Cat
Nancy Wolfe Kimberly Gator Girl Art
Painting
Nancy Wolfe Kimberly
LYRS
Gabrielle Tolliver Painting
Gabrielle Tolliver
Pictures at an Exhibition
Stephanie Reed Painting
Stephanie Reed
Moon Moss
Stephen Rooney Painting
Stephen Rooney
Close Encounter
Maddie Stratton Painting
Maddie Stratton
Unbroken Shadows
Blair Dupre Painting
Blair Dupre
Blue Roots 1
Emma Fick Painting
Emma Fick
Sunset Wind
Daryl D. Johnson Painting
Daryl D. Johnson
Bicycle in the Marigny
Lyla Clayre Illustration / Painting
Lyla Clayre
Confluence of Emotions in a Field
Donald Fontenot Painting
Donald Fontenot
Abstract #2
Toné Lowe Painting
Toné Lowe
Tomb of The Unknown Slave
Queen Hope Parker Queen Hope Poetic Art
Painting
Queen Hope Parker
Dr. John: "The Night Tripper"
Max Bernardi Painting
Max Bernardi
Scene from 'Alligator' (1980)
Thomas Deaton Painting
Thomas Deaton
Science Mural
Brent Houzenga Painting
Brent Houzenga
"Pixie"
Brett Henderson Painting
Brett Henderson
Festival des Acadiens
Devin De Wulf Folk / Outsider Art / Painting / Photography
Devin De Wulf
Landscape Layers
Kat Ryalls Painting
Kat Ryalls
Zulu Uptown
Sean Randall Painting
Sean Randall
Mardi Gras Ball
Lee Morais Painting
Lee Morais
Lenny
Lionel Milton Elleone
Painting
Lionel Milton
Glissando
Connor McManus Mixed Media / Painting
Connor McManus
Red Cloud 12.01
George Dolgy Painting
George Dolgy
"India"
Ceaux . Ceaux Artwork
Painting
Ceaux .
The Godfather of Soul
Lucille Anderson Lucille Blues
Painting
Lucille Anderson
Land Before Time II
Leroy Miranda Jr. Painting
Leroy Miranda Jr.
'Mono No Aware' Fine Art Print
Heather Bird Harris Painting
Heather Bird Harris
"Hubig Pies and a Barq's"
John Turner Painting
John Turner
Fragility- Fine Art Print
Kate Hanrahan Illustration / Mixed Media / Painting
Kate Hanrahan
Bird Watching
Ember Soberman Painting / Mixed Media
Ember Soberman
Ascending Trees
Louise Guidry Encaustic / Monotype / Painting / Printmaking
Louise Guidry
High Tide
Debbie Boyd Painting
Debbie Boyd
Buddy Bolden
Connie Kittok Painting
Connie Kittok
"The March"
Meghan Methe Painting
Meghan Methe
Blue Notecard
Shelby Little Painting
Shelby Little
Golden Hour
Anne Blenker Painting
Anne Blenker
A Snowbird's Winter
Michael Eble Painting
Michael Eble
;