We spoke to our latest Featured Artist Julie Lawrence about how she finds inspiration to create new art.
Which medium do you work with and what do you like about it specifically?
I work with oil paint. I work very intuitively and instinctively and I like the flexibility of oil paint.
Describe your style of art.
It is a peaceful, spiritual and quiet style. I am permanently preoccupied with light and the way that it interacts with material. I love the interaction between light and ephemeral material such as the rain, sea or clouds.
Can you talk us through your process? Do you start with preliminary drawings or do you just go straight in? How long do you spend on one artwork?
I begin with photography and very quick sketches. I try to pick up the starting point for colour and the way it may stimulate a feeling or memory about the place.
When did you begin your career in art?
I began in 1997. I did well with my degree which combined an art major with religious studies. I did a PGCE and then started teaching so there was a bit of a lull in my practice, but I always kept going with it as much as I could. in 2009 I did an MA in fine art and it was following this that I began to exhibit. At that time it was easier for me to manage my artistic practice using art photography as this was less time consuming and allowed me to further develop my inquiry into the relationship between matter and light. Now photography is a significant part of my process with the painting always being the end product.
Who or what inspires your art?
I like the way the painting reveals itself unexpectedly. I always know when a painting is going to work because something unexpected will happen. Romantic landscape artist such as Turner Blake and Samuel Palmer inspire me. I particularly love Samuel Palmers sense of the spiritual in some of his magical little paintings.More recently I have been inspired by Wendy Connolly and her approach to handling paint media, and I am fascinated by the light and immediate freshness in Susie Hamilton’s paintings.
What is one of your favourite pieces which you have done and why?
I think so far the painting ‘After the Rain’ has to be my favourite. It was only a small painting but was fresh and had a special sense of colour.
What are you working on at the minute?
I have gone small scale again at the moment and am doing some little paintings responding particularly to the last light along the West Kirby coastline. The colours are magical at this time of the year and the clouds will always affect a different level of lighting and an ever changing atmosphere.
What has been the best advice given to you as an artist?
To keep calm and carry on!
What’s the most unusual artistic habit/ strangest technique you have learnt?
To make the most of unintended surprises.