Q&A EXCHANGE WITH Julie Williams, Painter
AC: What set you on your artistic path? Did you know you wanted to make art as a child or was it something that grew out of life experiences?
JW: My artistic journey began in the Rice University darkroom. After developing my first 35mm roll of black & white film and printing the contact sheet, I became enthralled by the creative process. This artistic effort continues today. Currently, I’m exploring ways to express this artistic spirit through painting.
AC: Who is your favorite artist? What artist has most influenced your work?
JW: One of my favorite artist’s is Andrew Wyeth. I’m drawn to the way Wyeth chose to depict his settings and figures in a natural manner. There’s a very spiritual quality about his art – an almost “Zen-like” feeling that I admire. Another influence is the photography of Edward Weston especially his still-lifes and landscapes. Weston called photography, “a way of self-development, a means to discover and identify oneself with all the manifestations of basic forms – with, nature, the source.”
AC: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not making art?
JW: Another of my creative passions is testing new recipes and sharing the results with my friends. Lately, I’m exploring Thai and Japanese cuisine.
AC: Describe what draws you to particular images in nature?
JW: Often I’m attracted to the simplicity of a setting when choosing an image to paint. This allows me to abstract the background and keep the viewer focused on the foreground of the form or figure.
AC: Describe your process--do you work from sketches, photos, totally from you mind's eye?
JW: Primarily, my work is distilled from simplified images such as photographs and sketches. Recently, I’ve begun to incorporate the female figure in some of my paintings and this is truly a challenging endeavor. I’m especially drawn to those female subjects that have a sense of mystery or playfulness – an essence that arouses my connection to the feminine spirit.