Julie is best known for her semi-abstract interpretations of the Scottish landscape. Born in Irvine, Ayrshire, she worked as a framer for many years until attending painting classes at Glasgow School of Art, where she was tutored by the artist Conor Kelly. She became an occasional practical art tutor at the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Adult & Continuing Education but now concentrates on painting full-time.
Working in oil over a watercolour base, she pays particular attention to the preparation of her painting surface. Board is textured with Orkney wool as well as sand or sea washed coal-shards from the Ayrshire coast. Metal leaf is then carefully placed, sealed and masked before several layers of acrylic gesso are applied around it.
Her subject is always the land which surrounds her and she explains…
’When observing and sketching a landscape sometimes I sense, not only the shapes and colours of the land, but a glint of the first folk who walked on it. The silver, gold, and copper leaf I use in my work represents the glimmering of these ancient, first farmers. The folk who not only shaped the landscape but also ourselves.’
The Scottish landscape is undoubtedly Julie’s inspiration, from the gently rolling farmland around her Ayrshire home, to the wild rugged edges of Orkney and the Outer Hebrides.