Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie England.
Julie, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My story is one of answering the question: “What’s next?” I spent my life working in the corporate world and longed to become an oil painter to explore your creative skills.
My career path has gone from being an engineer and VP in Texas Instruments to becoming an oil painter, exhibiting artwork in Texas and across the U.S. In addition, I have taken a number of independent corporate board positions along the way.
My transition from a corporate leader to an artist and painter is not typical; I had no role models. I know from peers that many find themselves almost frozen when it comes to thinking about what they want to do next – and how to make it happen. Too many don’t give themselves permission to dream and ‘go for it.’ Too many quit their new path in the first two years. My view is that we are generally fit and healthy in our 50s and 60s and there is plenty of time to learn, experiment, meet new people, develop skills and start something completely new.
I got motivated about painting by modestly collecting art starting in the 90s and at that time I thought, ‘Could I be an oil painter when I leave corporate life?’
But when the time came to leave corporate America, I felt my priority was getting independent board roles first. I gave myself permission to try an art class in 2011, once I landed my first two board positions. That interest in painting led to studying art in college where I focused on drawing and painting. This past August I earned a BFA in Art from SMU Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas, TX. In October 2018, I had a one-month art residency at Vermont Studio Center located in Johnson, VT.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My oil paintings are inspired by my human connection to our environment. Everyday scenes are my subjects; where we experience a sense of place and memory of being there. How can we keep connected to the land and environment when U.S. rural and agricultural population is on the decline? I seek to express the loss of connection to the land from the rise of urbanism.
My current two bodies of work focus on aerial perspective landscapes of New Mexico and botanical images. Long discussions with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum about photographing her sites from the air led to photographs used to inspire this body of work. An aerial view is a contemporary view of the land enabled by technology. I incorporate contemporary art with aerial imaging. My paintings are respectful towards both permanency and entropy of the ever-changing land. These landscapes capture gestures of surfaces and spaces.
My natural, organic imagery is complemented with a focus on the act of painting itself with emphasis on mark-making and color. We experience a memory of place and its atmosphere. My work includes geographical, organic forms and botanical gesture, using color as a vehicle to convey the energy coming from nature and space in the landscape.
What do you think it takes to be successful as an artist?
A quality or characteristic essential to success as an artist is the artist’s ability to express her ideas authentically. In my case, I ask: Does the viewer lose themselves in the image, the idea and then, want to return to it? Do I tap into my feelings about this place, this landscape? I am looking forward year-over-year for evolution in my work technically and the unique expression of ideas I see in my paintings.
Freedom is a theme that fuels my internal drive to get up and paint each day. Daily practice is core to my work, thus increasing familiarity with my materials and looseness in my mark-making. Each year I look forward to seeing more freedom, self-expression and creative passion coming through my art making.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Yes I do; you can see my work online at https://www.julieenglandart.com/ or visit my art studio in the Dallas Design District area.
I enjoy exhibiting artworks in Texas and across the U.S. On March 15, a two-month exhibit completed at The Gallery at North Haven Gardens in Dallas, TX. I was fortunate to be the featured artist in a group exhibit and gave a gallery artist talk on February 9 about “Path to Landscapes.”
My paintings are also exhibited in juried art exhibitions. For example, in 2019, my artwork was included in a Laguna Beach, CA and a Galesburg, IL art exhibit. See my current and past exhibition news on this blog at: https://www.julieenglandart.com/blog/.
- Monthly Art Newsletter updates: https://www.julieenglandart.com/contact/
- Website: https://www.julieenglandart.com/
- Phone: 214-520-9114
- Email: Julie@julieenglandart.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/julieenglandart/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julieenglandart/
Harrison Evans and Julie England