POST No. 500. I am really please to introduce a New Zealand artist, Julie Freeman, for my 500th post on this blog. The blog has been an adventure in discovery, meeting so many talented pastel artists online and seeing so much inspirational artwork. Julie Freeman is a remarkable artist by any standard, and that she is self-taught is bound to give encouragement to all who cannot attend art college or classes for whatever reason. Her painting, Southern Kelp, is of such a quality that I cannot help expecting a sea-otter or a seal to poke its nose out of it.
Bio: Julie Freeman is a self taught photorealistic pastel artist based in Auckland New Zealand. Julie spent 16 years overseas when she married where she started doing commissioned work, mostly animal portraits. (Julie’s animal portraits rise far above the usual twee paintings one sees too often on websites that specialise in pet portraits.) Initially monotone in graphite or charcoal, they gradually progressed to pastel.
When invited to exhibit with two other artists 5 years ago she was challenged to come up with work that she thought would sell and that she would enjoy doing. Living near the coat, Julie painted boats and dinghies, vineyards (as it was a wine growing region too), and native flora. The exhibition was a success and with the feedback received Julie was encouraged to continue with pastel.
She is an Artist Member of the Pastel Artists of New Zealand (PANZ) and has won national awards. Her work is in private collections in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. Most recently Julie has broadened her subjects from commissioned animal portraits to themed work: New Zealand scenes, boats, lilypads, algae, using her own reference photos.
Subjects: Boats, fauna and flora.
Style: Photorealism. Julie primarily works with pastel pencils (Derwent, CarbOthello) but often uses Art Spectrum, Unison and Rembrandt sticks. Her surface is usually Art Spectrum Colourfix paper which she finds holds layers of pastel really well. She doesn't use fixative as her method involves lots of blending with pencils, which doesn't create much pastel dust. Julie gets a great sense of satisfaction when she has achieved a painting that viewers think is a photograph.
Navigation: Main menu remains available on left of page.
Gallery: Galleries 1, 2 and 3; Animal Portraits; Portraits.
Image View: Large thumbnails only; image information is provided. Download is permitted.
Julie says of the image displayed: "This piece Southern Kelp was a section of a larger image of the seaweed moving in the foreground of a coastal scene. I was fascinated with the glistening light and the movement that I could see with the shape and colours of the kelp in the contrasting water, and even though I was portraying it photorealistically it looked like an abstract painting. This artwork won a first place in the Artists Magazine online competition 2011."
Demo: Use the Work Process link on the menu.Blog: No.