We have been so busy at Third and Wall that we haven’t had a chance to update our blog in a while. But we are back and excited to introduce one of our artists to you!
Meet Julie Devine! Although originally from California, Julie has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 1991. Julie paints from the landscape, combining gestural brushwork and knifework into a distinctive, semi-abstract style. With a detailed eye for composition and light, she captures the spirit of the landscape she paints.
What do you first do when you get to the studio in the morning?
I open the window, turn on the fan, and make some tea. Then I select my music. Billie Holiday is a favorite, especially on rainy days in Seattle. Or a collection of women jazz vocalists.
How many paintings do you work on at a time?
I like to focus on a single work at a time, but there are times when I’ll have two or three paintings going.
Fall Clearing Variation 2
Do you have a dream project that you would like to work on?
I’d like to paint something enormous that is luminous and inspiring. An abstract landscape that is life size—one you feel you could walk into. And I’d like it to live in a public space where many
people could experience it.
If you could paint with anyone, who would it be?
Oh, that is a good question! There are so many artists I’d love to paint with. If I had to choose a living painter, my first thought is Eric Aho. He paints these amazingly gestural, bold landscapes that bridge traditional and contemporary art. If I could paint with an artist who has passed, I might choose to paint in plein air with Van Gogh. I adore his tree landscapes and his aim to paint the life energy of his subjects. Louisa McElwain would be another contender. She painted Southwest canyon vistas on giant canvases in plein air with a speed and confidence that is astounding.
What’s your favorite way of generating ideas and inspiration?
Smoke & Fire
Recently I’ve been paying a lot of attention to composition. When I see something in nature that interests me, I photograph it, then work with the photograph online or in sketches. I also like to look at master works and determine why they work so well. I read this excellent book a couple of years ago – Composition of Outdoor Painting by Edgar Payne. He demonstrates several successful strategies for arranging objects in a landscape. I think about these a lot as I’m planning a painting. If the composition isn’t strong, why bother creating the work!
How has your art evolved over time?
I trained at Gage Academy of Art and started with an academic approach to painting. I paid close attention to achieving a likeness of my subject, creating a sense of depth, light, and temperature. I painted carefully and focused on observation and color mixing. Gaining these skills takes time. Once I felt I had these under my belt, I experimented on my own. I travelled to Southern California and New Mexico and saw work inspired by Russian impressionism. The paint was bold and thick, the style was expressive, and yet the work remained true to the effects of light. I also spent time with Abstract Expressionist works. Joan Mitchell, Arshile Gorky, Lee Krasner, and Perle Fine are some of my favorite artists in this style. What I admired most about the art I saw was the confidence and bold use of paint. Over time, I have found my expressive style.
What do you like most about your work?
I like the shapes in my work. I also like the confidence and the gestural quality of the paint handling. I like the subtle shifts in color temperature that create vibrancy.
What is one word that best describes your style?
I think of them as “spirited.” I hear “luminous” come up a lot from collectors and people who follow my work.
Someone once described my work as “spiritually kind.” I love that description!
Is there an idea you would like to explore?
Yes, right now I’m exploring large rocky landscape formations. I’d like to explore these on a very large scale.
What is your favorite time of day to paint?
Anytime is a good time.
Do you ever get “stuck” on a piece? If so, what do you do?
Yes. It happens less often now that I spend a lot of time working out a composition before I begin to paint. But when I get stuck, I take a look at the work in a mirror. Sometimes seeing it backward will reveal problems in its composition. The mirrored image helps me see the image with fresh eyes. I’ve also been known to take it to my kids for their insight. They are very candid, and my older son has a good sense of design. He’ll say things like “this part looks good, but it’s messed up here.”
What is up next on your easel?
A wolf portrait that’s being commissioned, and a semi-abstract, horizontal mountain landscape in a high color key.
Sketch for Blue Wolf
Julie’s paintings live in international private collections and have been exhibited in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle’s Group Health Hospital has acquired several pieces of her work for their permanent collection.
All of these pieces featured and more works by Julie Devine are available in our Print-On-Demand collection, and some of her originals are also available on our website. Some areas of our website are password-protected. If you are a member of the trade but don’t have full access to our website, www.thirdandwall.com, please contact us at email@example.com.