Julie Love’s Inspiring Artistic Journey

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Julie Love has loved art all her life. She recalls that the first person who received a piece of her artwork was her mother, and her mother kept it diligently up until this day. Julie’s first framed piece of art went to her grandmother- it was a watercolor self-portrait when she was in elementary school.

“I remember asking her later on, when I was in high school, ‘Why do you still have that hanging on the wall? I could paint you a new one.’ She said that she liked it because it had a sun, flowers, and I was smiling- all the things that reminded her of me.”

From that point forward Julie began to love art not just for the joy it brought to her but for the joy it brings to others.

“In high school, I took an Advanced Placement art class and painted a chalk rendition of my feet- and I won money for it! Who knew I could make money doing what I loved?”

College came and went and after four years, Julie did not get back to the easel. Once she got a job, she thought she would surely have time, but six years years later she still didn’t make it back.

“It wasn’t until I met a teacher friend of mine who told me to take an art class to get me back in the swing of things. I finally signed up for one that met every Wednesday night for three hours and I was happy as a clam.”

Today, Julie acknowledges that she got into art through the encouragement of her mother, grandmother, and grandfather. When she was in elementary school, she loved her art teacher Mrs. Webb and took a class of hers at her hometown’s cultural Arts Center over the summer.

“It was with this supportive community that I fostered a real love for art and painting. I have been doing art off and on since I was a little kid. But, I seriously got into art when I bought a house with an extra room that I turned into a paint room with all of my plants. Once the easel, brushes, and paints were in place, I had my “space” and I was able to really start my passion. That was only a year ago in 2019.”

In her new house, Julie’s studio was probably intended as a sun room as the whole back wall facing her family’s yard is full of windows. Today, it’s the place where magic happens, where acrylics pour out of their tubes and form beautiful paintings on Julie’s canvas under the vigilant guidance of her artist’s hand.

“Looking out I can see yellow trumpets and pink hibiscus flowers. Inside, I have plants hanging around my easel and sitting in stands in the room. We always get the morning sun and I love watching the light play on the leaves, brighten the paint that has stuck to the easel, and shine new hope and energy into the room. It is my haven.”

When she creates, Julie’s inspirations are her travels, objects that hold memories for her, animals that are funny, plants in her home and outside, and anything that is full of color!

“I am inspired by a lot of artists on instagram and other art communities. I am so happy to create for my family and friends and love it when I get encouragement from my former high school art teacher, Mrs. Mack, and other artists in the community.”

Aside from loving art, Julie has many other interests and occupations in life. She is a high school teacher by profession, and an avid traveler too. “From camping in the Smoky Mountains, hiking Machu Pichu, jumping off waterfalls in Costa Rica, climbing volcanoes in Iceland, eating my way through pizzerias in Rome, sitting in the local cafe’ and people watching in Portugal, or taking weekend getaways to the haunted streets of St. Augustine and Savannah I love everything about exploring.”

Julie admits that it’s often a challenge to find painting material, but in those moments she can always turn to her vast collection of photographs from her travels. She is also a perfectionist, and this takes up its own form: from time to time the artworks she creates do not seem completely right in the end,  and it takes a little “letting go” to fully appreciate them.

“I intend every time I sit down to be loose and free with my brush strokes- sometimes I am too meticulous and stressed in this passion that should be relaxing and soothing. With a competitive and perfectionist spirit, it is hard to find balance sometimes.”

Follow Julie on her social media accounts and visit her website to see more artwork of hers.

Julie accepts commissions.

  

—TSG

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