A visit the studio/beach house of Joanne Julian in Mandalay Beach gives you an immediate sense of this amazing woman’s art practice and yield. Asian influences abound in this peaceful, organized studio space. Julian has been creating acrylic, graphite and sumi ink works on Arches paper for decades demonstrating her apt ability to absorb the Japanese brush work tradition. She occasionally works with watercolor and Prismacolor pencils as well. With nature as her primary muse, she offers simplistic, exquisitely crafted forms, be it a leaf, a snake, a feather, or Zen circle. She harmoniously balances a disciplined and controlled style with a vigorous and spontaneous East Asian aesthetic through Zen brush painting. Meticulous is the keyword to how each line and form comes to be. Julian’s images are mostly black on white paper with some hints of gold and silver at times, additional colors are added occasionally. Large white areas of void are characteristic in many of her works. Her blacks are very black and often worked on for hours to achieve just the right texture. She collects insects, lizards, snakes, leaves, etc. in an effort to study their every surface so she can duplicate their essence with precision.
Julian’s current exhibition at the Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard “Defying Darkness” will feature over 30 examples of her work representing 3 decades of her career. This adds to an extensive exhibition history in Southern California over the past 3 decades. Her work is in the collection of several major museums and collector’s homes as well. There is no end in sight to the oeuvre of this remarkable, gifted creator.
Don’t miss “Joanne Julian: Defying Darkness” 3/12-5/21/17. Opening reception: Sat. 3/11/17, 4-6 p.m.