My current work explores spaces, landscapes and structures—man-made or organic, and the interplay of one against and within the other.
How man has stamped his boots on the earth, built monumental engineering and architecture, created environments, and populated landscapes, later discarding those creations and moving on when use has been fulfilled. The story of those left-behind places is frequently an interesting one—whether it’s a story of decay and return to the earth, or one of life breathed back and a renewed purpose given.
The paintings evolve quickly from thin, layered washes of oil paint on primed canvas, allowing the pigments, solvent and gravity to help with the mixing process on the surface of the work. Making decisions about whether to intervene is key. I let passages of moving paint remain, or wipe other areas off with rags, angling the canvas so the runs move or halt—letting them do their thing.
As these layers start to settle and dry, I go in with more intense paint, dribble pure solvent over them to break up a mass, or ‘draw’ lines to create angular contrast with the more organic flow of the washed areas.
I want the shapes I describe to be something both intangible yet instantly recognisable—solid objects, the space in between them, or an atmosphere created by light, shade and colour.
Julia Brown is a contemporary painter working predominantly in oils. After graduating in 2000 with a BA(Hons) Fine Art from University of Huddersfield, she reluctantly drifted away from full-time painting, first working as a concept artist, graphic designer, then running her own book design and illustration business (commissions have included two album covers for Procol Harum).
The return to her fine-art roots has come gradually but passionately over the last few years, culminating in the decision to dedicate herself full-time to her practice after finding representation with galleries and growing interest in her work.
BA (Hons) Fine Art – Painting and Drawing
University of Huddersfield (1997 – 2000)
BTEC Diploma – Foundation in Art and Design
Barnsley College (1996)
• Bils & Rye, Kirbymoorside, North Yorkshire (UK)
• The Look Gallery, Helmsley, North Yorkshire (UK)
• Affordable Art Fair, London, 2002, 2003
• In Gallery MODE, London, 2000