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Meet the artist Interview Series - Julia Foug





Will you give us some insight into how your journey as an artist began?

I have been a graphic designer for 35 years working for Stanford and other high tech companies. Then, I discovered painting in the evenings through my local community center. It fulfilled something in me to create whatever I wanted without a client in mind.


How do you develop your artistic skills?

Lots and lots of workshops. Always trying to learn more.



Who are your biggest artistic influences?

I think almost all of the Bay Area Figurative painters, especially the colors of Richard Diebenkorn. Some local painters too like Linda Christensen, Melinda Cootsona, and Nicholas Wilton whom I’ve taken workshops with.



Do other interests and/or backgrounds influence your art?

My love of the ocean, and growing up backpacking. Two separate things, but I have recently been interested in what’s under our feet on the forest floor, in an abstract way. I’ve also painted a lot of trails, as well as figures near a body of water. The figures especially convey an emotion of warmth as well as some solitude. My graphic design background is revealed in my flat shapes and bold blocks of colors.




What are the distinctive features of your work that make them special?

My work is unique in that it picks up on Bay Area and Northern California landscape, but with bold, whimsical patterns and vibrant, contrasting colors, straddling the space between the figurative and the abstract. My modern, minimalist paintings radiate energy and bring a spark of life to the surrounding.



How would you describe your process?

I always start with an intention such as a photo, or shapes, or a palette. Then I start with just playing with the paint on the canvas and seeing what happens. Usually that gets covered up several times to build layers and richness. Then I save the parts that I love and keep covering parts that are not working, while trying to keep my intention. Eventually the painting tells me what it needs. Sometimes it comes together quickly, and other times it sits for months. Then I love to add pencil, wax crayon, or collage. It’s like the spice at the end!


What are the most challenging aspects of being an artist?

Rejection! I enter a lot of shows and some I don’t get into, but I try to take them as learning experiences. Also when people assume I am retired, like my painting is only a little hobby. I’m pretty darn serious about making art and it takes a lot of my time and effort.


How does art impact other areas of your life?

Everywhere I go I try to take photographs for subjects and inspiration, or I try to visit a new museum. But it’s all wonderful!


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