Behind the Texture

with Julie McDowell

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My art evolves as I develop new and exciting techniques. With a background in fine arts, I have had a successful art career and my paintings hang in many countries around the world. In 2016 I discovered the world of decorative furniture artists, and with my decades of experience and widely transferable skills, I was soon identified as an industry leader and influencer. I have travelled all over North America teaching and inspiring others.⁠

Where are you from? Where and what did you study?
I am from the UK and did not pick up a paint brush until my youngest of 3 children started school. I started as a watercolorist, moved to acrylics and then studied for a Fine Art Degree before emigrating to British Columbia on the west coast of Canada in 2002.

What are some of your favorite decorative trends? Are there any you don’t particularly like?
I love Art Deco and Nouveau but am a rebel, I do not follow current trends, I find it stifling and would describe my work as eclectic. All trends have their place as we are all unique. Everyday there are new techniques to try and new ways to use them. I love to experiment. 

Is there a person in particular that has had a substantial influence on your style?
My main influencer is Georgia O’keeffe it was her art that inspired my constant painting of poppies and my love of colour. When I moved to Canada I discovered Emily Carr and am totally inspired by her work.

You’ve been given a large antique armoire. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with it?
Oh I know exactly what I would do! I would replicate a jewelry armoire I was once commissioned to make on the theme of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I had such fun and would love to do it on a larger scale, lots of texture and raised stenciling, glazes and metallics. This is making me want to find an armoire right now!

What’s something interesting or surprising about you that most people wouldn’t know just from talking to you?
I have appeared in 2 movies one with Gwyneth Paltrow and one with Ryan Philippe. 

What’s something you hope to accomplish in 2023?
I love to teach and am currently working on a course using my new passion of using my mono printed papers in collage. Lots of colour and texture. 

See more of Julie’s work here.

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