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About Julia

When I'm painting, I try to tell myself not to be afraid to be honest and to speak loudly, to proclaim. Nature is always singing, and I try to sing back.


Painting outside, you can experience your subject in a way that’s like meeting someone in person versus talking to them on the phone—they are tangible, vibrant, clear. Painting water can be like bathing in the sensory memory of every beautiful watery place you've ever been.

  • Logs Across Stream, Spring

    10 x 12 inches, oil on board, 4/3/13. Wintry woods, still very little color. I found myself looking for water with reflections after all those cattail paintings. Ended up at a stream with deep blues and purples, new green, and warm orange. Peaceful and quiet but for the wind and the spring birds.
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    12 x 10 inches, oil on board, 6/4/13. Wonderful colors amid a tangle of limbs and leaves. This was a reminder for me of how rich summer colors can be.
  • Tree by Pond, Violet

    10 x 12 inches, oil on board, 5/23/13. Another view of the shoreline—a beautiful tangle of branches and cascading leaves.
  • View Across Pond, Windy Trees

    12 x 10 inches, oil on board, 5/24/13. Wind in gusts whipping up these trees by the pond. Bright white and violet clouds driving across a stormy sky.
  • Summer Woods

    11 x 11 inches, oil on board, 7/16/13. Went out to a park looking for a river view, but saw this instead right next to the car, looking down a hill into the woods.
  • Hot Vines

    12 x 10 inches, oil on board, 6/14/13. Warm colors and shaded vines by the pond. This painting went many ways before finally coming clear. I left to pick up my son, then came back with him and persisted, grumbing, in the afternoon heat. He kept saying he liked it (maybe to get me to leave?), and eventually I did too.
  • Stream Colors

    11 x 11 inches, oil on board, 7/15/13. Beautiful spot by the Gunpowder River--quiet, breezy, water clear and colorful. Had a hard time starting; just wanted to sit and soak up the peace.
  • Tree by Pond, Quiet Light

    11 x 11, oil on board, 6/12/13. Quiet, simple pose of tree and reflections. Beautiful greens and greys. Hot again.


Some days, the cattails’ bright warmth against the water’s deep blues seem to bring summer back, with all its ease and exuberance; other days, grey skies and muted tones create scenes of quiet rest and contemplation. From different angles, the gestures of the reeds suggest a range of attitudes and relationships, and the mere passing of a cloud or breeze change the mood.

  • Tangerine Reeds

    10 x 12 inches, oil on board, 1/4/13. The arrangement of these reeds in the sun felt like a party. Ice again, with streaks of light across the reflections.
  • Bright Reeds

    10 x 12 inches, oil on board, 1/8/13. The ice softened overnight, making the background more powdery and smooth -- many versions of turquoise setting up the coppery reeds.
  • Resting Cattails

    12 x 10 inches, oil on board, 3/13/13. Windy, colors shifting. Intimate scene with just a few reeds. I chose the spot for one set of colors and then the light changed, but it was all still pretty so I just kept going, picking up the new colors along the way.
  • Merry Cattails

    12 x 10 inches, oil on board, 3/15/13. Scraped the whole thing down at one point and started over, trying to capture the feel of what I was seeing, and the colors on the fly. Sunny and windy, alternately cold and warm; had to wait while the clouds passed for the warm colors to come back.
  • Cool Reeds

    12 x 10 inches, oil on board, 1/11/13. The ice was gone, and raindrops were falling on the pond's surface, obscuring the trees' reflections. I liked the pattern of reeds and shadows, and the cool colors under a moody sky.
  • Cattails in Rain

    12 x 10 inches, oil on board, 1/16/13.Rainy, cold, and wet. Huddled under my umbrella. Everything soaked through—reeds, grass—making all the colors deep and saturated. Beautiful.
  • Candy Reeds

    12 x 10 inches, oil on board, 1/3/13. With ice still on the pond, the reeds were lit up with all kinds of colors.
  • Copper Reeds and Reflections

    12 x 10 inches, oil on board, 2/15/13. Brilliant day with shifting clouds, sun in and out. Had to wait for the sun to catch the warm oranges and greens.
  • Warm Reeds and Ice

    12 x 10 inches, oil on board, 1/7/13. At the last minute, the sun came out, and blue sky reflected at the shoreline where the ice had melted. Had to quickly add in the warm colors that fill the reeds in the sunshine.
  • Subtle Reeds

    10 x 12 inches, oil on board, 2/28/13. Beautiful spot -- quiet light today, subtle colors. Wind shifting the reflections second by second. Wonderful sweetness to this scene.


At the edge of things, small elements balance against larger ones and create a feeling of both poise and precariousness. Life does too: we hold on to the immediate, but infinity looms.

  • Loose Milkweed

    17 x 17 inches, oil on board, 11/21/13. The bright silk escaping from the milkweed pods is beautiful -- like tufts of light or sky.
  • Snowy Reeds

    12 x 12 inches, oil on board, 12/12/13. Extremely cold but sunny, with lots of light on the ice and shooting through the cattails. The ice was a fantastic grey-green-blue, and the snow looked like nests of down in the reeds.
  • Milkweed and Quiet Field

    11 x 17 inches, oil on board, 10/16/13. Beautiful milkweed plants on a misty fall day.
  • Milkweed

    15 x 15 inches, oil on board, 9/27/13. Milkweed is beautiful in all its stages. Brilliant yellow leaves and pale seed pods against near-purple dry thistle made this a study in complements.
  • Reaching Tree and Gold Pond

    9 x 14 inches, oil on board, 10/4/13. Lots of nice motifs at the pond as the leaves fall and the bare branches of trees create patterns against the water.
  • Water's Edge, Tangerine

    15 x 15 inches, oil on board, 11/4/13. I found some lingering fall colors at the water's edge. The color complements and the gestures of the tree and reeds created a graceful balance.
  • Late Blooms

    16 x 12 inches, oil on board, 10/8/13. Late blooming cosmos at play among a hilltop garden's fading colors.
  • Late Summer Flowers

    14 x 14 inches, oil on board, 9/9/13. Clusters of cosmos and chicory up by nearby community gardens -- a riot of color.
  • Milkweed and Cool Field

    11 x 17 inches, oil on board, 10/22/13. It was fun to try to capture the soft grey-brown of a dried milkweed pod under a cool grey sky.
  • Bright Reeds and Blue

    11 x 11 inches, oil on board, 12/5/13. Brilliant colors streaming through the reeds. I can't get enough of watching the water and its reflections of the sky.

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Julia's Curated Collection

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