Just Imagine: What Inspires Julie Whyman?

  • 2 December 2014
  • Sarah Holden

What is your preferred medium and why?
Acrylic and pastel because they dry so fast I can keep working with them … patience is not necessary!

How would you describe your work?
Bright and colourful, moody and sometimes a little bit spiritual

How has your work evolved over time?
When I started painting I had a finished painting in sight, now I get inspired through the process of painting as well as the ideas in my head, meaning I am often surprised by the result. Sometimes my paintings make sense and sometimes they don’t.

What inspires you generally?
All the beautiful things mother nature supplies, and the thoughts I have in response to it.

How did it feel to be The People’s Choice for Earth Maiden at the recent Collector’s Collection Exhibition?
I was humbled my piece was chosen from a wonderful selection of amazing art.

Where did you get the inspiration from for this particular piece ?
This piece is inspired by a feeling of becoming one with nature and dissolving into the trees and sky … It’s called Autumn Daydream.

What, in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating a masterpiece?
I haven’t yet created a masterpiece; however the hardest step in any painting, for me, is the middle part. Getting started is easy and finishing is awesome when I am pleased with the result, there’s just that bit in the middle where I swing from liking it, to hating it, and back again!

Tell me a little bit about your relationship with art and being creative?
Creativity affects how I see all the things around me and I am always looking around me for shapes, form, colour and inspiration. It can be hugely distracting! Art will always be something I need to do, and being creative means that if I’m not creating something somewhere, I can get a little tetchy.

Which artists do you admire, past and present? Why?  What draws you to their work?
I am largely influenced by artist friends who encourage me, giving me feedback and support. A little bit of their work rubs off on me and I see themes and colours that remind me of them in my paintings which helps me evolve and change.

How do you know when a work is finished?
Often I don’t and ruin something, or I just have to let it sit and I will eventually distance myself from it and come to terms with it as a finished painting……or my husband says “don’t touch it its done”.

Do you have any claims to fame?  Awards?  Related to a celebrity?
I won the 2013 Clifton’s Art Prize for Auckland which was a really big deal as it is the first major (paying!) art prize I have won.  It has given me confidence to enter more competitions.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself?
I like to paint to Cyndi Laupers Greatest Hits!

Tell me something you like about The Little Gallery in Tairua and why you chose to display your work there.
The Little Gallery is an amazing space with work from a variety of hugely talented people. I also enjoy Paula and Sarah because they are supportive and passionate, and they care about the gallery and its success. It is a real asset for Tairua.


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