"Red Rocks" as seen in Mindy Kaling's home, Architectural Digest
I want my art to be a walk in the woods, a pause in the chaos. A refuge. The world is a devastating, ruthless place in many ways. I do not want to shock people with my art. I want my art to act as an antidote to all the shocking things that exist in the world. In my paintings, the landscape is an entryway to something hopeful, simple and sacred. Anxiety and depression are on the rise, people are lonely, people are unhappy. I want my art to connect people to others, to their childhoods, to the present. I want it to soothe and to heal. That’s my hope. In my dreams, my paintings are visual representations of the verse of Robert Frost and Mary Oliver. Oliver’s work touches on mundane beauty, ordinary moments, and the importance of recognizing those moments and sitting with them. “Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” Rays of sun through leaves, rays of light on the horizon, the wonder of colors in nature, ripples of water, drops of rain. Light and water eventually move or change or fade. But the moment they flicker or shine or shift – that one moment – is often majestic, even in its routineness.
I had a bit of a revelation the other day thinking about a unifying theme in my work, whether it be water reflections, looking up at trees, waterlilies, birches, flower fields or sunsets/sunrises. All of these images resonate strongly with childhood. What if all I am doing is trying to get back to that feeling of wonder and freedom we all felt as kids interacting with nature? I remember gazing into the deep blue of a lake or a pond as the light jumped across the water. I remember lying on my back on the grass, looking up at trees or out into wildflower fields. I remember staring out over the abyss of the ocean as the sun set across the horizon, watching the water and the sky meld together. I remember being bored at times, and also amazed at times. Bored and hot and lost in thought in summer as flies skipped across the water. Bored but also filled with wonder. Time would slow down, and yet at the end of the day I wondered what had happened to all of that time. And I suddenly realize that there is nothing more wonderful or calming than watching the natural world around me sing, dance and occasionally, remain still.
I want my viewers to feel unburdened, if only for a brief moment. And with each of these little moments, perhaps they will remember what it was like to be a child on a hot summer day when one had nothing to do but dip one's toes in the water and watch the breeze lazily wave through the leaves.
Eventually I dream of having my paintings in museums and in the permanent collections of institutions – especially museums and institutions that are accessible to people who couldn’t or wouldn’t normally be in a position to see my work in person. I would love people who don’t always feel comfortable in the contemporary art world to stand in front of my work and absorb it and find some joy. I create art to calm my own brain and try to produce work that calms other people’s minds.
About the Artist
Birch Series 6 2016
Julia lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Gouldsboro, Maine. She graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University and received a law degree from Stanford University.
Julia has been profiled in Boston Magazine, Artsy Magazine, the Boston Globe, the Boston Globe Magazine, American Scholar, MiA Magazine, and Exhale Magazine, with her paintings also featured in Marie Claire, Boston Home, Architectural Digest and Yankee Magazine. Her paintings have sold at auction at the New Britain Museum of American Art and the Peabody Essex Museum. She was chosen as the VIP print artist for the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Boston 2017 Summer Gala. In 2016, Julia’s painting Birch Series 6 was accepted into the juried MFA Boston Summer Auction Show and remains the highest-selling and most bid-on painting in the history of the Auction. She was chosen to paint at the MFA Boston in conjunction with the Monet show but due to COVID, the partnership was postponed.
She is a member of the Quin House Boston and the Copley Art Society, Boston. Her artwork was also featured on the television show "The Mindy Project" (formerly on FOX and Hulu). Her paintings can also be found in many private collections across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.
Commissions: If you especially love a piece that has been sold, or you have a painting idea in mind, please contact Julia about the subject matter and color range that spark your interest and she can create a new painting just for you.
A portion of the profits from the sale of each piece go to benefit the National Resources Defense Fund, an organization that works to safeguard the earth - its people, its plants, and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.
Two Masted Sailboats, as seen on "The Mindy Project", Prints Available
Ella Fitzgerald, the artist's dog, inspects her work.
Julia S. Powell Artwork, Julia Powell Artwork, Julia Powell Original Art, Julia Powell Oils
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