Julia Veenstra is a Canadian artist whose work is found in collections around the world. Julia has lived in four different countries, and brings the influences of each to her impressionistic representational, and lively style. Her work reflects the joy she sees in her surroundings, and so her medium of choice is acrylic as she enjoys the immediacy and the bright colours.
In the past few years, Julia’s work has highlighted here native Canada’s vivid landscapes, leading to nationwide recognition and a feature as the cover on the Royal Winter Fair. Most days you can find Julia in her studio, a converted garage, at her home on Beach Boulevard in Hamilton.
There is a moment in time that when remembered gives comfort or reassurance. A smell can transport one back into a deep memory and stir up emotions of all kinds.
I am attracted to those moments that create comfort, those scents that cause a rush of deep memories. As a child (a creative one) who was raised by a single mom on welfare, there were so many dreams of home and a longing for security. On walks through other neighbourhoods I would be dreaming of the whole families that must live inside. These walks are some of my first memories of observing the world around me. Over time, this defined the moments that held rich and satisfying experiences real or imagined.
As an artist I love to translate those special moments. Moments that will transport me to an understanding of wholeness and peace. Whether it is how the light hits the trees and the shapes of the shadows stretching long on the fields or the manmade shapes of homes erected for a purpose of housing loved ones. My work reflects, consciously or not, a connection with ones past or a time of security. Wholeness is explored not by tradition but by what fulfills.
I work with vibrant colour and expressive strokes, exploring shape and form as well as the constant desire to portray light. The works often develop their own life and the paint creates shapes and detail that I had not planned on but complete and round out the experience. The canvases I paint can be quite large and the result is the ability to experiment with a range of tools that create variety of texture and interest in the pieces and can pull from me an energy and joy. Negative shape plays a role as important as the positive and develops from the layering technique that I employ.
Home is different to every person. But we all have connecting experiences that cause us to collectively remember and feel safe. We reflect a creation of beauty and of seasons that continuously march on. I hope to reflect in my work moments that cause a stirring in a person’s heart. Moments that were noticed and stored.
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