May’s Featured Artist is Julie Whitbread, who paints under her maiden name, Julie Buckrell. Julie is a painter who uses simplified animals and things in nature to evoke emotion, movement, and thoughts of how humans are connected to the earth and its creatures. You may recognize Julie’s work from the Holmedale Art Crawl, the Wincey Mills Co. in Paris, or the Day on the Grand Festival.
Julie grew up on a farm just west of Woodstock, and spent much of her time exploring the fields and the woods. Although she enjoyed art as a student, her love of animals led her to study as a Veterinary Technician. Her love for nature continued as she spent time camping, working, and living in remote areas in Canada’s east and west coasts. During this transient time, she spent her spare moments drawing with charcoal in sketchbooks. In 2005-06, she settled back home in Ontario and began taking regular trips to the McMichael Art Gallery in Kleinburg. She became more serious about her art, and started to paint and develop her personal style.
Julie’s style has developed from clean lines and solid areas of colour, to a softer and looser approach using transparent and layered colours to achieve different effects. She enjoys watching how her paintings evolve from her very first idea. “My paintings never end up exactly how I thought they would,” she marvels. “I love being immersed in the process of a painting – especially when it’s going well! – and the bliss of time spent alone and doing something I love.”
Buckrell’s advice for budding artists is to be persistent. “Doodle. Draw. Practice from pictures. Change mediums if you feel stuck. Find what you love to draw, develop a style of your own, and allow ideas to evolve from where they started. If you’ve quit, start again.” She also notes that support from other creative people is key. “Find other artists that inspire you and encourage you, and try to talk about your practice with others. Support from family, friends, and an artistic community is very helpful, especially when you are feeling stuck or doubtful.”
Buckrell is participating in the Holmedale Art Crawl on Saturday, May 26 from 10am to 5pm. She is one of the 40 participants who will be offering their creations for viewing and purchase at 20 locations in the Holmedale neighbourhood of Brantford. She notes that one of the reasons why she moved to Holmedale was its creative flair; she loves the community of supportive artists like Aliki Mikulich, Kim DiFrancesco, and Arlene Laskey, who continually encourage her and offer advice.
For more information about Julie Buckrell, click here to open a new window. You can also follow Julie’s work on Instagram and Facebook.
For more information about the Holmedale Art Crawl, click here to open a new window.