When she’s not hiking the trails of beautiful North Vancouver, artist Julie Fox can often be found in her quiet studio, lost in a world of experimentation in acrylics and mixed media.
Julie began drawing and painting at an early age. On reflection, a turbulent family life likely prompted the young artist’s escape into an idyllic, colourful world that has defined her whimsical style. Since her earliest works, Julie has had a flair for creating harmony through combining colour, form and light.
Initially, Julie dabbled in drawing courses to satisfy her interest in the arts. At 25, she honoured her passion and enrolled in the Fine Arts Program at Langara, followed by the Graphic Design program at Emily Carr University of Arts + Design. After graduating, Julie worked as the sole designer at a small communications company – adding watercolours and illustrations to her already substantive portfolio.
Julie ventured out on her own in the mid-90s, raising a family and finding time to paint in between the demands of parenthood. Many of her works, mainly watercolours, were donated to worthy community causes or created for private commissions.
As family life began to shift, so too did Julie’s artwork. Having spent decades illustrating in watercolour -- telling other people’s fascinating stories, she’s currently exploring new artistic dimensions, including abstract painting. An artist with an open mind, Julie has learned that realism and abstraction have a lot in common. While the leap from representational illustration to the world of abstract has been extreme, Julie is relishing in the space in between.
Julie’s most recent painting, Bear Necessities, is a good example of her combined styles. Inspired by My Space, Bear Necessities is a figurative (true to life) depiction of the Grizzly incorporated into a partial non-figurative (intuitive, abstract) environment that bridges the two into a unified whole.
Both pieces reflect Julie’s essence and her love of nature. She looks forward to completing a series of paintings that further express her passion for the environment and the importance of preserving it.
As Julie’s work evolves and changes, her sense of whimsy and harmonic use of colour will remain constant.
~ Yvonne J. Lappas
~ Barbara De Angelis
~ George Bernard Shaw
Moving between the two styles, Julie taps into new aspects of creativity. She begins with the concept, the subject and composition, and adds texture and colour. Drawing heavily on intuition, she revels in the freedom to explore and she notes that her painting is quite malleable and always shifting until the moment she knows it’s complete.
It was watercolour that first captured me. Now it’s the dynamism of acrylic painting. I am playing somewhere in the middle – in the colourful area between figurative and abstract. My work is shifting, as I combine the softness of watercolour with the bold strength of acrylics, working toward a loose impressionist style of painting that leaves much to the imagination of the viewer. My love for nature, my passion for our planet is my focus. A sense of whimsy, and a harmonic use of colour will remain constant as I explore this complex world of nature.
Maureen Johnston, Friends of the North Vancouver City Library
Judy Savage, President CFRE
Rob Smyth, Principal at Eastview Elementary School