Julie T. Chapman
How do you talk about abstraction, except that is has to do with my sense of balance and design and movement. It draws on the colors in my main subjects, and I put those colors together to make my subjects powerful and inescapable for the viewer. My work has no recognizable setting because my animals are my landscapes.
I adored horses, but never had one as a kid (even though I grew up on a small family farm in Ohio! the injustice of it all…). I loved science, math, and art, so – naturally enough – got an engineering degree and went to work for HP in northern California after college. There I finally got into horses, and competed in dressage and 3-day eventing for years.
Despite long hours in R&D and marketing at HP, I never stopped drawing. Winning the 2003 Arts for the Parks $50,000 Grand Prize kicked me in the butt in many ways, so we moved from California to Montana, and I became a full-time artist. I already knew and loved Yellowstone and Glacier for wildlife reference material, but in Montana I discovered the joys of small-town summertime rodeo (color! drama! horses in action!).
I recently made my first trip to Africa – the holy grail for wildlife artists – and fell in love with the beauty and diversity of the animals there. I’m enjoying exploring African subject matter in my scratchboards and paintings, and I can’t wait to return.