Off The Wall Magazine Q&A with Julia Blake

4/1/2019 View 


Julia Blake's latest work


Maine.  My family has loved Maine since moving to New England in 2003 and deciding to vacation near Sebago Lake. Maine sights, sounds, colors, and even foods often factor into my art. 


Medium.  The fast-drying, environmentally friendly properties of acrylic work well for me. I mix my colors on palettes and don't like them to blend on the canvas, so I need the layers to dry quickly. 


Artist Hero.  I met artist Leslie Graff through mutual friends. She would invite people to her home studio a few times a year to paint. I had no interest in painting, but I wanted to get to know her, so I committed to going. The first session was a cold February night and I wanted to cancel rather than make the 45-minute drive. I went that time, and then went back again. Eventually, I would paint with her on a weekly basis. 


Studio.  When I started, my studio was my kitchen because every other room was occupied. I repurposed an antique armoire and filled it with my paint supplies. For a couple of years, visitors could see my “studio” in action. My oldest came home the day before Thanksgiving one year, looked at my paintings occupying the entire kitchen and said, "Are we going to eat your paintings for Thanksgiving dinner?" Currently, I'm managing to contain my studio to one bedroom, but I still bring canvases out to the kitchen table on occasion. 


Where in Maine.  Peabody Pond (near Sebago) is our idea of the perfect vacation. We rent a little cabin each summer, where the sunrises and sounds of loons are beyond compare. We go on hikes and nature walks, and head to the beaches for day trips, where we enjoy the unique plants, landscapes, and views.


Fun Fact.  I'm the mother of six children.


Education.  I took classes at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and enrolled in a drawing and painting certificate program at Rhode Island School of Design. I loved the classes, but the studies were impeding my ability to keep up with demand for my work, so I stopped to pursue my career full-time.