Artist Statement & Bio

Julia Roberts

Much of my current work grows out of my fascination with two wonderful elements of life in the high desert: the dramatic, raw landscape, and the magical ethnic artifacts of Santa Fe’s rich history and cultural mix.  However, my creative response to these things is primarily a synthesis of memory and imagination, so that the resulting works depict places & objects of my own creation.

My love affair with pottery began over four decades ago when I was doing serious work in ceramics in Honolulu in the 70s.  A few years later, after two years studying fine art & illustration at Philadelphia’s Moore College of Art, this love of pottery was rekindled while I was working on a large project illustrating Robert Casey’s travel classic, Journey to the High Southwest (still in print after 30 years, now in its 8th edition under the imprint of the Insiders’ Guide).  Among the scores of illustrations I produced for this book project were drawings of ancient ethnic & pueblo pottery.  Thus, the echo of these pot drawings still resonates in my current work in Santa Fe.

Before finally coming to Santa Fe, I spent 16 years living in Europe and working in various ateliers, master classes, and studios in Paris & London, where my love of the fine arts drew me into the world of printmaking.  London was an especially rich place to work under master printmakers, so that I was able to study at the Slade School of Art and Central St. Martin’s School of Art & Design, as well as a long and productive period of work at the London Print Studio.

My work during that period was created using the very demanding classical printmaking techniques of drypoint, etching & aquatint. But now that I have settled in Santa Fe, I have shifted my technical methods to adopt the newly developed water-based inks, so that my studio is now free of solvents and other toxic materials.  Thus, most of my recent prints have been created using multi-color carborundum collagraph plates, as well as the purely direct methods of monotype.

My other great focus throughout these years has been working with the human figure. (Oddly, for me, human figures and pots are strangely similar as subjects: both are complex & fascinating vessels – always provoking quiet contemplation and thoughtful exploration.)  Most of the drawings, paintings, and portraits were done from live models, whereas the etchings are purely imaginary.  And, having originally studied and taught literature, I have no doubt that my work with the figure has been influenced by issues that I like to call elements of the story.  Among these elements there are four that never fail to shape and focus my view: character, scene, narrative, and mood.  These are the keys I find most true as I wrestle with complexities of the figure, and they lead invariably to vivid glimpses of the essential drama of the human condition.

Today, as an artist living and working in Santa Fe, I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by such an exciting visual world: the stimulating natural environment of our spectacular high desert and sky that combine to make the backdrop for Santa Fe’s complex blend of ethnic cultures.

Gallery Affiliations

New Concept Gallery, Canyon Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Dorothy Rogers Fine Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Cholke Fine Art Gallery, Rockford, Illinois

Spiegelberg Shop, New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe

New Mexico Printmakers, Santa Fe, NM

London Print Studio Gallery, London, UK

Orange Street Gallery, Uppingham, UK

Selected Exhibitions & Awards

Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, 1979-80

Creutzberg Center for the Arts, Philadelphia, 1980-81

The Cassatt Mansion Show, Mainline Philadelphia, 1982-84

Villanova University Arts, Pennsylvania, 1981 (award)

The Royal Academy, London, UK, 1996, 2004  (several pieces accepted in the initial selections)

The London Print Studio, UK, 2002-2006

Orange St. Gallery, Uppingham, UK, 2006-9

New Mexico Printmakers’ Gallery, Santa Fe, 2007-2008

Dundarave Prints, Granville Island, Vancouver, BC, 2007

Cholke Fine Art Gallery, Rockford, Illinois, 2008-2010

Dorothy Rogers Fine Art, Santa Fe, 2 Solo Shows, 2007-11

Work chosen for use in a project for Extreme Make-over: Home Edition, 11/2009

New Concept Gallery, Santa Fe, Featured Artist, Summer 2012:Ethnic Pot Prints, (several pieces were purchased for the production of the upcoming Susan Sarandon film, American Girl, 2013.)

New Concept Gallery, Santa Fe, Featured Artist, Fall 2012 Nude Etchings, 2012

Works Purchased for Use by Various Designers & Architects

Phillip Coombs, Santa Fe

Pam Duncan, Santa Fe

Cynthia Titus, Santa Fe

Laban Wingert, Santa Fe

Extreme Make-over: Home Edition, 2009

Susan Sarandon’s latest film project, American Girl, 2013

Master Class and Workshop Studies 

Jan Olsson Atelier, Paris

Melvyn Petterson, RE, Artichoke Print Workshop, London

Toni Martina, RE, Central St. Martin’s College of Art & Design, London

Oona Grimes, The Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London

Prince Charles’ Drawing Studio, Shoreditch, London

Catherine Kernan, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Keith Howard, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Lennox Dunbar (Prof., Gray’s College of Art, Scotland), with Making Art Safely, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Education

B.S. Ed., 1969 Indiana University

M. Ed., 1970, University of Hawaii

Continuing Studies, 1978-1980, Moore College of Art, Philadelphia