Chapman, Julie T.

I grew up on a small family farm in central Ohio, where we spent summers working in the garden, baling hay, climbing trees, catching butterflies, and hanging laundry outside.  What I wanted most was a horse; alas, it was unrequited love, which probably explains why I drew them obsessively. After college, I started drawing and have never stopped.

I explored all the graphic media and finally tried oils, it was love at first try.   I spend a lot of time each year in pursuit of reference material; firsthand field experience is essential to getting the excitement and inspiration I want for a piece.

Since moving to Montana, I’ve discovered small-town summertime rodeos and have become enamored of the color, action, and excitement. It’s great fun to head off to a rodeo, stand out in the sun and dust for hours, and take a little piece of the adrenaline in the arena away with me. My work has evolved to something with a more contemporary edge.

I’m having fun playing with abstract backgrounds, sizzling streaks of color, and big loose brushwork and knifework. My influences have included masters such as Bob Kuhn, Carl Rungius, Richard Schmid and Wayne Thiebaud – and I’m also influenced by the wonderful artists who are painting today, such as Oleg Stavrowsky, Roy Anderson, and many others.

I look forward to seeing where my work goes; art is not a destination, but a journey. What a privilege to be an artist!

MEDIUM

In the 1990s we began exploring American and Canadian wilderness areas, and I began drawing and painting wildlife (at last, something besides horses!). In 2002 I won the Arts for the Parks Grand Prize, which precipitated our move from California to Montana and kicked me in the butt to become a full-time artist (finally!).