Featured Artist Julie T. Chapman

Artist Julie T. Chapman creates powerful and expressive animal images in scratchboard and oil, capturing the beauty and grace of her subjects. Visit her website to see more of this versatile artist’s work.

 

“Flying Colors” Scratchboard, 30” x 15”by artist Julie Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Flying Colors” Scratchboard, 30” x 15″

 

I grew up as a horse-obsessed child who drew equines monomaniacally out of unrequited love (although now I train in dressage). My imagery is a contemporary take on the wildlife, horses and rodeo of the modern American wild west, and features representational subject matter in an abstract setting.

 

“Artemis” Oil, 30” x 24” by artist Julie Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Artemis” Oil, 30” x 24”

 

Strongly lit, high-contrast images offer visual drama in my colorful oils and intensive scratchboards. I spend weeks every year on fieldwork, immersed in places like the wilderness areas of North America, the dusty small town rodeos of the Rockies and the horse scene in England.

 

“Homage to Muybridge” Scratchboard, 32” x 24” by artist Julie Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Homage to Muybridge” Scratchboard, 32” x 24”

 

My work is featured in galleries, museum shows, and collections throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. Recent press includes Southwest Art (April 2016), Big Sky Journal (Arts 2016) and Western Art & Architecture (Aug-Sept 2016). I write a monthly email newsletter called the “Artzine” which highlights shows, new work, philosophical musings, and so on.

 

“Lovestruck (Sun Salutation)” Scratchboard, 32” x 24”by artist Julie Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Lovestruck (Sun Salutation)” Scratchboard, 32” x 24”

 

I’m a computer engineer by training and I worked eighteen years in high tech at HP, first as an R&D engineer, then later in marketing and management. I always drew and painted, though, and started showing in galleries while I was still working at HP.

 

“Girlpower” Oil, 40” x 30” (in Montana, women can compete with and alongside men in rodeo roping events) by artist Julie Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Girlpower” Oil, 40” x 30” (in Montana, women can compete with and alongside men in rodeo roping events)

 

After I won what was at the time the richest art award in the nation, the $50,000 Arts for the Parks Grand Prize in 2002, I took that as a kick in the butt from the universe to become a full-time artist. My husband and I left California and moved to western Montana, where we are much closer to my subject matter.

 

“Forking the Hurricane Deck” Scratchboard, 24” x 24” (the title comes from rodeo slang for the back of a bronc) by artist Julie Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Forking the Hurricane Deck” Scratchboard, 24” x 24” (the title comes from rodeo slang for the back of a bronc)

 

When I first started exhibiting in galleries and shows, I worked in oils and painted primarily wildlife. (Somewhere along the way, after the move to Montana, I began featuring horses in my professional work, based on personal experience and my copious rodeo reference material.)

 

Artist Julie Chapman at work on a scratchboard demo using a #11 xacto knife. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

Artist Julie Chapman at work on a scratchboard demo using a #11 Exacto knife.

 

I don’t remember what first compelled me to pick up a piece of scratchboard a few years ago, but from the first attempt with it I fell in love with the medium. It’s such a pure way of “drawing” with light.

 

“Seduction” Scratchboard, 24” x 24” by artist Julie Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Seduction” Scratchboard, 24” x 24”

 

I did loads of pen and ink when I was younger, and scratchboard skills are the same; the artist just needs to flip her thinking to draw the lights, not the darks.

 

“Roper Arabesque” Scratchboard, 14” x 18” by artist Julie Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Roper Arabesque” Scratchboard, 14” x 18”

 

Since I love drawing, form, and animal structure, scratchboard is a unique way to explore all of those elements. My approach is a little different from other scratchboard artists in that I depict only the light-struck areas; this can create “fragmented” forms, which my collectors and I find intriguing. (As Mark Rothko said, “There is more power in telling little than in telling all.”)

 

“Magenta Bay Study” Oil and Cold Wax, 12” x 16” by artist Julie Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Magenta Bay Study” Oil and Cold Wax, 12” x 16”

 

Currently I work in both scratchboard and oil, with side forays into experimentation with watermedia on yupo (fascinating and somewhat uncontrollable). I’ve added cold wax as a medium to my oils because I love the wonderful texture it gives the paint—luscious and loose without fussiness.

 

“Mama Wolf” Scratchboard, 40” x 20” (the first piece I created after my mother’s death in October 2016)by artist Julie Chapman. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Mama Wolf” Scratchboard, 40” x 20” (the first piece I created after my mother’s death in October 2016)

 

Scratchboard channels my “zen” side, or maybe the engineer in me, and my oils are my “jazz” side, since they focus on expressive color and knifework. Art is not a destination, thankfully. It’s a lifelong journey, and I am grateful to be walking that path.

 

Artist Julie T. Chapman invites you to follow her on Facebook.

 

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Comments

  1. Your compositions are magical and I love your use of color!

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