Featured Artist Julie Higgins

Vibrant and sensual, Julie Higgins’ pastel paintings reflect her spiritual journey and concern for our planet. Visit her website to see more.


Symbolic soft pastel with a woman, moon and river with fish by Julie HIggins

“Promise to the Moon” Soft Pastel, 15” x 22”


I have been called a sensual expressionist.


Symbolic soft pastel of a woman and a snake swimming under the night sky by Julie Higgins

“Symbolic Journey” Soft Pastel, 22” x 15”


I am inspired by nature, travel, the figure, and dreams, all of which feed an ongoing narrative in my work. A trip to Australia in the late eighties, where I experienced Aboriginal art and the Dreamtime storytelling in it, greatly shifted my art process and life as have many adventures since then.


Symbolic Soft pastel of a woman standing in a river by Julie Higgins

“Two Rivers One Heart” Soft Pastel, 18” x 22”


I love bold color, repeating patterns and symmetry. While growing up, I watched my mother, who was an incredible seamstress, work with patterns and colorful fabric. Her process and love of color has influenced the way I work.


Symbolic soft pastel of two crows guarding a heart by Julie Higgins

“Guardians of the Heart” Soft Pastel, 15” x 22”


I often begin with a thumbnail sketch that I transfer onto paper to enlarge the image, and then I work out further details from my original sketch. It’s much like creating a pattern. I then transfer that image onto the final surface and begin to apply my color.


Symbolic soft pastel of a woman, two salmon and a heart by Julie Higgins

“Recovery of the Heart” Soft Pastel, 15” x 22”


It is very satisfying to work with the bright pure pigments that soft pastels offer. I can blend with my fingers or tools, layering in the colors, using the range of hard to soft sticks of pastels. This provides the hands-on tactile feel I so enjoyed when I used to work with clay. I also work with acrylics from time to time. I find it both challenging and stimulating to shift my process, medium and the surface I normally use.


Symbolic soft pastel of a fig queen and a bee by Julie Higgins

“Fig Queen Bee” Soft Pastel, 15” x 22”


My imagery is often set in fertile fields or vineyards, paying homage to my Kansas roots and upbringing along with my time in Skagit Valley, Washington, and northern California. These narratives are a spiritual journey for me. The storytelling that comes full circle with the viewers’ response and their experience of a piece is often far more interesting than my own.


Symbolic soft pastel of fields and fish by Julie Higgins

“Prayer for the Planet” Soft Pastel, 15” x 22”


These can become seeds planted where new images come forth. A series is formulated and one painting leads into the next.


Symbolic soft pastel of a woman and salmon by Julie Higgins

“Sacred Salmon” Soft Pastel, 15” x 22”


My concerns for the planet influence my work and imagery. Goddess-like figures are often featured holding the Earth in a protective or nurturing embrace. For me, it’s like a prayer that holds all life in a sacred space. This focus has encouraged me to participate in a group of local artists called the Mendocino Eco Artists. We exhibit to support local eco organizations, promote education and awareness.


Symbolic soft pastel of a fish by Julie Higgins

“Contemplating the Cosmos” Soft Pastel, 7” x 22”


I have shown my work through the years in many alternative venues, galleries and museum shows. Since 1998, one of my main venues has been “the girl & the fig restaurants” in Sonoma and Glen Ellen, California. I am their “artist in residence.” This has given me tremendous exposure and opportunities.


Symbolic soft pastel of a woman holding two moons by Julie Higgins

“Full Moon New Moon Healing” Soft Pastel, 15” x 22”


For the past thirty-plus years I have lived on the coast of Mendocino in northern California. We have a lively art scene and a natural beauty that continues to provide endless inspiration.


Featured Artist Julie Higgins invites you to follow her on Instagram and Facebook.


Want to stay current on cutting edge business articles from Artsy Shark, plus artist features, and an invitation to the next Call for Artists? Subscribe to our twice-monthly Updates, and get a free e-book on Where to Sell Art Online right now!



  1. I’ve been in awe of Julie’s sensual and spiritual work for years. I’m so happy to see her exquisite pastels grace your site. I can attest that her connection to nature and compassion for the earth is genuine, as I am honored to know her as a dear friend.

    • Thank you so very much Laurie! I’m so thrilled to see how your work continues to grow and your passion for creative process and color! Wonderful also to see your work featured here as well sweet friend.

  2. Julie. The sensuality of your lines and movements inspires me. Colors vibrant and softly bold. I’ve loved you forever.

Speak Your Mind