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Julie Angela Theresa

Step Up, 2021, Oil on wood, Oil and acrylic on board, Courtesy of the Artist.

Visit Julie Angela Theresa’s website

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Instagram: @julie.a.theresa

Facebook: @JulieAT13


Hear from the Artist




My name is Julie AngelaTheresa. I’m an oil painter. Others have described my style of painting I guess as being a sort of contemporary Trompe l’Oeil. (Trompe l’Oeil literally means to “trick the eye”.)

What I do is place objects, and sometimes people, in front of abstract color fields. My goal is to force the viewer to contemplate what the main subject matter is – the background or the object, or objects. I like how they tend to fight with each other for dominance since the abstract fields are not blank spaces, and the objects are not your standard still life setups.

I have two paintings in the 2022 Newport biennial.

The first one is “Slide” which is a large painting, 35” x 30” in oil on board. The majority of the space is taken up by an abstract color field of various blue and gray dots that fight to dominate the viewers entire visual spectrum. But in the lower left hand corner is a painting of my son when he was around one and a half years old, standing on a slide that used to reside in our backyard.  There are bits of the blue, resembling blades of grass, that are beginning to crawl up the bottom of the slide. My son is looking up but the painting raises the question of what is he looking at. Why is he looking up?  Why not down below the slide, or straightforward. The scene around him is exactly the same, no matter which direction he (or the viewer) looks.

There are no answers found in the painting. It’s up to the viewer to decide. 

The other painting I have in the show is entitled “Step Up”.  It is a 24” x 24” oil painting on a piece of wood. This painting is the most literal of my abstract color field / still life paintings in that the background could be interpreted as an actual object. There are a series of six pencils hanging from string almost in a side by side ladder formation; behind which is something that could be seen as a flaking painted wall.

The piece of wood that it is painted on has been kicking around my studio for years. I mainly used it as a prop to place objects in front of, or on top of, but I always rejected the idea of painting on it because of the natural texture of the wood. But I decided to embrace it for this painting. I’m not sure what changed but one day I was just looking at it and decided to embrace the wood grain. I actually ended up over emphasizing it in the painting using slight variations in the shade of gray paint I used to enhance and bring out the wood grain. And then I doubled down on the texture by transforming it into a flaking off paint surface where chunks of the gray paint look like they have fallen off to reveal a brilliant teal green color underneath.

 A sense of depth is created through miniscule touches of light and shadow applied to the edges of the paint loss borders, which I feel contrasts nicely with the brightness of the yellow pencils.

Again, I leave it up to the viewer to interpret what this means.

Thank you and I hope you enjoy viewing my paintings.