Julia Hawk

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“I was introduced to silk painting over 30 years ago by a French artist.  Up to that point, the art mediums that I had been working with were mostly oils and watercolors, but I soon became hooked on this new and different way to express myself. Each pure silk piece that I design is hand painted using high quality French dyes, which must be steamed at the end of the process to set the colors.  To create a silk piece, the silk must be stretched tautly on a frame, and a variety of techniques may be employed in the design, such as using a gutta line barrier to stop the flow of dye in an area, or using alcohols, waxes, or salt crystals for various effects.  Much of my inspiration comes from what I see in nature, but I’m also drawn to Oriental designs, perhaps from a time my family lived in Japan.  Silk painting is a challenge, to be sure, as it is a rather temperamental and involved medium, but it can be a very satisfying (and sometimes suspenseful) experience to see how each piece will turn out after its steaming process—at times a different outcome from what I’d envisioned.  That magic seems to beckon me to continue exploring more of this beautiful and diverse art medium.”

Most of Julia’s formal art education began in the 1960’s at California colleges.  Over the years she has also studied privately and attended workshops taught by nationally-known artists in various locales in the U.S., Japan, and France, working mostly in oils and watercolors.  Much of her artwork has hung in shows (including juried) and at local businesses through the Antelope Valley Allied Art Association in Lancaster, CA.  In the past, she has served on the Board of the Lancaster Art Museum/Art Gallery, as well as the Executive Board of Huntsville Art League, where she continues to be an active member.  She is also a member of the Huntsville Museum of Art.

Her introduction to silk painting came in 1979 from a French teacher, which started to change the direction that her path was taking her.  Over the years she has taken workshops in various media and has done much studying and experimentation with many different techniques in silk painting and now focusing primarily on this unique art medium.  Her designs range from representational to abstract, with many being inspired by her love of nature.  She has created over 300 silk scarves, as well as a large three-paneled silk screen, wall hangings, and other pieces.  Starting each new blank piece of silk is an exciting challenge from creating its design to seeing the results after the steam-setting process, striving not only to enrich her aesthetic sense but the viewer’s as well.

Her original hand-painted silks are featured at the Huntsville Art League Gallery, where she has been honored with the Collector’ Draw “Award of Distinction” and as a featured artist in the “Limelight Series”.