I am a painter working in oil on canvas. My landscapes are sensuous renderings of organic forms capturing a personal sense of place. It is a human landscape - sensual and fragile, yet strong, vibrant and unpredictable. I try to go beyond what my eye’s camera lens sees and transform my unique vision of place - and my emotional response to it, into a fresh perspective. I am attracted to organic shapes, textures, contours and light within the landscape.


I have lived in Bend, OR since 2013 after living in Portland, OR for 36 years. I now divide my time between Bend and Portland. I have been painting since I was a child. I studied at the University of New Mexico and Washington University in St. Louis, then received a BFA in painting from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. For many years I taught special education in the Portland Public Schools, receiving a M.Ed. in education from the University of Portland in 1997.

My Process

I stretch and prep my own canvases, for the most part, and use only Gamblin paints, mediums and solvents which are manufactured in Portland, OR. I am often asked if I paint from photographs. The answer is no - and yes. Most often, I do a thumbnail sketch on site and bring it back to the studio with my vision of what I want to convey. Occasionally I will refer to photographs (my own or in reference files) in order to understand a particular land form or attribute of landscape. Sometimes I do no sketches at all, but the painting evolves from the memory of my emotional response. In most cases the paintings take on a life of their own which transcend what my eye’s camera saw. I paint using many layers of glazes to achieve a luminous effect with minimal obvious brush strokes.
Lately, I have been moving toward landscape that is non-specific - evoking a mood rather than a particular place. I want viewers to be reminded of their personal memories, dreams, emotions or nostalgia for locations.
In my work I try to overcome the restrictive confines of my eye’s camera reality and allow other realities to come forth. The realistic image projected from our eye to our brain is not the only true way a place or thing looks. It is but one representation of nature. My work is yet another representation of that nature. “Really seeing” beyond the camera image of the eye can cause the world to become an extraordinary place.

Contact: julieblackman.pdx@gmail.com

www.julieblackmanart.com