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Monday, Feb. 2, 2015

'SNAPSHOTS OF MY LIFE'

Work gives only glimpse of artist

julie-crews

Ruston-based artist Julie Crews seems to have known her path from a very early age.

“I just feel like I was born to be an artist.

From the moment I knew art existed, I knew I had to be part of it. There wasn’t another option,” Crews said.

Born in Asheville, N.C., Crews earned an associate degree in illustration from Ricks College (now Brigham Young University) in Rexburg, Idaho.

“Once I had my degree in illustration, I realized I did not want to be an illustrator. I much prefer to set my own deadlines and be my own editor,” Crews said.

Oil is the medium of choice for Crews. “Oil painting is very satisfying for me.

I like its viscosity, its manageability, the very nature of the oil. I have zero desire to switch mediums,” Crews said. “I love the challenge of painting. I love the overcoming of obstacles in the process. New horizons are always stretching out before me to keep me reaching for new standards,” she said.

Crews describes herself as a representational painter who enjoys the application of wet into wet paint. Because the technique of glazing is usually absent in Crews’ work, her painting surfaces become textured and thick.

“My subject matter always represents snapshots of my life. It is important to me that the subject matter I choose is personally fulfilling, and that it enriches lives in some way. I want it to be both visually and emotionally accessible, relatable to everyone,” Crews said.

“I take a lot of pictures in the course of my day, and one tiny corner of a photograph may call to me and become a painting. Working from images that I don’t necessarily set up for a painting reference keeps the work from being too contrived,” Crews said. “My work concentrates on the very scenes of domestic life that take me away from the studio. My oil paintings give the viewer an intimate glimpse into my personal life giving permanence to moments otherwise forgotten. Some scenes of domesticity require self-portrayal while others are simply familiar scenes where I choose to see a beautiful life amongst the mundane,” Crews said.

Those personal scenes of domestic life have, at times, certainly revolved around her husband, Niel, whom she met whitewater rafting in Nantahala River Gorge, N.C. The couple married in 2002 and now have four children.

There are other aspects of her chosen endeavors that appeal to Crews in addition to the finished products themselves. “The solitude of creating in the studio really appeals to the independent side of my personality,” Crews said.

When she is working in her studio, Crews said she can often “lose a sense of space and time” she becomes so enraptured in the process. Crews also finds the business itself has its own allure.

“The business side of being a working artist fulfills the task-oriented, obsessive side of me. Making and keeping deadlines, making spreadsheets and that kind of thing. I also love interacting and socializing at the exhibitions because I like people,” she said.

When she is working in her studio, Crews said she can often “lose a sense of space and time” she becomes so enraptured in the process.

“Julie Crews is a wonderful artist whose work allows you to see right to very soul of a person,” Robin Jones, executive director of the Bossier Arts Council, said.

Crews will have a solo exhibition for Wine Art Music, an exhibit put on in through the Bossier Arts Council, Feb. 5 through April 30 at 1800 Prime Steakhouse at Boomtown Casino. The opening reception will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 5. She is also included in the Critical Mass exhibition also opening Feb. 5 at artspace.

Check out more at www.juliecrews.com.

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