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Interview with artist Julia Weston

Hi Julia. We would like to get to know you. Can you tell us about yourself?

I’m Julia Weston, a London based part-time artist, part-time education consultant. I work out of my shedstudio in the back garden of my home, where I live with my partner, Pedro and aged cat, Vasco.

I’m a mixed media artist working on wood panels and on paper in a wide range of mediums including acrylics, inks, collage, mono-printing from anything I can find to hand and more. Driven by curiosity and a playful desire to follow ideas I experiment widely and sketchbook explorations are a regular part of my practice.

Art making had become a non-negotiable part of my life, and through painting I have begun to understand the importance of the values I appreciate most in life: authenticity and showing up in life as an imperfect, multi-faceted human being.  

julia weston

When and how did you start painting?

I’ve always pursued creative hobbies, from childhood and then as a relief from the pressures of teaching. Reading Julia Cameron’s ‘The Artist’s Way’ got me to comitt more deeply to finding a regular creative habit – at that time print making, which I did on my kitchen table in the flat I was living in at the time. This led me to learning to draw, which led me to dabbling with paint.

Then during Covid lock downs I was lucky enough to start taking painting courses, the most influential of which was Nicholas Wilton’s online Creative Visionary Program (CVP) which I took first in 2021. It’s really this course which has taught me so much about leading a life which supports being able to create the kind of work I dream of creating.

Can you tell us about your work and, what inspires you when painting?

There’s that old adage about inspiration has to find you working and while I understand the sentiment of that I need to get excited about an idea or a problem to solve and often then I can work for months on an idea as it becomes an obsession.

It’s also quite helpful if I dig deeply into why I’m excited by something – currently a worn wall with a particularly curious pattern – so that I understand the appeal it has to me (often links to my internal landscape) and what I’m trying to achieve.  I have a growing consciousness of what it is about life that lights me up and that also allows me to make informed choices about how I spend my time, which in turn supports my art making.

For the worn wall works I’m building up layers with all sorts of paper ephemera and monoprinting marks and painting areas, which then get worn back to reveal new marks. This process is repeated several times before I then work on developing the ‘disrupted’ pattern of the pieces of the wall. I’m then looking to see if the work needs broader differences in it to engage the viewer and how I can emphasize something more in the piece. I’m not interested in painting a picture of the wall – but in representing aspects of the surface and pattern which entrance me.

What do you do besides painting?

Between work and painting time seems to get swallowed up! But I do make time to go to galleries and read art books – it’s all part of the journey to keep on improving my own art!

And we take breaks and spend time with my family in the West country and my partner’s family in Portugal. Once a year we go somewhere in the World that we’ve never been before – I think this year that might be a city break to Berlin. The buzz of being somewhere new, immersed in sights and sounds unfamiliar to me inevitably fuels something fresh in my art practice.

Do you have any projects that you plan to realize?

I’d like to show my work more – not just have it accumulating in the shedstudio!   I’m lucky to have been  invited to put on a show of my works in April so I’m busy working towards that . Also, I’m one of 9 artists who make up an international collaboration called Global Artelier 21  and we’re having a group show in Milan in May. And I’ve recently been accepted as a member of ArtCan so I’ll be entering their open calls too! (I’m working on my tech phopbias to get a newsletter sorted this month so people can sign up to hear more about what and where I’ll be showing my work.)

Longer term I’d like to be able to teach workshops – when space and time allow – to bring my education and art worlds together and share my passion and enthusiasm for artful play if nothing else.   Then there’s a bunch  more dreams which I hope to realise but I’m keeping them close to my heart for now!

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