Classically trained in San Francisco and France, Julie Houck studied light on form and ‘Old Masters painting. In this, she brings her unique style to Maine Art HIll.
“The essence of light and classical training is seen in my work. In the more contemporary pieces, White Cloud and When the Rain Stopped, the Sun Came Out, transparent layers are used to create luminosity,” says Houck.”My canvases are double oil primed linen, which also gives luminosity to the surface.”
Landscapes and seascapes are a primary theme in Houck’s work. The ever-changing sky of northern New England allows a variety of color, depth, and emotion to be present in this new body of work.
“I am drawn to coastal wetlands and the ever-changing patterns of clouds as they dance across the sky,” says Houck. “The unpredictable and ethereal nature of the sky, juxtaposed with the calmness and serenity of the marshlands provide an infinite source of inspiration.”
In work, such as Squall Line, and Around the Bend, the sky explodes, yet the clearing clouds offer up a shaft of light piercing the darkness. It is a little Zen garden, and the marsh below remains calm and peaceful.
“The Tempest and Breaking Free, remind me that life is full of challenges,” explains Houck. “In contrast, The Colors of Morning calls up the quiet place within that brings me home and reminds that even the most turbulent times will pass.”
Many of Houck paintings are in oil, but a few are encaustic or a blend of both. Encaustic was initially developed by the ancient Greeks to seal cracks in the hulls of their sailing ships. Often pigment was added to create colored paintings on the hulls serving a dual purpose.
“Encaustic is pigmented beeswax. I use artist grade pigments mixed into beeswax. The wax is then melted and applied with a stiff brush,” shares Houck. “Each layer has to be fused by flashing with a heat source. The wax can be manipulated by heat guns, small torches, and irons, but after it is archival. It will not melt, and is impervious to water.”
Come and see both styles of Houck’s work at Shows on Maine Art Hill at 10 Chase Hill in Kennebunk. As part of a trio of local female artists, this show will run until July 18. The Show Gallery is open every day at 10 am. FMI call 207-967-0049 or visit us at www.maine-art.com to see the show its entirety.