Julie Chapman

Julie Chapman

Painter – Scratchboard – Wildlife

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Painter Scratchboard Wildlife

Although Julie Chapman has been drawing, sketching and painting since her earliest days growing up in the Midwest, she did not take up painting full-time until after she had a successful career as a computer engineer. Living in California's Silicon Valley, and working in its high-tech industry, Chapman spent much of her spare time painting wildlife and horses. She had developed an interest in capturing those animals while working on her family's farm as a girl.

In college, however, she turned to computers as a professional pursuit, but her love of art continued to be part of her daily life. A trip to Alaska proved to be a turning point for her; she was able to spend a week observing grizzly bears up close. As a result, she produced a painting that won the grand prize in the annual "Arts for the Parks" competition. That recognition, and the $50,000 prize money, convinced her that she should devote all of her time to painting. She and her husband left Silicone Valley and moved to Montana, where she still lives.

Today, Chapman's days are filled with painting, observing, and researching her wild subjects. Over the years, her style has evolved from realistic depictions of animals in their natural environment, to a more colorful and modernist approach. Her animals still command the center of her canvases; but her backgrounds are often bright splashes of color and bold strokes. She uses large brushes and palette knives to give texture and movement to her portrayals of big horn sheep, wolves, mountain lions, and other western wildlife. Chapman's work can be seen in galleries in Montana, Texas, Wyoming and Colorado.

Since moving to Montana, she has been a frequent visitor to rodeos and now includes scenes from that sport among her favorite artistic subjects. Although she has won other awards since the Arts for the Parks competition, perhaps her greatest complement came from renowned wildlife artist Bob Kuhn, who placed his stamp of approval on her work, saying that she was "someone of obvious talent." No doubt many collectors of wildlife art around the country would agree with that assessment.

"My work is focused on interpreting the animal species of the American West and Africa with a contemporary flair. The subjects in my pieces are usually placed in an abstract setting, often looking out at the viewer; they are inescapable, even confrontational, and they challenge us to consider our relationship to the animal and natural worlds. They also reflect the pure joy I feel when I am doing field work, observing wildlife or standing in the dust of a rodeo, itching to capture my excitement in art."

"My paintings, scratchboards, and drawings have been juried or invited into major national and international shows, auctions, and exhibitions in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Work of mine can be found in museum and private collections in the U.S. and abroad."

“Recently, a collector wrote to me asking for help in documenting the insurance value of a painting of mine that she owns. In her email, she noted ...’I wanted you to know that with the recent fires I asked my husband what he would grab first if we had to evacuate ever again. I was surprised that after the dog...his answer was [their Chapman painting]. Little does he know it wouldn't be there. I'd already be in the car with it!' Her email put a broad smile on my face, and I just had to share it with you."

Read : About Scratchboard by Julie T. Capman

Filed Under: Julie Chapman