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Julia Buckwalter

A native Southwesterner, I am drawn to the sweeping desert landscapes and majestic skies that made up my life from birth in Egypt to childhood in Utah and New Mexico. I paint studies en plein air and work large-scale from photograph in the studio, drawing inspiration from travels and time spent watching clouds. I work with oil on canvas, enjoying the slight give of fabric and the slow process of oil absorption and blending. My oil paintings begin with the activation of a mental blending brush... Moab’s landscape in particular provides endless inspiration via the intense variation of colors found in nature. A palette evolves in my mind, and I begin to feel the brushstrokes I will use forming as muscle memory. I paint fluidly throughout the canvas, fleshing out the body in a larger brush with my strongest colors as lead actors, the supporting colors and smaller brushes suggesting the body with distinctive flavor.


The drama of endless desert, mountains, bodies of water, and sky are to me the expression of the infinite. I am mesmerized by clouds, a habit formed as a child staring out of the car window during long drives on desert highways, watching storms roll in across the the horizon. I am deeply inspired and affected by the work of Georgia O’Keeffe, Maynard Dixon, and Edgar Payne, the Post-Impressionist palette and brushwork of Cezanne and Gaugain, and the cinematography of classic western films. These paintings are expressions of my passion for the desert landscape's rich palette, her naturally described shapes and linear patterns, and the accompanying language of water, sky, and clouds... Combined, they awaken all of the senses, a cause for celebration.