Impressionistic, loose, gestural, life-giving: these are the marks of Julia Lawing Fine Art. A lifelong artist and longtime North Carolinian, Julia Lawing synchronizes color and texture to capture the essence of a moment, to evoke the emotion and energy of life’s mundane beauty. Lawing’s work has been exhibited throughout the Carolinas, and even displayed within Charlotte’s own cityscape through ArtPop Street Gallery. She pours back into the community romanticized expressions of the very beauty, life, and energy that inspired the art’s creation. Here, Lawing lets us in on the stories behind her strokes.
How has art transitioned from primarily a hobby to such a large part of your life?
I have drawn all my life, but found my true passion for art when I started oil painting in 2014; I fell in love with the combination of impasto, color, and mark making. When I worked full time at The Charlotte Observer in the advertising department, I took night classes at Central Piedmont in anything and everything creative, from woodworking to stained glass to ceramics. When my daughters were small, I fed my creativity by making art with them, docenting at our local Cabarrus Arts Council, and teaching art at their elementary school for a couple of years. But, when I started oil painting at Braitman Studio, something clicked, and I knew I’d found my calling.
Tell us about what inspires the content of your work.
My subjects are whatever life is sending my way: landscapes, coastal or mountain, rural or urban; wildlife; architecture; figures. My favorite muses are my four teenage daughters. I paint because it feeds my soul to meditate on the beautiful– which can be mundane or arresting– and then send it back out into the world in my own unique way.
Your art is being displayed through ArtPop this year; can you describe what ArtPop does?
ArtPop Street Gallery promotes local artists displaying their work on billboards, newsracks, and digital airport displays in the Charlotte region. I recently completed six paintings for the Metropolitan Charlotte Midtown complex which were then turned into huge window clings for their Kings Drive display.
Why do you believe the mission of ArtPop is important for our community today?
Beauty matters. It is necessary for life. It is not superfluous or a luxury, rather hgealthy living includes a regular practice of feasting upon beauty and goodness, meditating on it, showing gratitude for it. Creating art and gazing at it stimulates our brains and souls.
What are you looking toward for the future?
I hope to continue improving and exploring figure work, and growing in the communication of my heart on canvas. My hope is that my work is life-giving and uplifting to viewers. “To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts,” Thoreau wrote, and I agree.