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Julie Johnston

Visual Artist



Julie D. Johnston is an artist living in South Surrey. She has been making and teaching art for over twenty years. Teaching herself to draw Fred Flintstone from memory launched her career at the age of ten. Julie’s work includes painting, illustration, photography, sculpture and digital media.

She is currently ten years into an arbutus tree series, which is twenty short of Monet’s waterlilies series, so why quit now. Julie enjoys gathering imagery during sailing trips along the BC coast line and throughout the Gulf Islands. The twisted branches remind her of the muscular limbs of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel figures. Julie likes to incorporate Renaissance figures and patterns into compositions featuring arbutus trees or abstract West Coast landscapes. The arbutus trees tend to frame a movement-filled sky and a rolling ocean. On the horizon may be an island or two and up above, a day-time moon. The various components of her paintings, be it the sky, the bark, the water or the trees, each have a signature style or brush stroke.

Julie’s inspirational masters range from Emily Carr and the Group of Seven to Vincent van Gogh, Dr. Seuss and W.P. Weston. She is also influenced by West Coast First Nations design motifs and will incorporate modified ovoid and u-forms in water patterns or the moons.

“I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongue” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax.