Breckenridge artist Julia Taylor paints her passion of skiing
Local artist Julia Taylor has the typical story of moving to Summit County — graduating from college in Maryland, moving out to the mountains a few months later “just for one season,” and never leaving. She has now lived in the county for 11 years, and her love of the High Country and its outdoor activities are represented in much of her work. Her paintings have featured scenes of yoga, triathlons and stand-up paddleboarding, but a majority of her paintings are focused on skiing and biking.
“Those are my two passions personally,” she said. “They say to paint your passion and do what you love, so that’s what I do.”
Taylor is the featured artist of the month at Arts Alive Gallery in Breckenridge. There will be a reception for her work on Saturday, April 9 from 4–8 p.m. There will be wine, appetizers and Taylor will be on hand to chat and answer any questions. The featured artist wall features her paintings of ski scenes.
Taylor also paints landscapes, but usually ones inspired by what she loves to do, such as the Aspen Alley trail where she enjoys riding her mountain bike in the fall.
She paints with acrylics and oils, mainly focusing on oils and said she might transition to going exclusively in that direction. She finds that because oils take longer to dry, it gives her a little more flexibility, and allows her to loosen up.
“If people get my paintings from this year versus two years ago, you’ll see I have a progression in my style just becoming looser and more free,” she said. “It suits the subject matter because it’s a more fun subject matter, it’s playful.”
ALWAYS THE ARTIST
Taylor has always been interested in art, and her parents sent her to private lessons at the age of 10.
“My parents were always pretty supportive of art, they were skeptical of me trying to make a career of it, but they’ve always thought it was important for me to make art,” she said.
Her first two years of college were spent studying fine arts, but she quickly realized that the school she was attending wasn’t going to prepare her for a career as an artist, because there were no classes to teach her how to structure the business angle of the field. She switched her major to graphic design, working in the field after graduating. After spending her first year and a half in the mountains working in a ski shop and waiting tables, she was hired to do Web design work. As changes in the industry have made the work more technical and less creative, she found herself wanting to spend more and more time with her paintings.
About a year and a half ago she decided to quit her full-time job to do freelance work, in order to spend more time with her art, and says she is working about half and half with each right now.
“My goal is to be doing art full time within two to three years,” she said.
She is working to achieve that goal by focusing on learning more about the business aspect of the field. She listens to art, business and marketing podcasts that relate to creative businesses, and has taken a few workshops.
“I really am committed to being full time with my art in a couple years, so I love to educate myself on how to get myself out there better, getting my work in front of people,” she said.
This summer, she plans to participate in some Colorado festivals. Last year, she did her first festival at Summit County’s Meet the Artist.
“I loved doing it,” she said. “I loved having people walking into my booth and see that emotional reaction. People seem to connect with my work because it reminds them of experiences that they’ve had.”
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