Off The Wall Magazine Q&A with Julie Houck



Maine.   My first visit to Maine was in the early 80’s when I spent time with one of my art teachers on Little Cranberry Island. The time spent on the island had a lasting impression, and years later, I found myself returning to live.

Inspiration.  When I was in grade school I always got a “c” in art as the teacher said I painted things “the wrong color.” So I grew up believing I wasn’t “good” at it. In college, art was my favorite course and I found myself transfixed by my art history classes. 

Medium: I love oils,and how seductive they are to work with,  but  I also enjoy printing and creating works on paper. 

Artist Hero.    Turner, Rothko. Turner for his bold use of light and movement in the sky and Rothko for his incredible use of color, balance and tension in his abstracts.

Studio: I have two studios, one in Maine and one on Maui, where I spend my winters. Maine and Maui are probably the two most beautiful places in our country to live. I am lucky to have both as sources of inspiration.

Where in Maine I love my studio in Cumberland, Maine. It close to Portland, but also easy access to the countryside. I enjoy being in a small, village community and the fact I can walk to the neighborhood bakery! 

Fun Fact.  I am an avid cyclist and when I am not in the studio you can find me out on the road riding my bike.

Study: I was working as a photo assistant in Boston and going to art school at night. It was the 80’s and everyone kept telling me “there is no money in art,” so I left art school and focused on my photo career. I was a professional photographer in Boston for 15 years, before returning to art and heading back to art school. I studied at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and also studied classical painting and drawing  in France with Ted Seth Jacobs. It was the atelier study that taught me about light, which I why even my most contemporary and abstract works contain the presence of light.