Julia S. Powell

Julia S. Powell’s oil paintings, teeming with lively brushstrokes and mottled with vibrant color, depict scenes that can’t be found anywhere on Earth, but carry the essence of the natural world within them. Powell lives in Maine for one month every year, enveloped in New England’s rich wilderness. She passes her time exploring, taking pictures, and absorbing the imagery around her. The elements which are essential to her work are also essential to the Northeastern landscape: wood and water. Powell’s work seeks to highlight environmental issues without overly politicizing the subject. From her perspective, among modern world conflicts, environmental concerns take a backseat in our everyday attention. Meanwhile, the planet is melting.

By contemporizing landscape painting, Powell brings the subject of nature into modern appreciation, in hopes of capturing the viewer’s attention long enough to consider what we may have to lose in the world we inhabit. Ultimately, Powell wants to create a connection between the viewer and nature that can’t be accessed through any other perspective—not even our own eyes. Through her paintings we can experience not only a representation of its beautiful features, but also the emotional experience of being surrounded by nature, lost somewhere between the sea and the sky. 

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Puloma Ghosh — Assistant Director, Abigail Ogilvy Gallery