Monday, November 24, 2014

Featuring Artist Julia Tema Contacessi

Introducing artist Julia Tema Contacessi and her fine works of abstract expressionism. Please enjoy our interview and the art she has presented in this article. I think that you will find it as inspiring and mesmerizing as I do!


Julia, tell us about your early years and your beginnings in the world of art and creativity.

When I was about 3 years old my mother joined a playgroup with other mothers that had toddler age children.  The structure for the playgroup was a craft or art project, snack and playtime. When craft time was over the norm was that all the children ran over for snack, except me. It was known by all that I wanted to keep working on my project, and so I did. I think this is the best way to describe my approach to art and creativity. I love it, am focused on it, and can be perfectly content to do it all the time.

Are you a self-taught artist or where did you take art courses?

I got my BFA in 2000 after 4 years of study at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. At the time my focus was on graphic design, illustration and photography. After graduating, I went on to work as a designer and eventually a Creative Director, all the while painting for myself. It wasn't until just about 15 months ago that I left my full-time job in marketing to pursue painting full-time. I have never looked back!

Changing Winds

Were you encouraged to pursue your dreams and did you have a mentor or artists who inspired you?

I am very lucky. I have two very supportive parents that encouraged me to pursue my dreams — whatever they may be.

So many artists inspire me. My very first inspiration was my mother. She is an artist, designer and teacher and encouraged my creativity in all forms & mediums. Helen Frankenthaler is another. Her belief that there is “no formula” and the artist should “let the picture lead you where it must go,” are principles that I embrace.

I was lucky enough to study under Charles Goslin for 2 years at Pratt. He was a wealth of wisdom and I translated much of his advice into action, not only in art but life. I think this quote from Goslin helps to sum up much of his philosophy, “You can help heal a world full of hurt and violence, with the beauty and grace it so desperately needs.”

 The fabulous work of art by Julia makes this area of a room sing!

How does painting make you feel? How would you describe your artistic style?

Some days creating can be a battle, but then there is that moment when I layer on the paint just right — so that it dances in time and space. The canvas yields to my will, and I know I’ve just begun to capture something meaningful. That‘s when I have to catch my breath. It’s fascinating and wonderful, while at the same time, a struggle. That’s why I paint. My style is single-minded and focused on the simplicity of beauty in the moment. My goal is to drown out the noise and clutter to find a sense of calm. The end result is clean, fresh and modern.

Waking Dreams

What else inspires your works of art? Do you work plein aire, from photographs, or from the images in your own mind?

Color, usually from organic elements in nature, is a huge inspiration of mine.  I often obsess over color palettes, which I plan well in advance of any paint hitting the canvas. Also finding beauty in the contrasting nature of things, for example rough gritty texture layered with glossy metallic.

And although I carefully plan out my color palette, I let my paintings’ composition; lines and structure develop and evolve as I work. Not working from photos or images in my head, but instead building upon the canvas before me. Sometimes the hardest part is laying down the first brush stroke. 

Where can our readers find your works of art and do you have any upcoming exhibits?

My work is sold in the following design shops and galleries:
In addition to the above locations, you can see all of my work on my site There you can sign-up for the mailing list to get a sneak peak at the latest work, plus updates on events and promotions.

Julia Tema Contacessi

Finally what words of wisdom would you impart to the aspiring artist of any age?

Do what you love, and tell everyone about it. If you want to do your art as a living, don’t be shy about it and don’t keep it a secret. Surround yourself with like-minded creatives and help one another to succeed in your goals. Peers are  just as important as mentors.

Julia thank you so much for this enlightening interview. Your passion for your art shows so beautifully! 

Dear readers, a work of original fine art is the perfect gift for couples to give one another, or to acquire for oneself at the Holidays. Please do consider art at the top of your Gift List!

Thank you to my Friends, Family and Followers who continue to support The Arts

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The Arts by Karena

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MJH Design Arts featuring an these glorious jeweled Pagoda Lanterns
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