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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Lastly leave a comment as they truly make my day!

The Arts by Karena


Fashion-isha said...

Hi! These are so my type of ethereal! Hope you're well! Happy Thanksgiving!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

JUST GORGEOUS. I could easily wish I could do this (and I often do!) but when I think of all the other arts that I am able to dabble in, I am grateful. But to paint EMOTION on a canvas, now that is hard. That deep blue with the gold.....YES! NOW, IN MY HOME! Oh Karena, you always feature the best. Thank you sweet friend! Anita

Jennifer said...

Such soft beautiful colors! Very soothing on the eye! Lovely.
Thanks Karena!!
xox Happy Thanksgiving !

Kristen @ Pursuing Vintage said...

So calming and beautiful! I love how that blue/white/gold piece becomes part of the room - it doesn't take away anything - it seems to just naturally belong in that space.

MJH DesignArts said...

Hi Karena, Beautiful inspiring paintings and artist. Thank you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!!

La Contessa said...

I love her choice of colors.....beautiful girl.Good for her she went with HER GUT!I agree that painting between the two blue chairs just made a statement............XX

peggybraswell said...

wow is all i can say about her paintings + sooo talented + a great interview.

I Dream Of said...

I'm going to chime in with another wow! Julia's paintings are some of my favorites that you've ever featured. There is an empty wall in our bedroom that would love to have one hanging on it, I think!

Happy Thanksgiving! XOXO

Pura Vida said...

I really like the colors! Hoping for many blessings this week for you dear!

Woodside Park said...

Such beautiful works! So poignant. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Mark D. Ruffner said...

Thanks for the posting, Karena — Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

kim at northerncalstyle. said...

Love this artist. Such beautiful and ethereal work. I agree the painting in the room with the chairs makes it! Thanks for visiting my blog! Just finding yours and looking forward to reading more. Happy Thanksgiving! Kim

Burlap Luxe said...

Happy Holidays Karena,
I love her free spiritedness. As for her mothers arranged play date it sounds similar to that of the dates I arranged for my daughter where art was always involved. And of course I couldn't help from taking over or jumping in on all the fun.
I really think now a days there is just not enough play-dates that encourage the arts let along artful days period.
Hannah and I make time with her friends and work bosses to get together and inspire a secession of creating artful pieces.

I noticed her sea/ocean painting is trimmed in gold paints, it's often what I do in my paintings....the last two rose paintings sold in my etsy and had splashes of gold hidden in the piece here and there that highlighted the art be it in a leaf or the center of the rose or the edge do a petal, I just love the unexpected to appear here and there.

I love her ocean one, and the dream walk one.

Just so lovely, and so inspires a paint day for me.

Karena, as for the Bleu pillow, yes it may be the start of adding some colour back into my home that has been lacking it for a few years now. I love the tone on tone of calm my rooms take on, but this shade of Bleu is softer in the light and shimmers with angles and I knew that Bleu was it for us here.
Thank you for noticing, it's going to be a French Bleu Noël over hère this year'

Lové Yah! Girl, and see you soon with all you inspire the holidays with.


Andrea said...

Wow, Julia is so talented!! I would like one of each of these, please!!

The Glam Pad

Andrea said...

Wow, Julia is so talented!! I would like one of each of these, please!!

The Glam Pad

Taylor Greenwalt said...

Love her work...especially the blue ones!

Stacy CUrran said...

She is new to me, and i adore her work!

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