Julie Himel is a Toronto painter who dwells in the personal. Her beautiful paintings are painterly and have a seductive quality of light and colour. Julie’s young daughter says of her technique, “you use a big brush and too much paint…”. This may be the case in her daughter’s eyes, yet it is the surface of rich paint that invites the viewer to reflect upon the light, the reflection and the quietness that the imagery evokes.
The lushness of application of paint can be seen in her artistic influences from Lucian Freud and Tom Thomson, while her domestic imagery can be traced to Mary Pratt. Yet, Himel has said that in addition to these visual influences her “listening to Jeff Buckley sing ‘Hallelujah’ reminds (her) to make every brush stroke honest.” Perhaps the most interesting aspect of her work is the theme of presence vs. absence.
In this absence there is an anticipation or expectation of arrival of the characters of the narrative. The fragility of light and selection of the delicate subjects adds to the ephemeral nature of the pieces. There is a psychological tension of expectation to this contemplation. Is there something about to happen? Or is this the after affect? (Excerpt taken from Marjolyn van der Hart’s writing for the ‘TOAE Feature Artist 2014’.)
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305 Main Street Wellington
Corner of West and Main on West. We are the red middle building, in the Ice Cream Shop, Clothing Store and Bike Shop complex. A block away from the Drake Devonshire Hotel.
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