Julie Alford is the Artist of the Month at the Mason Co. M. Beven Eckert Memorial Library. She is a self-taught artist who works primarily in acrylics. Julie stated, “I have a myriad of interests which manage to find their way into my paintings. Also, my husband Ed (who happens to be my greatest cheerleader) has a love for Western art. He had a badly deteriorating print of a Charlie Russell painting, one of his favorites, and I challenged myself to do a copy of it. Talk about a lesson in Western art painting! What I learned from doing that painting spilled over into my other paintings. There’s nothing like learning from a Master.” When she needs a break from painting, she says that she grabs some yarn, baubles, and beads to start small projects such as scrunchies, earrings, or hat bands. She also used free-form crochet to complete a memory book project. Julie considers crafts as true art forms because “purpose and beauty infuse the crafts. They are true art forms reflecting the creative vision of the designer/craftsman who shapes them.” Julie says that the adventure begins for her when she gets the idea for a painting. Her experiences and interests can “ morph into a new vision.” For instance, she combined into one painting the inspirations of a picture of a super nova, the Indian legend of Spider Woman, and the lines from a poem about horses. She says she always remembers what Jean-Luc Godard said, “It’s not where you take things from; it’s where you take them to.”
One major inspiration for Julie has been attending the Fine Arts Association of the Hill Country workshops. Julie stated, “Sometimes I’ll be at a standstill on a project, not knowing which way to go and, sure enough, I get a spark of intuition of the correct way to go from the workshop. Creation is such a joy. I find I can say things with color and shapes that I can’t say any other way. All creativity is magic. I believe as you create something of beauty, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you.” Julia’s paintings will be on display throughout the month of April both in the foyer cabinets and inside the library.