Since moving to Kelowna in 2002, Julia Trops has taught drawing, trained life drawing models, and was the sole founding organizer of the weekly Life Drawing sessions at the Rotary Centre for the Arts. These sessions began the development of the non profit life drawing group, incorporated two years later in 2005 as Livessence Society of Figurative Artists and Models. Heavily involved in the arts community, a Kelowna Museums board director for the past seven years, a founder of Okanagan Erotic Art Show, co-founder of Okanagan Arts Awards (as part of the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan). Encouraging other artists to get their name in print, 2009 onwards, Julia has compiled the Okanagan Erotic Art Show Catalog and the Simplicity in Mind for Livessence. In 2011, Julia was shortlisted for the City of Kelowna’s Honour in the Arts.
Julia keeps pretty busy in her studio, having sold over 1000 works worldwide since 2004 and shows at Gallery Odin at Silver Star Mountain Ski Resort.
Statement: I came to Can Serrat without any constraints or preconceived ideas about the direction my work would take. I was looking forward to letting inspiration guide the expression. Montserrat became the primary source of ideas pertaining to place and identity.
The mountain is ever changing. Standing tall in the landscape, unashamedly evolving, dissolving, renewing and creating, it is made of disparate materials, conglomerate rocks. It is a refuge and a home for many animals, including man. It reaches to the sky, tantalizing climbers. It´s a tower of babel, a place of many languages, all striving to be understood. Rock climbers and pilgrims alike find a sense of self within the landscape, one of the human spirit and the earth mother, an answer to “where am I, who am I,” and a sense of relevance to the world.
The colours, bold reds and blues are the same palette I am known for at home in Canada. Though until now my work has been dominated by the human form, here it is the naturally occurring figures in the mountain that inspire me. Having completed some works, and named them, it came as a surprise and yet not really a surprise, that the mountain peaks actually have names. There are “Monks”, “Angels”, and even “a Giant”.
My process is tactile. I paint with my hands, – I like the immediacy, the intimacy, the direct contact with paint, feeling it between my fingers, seeing each stroke on the canvas, shaping with light and colour. I layer colour upon colour, creating vibrations and relationships, some jarring and some in harmony, just like human interactions.
One day I was so full of the mountain, I had to recreate it in stones that I found along the path to Vinya Nova,(a beautiful restaurant snug at the base of the mountain). This piece is an assemblage of slate and quartzite mounted on tile from the nearby tile factory, which I also passed along the way. I called it Little Montserrat and is about 24 inches long by 8 inches high.
Like other mountain ranges, created from the clashing of tectonic plates, Montserrat symbolizes strength over adversity, the subconscious brought to the surface, the recognition of buried treasures, brought in to the warm friendship of the Catalan sun, shaped by the whipping criticism of the wind and the gentle pressing of falling rain.
For all the artwork from this residency, here is the album: https://plus.google.com/photos/117793035582351565246/albums/5868974012334970321
The journey continues.