Art & Money Book Signing – Summerland Oct 12 Saturday 1-3 pm

Margot Logo Studio Artist Summerland

I will be at Margot Artist in Residence Studio on Saturday October 12th, from 1-3 pm for an Art & Money book signing.  If you would like to reserve your book, to ensure there is a copy for you, please send me a note.  My email is juliatrops at gmail dot com.

The address is:
9533 Main Street

Parking for Margot’s studio is easy and it’s free.  The Summerland Art Gallery is located right across from the high school, and you can park directly in front of the gallery.  Or you can come around back of the gallery and park in the big parking lot right across the street.

I teamed up with Margot to create a partnership that is mutually beneficial, and promotes the premise of cooperation between artists.  Margot has just launched her new Artist in Residence studio at the Summerland Art Gallery, and I have launched the book.

Margot has this to say:

I believe we each have a unique gift to contribute to society, mine happens to be the way I see the world and how interpret it through my ART.  Most artists work in isolation in their studios and rarely come out to share their vision with the exception of exhibitions and even then the interaction of the artist with fellow artists and the community are somewhat brief and limited.  Thus I welcome any opportunity to share my vision with other artists and the greater community.  Such opportunities however, don’t just appear magically…someone (I, you, we) have to create them and make them happen.  That’s why I applaud Julia Trops efforts in writing this book and giving artists an insight on how to make this happen.  Thanks Julia and cheers for creating the Okanagan Erotic Art Show event and all the opportunities of networking it provides“.

Thanks Margot, I appreciate that!  It is true, we can think and dream all we wish, but it comes right down to doing, and making the magic happen ourselves.  The possibilities are endless, and my belief is if we can dream it, we can do it.

Margot Art Studio Summerland
Margot Art Studio Summerland

Can Serrat Artist Residency


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.

Julia Trops at Can Serrat
photo by Nancy Hendrickson

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.

Montserrat's Village Acrylic Painting on canvas, 80x40 Julia Trops

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”.

Can Serrat artworks Julia Trops

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.

Little Montserrat Graphite and Slate mounted on Tile Julia Trops
Little Montserrat Graphite and Slate mounted on Tile

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:

The journey continues.

The Child Venus – Giving permission to run

This is part of my project Venus is Rising, which include selected thoughts on acknowledgement and separation from the patriarch, and the emergence of the acceptance of my feminine self:

One of the focuses in my life has been that of perception.  I am continually questioning what I see and understand, because the mind is a very powerful thing. I’ve always done that, but am now doing it with conscious purpose.

The latest artwork has to do with perception, how I experienced life as a young child, how I saw the world around me, how could I change it?

I think I’ve grown a lot. I am not longer the subservient-insecure-afraid-of-her-own-shadow-please-love-me-I’ll-do-anything-you-ask-how-can-I-please-you kind of person. In a recent email, my sister, who is eight years older, called that “respect” and wishes that person would return.

I do not.

The latest artwork explores me as a child. As I was painting it, I thought it was self-indulgent. I have never painted myself specifically before, never really gave my own self obvious attention. It was necessary however, as I tried to talk to that little girl of about two years old staring out at me from the old photograph. That photograph was a photo of the original and was starting to fade, like the memories it inspired.

The particular photograph I used has a story on it which involves my father telling me that I ruined it, because I would not smile like my brother and sister. It was the only picture that was ever displayed in the house of us three together, besides those yearly school pictures – it was a continual reminder of how I failed as a member of the family, failed to conform.

I was very sensitive as a child, some said overly so, but I did take to heart very seriously what people felt or thought. I took on the responsibility for others’ feelings and actions, and trembled at any sort of discord.

I don’t think I am alone in these feelings. I think there are others who are looking to find and connect with their own child.

I spoke to that little girl as I was painting her. Many times I almost quit, but I recognized there was a symbolic act in giving her this attention. Her face through the process went from sad, to insecure and scared, to angry to as she is now, I feel her being calm and confident.

The Child Venus, acrylic and charcoal painting on board 4'x4'
I told her there will always be others happy to lay blame on anyone else, doesn’t matter who, to avoid taking responsibility for themselves and their feelings. I told her it was not her place to accept that. I told her that things would be okay, that there will always be people in this world who did not appreciate her, and that they were not worth her time or effort. And on the other hand, there were going to be many jewels of personality that she would be thrilled to know and trust. I told her to stand up straight and not to be afraid to be strong, and explained that being strong means doing and saying things that might not be popular. I told her that being popular was over-rated, that being popular meant there was an implied requirement to conform, with the threat of popularity being withdrawn if you didn’t.

I told her no one was perfect, and that that was okay. It wasn’t being perfect that was important, it was being kind. I told her that she was a nice girl, she had a giving heart, and that will always win in the end, because there really are people who prefer truth and honesty.  I gave her all the hugs and smiles she ever wanted.

I told her that there will always be that big sunny field where she could run and play and sing and cry and stare at the sky making animals from the clouds. I told her to go run and play now, that all would be okay.

Upon reflection, I realized that field was always important to me. Whenever I came to a turning point in my life, there was always a big empty field. Many times I contemplated leaving this physical plane, but there was always that field. That field had so much potential, and if nothing else, I love potential; the idea of something new, something that maybe I missed, that maybe could be found. The idea that there is something just beyond the horizon, that I just had to walk to get there. I couldn’t leave without having explored that first.

Looking from the outside in, it makes me sad for opportunities lost for any sort of relationships with my brother and sister, but I understand now that was not my fault and that I shouldn’t personalize it. They had and still have their own troubles to deal with. While my childhood was very confusing because of the expectation I had of safety and security, trusting in the adults to take care, I understand now very clearly that any interaction I had with others was more a reflection of their own lack of understanding of themselves, and I acknowledge this without prejudice. I think a lot of people are experiencing this sort of revelation of their own childhood. Either they are understanding the source of their pain, and recognize it, dealing with it as they do, or they have not yet realized they have the supreme power to relegate it to its proper place in their lives: that of fertilizer for future growth.

Memories can either control us, or be controlled by us. Memories can either inhibit or inspire. It is always one’s own choice. Smile and wish the memories well, as they go on their way.

Even coming to that understanding was an epiphany.  It is very freeing, and there’s that field waiting ….

Butterflies do it – the concept of faith

One of the things I have been dealing with over my life is the concept of faith, what it is, and how it works.  In the past I have wanted everything defined, marked, columnized, articulated, specific. Who what where when why. As I move away from this left brain existence, I still have no answers, no definitions, and that I have come to the conclusion that that is okay. I feel that just by accepting this small premise is a step forward.

My father died in 2008. As mentioned in this post, he was a very important part of my life. I’ve thought about his life time, how he treated people, how he lived in the world …. and I feel sad for him. He lived in fear – fear of his own abilities. For whatever reason, he shut himself down, I am sure before I was even born, and he allowed no light in. I know he was a very sensitive man, and I wonder what happened. He became the consummate victim, took on that role and never put it aside. Everything happened TO him.  My mom has told me a few things, that has helped me to understand why he was so angry, why he was so distant, and to me in particular. Maybe one day I will write a book, who knows. But for now, at this point in the journey, it is enough to understand, and to understand that I do not have to take on his pain, his fear, his mistrust.

My father hated the church, hated religion. He didn’t believe in the idea of Santa Claus. He didn’t believe in fairy tales. … at least outwardly. Inside, secretly, I think he did.

My father did not have faith. And if he ever did, it was reluctantly and because he had no choice.   This is what I learned from him. At one point I remember him saying he did not believe in God. I think at the very end of his life he thought differently, but I don’t  know as I was not there, and our discussions on anything serious were non-existent. I remember one particularly painful event, I think it was the last time I saw him alive. I had traveled to Calgary from Kelowna specifically to visit,  I came to the hospital room with my mom, where he had been living for the past year – and he said, “Oh it’s you, hi.”  Then when my sister and her eldest daughter showed up about an hour later, he was all smiles and hugs and quite joyful. About five or ten minutes later, I left my mom and sister and niece in his room to continue the visit, and as I walked back to my mom’s house from the hospital, I realized there was no point on me ever being there again.

As I walked, I pondered the significance of my first family in my own life, never wanting to acknowledge their pushing away, always wanting to be close and realized that would probably never happen. I think it is because our family never really had much in common other than we were in the same family. There was no other esoteric or spiritual significance to our being together, no real commonality between our personalities. No real ties or beliefs or faiths were ever given or imposed, which mind you, I am glad about, because it gave me the freedom to make my own decisions about life, the universe, and everything. But near his death, about a year or so later, my mom said he did come round to having faith – to a point – but certainly, it was because he had no choice.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, my mom always said Let go and let God. I think I am finally learning to do that. Yes it is scary. But I console myself by saying there is really nothing to lose in having this attitude and belief. It does take some effort, but it’s not a big jump, more like a gentle floating on to a breeze that is already in existence …. Butterflies do it ….

Sketched Out Studio Sale

Sketched Out Studio Sale
Sketched Out Studio Sale

Three artists are joining forces to try to get their works out to the community. We are making room for new projects, new beginnings, and it is your chance to own an original artwork.

Trying to make the situation a win win for all involved, and fully aware that Christmas is coming, too,  Julia Trops, Trina Ganson and Angela Bonten will be at Studio 113 from 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday December 10th offering their work at hugely discounted prices.

For a preview of what I will be offering, please see the Facebook Album for works that are presently available. Or you can go to and see if there is anything else that appeals to you.

From my latest newsletter:

The next step in my artist career:

I am going to Italy for a residency in June 2012.  The port town of Otranto will be my studio for the month where I will be researching and creating works based on the myths  and stories of the female.

In order to raise funds for the residency,  I am holding two specials:

The first way is through works from 2010 to present.

Some of these are available in person  at my studio in the Rotary Centre for the Arts, and  others are available to be viewed and purchased online at my Ruby Lane shop:

Venus is Rising

Or you can come and see me at the Rotary Centre for the Arts on Saturday November 26th, 9 to 3 pm during the Sketched Out studio sale, for the second special.  You can see most of these works on Facebook:

Look for the painting called Blueberry Bliss. These works are a whopping 66% off. I mean business!

If you see anything you like, send me a note. Or if you have seen the work already and you want to reserve it, then paypal is just fine, please send to, and indicate which work you want. It’s a great time to support an artist’s career, a Christmas gift for you or your loved ones, or a CyberMonday purchase…. once the $5000 is raised, all prices return to normal and your investment has just increased!

Thank you for helping me reach one of my goals. I have a ten year business plan, and the residencies are one of the things on my check list. Cross your fingers!

The Heroines Journey by Maureen Murdock

Highly recommend The Heroines Journey by Maureen Murdock. In it contained an explanation of my last 45 years on this plane, and most especially the last 15. Blog post of past interview. Incredible to see my search for identity through my artwork has been a subconscious exploration of the heroine from father*s daughter to the dark night and a gathering with the Dark Goddess. There was a period I just did black nudes, shadows and darkness, faced my own demons and grew to understand that darkness did not mean evil. Now on the ascent to the light. I have eaten many pomegranate seeds, and I am okay with that… I am no longer afraid of the dark.  I now understand while the hero needs to go out and travel and find his fortune, the heroine has already arrived… she just needs to be seen and accepted. I welcome mine with open arms.

No real foundation for art worth in our current economy

Just reading through Sylvia White’s blog article about the difference between LA and New York. She is very clear and the answer is very simple. Art is valued in New York, and the reasoning is because of awareness, attitude and education. Seems simple enough.  Here is the full article: Apples and Oranges: The L.A. vs. New York Question

Even though this article was written in 1995, I find that the problems and the solutions! are still pertinent today:

This is not necessarily our fault, of course, but we do suffer the cumulative
effects of our indifference to the sagging (non-existent) state of the current
art market. We have not properly educated our collectors, for example. Therefore,
when the investment value of art is gone, the market evaporates because
no real foundation exists to sustain it. ….

Artists must assume the responsibility for education their dealers and collectors by speaking
intelligently about their own work. One of the great advantages of collecting
contemporary art, after all, is that artist is still alive, available for
discussion. Artists can no longer sit back and take the attitude that the
work speaks for itself Take the time to articulate your reasons for working,
your influences, your sources, and so on. Develop a firm foundation in art
history so that you can realistically assess the ways in which your work
fits in the current scene. Create dialogues with other artists in order
to hone your skills at expressing yourself. If you feel incapable of doing
this, hire a writer to spend time with you in your studio, developing an
artist’s’ statement.

I read this with interest. I had always firmly avoided doing an artist statement, and while I do understand that the artist statement in itself is a method of education, I had always been turned off by those who write statements that require the average person a dictionary in order to read it. I think that has also contributed to the lack of education of collectors. I think the assumption could have been that the art is good if the statement is high minded. I would rather be read and confirmed intelligent, than be read and assumed so.

In our own area, the Okanagan, the local artists give away so much work (it seems to me) that I do not wonder about the lack of investment value for the local population. Artists, if you are reading this, consider cutting down the amount you give away, or else, consider doing gift certificates or very small pieces max retail value of $300 such as I am doing now. If people can no longer get your work for free, you will have contributed to the education and awareness of collectors understanding that art costs to make – in skill, time and money and each piece is the culmination of your life experience. Could you have done that same piece 5 years ago? If you value your work, others will too.

Paper Girl Kelowna and West Kelowna

From my friend Sarah….
Hello Dear Artist Friends…:O)…

I am excited to announce that, Papergirl Kelowna 2011, will be happening mid October, with the event itself being held at the Rotary Centre for the Arts, Kelowna.
Papergirl Kelowna is an art project which involves artists donating artwork to be given freely away to members of the public. The Papergirl aspect involves riders on bicycles cycling out into the community and giving several rolled up pieces of art to random members of the community for free. It offers the opportunity for people to be exposed to and experience art in a very unique and personal way. As a participant last year I witnessed first hand the happiness and exhilaration that was experienced by this generosity.
Before the actual donation takes place we exhibit the art and host an event party showcasing local musicians.
In sending this to you, we hope you will support us with an art donation. We ask for rollable art, prints or originals, photographs, written word, art cards, or rollable textiles. The quantity is not limited as the more art we recieve, the more we can give.
As a participant, we will promote you on our website and display your work at the event. You may also include your artist statement and photograph. We also encourage you to write a message to the recipient on the back of your art.
We are really looking forward to this year, we collected over 600 pieces of art last year and hope to raise at least 1000 this time around. We were also happy to welcome art from people throughout the globe.
We have 2 submission locations…
The New Moon Gallery, 1B-2525 Dobbin Rd, West Kelowna, BC, V4T 2GI
and Studio 113, The Rotary Centre for the Arts, Cawston Ave, Kelowna, BC V1Y 621.
Please protect your packages (flat works best) and address to Papergirl Kelowna. Closing date October the 7th.
We appreciate early donations..:O).
Visit our website for more information, photographs, and videos of last years event.
Please feel free to share with other artists, and art groups.
Please contact Sarah at if you have any questions.
Thank You.
An invitation to the event will be forwarded in the near future.

ICBC censors the alphabet on License Plates

My BC License Plate - ICBC is so vanilla, it would not let me have NUDZ 4U
ICBC is so vanilla, it would not let me have NUDZ 4U

BC is so vanilla, it would not let me have NUDZ 4U as my license plate. I mean, wth.

Come on now ICBC, having NUDZ 4 U on a license plate is not going to kill anyone, and neither will it make someone so hot that they’d have to take care of business right there and then. And if they did, let’s hope they’d pull over…

I guess U R NUD is out of the question, as is 2NUD4U and UR2NUD, hey?

One article written regarding the censorship of ICBC and the government deciding what is too risky for us to see….

Coming to JUST ABOVE the license plate will be


Gallery Vertigo’s Almost Famous Auction

Gallery Vertigo in Vernon is an artist run centre that does an auction every year for their gallery.

The goal is to raise funds, support their programs and to get their artists involved in their community, and at the same time provide some education to Joe Public and other artists about various works in Art History. While Vernon is a bit of a distance as I live in West Kelowna, I enjoy contributing to this fundraiser because it gets me back in to the history books, to re-look at art, it gives a new way in, it involves my brain, my ability and skills and my awareness, which only enhances my work further. I look at how I can re-interpret a work that maybe I did not necessarily appreciate before, or how I can show how a work was impactful either on me or on the artworld itself. It is a win-win for all of us!

You know, I wish this was an assignment that would be incorporated in to the Art History programs at the university and the college. There is nothing that can help with the understanding of an artist quite like getting involved in their methodology, and their work.

Some of the things I consider when choosing a work to ‘re-create” for Almost Famous:

Try to do an artist, and or subject, I know nothing about. ie Wolf Kahn from 2008- I never paint with orange and yellow, and thought this would be a good opportunity to do so. I also never painted trees, but two years later, in my own work, the tree influence made itself felt:

Wolf Kahn 30×22 oil on canvas for Almost Famous Artist Run Centre Gallery 2008






Try to do a work that is not in the same medium ie I did a Tiffany Stained Glass in acrylic and oil from 2011:

Tiffany Stained Glass re-created to Acrylic Oil Pen and Ink 8×8 2011








Try to do the same dimensions and medium as done originally,  for example the Emily Carr from 2007:

Emily Carr Oil Painting Skidegate Pole Gallery Vertigo Almost Famous 2007









Or I will try to do the same dimensions but smaller, such as the Renoir from 2010:

Woman Reading Renoir Oil Painting Almost Famous Gallery Vertigo 2010









I also try to add my own twist, so that the work is not an exact copy but has my own personality, ie if done originally in pencil, I will do in ink, or I will change the surface as I did in the Renoir above. The Matisse below was originally done in willow Charcoal:


Matisse Conte, Pencil and watercolour pencil Drawing Gallery Vertigo Almost Famous 2011









One word of caution though – changing the colours is a tricky, because if the original work depends on colours for its substance, and is based in colour theory, it may be more difficult, but not impossible.  Changes like these are where I, as an artist, become challenged and really enjoy. Here is an Ingres from 2009:

Ingres Oil Painting The Bather Gallery Vertigo 2009











I have noticed some trends in bidding – the average price is between 50 and 70 dollars, with very few works going over $100 . and even fewer works going over $150.

If you are looking at maximizing the amount for your artwork consider the following:

  • works of some periods tend to go for more ie art deco, art nouveau, impressionism, expressionism, der Blaue Reiter
  • abstract work of certain periods tends to go for less ie abstract expressionism, deStijl
  • if you are going to do realistic work in a realistic expression, then be meticulous in the reproduction
  • some specific artists do very well ie (not limited to) Matisse, Klimt, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, Monet, Carr and Group of Seven
  • some specific artists don’t do very well ie Bacon, Mondrian
  • colour always does well
  • size matters ie
  •     small works always do well
  •     large works (over 30×20) have challenges because of space
  • include a short writeup for the work – why did you choose it, how does your rendition change it from the original (if applicable)
  • include a picture and include a short bio (about 250 words max).
  • FINISH the work! it does not mean it has to be framed, but include a varnish of some sort, to make the colours pop – spray, or gloss medium to unify the surface, that sort of thing.

Just because I include the above as cautions, does not mean that the artists, periods and expressions listed will never do very well, it just means that the public (perhaps) is not all that educated in the value of those expressions. If YOU are drawn to those artists, there is a reason, and perhaps you can use this opportunity to show others what you see as important and impactful. Use this opportunity to educate. With understanding comes appreciation and that is what this exhibition is all about.

Look upon the Gallery Vertigo Almost Famous exhibition as a way to help your fellow artists and the general public understand about various times in Art History. If you could visually express something about a specific work, what would it be? How can you incorporate what you learned about these works in to your own work, or your outlook…? For me, it is interesting to see how these works, whether I painted them, or viewed them, affect my own work later on down the road, whether in subject, or colour or expression or all of the above. Any education is never wasted.

If you are interested in getting involved in the Gallery Vertigo Almost Famous Auction, mark your calendar for June, as the call usually comes out then, with a deadline of delivery of mid to end July. The actual auction happens about the second/third week in August. Why not do an artwork or two or three during the year, and then you will have something ready for when the call comes out.

Any questions on the blog post, please do let me know – and on Gallery Vertigo’s Almost Famous, please contact Gallery Vertigo

All the best! Julia