In the studio w/
Julia Balfour

Author: Ashley Mulvihill / Category Original Watercolours / Published: Apr-17-2020

Julia's paintings have a fluidity and balance that have a truly zen garden effect on the mind. The colours, shapes, textures, and composition feel harmonious and serene, yet unmistakably in motion as they continuously encourage your eye to ebb and flow across the artwork. I connected with Julia remotely to chat about her practice and how she's staying creative during this time. As per our usual format, we started with a few rapid fire questions and then into the good stuff.



Artist/s: I have many favourite artists, but one that always comes up for me is Helen Frankenthaler.

Institution/Gallery: The Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Season: Fall

Meal: Brunch

Game: Go Fish

"When I’m painting, Jazz is always playing."

How does your time in the studio start?

A cup of coffee, music and scrap pieces of paper to paint.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

From colour. And it’s colour from nature, illustration, photography, interior design and fashion. I find colour that inspires me to create.

Music or no music when you're in the studio? If so, what do you listen to?

Yes, but it depends what I’m working on. It changes the music I listen to. When I’m stretching paper, canvas or applying gesso, I like loud and upbeat music. When I’m painting, Jazz is always playing.


"I always want to create larger artwork.
It’s challenging, but I really have fun with it."

Do you create in series? Do they relate to each other?

Not really, I paint what I feel needs to come next. I have worked in series before, but I prefer to work spontaneously

What experience do you aim to communicate with your work?

I use a variety of colour combinations to communicate many things, but colour means something different to everyone. The aesthetic of colour and abstract shape working together interests me and how it evokes balance and feeling.

What are you experimenting with at the moment?

Working in large scale. I always want to create larger artwork. It’s challenging, but I really have fun with it.

How are you staying inspired during quarantine?

I try new things. I experiment with different mediums like drawing, sewing, and working with fabrics. The more experiences I have, the more inspiration I get.

Do you collect/have tips for collecting art?

Yes. I’ve traded with other artists and friends. And I like to collect a variety of art pieces; books, sketches, prints and vintage posters.

Julia's tip for collecting art:

Collect art that moves you. There isn’t just one way of collecting art, it starts with a deep love and appreciation for it.

Thank you for joining us on our remote studio visit with Julia! You can find available works by her here. 

Stay safe, everyone! x


In the studio w/ Rachel Crummey