Studio Visit: Julia Schwartz
Julia Schwartz is an artist based in California. Her work can be seen in PLEAT's May 2016 exhibition as well as juliaschwartzart.com.
Could you talk a little about your process of making?
Painting starts with a mark, and the mark is a color which usually comes from a dirty brush. The history of my painting lives in those brushes and palette so I try not to clean them very often. At this point-- starting a painting-- I'm looking rather than thinking. Looking could be out the window of the studio at the greens and other colors, but I am also looking nowhere or in, which is like being in a transitional space. I'm not looking at the painting so much as being with the painting. I've written before that my intention is to paint without conscious intention. I am painting, not thinking and in the early part, actually most of the way through the painting, it is important to just stay in that area of not-thinking. It is only near the end when editing is important, when I want to start thinking about the painting. Then I'm looking at the painting in a different way; looking at versus being with the painting.
The titles of your work in this show allude to transitory states. How does this relate to your concept?
Titles for paintings sometimes come during the painting and are a part of the making, but sometimes, as in this case, they come at the end, like the last stroke or punctuation, or the last line of a poem.
This series came after a period of time in which I had worked solely on paper. Those works on paper, which I generally do late at night and refer to as #insomnia or #nightstudio, are done in gouache on bristol paper or -recently- have been painted directly into a 3000 page book. They almost never have titles, by the way, and might be understood best as a single work rather than individual works.
For the past year I have been addressing all manner of 'seismic' disasters, and imagining the unimaginable; what does it look like to make sense out of senselessness?
The language of transformation and transfiguration expressed in the titles (transport, dispersal) came out of these ideas and themes that were being worked through over the past year, and in many nights of insomnia painting: transience, transformation, metamorphosis, and letting go...
Where do you see your work going in the future?
I'm never really sure how to answer that other than in a very general way I expect that I will keep going as I have been, making work that reflects my trying to make sense of my situation and circumstance. Painting with both oil and gouache is a language familiar and dear to me but also necessary like breathing. Recently, I have become interested in making objects, using certain personal historically meaningful materials. Already there is a learning curve which is both enjoyable and challenging