Julie Malone's 'Luminous' Shines at The Sheldon

By Krystin Arneson
In Culture

Local artist and SOHA Studio+Gallery owner Julie Malone is showcasing her latest works in The Sheldon’s Nancy Spirtas Kranzberg Gallery in “Luminous.” The collection highlights an unusual painting technique she’s developed that combines, well, luminous hues with Impressionistic brushstrokes.

The works are primarily landscapes, and Malone says her inspiration for those comes from the weather, which affects her creative processes. “If it were raining today, then [the painting] would have a dark, rainier feel,” she says. She doesn’t use photos to build the landscapes unless a client hands her one to go off of for a commission; instead she relies on memory and imagination.


Julie Malone, “When You Feel Big,” 2015, oil and pastel on wood panel, 11.5 x 15 inches | courtesy of the artist

Her unusual painting technique was catalyzed in high school, when she was learning how to print, and she noted how each plate needed different colors to create a colorful piece. In college watercolor classes, where pigment would blend ever so sensitively with water, she learned how to arrive at the correct color right away. Malone later made the switch to oil, where she was thrilled to discover the almost limitless palette.

Today, Malone likes to own the whole work—and to this end, she builds the panels and frames she paints on herself, although occasionally assistants help her with the really big ones.

Julie Malone, "Petrichor," 2015,  oil and pastel on wood panel, 12 x 10 inches, 2015 | courtesy of the artist

Julie Malone, “Petrichor,” 2015, oil and pastel on wood panel, 12 x 10 inches, 2015 | courtesy of the artist

Along the way, she’s discovered a new painting trick—one she looks forward to exploring. As Malone was working on a commission to be hung in her patrons’ dining room, she realized that it won’t be illuminated by direct or electric light, but more likely by candlelight. She went back and painted it then by candlelight, so that her technique would shine through even in the room’s dim light.

“Luminous” will be showing at The Sheldon through Jan. 23, 2016.

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