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Artist to Artist: Julie Riker by Bill Schmidt

I first met Julie Riker in June 2011 when I was the Master Artist and Mentor for the Artists Colony at the Gettysburg Arts Festival. Julie was one of the promising artists who had applied for and been juried into the Colony, and it was quickly apparent that she was one of the most talented. I presented demos and critiqued their work as the artists painted; we mainly did landscapes, creeks and ponds, farm buildings, houses. Julie did everything very well, no matter the subject.

Since then I have mainly been in touch with her through her Facebook posts. What has impressed me most over the years is how good she has gotten at whatever she paints, even as she tackles a variety of motifs – buildings, interiors, panoramas, water/harbors, flowers and still lifes, etc. She appears to do what she wants, and it’s apparent she loves what she does.

Julie has the unique ability to transform what could be a simple arrangement of objects into a compelling composition that she executes in a dynamic fashion – it’s her interpretation of what she sees that is so impressive. The closest example to her ability I can cite is my instructor in Buffalo who turned the alley outside his house, complete with garbage cans, into a lovely street scene – minus the cans, of course.

One of Julie’s recent paintings that really hit me was a simple kitchen scene with chairs and a table and light streaming in; the background seemed to fade into the almost semi-abstract. To see the range of this talented artist, browse through Julie’s lovely works in Les Poissons and go to the timeline on her Facebook page.

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