We had the good fortune of connecting with Julianna Wells and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julianna, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
One of my favorite quotes comes from Vincent Van Gogh – in one of his letters, he said “Not a day without a line” meaning he tried to draw every single day. Thinking about this motivates me to try and paint or draw everyday, and not let one slip past.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am painting my life – the people, landscapes, and stories. I am trained as a realist painter, and so far, most of my artist years have been in school. I made a lot of art as a child and teen, but really started studying in college. I went to Columbus State University for my bachelors and studied with Bo Bartlett independently at that time. After graduating, I decided to go straight to graduate school, and attended the New York Academy of Art, which is deeply rooted in the realist tradition. During those years, I was earnestly trying to learn technique, and I struggled a bit with finding my voice. Having moved back home to Georgia, it all sort of fell into place when I stopped trying to hard.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Culture and nature all the way – the first day we would get some ice cream at Kilwins and take a walk along the beautiful river walk to see the rapids. We could pop into the Bartlett center from there to see some amazing art. From there, we could drive other to the Columbus Museum or visit Oxbow Meadows.
The next day, we would go hiking in one of my favorite places, FDR State Park in Pine Mountain. My favorite trail is to Cascade Falls and the Wolf’s den.
We might take a day trip out to providence canyon, which is the “little Grand Canyon” and on the way back check out Pasaquan as well.
I am so thankful to live in such a beautiful area with so many things to see and do.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am so thankful for the mentorship of Bo Bartlett and Betsy Eby. They are an artist couple who spends summers in Maine and winters here in Columbus, Georgia. Bo is an American realist painter and Betsy is an abstract encaustic painter. I met them when I first began studying art in college at Columbus State University here in Georgia, and they opened my eyes to what it means to create art and showed by example that it is possible to survive and thrive as an artist. They have helped shape the art and culture of our entire community with their support of local art and outreach programs through the Bartlett center. They share so much beauty with the world, and I am so thankful for the guidance they have provided on my artist journey.
Something Bo always says is to “Let your root feed your crown”, which means to let your past and your life feed your art. This is something I have definitely taken to heart in my painting practice and inspiration.