Julie Hutchings is an expressive artist who is guided by intuition when capturing contemporary life-drawn figures. For this artist, it is about the journey and not the destination. Hutchings is fascinated by the process of painting from surface to subject, building on her artistic knowledge with weekly life drawing classes.
AC: How did your career as an artist begin? What styles and aesthetics interested you most?
JH: From the moment I could hold chalk in my hand my fate was sealed! Aside from a brief moment when I wanted to become a jockey, art was always my passion. I was extremely influenced early on by Vincent Van Gogh, my fascination with Francis Bacon, Egon Schiele and Turner for his powerful movement.
AC: Has your background in sign-making and graphic design had any sort of influence on your creative practice since?
JH: Sign writing and graphic design instilled the discipline of good drawing and the importance of interesting compositions. Skillful drawing forms the bones of a good painting. AC: What kind of art do you most identify with?
JH: I identify with any art that is expressive & shows technical skill regardless of the subject matter.
AC: Tell us about your association with the racing world which is reflected in some of your paintings.
JH: Most of my early works were related to the horse racing industry. It was my love of horses that led me to a job in a racing stable where I met my future husband John who was a leading jockey at the time. I was also elected to the board of directors of the Clarence River Jockey Club 21 years ago when it was a very male domain.
AC: Would you say that your latest series for the upcoming ‘Women of Substance’ exhibition at Red Hill Gallery is different to your previous work?
JH: I have matured as an artist through discipline and experience and by continuing to change and evolve. More time is spent mark making, drawing and eliminating and building up layers of memory until I am satisfied that the painting is resolved; I think I am more discerning about what I want to exhibit. AC: What materials do you love to work with?
AC: In your statement/CV you say that you want to ‘capture the essence of a subject’ – what draws you to paint a particular subject?
JH: I love the flowing line. Two of my favourite subjects are horse & the female form. With the equine paintings I try to capture the movement & energy. With the female subject it is all about building the layers of emotion and expression with underlying messages. I often paint children many with family pets; this comes from memories or stories and sometimes dreams.
AC: How do you get into the mood to paint? Do you listen to music? If so, what kind?
JH: I am always in the mood to paint or draw, every waking hour my mind is full of ideas. The problem or challenge is to organise those thoughts and express them when I paint. Music is a very big influence; it often helps me channel those thoughts and ideas; beautiful lyrics from songs or poetry.
AC: How would you describe your art in one sentence?