“When life takes you places, it forever changes your compass. I feel it’s important for the viewer to understand where the artist is coming from. There’s always a why, even when we sometimes don’t know it or can’t explain it. I believe that this is my “why.” This is how I came from being an impressionistic landscape painter to an expressive abstract artist. I wouldn’t say that I’ve abandoned my first love, I will always enjoy painting my pastels! However, there’s a new genre that has ignited my passion as well.
Eleven years ago our family moved to Australia, and then we did it again eight years later. We embraced the opportunity because we love to travel, our kids were young, and we knew that it would be short term. We lived there for one year each time. Being an artist from the Midwest, where the beauty of the prairies and skies inspired much of my work, this was quite a change. We lived bayside in Melbourne, Victoria. The view each day was serene. The blue of the sea melting into the blue sky was truly breathtaking. As we explored the country, I found a new inspiration for my art. Eager to paint this new environment, I joined a plein air painting group. This native group of Australians showed me their favorite painting locations, and each time was a treat. Sometimes we were in gardens painting the brilliant, native vegetation that glowed under the intense Australian sun. Other times we were in the sand, painting the sea and sky, the birds, the colorful bathing boxes, or up on a cliff overseeing the beauty below.
I hold these memories dearly. They serve to inspire my new body of work, the Colorscapes, which are similar to a color field painting. Some are purely abstract, with lively brushstrokes, reflecting the bright colors abound. These expressive abstracts are painted with intuition of color, balance, and design. In other abstracts, you may find boat-like imagery within the painting. I carefully place these shapes in the piece. They hold symbolic meaning to me. They embody peace and harmony, as well as a spirit of exploration and adventure. You will find that I have a love of color!
Thank you for your interest in my work, and I hope that it touches your soul and uplifts your spirit.” – Julie Rachelle Hansen, 2018