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art by julie read

I began painting at the age of thirty, after being taken by the artwork of a rural folk artist in Dorset, VT while on a road trip. The artist, Richard Chalmers, painted clever scenes on scraps of wood and left them in the yard allowing the art patron to take the art, with the option of leaving cash in an honor jar. With a playful notion to create humorous art, I signed up for a painting class offered by Max Grover in Port Townsend, Washington where I live. I learned to use Acrylic paints and work from my imagination. After 4 years of eager practice, I had a collection of paintings and a solo exhibition at the Max Grover gallery in Port Townsend. After selling nearly every piece on opening night, I have been in pursuit of a career as a fine artist ever since.


My original inspiration to make art and early training with Max Grover is resonant in my practice now. Max Grover claims that “Painters paint what they know”. This to me has become an important guide as I chose my next subject. In this way my work represents contemporary American surrealism, as I select images from my own life as an American, and my style of art is mostly surreal. There is a thread of narrative to my much of work. Often it's humorous, but I'm not trying to be cute. I'm inclined to refer to objects and images from my childhood reflective of my middle-class, suburban upbringing and memories of the windswept plains and sun-soaked Mountains of Colorado and Wyoming. My art is an expression of my philosophies, which heavily rely on the absurd, bizarre, scary, imbalanced, complicated, beautiful and mostly meaningless.

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