Julie Uhler has been seriously working as an artist for about 12 years, mostly using oil paint and pastels. Her work is emotive but based in strong artistic fundamentals. She features both portraiture from life and photographed subjects, plein air landscapes and still life. She accepts commissions and teaches in her home studio.
Julie Uhler will participate in her first Chatham Studio Tour the first two weeks in December. Her artistic journey recently brought her to Chatham County and the Chatham Artist’s Guild. Raised in Charleston, SC, Uhler moved to Boston and remained there for 30 years. With a business degree in Marketing, her corporate experience included programming, sales and installation of Marketing Information systems to the pharmaceutical industry. In Boston, she also founded her own desk top publishing company “Creative Ink”, where she provided a variety of desktop publishing services, such as typesetting computer reference manuals. This was her first experience with graphic design. With the birth of her two daughters, Julie was a stay at home mom for some time.
It was the death of her own mother that inspired her initial foray into creative art. “Mom always wanted me to be an artist, so I took my first oil painting course,” she remembers. Her first studio was the family dining room. She was accepted into an area gallery and rose to be co-chair of the organization.
“Over time, I realized that my inexperience in drawing was holding my painting back,” Julie realized. She then completed a two year drawing program at the highly renowned Academy of Realist Art in Boston.
Julie’s life hit a significant obstacle with a divorce and a diagnosis of breast cancer. “My art saved me,” she explains. “I began attending a new church – Cathedral Church of Saint Paul, an Episcopal Cathedral located right on the Park in Boston. It had a diverse congregation, including homeless people. Julie volunteered to paint 15 portraits of parishioners and worked to include homeless, physically handicapped, transgender and otherwise marginalized people into the project. The project lasted a year and resulted in a major exhibit titled “Faces of God’s Love”. After the exhibit, all of the portraits were gifted to the people she had painted. “I advanced my painting skills and also felt a great sense of community” she asserts.
In 2017, Uhler had a major opportunity to advance her art. She was accepted to study portraiture at the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy. After a month of touring Italy and a month studying in the studio, she returned home and sold her house in Boston. She then moved to North Carolina and landed in her new home and studio in Chatham’s Fearrington Village.
Julie’s art ranges from $350 to $1000. She has shown in galleries in Boston and makes her Chatham Studio Tour debut this year.
Interview by: Vidabeth Benson and Forrest Greenslade