As mentioned in my Artist Spotlight Series Review for 2019, I am trying to ramp it back up for this series which is a favorite among readers.

Please feel free to submit submissions or artist ideas.

Enjoy getting to know this long overdue feature of the talented 

Julie Hansen

Kansas City, Missouri

 

Photography by Rachael Ruffin

What is your training? 

I have a BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Missouri- Columbia.  I began studying Fashion Design at Stephens College in Columbia, but quickly learned that it wasn’t my true passion. 

What inspires you and your designs?

My imagination and my environment both play a role in inspiring me.  For years I painted contemporary, abstracted pastels of the prairies with wildflowers and stunning skies.  Then we moved to Melbourne, Australia and lived there twice, a year each time.  We lived bayside.  Each day I saw the water, the boats, the bathing boxes, and the exotic vegetation.  I joined a Plein air painting group and we met at various beaches to paint, as well as some gardens.  When we moved back to Kansas City, my work in the studio began to evolve!  I was reaching for vibrant paint colors and using bold gestural marks on canvas, sometimes drawing boat imagery onto the surfaces.  I shared them with Serena and Lily in 2015, and they picked me up.  They have allowed my work to reach collectors across the country!  I love painting, it’s so much more than color and brushstrokes to me.  It is about energy, exploration, courage and joy!  Each piece reminds me of a time in my life when I let go of fear, embraced the unknown, and experienced something magical!  In turn, I hope that the viewer relates to the work and it brings them the same wonderful feeling.

Photography by Rachael Ruffin

 What is your favorite piece? 

Brilliant Brushstrokes is my favorite piece.  We were hosting a special celebration at our home, and I wanted a joyful piece to greet our guests as they entered.  It still hangs in our entry and I have made several pieces like it since.  They are all different but have the same feel.  I’m so happy I pushed myself with this one.  Now every time I look at it, it brings my happiness.

Photography by Rachael Ruffin

How has the your area influenced your work?

For years I have worked in garages, kitchens, and unfinished basements.  In 2013 we finished a labor of love, my new studio.  It is a beautiful, yet modest space.  I planned every detail, the farmers sink, big picture windows, double, arched doors and a custom made, work table that opens up like an easel.  We have spot lights for an accent wall and storage files to house more works on paper.  I enjoy creating so much more with a space that inspires me.  It even won an award in 2014 from Professional Artist magazine’s studio contest! 

 

What is your favorite restaurant in Kansas City?

 Definitely Bluestem.  It is a hidden gem in Kansas City.  The food is truly art and tastes amazing. 

What is your favorite cocktail?

 It varies with the seasons.  It’s cold and snowy here in Kansas City right now.  I love to sip a creamy White Russian in the winter!  There’s something comforting about it.

How do you balance personal life and work?

I feel that as an artist, my work is very personal.  It filters through every aspect of my life.  Because I am doing what I love, it hardly feels like work.  However, there are a few things that don’t come so natural to me, like working on my Instagram account, my website, photographing art, invoicing and keeping records.  I do most of these while my children are at school.  They sometimes help me with shipping art and delivering paintings.  I think it’s good for them to see what I do and know that being a professional artist consists of more than just making good art.

Photography by Rachael Ruffin

Dream trip?

I’ve been blessed to have traveled many places, Australia, France, Italy, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Canada, and Denmark.  Our next destination will be Greece!  I can’t wait to go.

Dream commission?

 It would be a dream to work on something monumental!  A public, permanent work on exhibit would be amazing.  I would love to be able to visit it, and share it with others!  That would be thrilling.

Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?

 I love to bring a bottle of wine with a small painting as a card or tag!  It’s colorful, festive and personal.

Who is your style icon?

 I don’t really have one.  My style is jeans, t shirts, and aprons! Lol.  Maybe it’s my Catholic upbringing that makes me comfortable in a uniform.  When I do get dressed up, it’s something feminine and unique, accessorized with one of my hand painted clutches.

 

Your favorite up and coming artist?

 I love so many.  Tricia Strickfaden,

William La Chance,

and GeeGee Collins are a few.

 What is your most treasured possession?

 My children.  They are my heart and soul.

Photography by Rachael Ruffin

What are you reading?

 I have a book on my desk that I’ve dived into, but haven’t finished.  It’s called Left to Tell.  It’s by an author that visited our church, Immaculee Ilibagiza.  She tells a compelling story about how she survived the Rwandan holocaust.

What are you listening to?

I love For King and Country, Hillsong, Mat Kearney, Toby Mac, among others.

 I like songs that are soulful, powerful and give hope.  

What are your favorite blogs / publications?

Art News magazine and The English Room, of course.  

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know 

Be sure to follow her on Instagram too.

Here is a look at a few of my favorite pieces from her website, Saatchi Art and Serena & Lily:

You know I’m crazy about her rainbow hearts! 

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