Artist Spotlight Series: Julie Ferris

I have long coveted the magical work of this artist.

Now that I have my dream horse that could happen one day.

Her passion for art and horses is pure perfection through her paintbrush.

Enjoy getting to know

Julie Ferris

Atlanta, Georgia

What is your training? 

BFA in Painting – Savannah College of Art and Design, Minor in Equine Studies

What inspires you and your designs?

Horses are my main muse, however I ultimately pull inspiration from everything and anything: history, my life, my experiences, my faith, my hopes and dreams, my likes and dislikes, success and failures, observations and reflections …Creating my work is how I visually translate these things and communicate what cannot be said through words. I believe my work has meaning and that art can change lives. I know horses change lives so art of horses seems to me like it has the ability to change lives times two. Both horses and art have been a passion for me since I was young. The extent of inspiration is limitless from architecture to printmaking and even the oil texture of Monet and Van Gogh, I find myself wanting to marry all the things I am inspired by and am aesthetically drawn to into my work. I love studying the work of other artists, past and present, of all genres. My continual experience through learning fuels my inspiration.

What is your favorite piece? 

It is so difficult to pick a favorite piece but one of my favorites is my second life-sized work titled: Sculpture in Motion, 2019, Oil on Canvas, 100”x133” currently available for purchase

How has the your area influenced your work?

I started my business in Savannah, GA after graduating from SCAD and lived there for three years before moving back home to Atlanta. The charm and history of Savannah definitely inspired my work as I loved the antebellum style and charm of old architecture. Since high school I have been interested in finding ways to contrast the old and the new in my art and living in Savannah continued to confirm this in my work. Living in Atlanta is much more fast paced and the energy from living in a big city is inspiring and helps to motivate me in a different way. There is always something happening and people going places and the energy of that is a unique motivating tool and helps me to feel like I am a part of something big. As a city artist I think of my work as a resting place in the middle of busyness and chaos. I love the idea of my work being in a city because I can channel the peace and slowness of horses and equestrian culture that I have experienced and am passionate about in the hustle and bustle of life in a big city. I want my work to be a visual experience of rest, beauty, conncectivity, and reflection when people see it in their homes and various spaces. I think the conscious and subconscious interaction with the visual horses in a living or work space helps to connect us with their powerful emotive symbolism and the healing and inspiration horses can bring to our lives.

What is your favorite restaurant in Atlanta?

One of my favorite Atlanta restaurants is Two Urban Licks located on the Atlanta Beltline and owned by Bob Amick. It has a huge floor to ceiling mural painting by the late Todd Murphy that the design and interior was centered around. The wood fired cuisine and rotating live rotisseries make the food and experience of the restaurant unique and memorable.

What is your favorite cocktail?

Margarita on the rocks with salt 🙂

How do you balance personal life and work?

Balancing personal life and work is difficult especially since my work is both personal and business for me. I have found the best way to balance both of these to to set aside time for each thing so in a typical day from when I wake up to when I go to sleep, I usually allocate 70% of my day to work and business activities and then 30% to personal life and myself. Not every day looks exactly the same though I try to stick with those percentages each day. Since I work from home I make sure to get outside to walk the dogs and go to the gym most days or meet with friends for breakfast or dinner. It is always a bit of a balancing act that you have to plan out to make it work for you. It helps me to write out a daily schedule in time-blocks to see where I am putting my time and energy throughout the day.

Dream trip?

My dream trip would involve horseback riding through beautiful landscapes. I try to ride everywhere I travel when possible. I would love to go on a South African Horse Safari or wine tour.. or combination of both!

Dream commission?

I would love to be commissioned to paint the incredible Belgian Warmblood HH Azur “Annie”

Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?

I love to bring wine to any host/hostess

Who is your style icon?

Grace Kelly

Your favorite up and coming artist?

Rachel Personett

What is your most treasured possession?

My two weenie dogs Gretchen Wieners and George Louis and my horse Vienna 🙂

What are you reading?

Currently reading several books but really enjoying The Science of Landscape: George Inness and also Originals by Adam Grant and a book called What Great Paintings Say

What are you listening to?

I often listen to Jordan Peterson podcasts and Artcurious by Jennifer Dasal

What are your favorite blogs / publications?

Artsy, Red Dot Blog, Natural Pigments,  Morning Brew, Dwell, Architectural Digest, The Chronicle of the Horse, Horse & Style Mag, Puissance, Sidelines, US Equestrian

Be sure to follow Julie on her website and Instagram. 


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