Fluid artist Julie Lark is the featured artist at The Gallery in Mogo until June 23 and produces vibrant, brightly coloured paintings.
So what is ‘fluid art’? Julie says, “It’s the best way I can describe my approach—I like to exploit the movement of different liquid pigments to create my art.”
She drips, pours, dips, swirls or glazes paints and inks onto a non absorbent surface, there they can blend or bleed away or, depending on the different mediums or additives used, break up into a pattern of cell-like shapes and dendrite like edges.
“I love the spontaneity and immediacy of the flow of colours, their blending and unpredictability.” Julie says. The finished product may be seen as pure abstraction, it may assume the form of an imaginary beast coming from a more exotic world, have a landscape quality or suggest the foaming crash of waves on some distant shore. Julie has experimented with surfaces such as ceramic—tile or vase like forms—glass, aluminium or a varnished canvas, but she especially likes to use ‘yupo’ paper, a synthetic paper made from recycled white plastic.
In her latest works she has begun using alcoholic inks. Mixed with isopropyl (a form of spirit also called ‘rubbing alcohol’ or IPA) these highly pigmented inks provide a boldness to Julie’s work. “But” she says, “you must be very careful using these inks and mediums as inhaling them can have long-term health effects.” So Julie always wears a professional quality safety mask.
Using “tons of isopropyl” Julie enlists the aid of an air compressor to control the dilution, direction and spread of the inks.
Her exhibition is dominated by a stunning, circular canvas called ‘Copper Dreams’. Against a clean, almost white background, bold coppery colours bleed into denim or merge with indigo. Different dilutions of the indigo, from the lightest touch to the darkest shade, make up most of this abstract work. A shot of smattered metallic copper winds its way through the colours giving structure and unity to the piece.
Julie, whose first love was watercolour, was looking forward to a new stage of life and eventual retirement, so she decided to undertake intensive studies in the medium. Fate had something else in store for Julie—she discovered she had wet macular degeneration requiring regular injections into the eye. The precision that she loved in watercolour now evaded her, but she didn’t want to give up the art that gave her so much joy. About 18 months ago she discovered ‘fluid art’ and the remarkable results are on show for all to see. Still Canberra based, Julie and husband Derek have a holiday home in Surf Beach. She says, “I love the coast, the sense of community and camaraderie I find in CABBI, The Gallery and Batemans Bay.”
Julie’s work can also be seen on facebook @julielarkartist.
The Gallery is a co-operative venture of Creative Arts Batemans Bay Incorporated (CABBI), a society open to local arts and crafts practitioners. People interested in finding out more about CABBI should drop in to The Gallery, Mogo or phone 02 44742243 or check out the website http://www.creativeartsbatemansbay.com.au