Mendocino Coast Artist Julie Higgins is internationally known for her vibrant,
sensual, colorful compositions of voluptuous figures and fertile landscapes that
have delighted art lovers for many years. Working primarily in pastel for it’s
tactile quality and sometimes acrylic, her travels from the ocean to the inland
valleys and beyond are a constant source of inspiration.
Artist and art are both rooted in the Heartland. Born and raised in the Midwest,
Higgins attended the University of Kansas where she earned her B.F.A. in
Painting and Sculpture. She has received many awards and exhibition honors
and her work has appeared in numerous publications. She was Winesong! Artist
of the Year in 2011and the Featured Artist for “Art in the Gardens” in 2009.
Higgins is the resident artist at the Girl and the Fig restaurants in Sonoma, CA
and her work can be found in Mendocino, CA at the Mendocino Art Center,
Highlight Gallery, the Moosse Café, and La Galeria Gitana in San Fernando,
CA. or schedule a studio visit when you are on the Mendocino Coast.
For more information and representation:
I was born and raised in Hutchinson, Kansas; a medium-sized Midwest community built on salt mines, farming and the bible belt. It is a landscape of wide open space populated by conservative salt of the earth folk.
I attended the University of Kansas, first as a ceramic major and later graduating with a B.F.A. in sculpture and painting. I was deeply influenced by the figure and sensual organic form, which seem to provide endless inspiration to me.
Moving to the Skagit Valley region of Washington State, I found pastels were ideally suited for exploring the color and sensual compositions of the regionâ€™s landscape. Pastels offered a more immediate study of form and color. Working primarily with soft pastel due to its vibrant color and tactile quality, the process is very intuitive, with color, form, imagery and symbols often leading from one to the next. My art evolved into a language of symbols by telling a story using the figure and landscape to create sensual compositions of bold color. I later moved to the coastal community of Mendocino, California, a very beautiful rural area. My travels to and from my home take me from the ocean through redwoods to vineyards and rolling hills, continually inspiring me to illustrate symbolically this sensual environment.
I believe that my fascination for ravens may have began in childhood due to the subtle influence of the large population of black crows in my area, and then moving to the pacific northwest where the raven is a powerful symbolic figure of the indigenous people of the area. After moving to Mendocino, where ravens are in abundance, they have become a powerful symbolic figure in my life and art as protector like figures, sometimes they are humorous and at times serious.
My work is a constant process of story telling and pushing into the magic, and the imaginary, which connects me to my sense of nature and how I belong or fit in. It is feeling, emotion, and play set in an ever nurturing landscape with juicy earthy women, sensual form and lots of color. This whole process is how I have come to understand my self and my life in my community and in the world. This process of working with symbols helps me connect with the spirit, and continue my exploration of life and purpose through my art.