Julia Wakefield

The home page of Julia Wakefield, an independent artist that specialises in illustration and printmaking. Online gallery, recent news and purchase links.

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Drawing is getting more popular!

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Ildiko Tessenyi, Julia Wakefield, Sue Wright and Angy Anderson in an art class.

Me (second left) working on DFTT lesson 5 at Pepper Street, with some considerably less terrified students! (photo courtesy of Brett Williamson)

Well, drawing is apparently becoming a cool thing to do!  Or at least colouring in… as this Guardian article demonstrates.  The appeal of colouring is apparently the way it relaxes the brain, and the book publishers urge people to “take a few minutes out of your day, wherever you are, and colour your way to peace and calm”.

Brett Williamson of ABC Radio 891 felt there was a direct connection between this compulsive colouring-in craze and the growing trend for adults to seek beginners’ drawing classes, so he came to our Drawing for the Terrified class at Pepper Street to find out what it was all about.  To his great relief we didn’t sit him down and draw his portrait, but to my great delight my students were pleased to confirm that the drawing classes are not only relaxing, but also genuinely rewarding.  I think drawing takes us many stages further than colouring in: in addition to relaxing the mind, it stimulates the imagination and shows us how to look at the world in ways we had never thought of looking before.  Above all, it helps to relax us by challenging us: rather than merely being careful not to go over the lines, we have to engage both sides of the brain to understand how to translate a three dimensional object into an image on a two dimensional piece of paper. People often compare a drawing session with a physical workout, while colouring-in is more akin to yoga or massage.

You can read the article here, and this is a short interview that Brett recorded with me:

Drawing workshops in the workplace

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

A classic illustration of the conventional view of the Left Brain/Right Brain dichotomy

A classic illustration of the conventional view of the Left Brain/Right Brain dichotomy

You see a lot of publicity given to stress management workshops these days. According to a 2008 survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics,  1 in 3 adults suffered from moderate to extreme levels of stress, and workplace stress was costing Australian employers more than $10 billion per year – back then. I wonder what it’s costing them now.

Various stress relief methods are offered such as yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, massage and even Laughter Workshops. I’m sure all these methods are very effective, but I have discovered that drawing is also a very efficient form of stress relief – and it enhances creativity as well.

Recently I was invited to run a workshop on the theme of ‘drawing on the right side of the brain’ for Suncorp, as part of a series of stress relieving recreational workshops for employees. The resulting feedback led me to believe that drawing is not only just as relaxing as any yoga or meditation class, but it also stimulates the imagination – and as a bonus, provides a great deal of laughter.

For more about the workshop, read this entry in my drawing blog, Touchpaper Drawing Tips.

SALA is already upon us!

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Yes, some of the SALA exhibitions are open already, and I’m going to spend tomorrow with my nose glued to the grindstone trying to get my own studio into semi-order in preparation for my Grand Opening on August 10.

Open Studio email

The hardest thing about SALA is making time to see any of the exhibitions, and then the second hardest thing is choosing which ones to look at.  My favourite shows are always the open studios, and this time I’d like to visit some of my nearest neighbours, such as Bittondi Printmakers Association (which I belong to), and I’m curious to see Gillian Napier‘s work – she paints animals and marine scenes, and her studio’s in Kangarilla.

Maslin Beach features two open studios, one of a fellow printmaker, Elizabeth Abbott, who’s also in another one at Port Noarlunga Arts Centre, and the other belongs to Eileen Lubiana whom I’ve only just discovered, and definitely want to talk to!

Only open on Sundays and Mondays is Stephen Skillitzi‘s glass studio in Brighton. You can see a demo of his glass blowing skills here.  Another glass artist very close to my studio who’s open for SALA is Glenn Howlett, in Willunga.

Travelling a lot further south, I’d like to pay a visit to Goolwa, to see the Cadell Street Studio, which will be showing work by Yvonne East, and yet another glass artist, Carol Treadwell, is opening her Goolwa studio on August 11. More information about the whole Fleurieu Peninsula SALA program is available here.

I’ll be heading for the Hills at least once during SALA, to visit my beloved Hahndorf Academy, where the Artist’s Voice will be showing a selection of work, some of which was being produced during the last two weeks in the upstairs gallery where it is now being exhibited. And I’m intending to call on Rita Hall, who’s now come back to the Hills from the coast down at Goolwa, and she has a brand new studio in Aldgate that’s open Friday to Sunday from August 9 to the 18.


Rita Hall

Finally, I mustn’t forget to look up a few OPs closer to the city. If I can make time I’d like to visit the Studio Potters Gallery at Klemzig. They are having a grand opening evening on August 9, featuring ‘a fiery Raku surprise’. Sounds exciting!  One OP I will sadly have to miss is Central Studios, which consists of 14 artists’ studios housed in a wonderful old Victorian building next to the Central Markets. Accomplished artists such as Christopher Orchard, Nona Burden and mosaic artist Roz Anderson will be happy to talk to you about their methods on Saturday and Sunday, August 10 and 11, when unfortunately I’ll be at home hosting my own open studio!

And I must also mention the Mechanical Gallery in Waymouth Street, which although it isn’t an open studio as such, is always on display because it’s an open air space.  Preparations for the SALA show are under way already, so if you’re walking down Waymouth Street on Saturday July 27 you might see Ryan Sims and a band of volunteers constructing the next exhibit, while serving tea and cupcakes to passers by.  My ‘mechanical haiku’ are being incorporated in a collage somewhere – I can’t wait to see what Ryan does with them!

All the details of these Open studios are in the SALA guide which you can find at every venue, or you can see the Open studios guide here.

Printmakers needed!

Monday, July 15th, 2013

nankeen night heron

Bimblebox Art Project

I was put onto this admirable project by my friend and fellow printmaker Jorji Gardner, and she’s told me they need more artists, so if you’re a printmaker, now’s your chance to get involved for a good cause!  The art project is supporting the Bimblebox Nature Refuge in Queensland, which is being threatened by a massive coal mining development. The 8000 hectare refuge is one of the very few large areas of intact remnant habitat remaining in the bioregion.

My contribution will be the Nankeen Night Heron, but I still haven’t seen one in the flesh, let alone in the wild, although I believe you can find them around here near Christies Creek. I have no idea yet what form of printmaking I’ll use for this project, but wood engraving seems appropriate as it’s not a brightly coloured bird.

Yes! the Rabbits have a Facebook page!

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Rendezvous à Minuit
After much badgering (if rabbits can badger) the rabbits have persuaded me to open their
Facebook page to the public. So if you like them, please ‘like’ their page, and you will be showered with posts about the best place to buy carrots, which lettuce goes best with Pinot Noir, and occasionally some news about upcoming exhibitions and events.

Black Dog, who’s been distracted a little by my attempts to save the planet by abstaining from plastic, will now be applying my nose to the grindstone and keeping you up to date with what’s happening in my studio. Right now, I’m busy cleaning and tidying, getting ready for the Grand Opening on August 10.



SALA 2013 is looming!

Sunday, July 7th, 2013


Hi, it’s been a very long time since I wrote anything in this blog!  I’ve been preoccupied with 100 trivial things, including a blog about plastic, but I am now focusing on having a neat and tidy studio for my Open Studio during SALA week, which is actually now three weeks, from August 10 to 25.  I’m in the program which came out this weekend, but you can find me and all the other artists on the SALA website. You won’t find me on the publicity for the Mechanical Gallery as I was sailing to Wallaroo on a tall ship when Ryan asked me if I wanted to be involved.  But I will have some haiku on the topic of car mechanics on display at that venue during SALA, along with some fascinating artworks by other artists, alluding to that demanding craft. This is what the gallery looked like in May:


Note , it is now called the Gallery, not the Workshop.

My Black Dog Gallery continues to be virtual, but Black Dog Studio is now up and running and will be on public display on August 10, 11, 17,18, and 24 and 25. I will be there to show you my prints, drawings, mugs, cards, t-shirts and poetry, and you can also have a look at the garden, have a cup of tea or possibly a glass of wine and finish up with a walk on the beach, so bring the dog if you like – but keep it in the car please, as my dog doesn’t like being invaded by strange dogs.

If you’re thinking of coming, I’d love to hear from you, so please drop me a line!


Fringe Exhibition

Monday, March 5th, 2012

It’s about time I reminded everyone to get to the current Red Poles exhibition!  It gave me the incentive to produce some radical new work, combining solarplate with digital colouring, on a Greek Bacchanalian theme.

It’s on for another three weeks, and while you’re there enjoy the ambience, try the delicious food and maybe even stay overnight at the B&B!

Vintage II, 'Allegrezzo'

Vintage II, 'Allegrezzo'

Anyone who likes printmaking will love this show, and anyone who would like to learn more about it needs to visit Bittondi Print Workshop. We are open to the public on the last Sunday of every month. I’ll be running two workshops on solarplate etching at Bittondi later this year.

Black Dog Gallery is opening

Monday, August 8th, 2011

At last!  the Black Dog (slightly grey around the muzzle and paws these days) and I are ready to throw open our gallery doors to the public.  On Sunday August 14, from 2-6pm, we are inviting people to visit the space, view pictures, browse through poetry and mull over ideas for using this space for the remainder of its short life.  It will have to be pulled down at the end of the year or shortly after, so in the next few months I’d like to see it used as imaginatively as possible.  Ideas for exhibitions, poetry readings, workshops, or  using part of it for artists’ studios are all welcome.  For information about how to get there, please contact me.

Yes, I have moved!

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Some of you may be wondering if I am still in my studio in Hahndorf.  Well I have finally updated my homepage, and can announce that I have indeed moved to sunny Port Noarlunga.  I have taken my dog with me and she is shortly going to open a gallery that will exhibit my work and other people’s – more about that soon.   My studio is far bigger and brighter than before, and even has a view!

Port Noarlunga is a wonderful location for artists – a fantastic beach, a reef full of marine life, a river estuary full of birdlife and a thriving arts centre, set in a village atmosphere with cafes, restaurants and Shakespeare’s Book and Coffee shop, a new bookshop that deserves lots of support.

I never know what I’m going to find next on the beach – so I’m starting a little gallery of ‘objets trouvés’, starting with the mermaid in today’s picture.

I have already started teaching a new 5 week  ‘Drawing for the Terrified’ class on Thursday evenings at the Arts Centre.   It has proved so popular that I will be starting a new course on May 19.  More details can be found on my teaching page.  If you would like to enrol, contact me here

Rodents are romancing again back in Adelaide!

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Barbara Russell and Susan Sideris proudly present

Greg O’Leary….. New Paintings


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