Julia Wakefield

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

Posts Tagged ‘heron’

Taking to the Southern Skies

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018


I’m currently exhibiting in the upstairs gallery at Urban Cow along with Camilo Esparza, Alan Ramachandran and Amanda Hassett.  The theme was ‘Under Southern Skies’ so I have found myself metaphorically taking to the skies with my interpretation.  Birds are a part of my daily life: in my morning walks by the creek and by the sea I both see and hear them.  A Nankeen Night Heron was roosting in a tree on my front drive for 3 months before I looked up and spotted it, and now, four months after its departure, a relative (offspring?) has moved in to take its place.  When I drive through the city, birds fly over the traffic jams and roost on the high rise buildings; when I travel interstate and to other countries I see the same birds or their relatives and I realise that many of them travel far farther than I do every year, entirely under their own muscle power and just with the help of prevailing winds.



I’m also realising that rather than having one favourite medium, I love to combine media in order to convey a particular idea or feeling, and the birds are leading me into new territory.  Clouds are best conveyed with watercolour, but I’m also finding ways of working with clouds in digital media; the birds in flight are often watercolours or monotypes, but sometimes they morph into silhouettes or patterns, which are best conveyed with handmade stencils or layers in Photoshop.  The works in the current exhibition mark the beginning of this new direction, and I plan to spend the next few months following the birds wherever they lead me.

Iron Man

If you are interested in learning more about how I arrived at some of the images in ‘Under Southern Skies’, I’m giving a talk and a demo on the last day of the show – June 30, at Urban Cow, from 1-3pm.  No need to book – just turn up!

The disappearing Nankeen Night Heron has metamorphosed.

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Back in August/September I put up a series of posts documenting my printing of the Nankeen Night Heron, which I made for the Bimblebox Art Project.  After my website went down due to Internet gremlins, these posts seem to have disappeared. So here is the process once again, all in one post.

This is Stage 1 of the ‘suicide’ or reduction lino print.


Stage 2, red over yellow.


Stage 3, Prussian blue over the other two colours, with a pretty black border

Night heron final

This is what was left of the block.  I just made ten prints, and can do no more as the block is now reduced to the final colour.  I have sent one of the prints to Bimblebox, and sold one.  I’d like to have done more prints, as people seem to like the image.


But then I had a suggestion from my other half….. why not do a monochrome version?

So this is what I came up with, after carving another block, to combine with the one I already had…

Night Heron

I made 50 of these, and I’m sending 26 of them to SSNW 2013, the latest print exchange that I signed up to. The theme was ‘making a difference’, so I hope that in a small way I am making a difference to people’s awareness of the precious beauty of our birdlife.  If I can sell the other 24 prints and donate the proceeds to Birdlife Australia, maybe that will make a slightly bigger difference.