“Inspirational” would be the one word I would use to describe
Julie Yamamoto and her creative work as an artist. Recently featured in an art exhibition in Atlanta, Julie’s work is
“vibrantly colored”, “playful”, and “jubilant.” When she was younger, she use to love painting, but as she grew older --
work and family became a priority and her art took a secondary role for a while. Then, about a year ago, Julie took an art
class with her daughter Ellia and she found her artist spirit re-awakened.
A quote at her website by Leonardo da Vinci seems to capture the exhilaration of her work: “ Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
Julie describes her work as “Abstract nature” and “Asian themes,” but admits that her pieces are difficult to categorize into a single art genre given her love for experimentation and the fact that she sees herself as still growing as an artist. She loves to garden and the beauty of nature is evident throughout many of her pieces including “Dahlia Dream,” a multi-media creation which utilizes catalog papers with Japanese papers (both pre-colored and hand painted) along with golden strands in the center representing the stamens to achieve an animated effect where the vivid colors resonate nature’s whimsy. In this work you can see her fascination with the unique, interesting contrasts in texture or form, her affinity for nature, and a carefree openness to experimentation.
Julie Yamamoto’s work was also influenced by the five years she spent studying in Japan as a student, where she was fortunate
enough to experience many traditional Japanese art forms such as kimekomi (kimono fabrics pressed into wooden shapes such as vases
or dolls), chigirie (Japanese torn paper collaging) and other forms of Japanese paper art, lacquer ware, and calligraphy. One of her
most striking pieces is entitled “Dreams.” The process she used in creating this work was described by the artist as follows:
“For Dreams, I had done some work previously where I was working with a black background. For this painting, I took out every
single color in my paint box and laid them out on my palette in the schemata of the rainbow, trying different techniques and
introducing gold leaf.” This piece leaves the viewer with a sense of dissolving into a “fantasy dream world.” The work provides
an illusion of multiple dimensions and allows the mind to contemplate the fullness of “conjured imagination.”
Most recently, Julie’s work is abstract expressionism based loosely on nature and inspired by the world around her.
Nowhere is this more evident than the piece entitled “Abstract Dye 1,” a celebration of color and light. To me the work is a
metaphor for “a man and woman embracing” and to the artist; she sees a “kind of abstract flower with a rising sun to the right.”
This is the beauty of Julie Yamamoto’s creations; they transcend a representation of physical reality and allow the viewer the
freedom to extract their own sense of meaning and emotion.