julie paschkis: folksy storyteller
By Patricia Belyea
There I learned that Julie, at 16, finished her last year of high school studying folk arts and crafts in Norway. After two years at Cornell University, Julie transferred to the School for American Craftsmen at RIT where she focused on textiles and earned a BFA. Although her naive artwork didn’t fit in at school, a wise professor told Julie that her personal style would be her strength.
Once on the West Coast, Julie gained a teaching certificate from UW and a way to make a wage. Julie worked a short time as an art teacher until she received her first children’s book contract. From that point on, Julie made her livelihood with her artistic talents.
On the second floor, light flooded the studio where Julie paints. She only uses a computer to digitally deliver her scanned artwork.In the last two decades, Julie has written and/or illustrated over 30 children’s books. Her book, Yellow Elephant, inspired Julie’s first fabric collection produced by In The Beginning Fabrics in 2009.With seven fabric collections to date, each features a whimsically illustrated panel complemented by fabrics with all-over patterns.
Julie also produces greeting cards for Trader Joe’s, Artists To Watch and other greeting card companies.
Just three years ago, Julie took a beginning quilt-making class. This spring she mounted a one-woman quilt show at the Bitters Co. barn in La Conner, Washington. True to form, her quilts tell stories in a folksy graphic style.
Mr. Big, 11′ x 18′ and made of wool blankets, stole the show as it cascaded down the side of the classic Skagit barn.
Julie’s husband, Northwest artist Joe Max Emminger, returned home just before my visit was over. Joe paints in a small studio in the backyard and a 1000 sf studio at Magnuson Park.
During my short immersion in Julie’s colorful world, she mentioned that painting makes her happiest.
To share some of Julie’s joy, I’m giving away one signed copy of her book: Mooshka, A Quilt Story. To participate in the giveaway, leave a comment below about Julie’s artwork before midnight PST on July 15, 2015.
This giveaway in closed. The winner is Nadine N. of Manteca CA.
To visit Julie’s website +click here
To buy an archival print of Julie’s paintings +click here