Raised in the UK and currently based in Italy, Julian has been painting for most of his life, and also teaching visual arts to students of all ages and abilities for over 25 years. He initially trained at art schools in Kingston and Norwich in England before specialising in Illustration in London.
After moving to Italy in 2007 and restoring a large farmhouse on the border of Tuscany and Umbria, Julian began hosting on-site art retreats to guests from around the world and several years later added traveling art and photography retreats at locations around the globe through his company EASEL&LENS. Between the courses at home and retreats around the world, he still finds time to paint his large-scale architectural pieces inspired by some of his favourite cities.
The paintings begin from photos that are gathered on various travels. The right light, that perfect angle, the small details that catch the eye. The photo is honed and prepped and then ready to be the muse for the next few months of the meticulous work of rendering each brick, every piece of iron, and window reflection.
The canvas is prepared, and the layers begin. Sometimes in layers as are created by the actual scene -starting with the bricks, next to the windows, next to the fire escapes, then to the shadows they produce on top. Other times the layers are done section by section across the canvas, one window at a time from start to finish, next the intricate wood panels of a doorway, then to the clouds in the sky past the satellite dishes.
Mostly painted by small brush strokes, each painting takes hours, leading to days, weeks and usually months to finish. Culminating in a beautiful realistic-by-far, yet painterly-by-near experience for the viewer.