Paintings by Julia Carpenter

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Painter Julia Carpenter, on display at the Kirkland Public Library. View open hours.

Featured Artist

Julia Carpenter, Painter
More Information About Julia Carpenter

About the Artist

My paintings are an expression of my angst, empathy, awe and ultimately, gratitude for the tenacity of life.

The portraits I create; be it human or animal, come from a place that began under the spell of grief ever since the death of my younger sister in 2005, trying to process my own incomprehension of the ability of life to leave an entity. I painted to answer my question; how can something so tenacious as life be taken away? The grief, although not gone, has now been transformed within my work into a celebration of life. Preliminary studies and gestural drawings are done in a variety of media and then, once satisfied, I apply, remove, scratch and carve into the oil paint until the person or animal reflects the passion I feel for them and their lives. The push and pull between realistic appearance compared to the unfettered and raw physical characteristics of the acrylic or oil paint is a key ingredient for me to express the difficulty of life for these timorous beasties as well as my unconditional love of all of them.

I hold a Master of Fine Arts from Montana State University and a BS in Art Education of University of Wisconsin-Madison. In Washington since 2010, I am currently faculty at the Art Institute of Seattle, as well as a teacher at Kirkland Arts Center and Daniel Smith Artist Supplies.

For other work see my website at, or send me an email at

All artwork displayed at the Kirkland Public Library Satellite Exhibition is for sale as marked by the Kirkland Arts Center.