A single black mark on paper or board instantly leads to another and another. Eventually, the work takes shape and decisions must be made where to mark next. Is it best to keep the white space or fill it with activity? These are the questions that are the funniest to answer. Sometimes it leads to an unforgettable piece of work. A mesmerizing piece is what I’m striving for, it’s wonderful when it happens. 

The base of my artwork is my line drawings. From these drawings, my paintings and sculptures develop. I use the same techniques in all three: a focus on negative space and repeating shapes and lines to create movement and light. My paintings allow me to go huge with my drawing technique and to add color. With my Aurora lights, the negative space turns into illumination, so it gives me a lovely fourth dimension. 


The negative space in my work represents the gaps when we aren’t connected to ourself. When we reject ourself, rather than choosing to accept it leaves an open space. I think when we make the effort, over and over (represented in my repeating lines and shapes) to choose to accept ourselves just as we are, then we are choosing unconditional love. This combination of mistakes and then repeatedly accepting allows us to live our lives fully, with freedom and lots of fun. All my pieces represent this process of acceptance and creating a unique, fun life.

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I am a therapist and an artist. The key to happiness is to see ourselves and notice how amazing we truly are, right now, without having to improve a thing. This is easier said than done, but once we get it, we are free to create an amazing life.

I apply these same principles to my artwork. I make art that begins simply, slowly building into a unique piece unlike any other. Honoring and working with flaws until they become the most beautiful aspects of the piece. 

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Julia Vanover.

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