Julie Tugwell

Julie was brought up to appreciate the arts by attending ballet performances, dancing at PACT as a young child and visiting art galleries with her mom from a young age. It took some time before she decided to fulfill her dream of painting full-time and realized that if she wanted to succeed as a painter she wasn't going to wake up one morning as a qualified artist - she had to work at it and time wasn't on any dreamer's side.

"To be an artist is a tireless observing obsession and an overwhelming need to absorb, there is no fixed time table or schedule - it's a constant urge to learn and express, and there is so much to learn". 

Julie lives and breaths her art throughout her days but sticks to a strict routine of studio time separated by family time. Her studio is filled with the sound of informative lectures and music.  "I love to discover, be made aware of and listening to talks or to books, as my days are too busy to read, it is a huge part of loving my studio time".

Julie lives with her son Cameron and her partner in Knysna. Her art work can be seen in private collections  and have been shown in Lynn Schaffer Gallery, The Start Gallery, Imbizo and Chris Tugwell Gallery, Crouse Gallery, Milkwood Gallery.

Currently her paintings can be viewed in Knysna Fine Art , Gallery of Grande Provence , Axis Gallery , Artvark Gallery and  Galleryone11 




Knysna Fine Art Group exhibition 2018

Knysna Art Society Group exhibition 2019

  • Woman

  • Spring in Timber Town

Gallery One11 Botanica Terrarum 

Julie has gone through many artistic phases and stages and strongly believes that starting out in monotones has helped her with understanding tonal value which at times can even be more important than colour.

From black and white nudes, Julie went into what she calls her "immediate surroundings Stage" painting postcard size landscapes. "I have a fond appreciation for landscape artists that can capture the essence of a landscape without making it feel like a kitsch fruit salad", and with her miniature landscapes a bread and butter range began.

" .........but landscapes was not what I yearned for...... "

In 2013 Julie's love for nature ushered her into larger flower paintings and  with the encouragement of a leading South African art dealer her next phase began.....  Some of these paintings can take up to five months to complete. Constructing her paintings, picking grasses and flowers and taking photos is only the start of weeks of judgement and errors. Her backgrounds are free and a contrast to the very delicate form of flowers. Mostly her blooming buds and Flowers are distinctive alongside the dried out grasses "I want with each flower painting, to be able to find the judicious balance between the  abstract and the detailed fine strokes, all in one piece, without the painting looking like two separate paintings. In other words the differentiation of  techniques must harmonize. My same determined need is in life, persistently aiming to find the balance!"

These series of beautifully depicted flowers have sold well but there was a greater eagerness .....

Julie has an impelling desire to paint what she feels inside.....

"....even though in moments I feel frustrated as time goes by,  I know I need to learn to perfect a painting first before I would have the knowledge of being able to distort, twist and faultlessly disfigure a line.

 My current fine detailed pieces are personal.  Some scenes I have found and placed myself in which perfectly represents my inner emotions if they were to be visually shown and some pieces are a  part of my own personal time line....."

Julie is impassioned by abstract paintings that are  "effective, wistful , mind-blowing and expressive" 

In her current series she is rallying up sententiously tender creations that eloquently evokes a sadness we all carry....... "through these tenderly fervent pieces of  almost but never perfect tones, light, and techniques, I can portray the perceptions, hoping that soon I will scratch through with impetuous courage and freedom and 'throw paint' with meaning!!!"