Julie Cowan

I have two main interests: portraiture and architecture.

I investigate the idea of place and how spaces make us feel either embraced or alienated. Using architectural themes, I select photographic imagery and then digitally alter the photos to create greater contrasts and stronger line. Often I will choose an image of a figure in space to reach the emotional impact of a space. With portraiture, I begin with large close-up photographic imagery. The photographs, as well as the printmaking technique, reveal imperfection. The delicate nature of the paper printing plates helps to create images that reflect and capture the individual. Political or social themes and arts activities are a new area of investigation and exploration as well.

My paper lithography technique has layers of printmaking and drawing applications so that each piece is a monoprint. First, I shoot the photographic image. Then, once digitally altered, I print the image using a paper-transfer printmaking process with oil-based ink. I then layer the work to create unique works as detail on the prints are hand-colored with pencil or watercolor.

The beauty of imperfection is reflected in an expressive face or an architectural space that is unfinished or distorted,  and the irregularities of print relate these subjects. This imperfection creates an empathy for where we are and who we are uniting us together in grace.
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