Who are you?
Julie Turner living and exhibiting at 6 Beach Road, Emsworth (venue 16) on this year’s Emsworth Arts Trail.
What type of artist are you?
I’m an contemporary printmaker, mostly creating monoprints and screenprints – sometimes combining both techniques.
Do you have a background in art/design – when did you first start your creative journey?
I started my creative journey at the tender age of 6, winning a ‘colouring-in’ competition with the local newspaper. Growing up I was always drawn to creative endeavours, from dressmaking and pottery to fine art and embroidery. While at sixth form I remember watching ‘Top of the Pops’ on a Thursday night, making sketches of the latest fashions and then rushing out on Saturday morning to buy some cheap fabric to knock up an outfit to wear that evening (although I admit to plenty of safety pins as life was too short for buttonholes at that age!).
Although encourage to follow a mathematics and science education I found myself drawn to the Arts and switched my Maths and Science teaching degree to Maths and Creative Arts after one term. Post university I decided to work in communications and advertising and won a place on a graduate scheme. I’ve been lucky to spend much of my professional life working in various communications and creative roles within a wide variety of businesses all over the world.
I came back to printmaking around 8 years ago, when I decided to enrol on a City & Guilds Printmaking course. Once I started printing, I was hooked and have been learning and practicing various forms of printmaking ever since.
Can you describe your creative process?
Printmaking calls on both creative and mechanical skills. You have to learn the mechanics of printmaking while learning how to express yourself creatively within the medium.
For me it all begins with a starting point, maybe a photograph, a field sketch or just a feeling for a place. From here I consider what the best printmaking approach would be and then explore colour palettes, type of paper and the size of the end piece.
When I work I often get absorbed in creating the image and will go with the medium, often starting with one plan that leads to others and more often or not the end result can either be a happy surprise or a complete disaster. I now recognise mistakes help move you forward by learning more about the process.
What or who inspires you?
I love looking out to sea; I enjoy the way it constantly changes. It’s that feeling of a place I try and communicate in my work.
All the amazing abstract artists and printmakers I follow on Pinterest and Instagram inspire me. I love following interior and colour trends and try to make pieces that I would hang in my home.
What do you enjoy most about the process?
Learning different techniques and developing my own approach to the physical process of printmaking is something I love. It’s a constant challenge – change one small thing and the whole outcome can change – rather like the sea.
Can you describe your studio/workspace?
The press I use to make my monoprints is extremely old, heavy and valuable, so I go to a printmaking studio in Portsmouth called the Omega Centre. The studio is set up with one room for oil based printing with the large presses I describe, with the other room set up for screen printing using water-based acrylics.
To make the most of my time in the studio I plan my ideas, make sketches and use the computer at home to prepare for my time in the studio.
What keeps you going whilst you work – soundtrack? Snacks? A fluffy assistant?
Working in the studio with other people is fun as you can share ideas and have a chat. But when the real work begins I tend to disappear off into my own world. I do however like a bit of Classic FM in the background if my fellow artists don’t object.
I often forget to eat when I’m absorbed in printing – so I have to remember to take breaks or eat before I start. I’m usually ravenous when I get home.
What can we expect to see from you on this years’ art trail? – How does this vary from previous years (if applicable)
This year I’m combining monoprint backgrounds with screen print foregrounds. I’m also working in new colour palettes at different sizes on lovely Somerset art paper.
I’m lucky enough to have my work on display at PO10, Emsworth’s new lifestyle and interior shop. This has given me a good insight into what customers like and I’m trying to respond to some of this with my work this year.
Where are you exhibiting? – What can people expect from the location?
I’m exhibiting at home in our open plan extension at the back of the house. I try and create a gallery atmosphere and let people imagine how my art will look on their walls at home. Those who came last year will know the space wasn’t quite finished… this year I’m glad to report I have a kitchen and a lovely remodelled garden.
Why did you want to take part in the trail?
I was always a keen visitor on The Emsworth Arts Trail and set myself the goal after completing my City and Guild to exhibit. I took the plunge six years ago and was then encouraged to help with the publicity for the trail, which I have be doing for the last five years.
What are your artistic ambitions?
My ambition would be to have my own printmaking studio where I could start printing fabric and wallpaper. I’d also love to run workshops and courses for budding printmakers.
I would love to meet you during this year’s trial, so do please pop in and say hi!