Julie Rae is a painter specializing in tropical and nature inspired imagery. She takes her beholders on a whimsical journey of tropical seascapes & birds. Fascinated by the mixture of color, Julie loves to create textured backgrounds topped with bold designs & fun, flowing lines. She works mostly with acrylics on canvas, bringing to life vibrant paintings in a tropically infused style!
A Northwest native of Spokane, WA. Julie Rae lived in Hawaii for 20 years and spent one year in Nagoya, Japan. She is a graduate of UH Hilo, also attended Nanzan University and earned her BA in Japanese Culture & Language. This fusion of cultural experiences can be seen in many of her lively paintings.
Currently living in Coeur d’Alene, ID, Julie Rae aspires to have her work shown & enjoyed locally, in Hawaii, and in Japan. Her bright and expressive detail is bound to bring a spot of cheerfulness to any space it’s displayed. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram under ‘Art by Julie Rae’!
For me painting is a combination of my study of texture & contrast, and in my belief that art must take its own path. I prefer not to completely plan my pieces, and instead appreciate the point when they begin to speak to me and I start taking instruction. I believe that each piece will take me by the hand to lead me where I didn't know I would go. This to me is pure joy.
My desire for color & texture variation is very strong when it comes to painting. I love to put glossy paint next to flat, circles next to lines, and use colors that don’t normally match. My job is then to reconcile them into something harmonious, one of my favorite things to do. I want the onlooker to delight in the abnormalities of something that doesn’t look quite real and yet feels completely balanced.
When people see my paintings I’d like them to feel happy and to take a moment to enjoy the details & intricacies I've put in them. I've always been a positive person and I like to create pieces that convey feelings of happiness & joy. I also look at my finished pieces as a viewer and have to remind myself it was my hands that created them. My ultimate hope is that others will find my body of work interesting, delightful & unique, and that it will stand long after I'm gone!
I’ve been fascinated by Japan for as long as I can remember, and my first art inspirations were Japanese Ukiyoe artists such as Utamaro, Hiroshige, Utagawa and Hokusai. They worked mostly with woodblock prints and I fell in love with their crisp, two dimensional art style. At a young age it became my dream to live in Japan and immerse myself in their rich and vibrant culture. My dream came true when I was fortunate enough to study abroad at Nanzan Daigaku in Nagoya for my junior year at UH Hilo. The experience was amazing and I was able to visit many temples and small towns. A lot of tears were shed when I left Japan and I hope to return soon!
I was lucky enough to move to Hawaii when I was just 21. What started as a fun experience with a friend turned into 20 years of learning & love for one of the warmest cultures in the world. I fell head over heals with the people, the beaches and the ocean while living on the islands of Oahu, Maui & Big Island. I worked as a bartender at such places as the Grand Wailea Resort and La Familia Restaurants in Maui. I also worked at the beautiful Napili Kai Beach Club, Maui and the historic Naniloa Hotel, Big Island. The bright & colorful look of Hawaiian Art has always been appealing to me and I find the Surf Art movement completely awesome & fun!
These days I live in beautiful Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, which has the largest body of water I could find near my family. I was so happy to find that the arts are flourishing here and creative people are everywhere! It is the influence of the art and philosophy of Hawaii, the South Pacific & Asia in combination with my own Pacific Northwest Culture that I try to incorporate into most of my paintings. Using other artists as mentors I constantly challenge myself to take my art to new levels. Thanks to social media I feel very happy to be part of an international community of artists promoting peace and understanding thru the arts these days!
Julie Rae is a member of both the Coeur d’Alene Arts & Culture Alliance and the Coeur d’Alene Art Association.
University of Hawaii at Hilo. BA in Japanese Studies & Culture.
Nanzan University, Nagoya Japan. Certificate in Japanese Language & Studies.
Studied Japanese Woodblock printing under Sensei Tatsuhiko Hasegawa.
“Sometimes my paintings laugh at me when I indicate what I want them to do.”
“Some say that artists create art, but as most artists know it is art that creates them.”
"Sometimes paintings scream in my head to get out, at others they knock softly at the door."