About Julie Podstolski

Welcome to my blog!  Here is a short introduction to my art career.  Born and raised in Wellington, New Zealand, I studied art at University of Canterbury in Christchurch,  gaining a Diploma of Fine Arts (3 year course) with a major in painting.  I graduated in 1980.

An oil painting from art school days. (1979)

I moved to Australia with my husband in 1982.  We thought it would be for a year but three decades later we are still here – with three Australian daughters; Emily, Alicia and Lucy.  Matthew and I live in Perth, Western Australia.

I am a full time artist who, in 1994, rediscovered coloured pencils.  (I say ‘rediscovered’ because I used to draw with coloured pencils when I was a child and a teenager.)

A coloured pencil drawing from the 1970s of my Polish dolls.

From art school until 1994 I painted with oil paints.  What inspired me to use pencils was the birth of daughter no. 3 (Lucy).  I wanted to paint but was frustrated by the demands of motherhood.   I wondered – why not use dry media?  As pencils aren’t wet, they can be picked up and put down without negative consequences.   No longer would I be annoyed by mixed oil paints on the palette drying out before I could even get around to applying them to canvas.  (What I mean is, I used to put the baby to bed, then mix up some paints on the palette.  Sometimes she didn’t want to sleep so I wouldn’t even get around to beginning to paint.)

I bought pencils, paper and never looked back.  For some years I alternated between  painting and drawing but in the end I had to admit that I preferred working with dry media to wet.

"Spring Song" coloured pencil drawing, 2012.
“Spring Song” coloured pencil drawing, 290 x 430 mm, 2012.

In 2003 I accompanied Matthew to Japan for a business trip.  There I saw a maiko (apprentice geisha) in Kyoto.  I quickly photographed her and when I returned to Australia I made two drawings of her.  Since that time I have learned everything I can through books, films, friendships and social media about maiko and geiko (geisha).  I have returned to Kyoto 18 times since that first trip to photograph maiko and geiko in order to draw them.  (In 2018 I think I am finished with this subject.)

“Coiffed” drawn in 2015.

I started this blog in January 2013 with the aim of writing about coloured pencils but many months later I find that this is also a place to show photographs.  I take so many photos!  Before the blog I never had the chance to show them to anybody.  I enjoy sharing photographs just as much as writing posts about drawings.

In January 2021 my website got a beautiful makeover. You can see my whole collection of oil paintings and coloured pencil drawings (over 40 years of art works among many different categories) by clicking HERE.

Matthew and Julie in Bruges, December 2013.
Matthew and Julie in Bruges, December 2013.

My Facebook art page is…  www.facebook.com/JuliePodstolski

Click on Contents of Posts Index to check out my posts on drawing and photography.

Much of my recent work is mixed media – coloured pencils and oil pastels.   This new work has elements of abstraction and realism so I call this style Abstract Realism.

To understand my mixed media technique, take a look at Brush and Pencil.

To learn how I make colours glow, check out Undercover White

To see how I team up Neocolor with Luminance, see Perfect Partners: Neocolor and Luminance

“Rhapsody in Gold”
August 2017

Art is my friend and companion.  I don’t do art for money or to enable me to “be someone”.  Indeed, if I try to “be someone” I always fall short.  The profound joy of observation and then recreating my vision with coloured pencils is my recipe for a rich and fulfilled life.

My most visited page on this blog is the Art Materials page. This page has links to three posts where I share my methods – at the bottom of that page.

In April 2022 I was Ann Kullberg’s guest artist on her CONNECT webcast.

15 thoughts on “About Julie Podstolski

  1. foresterartist

    Julie you have my respect, your drawing is amazing. Watercolor, and pen and ink are my media of choice. I think really good colored pencil is very difficult. You work is extraodinary!

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hi Tim, somehow I missed your comment until just now. Well, there you go…because I’m hopeless with watercolour, pen and ink (and pastel). Its wonderful that there are so many types of media for us to ‘find’ our voices with.

  2. Jules Forth

    Julie, I just love your work and yours is the only blog I follow .. it’s so interesting. Do you know when you’ll next be having a show. My husband and I loved your works of Paris, especially since we lived there for a couple of years. Do you have any other works for sale of Paris?
    Kind regards, Jules Forth

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Jules, that is indeed a compliment you pay me. YES to another exhibition. I am exhibiting in Perth (Elements Gallery, Dalkeith) this coming September. The show opens on 4th and runs until 22nd. I’m calling it “Life is Beautiful”. There will be drawings from Paris, Kyoto, New York and Fremantle. Who knows what I’ll draw between now and then. My husband and I are travelling to the South Island of New Zealand in the not-too-distant future so perhaps NZ will make an appearance in the exhibition as well. I already have 22 drawings for the show. I’m aiming for around 30…same sort of numbers as my 2012 exhibition “Paris en hiver”.
      Oh by the way, I still have five drawings left over from my last Paris show as well. Two will be auctioned off at the annual “Help the Homeless” auction in June (at Fremantle Town Hall). Proceeds go to Fremantle Street Doctor. These five are here at home. Let me know if you’d like me to email the images to you.

  3. Will Kirkland

    Julie: I loved hearing about your life and journey to colored pencils. Thanks for helping me to find this site so that I could learn more about both you and your art. Your an amazing artist. Good luck with your upcoming show. Regards, Will

  4. downunderdreams

    Hi Julie,
    I just jumped to your blog because I read about the mural art at Freemantle. It seems you are a wonderful artist. What a pity – I have been at Perth for one week and now I am already at Sydney.
    But I will following your blog- even when I am back in Germany.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hi Petra, thanks for your message. Clearly our paths have been destined NOT to cross…at least not yet…maybe one day? Actually, last week I was in Sydney! Thank you for following the blog though. I’m delighted to have you here. I hope your Australian trip is going wonderfully. All the best, Julie


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