Julie Higgins - Biography

   I was born and raised in Hutchinson, Kansas, a medium-sized Midwest community built on salt mines, farming and the bible belt. It is a landscape of wide open space populated by conservative salt of  the earth folk.

I attended the University of Kansas, first as a ceramic major and later in sculpture and painting. I was deeply influenced by the figure and sensual organic form, which seem to provide endless inspiration to me.

   Moving to the Skagit Valley region of Washington State, I found pastels were ideally suited for exploring the color and sensual compositions of the region’s landscape. Pastels offered a more immediate study of form and color. Working primarily with soft pastel due to its vibrant color and tactile quality, the process is very intuitive, with color, form, imagery and symbols often leading from one to the next. My art evolved into a language of symbols by telling a story using the figure and landscape to create sensual compositions of bold color.

I later moved to the coastal community of Mendocino, California, a very beautiful rural area. My travels to and from my home take me from the ocean through redwoods to vineyards and rolling hills, continually inspiring me to illustrate symbolically this sensual environment.

    I believe that my fascination for ravens may have began in childhood due to the subtle influence of the large population of black crows in my area, and then moving to the pacific northwest where the raven is a powerful symbolic figure of the indigenous people of the area. After moving to Mendocino, where ravens are in abundance, they have become a powerful symbolic figure in my life and art as protector like figures, sometimes they are humorous and at times serious. 
My work is a constant process of story telling and pushing through the mundane of life into the magic, and the imaginary, which connects me to my sense of nature and how I belong or fit in. It is feeling, emotion, and play set in an ever nurturing landscape with juicy earthy women, sensual form and lots of color. This whole process is how I have come to understand my self and my life in my community and in the world. This process of working with symbols helps me connect with the spirit, and continue my exploration of life and purpose through my art. 
More recent work has evolved into color play with a new circle series in acrylic using layers over layers of color and yet still evolving from my previous work and inspired by the starry night skies we enjoy here on the Coast.