Bio - Julie Griffin
I have always known that I was to be an artist. When I was young, I would draw sketches and sell them to my neighbors for a few cents. My neighbors enjoyed a good laugh, but encouraged me to keep at it. I loved art classes and an after-high-school (FMHS) painting class with Myrtle Persons. This settled it for me. I was to be an artist. I attended FSU in 1985 and earned a BFA in Fine Arts with a minor in Art History and Art Education. Sadly, I did not learn what I went to learn and searched for 15 years until 1999 when I found Frank Covino and his Academic way of teaching art. I studied with him for twenty years while I raised my children and finally I feel I have a good foundation in which to draw from. Drawing images has always come easy to me. I find it flows faster and better with each passing day. I don’t know where the gift comes from, but I do consider it a gift. I consider myself a realist painter or better defined as an Academic artist.
What is Academic Art? It is defined as the method of painting a three-dimensional object by creating an illusion on a two-dimensional surface. I do this to train my eye and unlock methods that the masters used to paint their masterpieces. Only by studying the masters can we learn from them, their methods and techniques, as they are not often taught anymore. So, I attempt to match the artist using the rules and try to figure out what rules he changed. Think of it from a musical standpoint. A piano student would first learn the notes and how to read music. Then, when ready, he would learn to play as the masters did in order to improve his own skills. If you didn’t have the knowledge of the keys, notes and tones, then it would be impossible to compose music. When ready, the musician would be able to compose his own music and could pull from all the masters he studied to form his own composition with his own visions and translate this to paper.
Academic painters are only permitted in the Louvre and must apply with samples of their work in order to be permitted to paint there. I enjoyed the challenge of painting in the Louvre twice and The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, and the honor that came with the experience. My art shows the depth and true colors of the original when they are meant to be an exact replica/copy. When I do a study of a painting, I may make changes to the original to make it an even better work of art. After all, painters are human and can and do make mistakes. If I repainted them, the viewer could say I made the mistake, so I fix them in my replicas. For the last 20 years I have honed this process for the purpose of improving my own works. This enables me to apply what I have learned to my own works of art.
I teach and continue to take classes because I believe we never stop learning and must continue to practice our craft to stay sharp. I enjoy passing along the knowledge I have learned. I know how precious the information is for aspiring artists.