by Art Petrosemolo
“The surface is only the start—I like to find something unexpected or unusual about my subject and portray that,” says Julie Markoff in discussing her paintings for an exhibit Butterflies in the Pantry opening November 12 at Brahma Yoga, 1050 Ocean Ave., Sea Bright.
Markoff will exhibit nearly 20 large canvases in oil and charcoal, from full body profiles to portraits of friends and colleagues. The Long Branch artist returned to painting, four years ago when she moved to Monmouth County with her family, from a corporate career in New York City. She has painted since her teen years but began spending more time with her oils and canvas since staying-at-home with her five year-old daughter Isabelle.
Markoff credits renowned artist Grace Graupe-Pillard, coordinator of the Abbey Mural Workshop at the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts in New York City, with sharpening her artistic focus and encouraging her to experiment with a large canvas format. “I paint in an abstract-expressionist style,” Markoff says, “and my work lends itself to the large canvas format.” Markoff has studied with Pillard at her Thompson Park creative arts center workshop for several years.
Butterflies in the Pantry will include several pieces that are 48×72-inches and 40-x72 inches, plus smaller pieces of 20×24, 24×36 inches, and 30×40.
There are several of what the artist calls “sets” or “series” with the same model shown in different poses and perspectives. One of the highlights of the show will be a large, self-portrait.
“Working with friends and colleagues has been inspirational,” Markoff says, “as I have forged an emotional tie in getting to know them and hopefully bringing out their unique characteristics in my work.”
The exhibit reception will be 6 – 8 p.m. Saturday, November 12 and is open to the public.