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Award-winning abstract artist Julianna Poldi works primarily in acrylics, creating richly textured abstracts that evoke

a sense of communion with nature. She has been represented by galleries across the U.S. and Canada, including her most recent exhibition at Gallery Catalyst in Toronto. Santa Fe Creative Tourism is proud to present Ms. Poldi's workshops (also a part of DIY Santa Fe 2014): Transformative Art, Introduction to Abstract Painting, Directed Painting, Small Paintings on Paper, and Team-Building Through Art. For more information, please visit or Five Questions with Julianna Poldi

Photo by Ted Soqui. © Julianna Poldi. Used with permission.

SFCT: What do you wish you had known when you were first starting out as an artist? JP: The one thing I feel I missed out on the most was technical advice. How to work with the mediums, what various effects I could get by using different tools, materials, and techniques. SFCT: What has been your most memorable or influential experience as an artist?

"Away." © Julianna Poldi. Used with permission.

JP: Attending the Arts and Consciousness program at John F. Kennedy University in Berkeley California for my MFA degree in studio art. The entire experience was life changing. It would be hard to single out one workshop when there were so many great experiences I had there. Though the one that comes to mind right now is a drumming session in a dream class I took. I thought I would never get a vision lying on the floor with 25 other students listening to the instructor beating the drum. What happened, what I saw and the automatic writing I did after the vision greatly influenced the way I painted. It probably still does. SFCT: How do you prepare for working in the studio or in the field? Describe your process: are you methodical or adaptive, analytical or intuitive? JP: Methodical in my preparation and intuitive and spontaneous with the painting process. At least 80% of a painting is in the preparation. By that I mean it begins with many layers of gesso and under-paintings. This starts the process of building my relationship with what will ultimately become

the painting. With a strong support in the foundation, it allows for the intuitive and creative process to be more fluid. My intuition shows up in my choice of colors, mark-making, and composition. SFCT: Have you ever seen a work of art and thought, "I wish I had done that..."? JP: I am inspired by many artists of many genres. Seeing Helen Frankenthaler's work directly on an unprepared canvas, which goes contrary to what I just described above, inspired me to work with the canvas more like a watercolor painting. Using paints that were much more fluid rather than thick gel paints. I also love the simplicity and grandeur of Robert Motherwell's large-scale black-and-white paintings. His work is a reminder for me to fulfill my desire to paint large, black, and simply. SFCT: In his memoirs, Ernest Hemingway famously describes the starting point of each of his works: “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.” How does this idea apply to your own art? JP: One true mark can make a painting. The intention or idea that drives the painting has to be real, whether it's based on a feeling or emotion. Keeping the mark-making and gestures true requires presence and being in the flow.

"The Journey." © Julianna Poldi. Used with permission.

Santa Fe Creative Tourism is a project of the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission. If you would like to take a workshop with Julianna Poldi, or another of our 200+ artists, check out our calendar. Artists and organizations: click here to list your workshops and other arts-related events, or to be a featured artist on our blog.