Tangled octopuses, a light bulb emerging from a floral arrangement and an owl peering over the horizon are a few of a year’s worth of rich and colorful acrylic paintings by artist Julie Read featured on the Printery’s 2017 calendar.
“It’s a thank-you every year to our customers,” Printery owner Mike Kenna said of the calendar. “It’s something we’re really happy to do.”
The calendar is also a venue to promote the work of local artists, like Read.
Every year, Kenna seeks out a different artist for the glossy 12-by-18-inch calendar. The 41st calendar’s artist is one whose art Kenna has appreciated for some time. “She’s really remarkable, and she has a great future ahead of her,” Kenna said.
He recalls Read’s nearly sold-out show at Max Grover’s gallery in 2014. “I couldn’t even buy a piece,” said Kenna, who happened to show up late.
“She has a style that is very quirky and eclectic,” Kenna said of Read’s work, which he said reflects both the current day and beyond. “It feels as though she’s in touch with the future.”
Each of the 12 pieces is printed on heavy-weight, glossy paper. Some pages include quotes from Read.
“If you’re an 8-year-old boy, you will like my art. If you think snakes are cute, and you don’t kill spiders, you will like my art. If you have insane wallpaper in your home, my art will look good there. If you feel a little dizzy after looking at some of my pieces, then I have achieved my goal,” one of her quotes reads.
SINCE A CHILD
Read has been drawing since she was a child, and turned to painting six years ago when she moved to Port Townsend, bought some acrylics and began studying with Max Grover.
Now 36, she’s inspired by the life cycle of animals, plants and any living thing, and recently has been playing around with floral arrangements: combining flowers, repeating patterns and forced perspective for “a weird, intriguing, surreal still life,” she said.
She’s currently working on a collection of flowers, raptors and bugs for a future show, and has already visualized many of her future pieces. “I plan all my paintings far in advance,” she said. “I could tell you what my next 20 paintings are.”
Read loves the way the calendar turned out, and is grateful for the Printery’s support of community artists through the calendar. “It’s so gracious of them,” she said. “It’s just fantastic.”