Julia Zanes

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Scheherezade on Sinbad’s Ship

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Blue Baby

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Doll House in House

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Human Headed Bird

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The Good Me, The Bad Me

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Gold Boat, Water rising

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Red Room

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Head and Page

pAbout the Artist

Julia Zanes’ paintings on board start out with collage and acrylic paint. She uses a variety of sources for collage materials: pieces of gum bichromate prints made by her mother, Hope Zanes, a photographer; her own digital photographs printed on rice paper or printmaking paper; and other decorative papers such as wall coverings, book pages, and wrapping paper. After adhering the collage pieces to the board with acrylic paint,  Zanes paints on top of the surface with translucent layers of acrylic colors to create the luminosity and details of the finished work. Finally, she adds thin layers of oil paint to make the colors richer and the surface glossy.

Julia Zanes’ narrative paintings reveal an inner, reflective world in which her stories are influenced by her interests in Indian miniature paintings and other art historical references, color,  and decorative elements. The people in her paintings are often women – sometimes queens or winged humans – and they catch the viewer’s eye from a place that seems long ago and part dream. The paintings contain rivers, flowers and trees, boats and birds. While these things are commonplace where she lives in Vermont, they are also symbols containing spiritual significance. (Tfaoi)

Julia Zanes Website

Posted by Carmelita Caruana

3 responses to “Julia Zanes”

  1. Whitney says:

    These are very beautiful and sensual, appealing on both the visual and cerebral levels. However, I would rather they were called something other than paintings, since the main imagery has not been painted by the artist (according to the description at least). I do not intend to, in any way, denigrate the work. It is beautifully created, full of imagination, story, metaphor. But we must not call it painting. It is a disservice to those who do work only with their own drawing and painting. It is a misnomer. Perhaps, Illustration (of the artist’s own work)? Perhaps, Collage (even though the writer of the description must think collage doesn’t cover the range)? But not painting, if, indeed, the description of the materials and process is accurate.

  2. EIL says:

    I understand what you are saying in your thoughtful comment and am pleased that you appreciate the work.

    Yet Zanes art is described as painting repeatedly – in the introduction on Zanes’ own web site and also here:


    And again here, including by the artist herself:


    You could say we just followed the general trend. I wonder what everyone else thinks? Would “collage” be a better description? Is “painting” an inaccurate and inappropriate description of this work?

    Carmelita @cookitaly

  3. Robin Urton says:

    I think her work still falls under the category of “mixed media painting” since it does include painted elements. I understand that her process includes collage elements but that doesn’t mean that it’s not predominantly painted. From what I can tell, there’s more paint than collage involved.

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