Julie Keaten-Reed  --  Artist Statement




            My artistic career has followed an unconventional path.  Likewise, the artwork is unconventional, a hybrid of Western and Asian traditions.  My education in art began early, surrounded as I was by the works of my grandmother, Carley Craig.  She was a lifelong artist and a master of diverse media and genres.  Growing up immersed in this creative milieu I developed a sensitivity to aesthetics and an appreciation of form, color and line. 


            As an adult, my interest in art took a back seat to other career and life goals.  But in the 1990’s, while living in Nagasaki and working as an English teacher at a Japanese university, I found myself deeply moved by the art and lifestyle of the Japanese.  My five-year stay there utterly transformed me. I felt my old love of art emerge again, but this time with a desire to be an active participant rather than just a spectator.  I was in my mid-thirties by then, but an irresistible need to create led me to pick up a brush for the first time since childhood.


            The conflicting impulses of following the Asian art aesthetic which I admire so much and the desire to explore themes from my Western art heritage led to the blend of styles and techniques I use today.  I merge figure drawing with Japanese brushwork; I re-interpret traditional Chinese bird-and-flower paintings with a modern, American sensibility.  What I do spans cultures and fits into no neat category:  it’s another example of contemporary art of the Twenty-First century.


            For subject matter I look to dramatic landscapes, serene still life studies, quirky animals and expressive abstractions.  With only black sumi ink – a Japanese, carbon-based ink – and select use of color, I strive for the art of suggestion, of subtlety, the art of leaving out. The goal of my work is to be simple and natural, to be unpretentiously lovely.




“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo Da Vinci




1994: MA, San Francisco State University


1987: BA, University of Wyoming



Award of Distinction 2D:  February 2017, Naples National Art Festival , FL

Best Booth: April 2016, Festival on Ponce, Atlanta ,GA

People’s Choice Award:  February 2016, Naples National Art Festival , FL

Award of Merit:  February 2015, St. Stephens Coconut Grove Art Fair, FL

Merit Awards:  October 2015, Memphis River Arts Festival, TN

Outstanding Achievement:  August 2015 West Loop Art Fair, Chicago, IL

Best of Category:  April 2015 Art City Austin, Austin, TX

Honorable Recognition:  June 2015, July 2011, Gold Coast Art Fair, Chicago, IL

Best of Category: June 2014, 2013 Gold Coast Art Fair, Chicago, IL

Judges’ Selection:  July 2012 Cain Park Arts Festival, Cleveland, OH

Patron Choice Award: October 2012 Deland Festival of the Arts, Deland, FL

Best of Show, Drawing Category:  April 2012  Ridgeland Art Festival, Ridgeland, MS

Patron Award:  March 2012, Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, Winter Park, FL

Merit Award:  June 2011 Fountain Square Art Festival, Evanston, IL

Best in Category:  June 2011 Millenium Eastside Art Fair, Chicago, IL

Award of Distinction:  April 2011 Magic City Art Connection, Birmingham, AL

Award of Distinction:  March 2011 Winter Park Sidewalk Art Fair, Winter Park, FL

Award of Merit:  March 2011 Gasparilla Art Fair, Tampa, FL

Award of Distinction:  November 2010 Three Rivers Art Festival, Covington, LA

Best Display:  November 2010 Three Rivers Art Festival, Covington, LA

Best of Show:  November 2010 Chastain Park Fall Festival of Art, Atlanta, GA

Best of Show:  October 2010 Oakhurst Art & Music Festival, Atlanta, GA 

Best of Show, Drawing Category:  January 2010 Miami Beach Festival of Art, Miami, FL

Honorable Mention, Drawing:  June 2009 Millennium East Side Art Festival, Chicago, IL

Best of Show, Drawing Category:  July 2008 North Shore Art Fair, Skokie, IL

Best of Show, Drawing Category:  June 2008 Glencoe Festival of Masters, Glencoe, IL

Best of Show, Mixed Media Category:  June 2005 Prairie Village Art Show, Kansas City, KS

Honorable Mention:  July 2005 Salem Art Fair, Salem, OR

People’s Choice Award:  Sept 2002, Salon des Refusees, Mayor’s Art Show, Eugene, OR

Best of Show, Drawing Category:  April 2012  Ridgeland Art Festival, Ridgeland, MS



www.juliekeatenreed.com    352-250-4077