Emerging Artist | Julia Munger Seelos

Preserving Americana

Julia Munger Seelos, Storm a-Comin', Edna Barn, oil, 11 x 14.

Julia Munger Seelos, Storm a-Comin’, Edna Barn, oil, 11 x 14.

This story was featured in the January 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art January 2013 print edition, or download the Southwest Art January 2013 issue now…Or just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss an issue!

Barns. Tractors. Battered pickup trucks. While Julia Munger Seelos is a landscape painter, she relishes including man-made elements, often things that are remnants of a bygone era or a fading way of life. “I am drawn to a sense of history about rural Americana,” she says. “I love imagining the stories old trucks could tell or imagining what happened in old barns, and the families that have come and gone.”

Seelos grew up in northern Kentucky, and she compares herself as a youngster to Huckleberry Finn, fond of roaming and exploring the bucolic landscape near her home. She displayed an early talent and interest in art, sketching ponies and horses. Following high school graduation, she briefly attended Rhode Island School of Design in Providence on a scholarship. However, after her father passed away, she wanted to be closer to home and pursue a more practical degree, so she decided to major in industrial design at the University of Cincinnati. She eventually completed her education by earning a bachelor’s degree in design and illustration from San Jose State University in California.

Julia Munger Seelos, Stanford & Son, oil, 11 x 14.

Julia Munger Seelos, Stanford & Son, oil, 11 x 14.

More than a decade ago, after a successful career in industrial and retail design, Seelos decided it was time to return to her affinity for fine art and enrolled in workshops with artists Ken Auster, Randall Sexton, and Kim English. Today Seelos lives in Redwood City, CA, not far from San Francisco. Her days are spent painting outdoors, taking advantage of the year-round mild climate. She says that photographs can’t capture the true color and light in the environment, and she feels compelled to paint on location for the sake of authenticity.

Seelos experienced a busy but rewarding year in 2012—she was juried into an array of top plein-air shows, including Sonoma Plein Air, Telluride Plein Air, and the Grand Canyon Association’s Plein Air on the Rim. “I hope my paintings bring an awareness of the beauty of the natural landscape and the necessity of preserving it,” Seelos says. —Bonnie Gangelhoff

Silvana Gallery, Glendale, CA; Arroyo Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM; Arroyo Telluride, Telluride, CO; juliaseelosgallery.com.


Featured in the January 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art magazine January 2013 digital download
Southwest Art magazine January 2013 print edition
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