By Lois Crawford, The Burlington Post, June 1, 1990.
Whether it is a pencil, a pen, an engraving or lithographic tool that Julie Donec picks up, the results are masterful drawings in the classic tradition.
Portraits of children are her forte; drawing her tour-de-force. She has also produced brightly-colored acrylic paintings on illustration board that are destined for a children’s book the artist hopes to produce.
During the pas six months Donec has been working full-time on the collection of work that will open this weekend (June 3) at the Planetree Gallery in Burlington.
The mixture of sizes from miniature upwards to about 18 inches, and the variety of mediums used that include pencil, ink, colored pencil, silverpoint, and acrylic paintings on board, make this a less than cohesive grouping.
No matter, says the artist, whose aim is to show the viewers what she is capable of doing with a lot of variety offering something for everyone.
Donec’s children’s portraits are sensitively rendered capturing the personality behind the face.
The head of the mischievous little girl that she has used for the invitation has been placed on the lower part of the paper leaving a large bright white open space above her head.
“I wanted to show the strong light source coming from behind her”, explain the artist. Also, an adult sitter portrayed as The Storyteller, is depicted in an interesting pose, facing slightly away from the viewer.
Nicholas, a beautiful, pale blonde boy, is portrayed in a thoughtful pose, dressed in his Osh Kosh overalls.
For this piece she used a silverpoint pen, a new medium for Donec. The paper on which she created it is a candlelight colored paper that she acquired in Florence, Italy, while attending a printing course.
The most distinctive piece in the exhibition is the drawing of a father with his baby son.
A strong imagination, fantasy-wise, is found in several of her works, particularity those she plans to use for her book, The King of Rooster Alley.
Imps, sprites, clowns and sprinting cats have been treated to a strong illustrative style. The bright primary colors and patterns in these works are a marked contrast to the delicately linear drawings in pencil, ink, and silverpoint.
Julie Donec attended M.M. Robinson High Scholl in Burlington before her travels to the West Coast. There she attended the Emily Carr School of Art where she received a scholarship to study etching in Florence, Italy in 1987.
Returning to Burlington two years ago, Donec held her first solo exhibition at Central Library last year. She is currently completing her Fine Arts Degree at McMaster University.
It has been a busy past six months preparing for this, her first show in a commercial gallery.