By Jeff Mahoney, The Burlington Spectator, May 24, 1989.
Local artist Julie Donec covers a lot of ground in her show at Burlington Central Library’s Centennial Room.
Her themes range from the simple elegance of African native life to the dreams of a child in Vietnam.
More strikingly, her methods and media range from lithograph, seriagraph and etching to watercolor, pen and ink, embossing, pastel, and silverpoint and pencil.
The variety of the show, which runs until Friday, is a testament to Ms Donec’s versatility as an artist.
For instance, in her watercolor ‘Whales and Salmon,’ with its stylized fish in pastel blues and reds against a stark white field, she captures the feel of Inuit art quite convincingly.
A few steps away, she has made the giant leap to abstract expressionism in the tissue construction piece ‘Rain on the Porch’ and the inscrutable seriagraph ‘What The Gypsy Saw.’
Of all her work at the exhibit, the seriagraphs and etchings are the best. But her watercolors show mastery of her craft as well. Some of the watercolors come perilously close to being cute, but Ms Donec manages to impart just enough dimension to the paintings to make them interesting.
In her watercolor ‘Jordon,’ for example, the enigmatic look she has worked into the boy’s face, as he leans wistfully over the veranda railing, elevates the painting beyond triteness.
One of the real discoveries of the show is a seriagraph entitled ‘Three Angels, Three Devils,’ depicting African tribespeople through filters of transparently-colored abstract patterns.
“I’ve always had a fascination with Africa and native peoples and their rituals,” said Ms Donec, who has studied art at the Emily Carr College in British Columbia. “I plan to do a show in the future on magic rituals.”
She said she would also like to do bigger works, with a continued emphasis on a variety of media.
“I love making things, using different kinds of constructions, and so I’m always trying to work in a different media,” said Ms Donec, who returned to her hometown of Burlington last year after spending 11 years out west.