Julie’s Statement

Julie Ragsdale Ressler

Julie Ragsdale Ressler

My curriculum vitae is a little different than others might present, I suspect. When I read biographies, I want to know “why” and if that person gained or lost by being interesting enough for anyone to want to read about that life. I am only interested in the “who, what, where, when” if it illuminates a lot of the “why”.
Home Schooling: I lived with my grandparents and a large extended family in this wonderful house in Waterville, New York. The winters were very long, but we had many interesting visitors who came to see my grandfather from all over the world. The art, sculptures and wallpapers have been given to various museums. A few pieces are still privately held. The power of this collection still lives in my mind as a standard. Although my mother and my grandmothers painted quite well and prolifically, my interest in art began about sixty years ago when I took a marvelous red lipstick and re-colored my grandmother’s creamy flock wallpaper. The reaction was mercurial, fury to laughter, but I remember very clearly thinking that art could really spark up a boring afternoon.
The next morning the twenty-four box of Crayola crayons and a pad of newsprint came into my world. I can still remember the waxy smell and the sight of all those points of beautiful colors. They tasted quite good actually. My interest in visual arts was kindled into a life-long devotion.

The Homestead, Utica, NY

The Homestead, Waterville, NY

Private Schools, Charlottesville, VA: Theater and Museum Studies, New York City: I “found” the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Frick and the MOMA, Carnegie Hall, the “old” Met and Broadway. I watched the Guggenheim being built. My stepfather filled the house with people whose lives were devoted to the arts and were pro-actively working their talents. I spent every spare moment wandering around, looking and talking to people, going to shows and concerts, feasting on the Arts.
Artist Statement: People tell me I have a joyous palette. I do. Color has power that is beyond understanding until you see its effects. I think that “reality” is misunderstood. When people say, “Get real!” What they really mean is, see the worst, say what’s hurtful, paint what’s ugly. Is despair more real than joy? I prefer to embrace the sunrise, smell the flowers and love my family. I believe in a vigorous life process. “The Scream,” “Guernica” and other great works give us an awakening and a frame of reference we didn’t have before they were painted, but if a person hangs pain and misery on the walls, if those negative sensations greet even the most fleeting glance, then that becomes the awareness. If there are positive luminous images then our thoughts are refreshed.