Layers of natural beauty, predators and prey, in Julia Lucey art

January 19, 2023

I’m in love with the mesmerizing art of California artist Julia Lucy, who is currently exhibiting her mixed media collages at the Wally Workman Gallery in Austin. I visited them on Tuesday and stood in awe of each one, watching the hidden details reveal themselves in the exuberance of striking colors and flowers.

Many pieces reverse a hidden hunter motif. Lucy’s predators — coyote, otter, bobcat — look straight at you, unafraid, while their prey — rabbits, fish — circle around, partially camouflaged and silhouetted among leaves and flowers.

Lucy creates her fictional worlds by creating aquatint etchings, printing them, cutting out elements by hand and layering them.

Wildflowers, leafy trees and wild animals that make their homes among the plants come to curious life under his gaze.

On Lucy’s website she writes, “Some of the collages refer to scientific articles I’ve read about animal behavior and ecology. In other collages, I look at the viewer judging the animal. And in others, the pieces are simply about the magical feeling of being in a wild place.”

You can learn more about his work in an interview Cultivation area Recorded in 2018, with podcaster Jennifer Jewell. There I learned that Lucy exhibits her work at the Wally Workman Gallery every January.

If you’re in Austin and want to see Lucy’s works, or even buy one (I’d be so jealous!), go soon. The exhibition will end on January 29.

What goes with art? Tacos! After the gallery visit, my companions and I moved to the charming patio of Littlefield in Tarrytown, where we ate delicious grilled fish tacos and migas tacos from Veracruz All Natural under a beautiful blue sky and an arbor hung with moon pendants. A perfect morning in ATX.

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Learn about garden design from the experts here Garden Spark! I host private talks with inspiring designers, landscape architects, and writers several times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Just click on this link and ask to be added. You can find this year’s speaker lineup here.

Plan to join Budding Plant Sale and Festival March 18 at John Fairy Gardens in Hempstead, TX. There will be rare and unique plants, as well as art, ceramics, jewelry, food, drink, music and other entertainment for the whole family. Members have early access and get free. Non-member admission is $5. Children under 12 are free.

Experience a surreal garden at the Zilkar Botanical Garden, with an enchanting neon-art display throughout the park, food and drink, music and dance, surreal performers and interactive art sculptures. Surreal costumes are encouraged! 25% of event proceeds benefit the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy. April 6 (VIP Night), April 7-8 and April 13-15 runs from 6:30pm to 11pm.

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