The landscapes Julia Rowlands paints are densely compressed. Using the expressive qualities of her chosen medium (oil-on-canvas), she allows the twilight hues of her palette to offset what might otherwise glibly come across as traditional photographic realism. Her absorption in color provides her most distinguishing trait. Color becomes a sort of strategic tool, lending her compositions an emotional weight that augments her figurative disposition. Taking maritime subject-matter for her primary theme, Rowlands also recreates those intimate perspective that are part and parcel of suburban life—such as processions of cars trafficking in the shadows of trees, visible through a windshield.
Her Boatyard in Trees depicts exactly what the title indicates. This work’s almost Fauvist color scheme can suggest twilight, or a general attitude of tranquility as the viewer contemplates the hull of a boat that has been set aside for later use. Only the boat, and a few adjacent objects, are given the necessary detail to make them appear realistic. The trees extending into the background, and the water in the distance, have a dream-like indefiniteness about them