The Dances of Light and Life Through a Prism
by Julia Trops

Empress Books
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Summer/Fall 2004

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       Introduction by L. Chrystal Dmitrovic: The painter’s life has definitely become a way of life for Julia Trops, a Kelowna, British Columbia artist who is currently teaching and an artist-in-residence at the Rotary Arts Centre. Influences come to the artist from many walks of life, from many geographic locals, and from other souls whether ancient of the past or breathing next to her. At one point in time, all that she has experienced and been, everything she remembers or forgets – the poem, the song, the dance, the forest walk – colours her soul and ultimately the art she creates.
       Here The Empress presents Julia’s own explanation of her artistic journey, featuring a sparkling sampling of her most recent works in acrylic and oil in a fresh and exciting style known as “Prism Painting.” Julia relates about her choice of art included with her article: “These paintings were done on the wall, a la de Koonig, using the palette knife only, and the resulting work wraps around the canvas to enclose the stretcher, staples on the back. All are dated from end April 2004. The idea of using the palette knife is to contrast the original softness of flowers and leaves with the harsh edges of the resulting texture.” She prefaces her serious discussion with a sometimes humorous ode to her life as a painter, based on a famous sonnet....


Prism Dancer
30x30 – oil on canvas
This one was done from imagination after walking to the studio and seeing two women doing tai chi on the beach. At that time I was looking at Canadian artists Riopelle and Borduas, and after considering their palette knife use, this is where my adventure with prism painting all started. “Prism Dancer” was my first creation in this style, and is so called because of the blurring and colours one would see looking through a multi-faceted crystal prism.
  Tulip Field
52 x 66

- S O L D -
This recent work was originally inspired by an upcoming Tulip Festival in Ottawa, where I lived for 3 years in the 90s. I’m continuing to work on a series of tulip expressions.
16 x 32

I’m also sometimes partially inspired by shopping ads for grocery stores and mail-order gardening catalogues for my nature based paintings.


33 x 66

Thinking of how the Olympics are coming to Vancouver in 2010, and the majesty of those games and the challenges and skill involved, I was inspired to do my first mountain/ landscape depiction since I was 12.
  In Sunny Fields -- 28 x 40
These flowers, Arrowleaf Balsamroot, grow in the Kelowna area only from May to June. The painting was done from a mixture of imagination and a visual study of the actual flower.
  Marigold Field
18 x 60
oil on canvas

I tried to capture all the magic splashes of colour and light that I could to vividly bring life to this bushy, full spread of marigolds.
  Kiwi Cluster

I finished this painting the first week of August, 2004, a much larger work featuring kiwi fruit than I’ve done in the past.

       I believe in knowledge and I believe in intuition. When used together, they create insight - which is the focus of my life. I am trying to look underneath the obvious, to decipher the hidden, the bring to light the obscure. I enjoy paradoxes, dichotomies, mysteries. I enjoy putting things together that don’t normally mix just to see what will happen. One could say I am a catalyst for growth…… or others may say I am a trouble maker.
       Having the experience of the military (it seems a lifetime ago!) I was exposed to efficiency and discipline. Together they are a potent combination, but combined with initiative, drive, and passion, they are explosive! My ability to focus and create is a result of these qualities: this is why my work is what it is: this is why I am so prolific. I believe in the strokes that I make, that they come from the soul, that they are where they should be. I encourage the flow of the soul, with direction, but without judgement.
       I create originals only. My realm of abilities extend from drawing to painting to printmaking to sculpture. (Printmaking, not to be confused with Reproduction-making, which includes Giclees, Iris Prints, Photocopies etc. I did try this last year, but the whole process just felt "wrong", so I abandoned this idea permanently.) At present, my work involves exploration of texture and colour, combining these properties with subjects which are normally perceived as smooth. Most of these may be seen under Prism Painting on my webpage: If you have any questions about my work, please contact me at

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