Beginnings: Julie Duell (nee Henderson) is a 6th generation Australian going back to the First Fleet of English convicts to arrive in Sydney cove in 1788. She also has a drop of American Shoshone Indian heritage for good measure! Julie was born in Hurstville, Sydney, NSW on 9th July, 1941 and continued to reside in Sydney environs thereafter. She was named after the month of her birth, July.
Julie’s parents were both musical, artistic and encouraging of creativity – so within the environment of a solitary childhood in the bush, she flourished. Over many prolific artistic years, Julie has painted under the names Julie Ferguson and J. Ferguson-Duell before simply signing her works Julie Duell. As a child, she studied art at St.George Technical College, Kogarah along with taking private lessons in singing.
Adult years saw Julie resume her art studies, once again at St.George Technical College and then numerous short courses on the Central Coast, where – along with raising a family – she has been a prolific practising artist and art teacher since moving there in 1967 from Gymea/Cronulla regions. Inspiration: Nature, children, a fascination for human form, body language, illustration and portraiture. Also a deep passion for Australiana through the fairy realm.
Mediums of expression: Painting & drawing in charcoal, oils, pastels, inks, watercolour and acrylics – with many works executed in mixed media. Julie’s book creations feature fairies in the form of Sprites, representing the spirit of the unique Australian bushland and are rich with full colour illustrations, rhymes and an adventure story. Julie has also manifested the Sprites in clay and resin models, animated stories, art jewellery pendants and plays for children. Among a number of awards over the years, Julie’s first book “Bush Sprites of Australia” (a hand-made limited edition made over 1600 hours) attracted special recognition in the form of an award from the Riso Educational Foundation of Japan in 1985, along with 3rd prize in an International Postcard Competition that year. Riso delegates travelled to Australia for this special presentation. Julie later self-published a further version of “Bush Sprites of Australia”, along with “Forest Sprites of Australia” and “Joy & the Bush Sprites”, all of which are available direct from Julie. Keen to share her love of the bush with children, Julie then wrote 2 environmental plays, making all the costumes and props in her home studio. Aided by partner Tony, Julie presented “Friends of the Bush” in 5 Central Coast schools with Kindergarten to Year 3 children in 2006/7. In 2006 Julie wrote and illustrated “Somethin’ Fishy” – a tribute to her late husband, John Duell, an avid Naturalist. The book was launched at MacMasters Beach where she and John lived for 20 years together and all proceeds were donated to Waterfall Springs Wildlife Sanctuary at Kulnura to help save endangered wallabies. In 2008 Julie won 1st prize in the non indigenous section of the Reconciliation Week Aboriginal Artists Art Exhibition & Competition with her painting “Dreamscape 1”. In 2010, she won 1st prize in the Rotary of Umina Portrait Prize for her portrait of partner, Tony La Spina (ex High School & TAFE art/ceramics teacher from Coffs Harbour.) In 2014 Julie won 1st – Open Section Award in the Margaret Smith Memorial Art Prize at the Gosford Regional Show for her painting “Flamenco”: Teaching: Over 40+ years, Julie has taught art on the Central Coast. Firstly at adult evening college for Dept. of Education, numerous plrivate classes at her MacMasters Beach Seagal Studio and workshops for local Art Societies. She instigated the Central Coast Art Society’s Childrens classes in the 1980s and designed the CCAS logo. Around 2005 Julie combined with her partner, Tony La Spina in art teaching plursuits for Kincumber Community College and Art Society workshops. Now retired, but busier than ever, Julie enjoys taking occasional workshops and teaching online through her websites.
Websites: Since 2002 Julie has enjoyed much world-wide interaction through her websites: http://www.artintegrity.wordpress.com which offers a large range of free art lessons and a personal gallery of artwork. http://www.kidsfuncorner.com is a creative site she has designed for children, parents and teachers. This site often enjoys first rating in the Art category listings on “Kids Websites”. Along with art tuition Julie has created a number of interactive games and animated educational stories on this site, including ones featuring her many Sprite characters. The stories are graded for non readers/first readers/more advanced. http://www.magicalpendants.wordpress.com showcases a beautiful range of pendants for sale, featuring Julie’s artwork. The 3 Sprite books are also available via this site – just contact Julie. Other pursuits: Precious time with partner Tony and with family, tennis, musical involvement with Sing Australia choir, Pine Needles Village Singers & Central Coast Ukulele Club, swim exercises with Wet & Wild seniors and golf putting. Julie hopes you enjoy this website.