Julie T. Chapman

How do you talk about abstraction, except that is has to do with my sense of balance and design and movement.  It draws on the colors in my main subjects, and I put those colors together to make my subjects powerful and inescapable for the viewer.  My work has no recognizable setting because my animals are my landscapes.

Julie Chapman

Julie T. Chapman


I am an Ohio farm girl and recovering engineer who came to Montana to be an artist following 18 years working for HP in California, after I won the Arts for the Parks $50,000 Grand Prize in 2002.

I grew up as a horse-obsessed child who drew equines monomaniacally out of unrequited love (I’ve since trained in dressage and jumping). My imagery is a contemporary take on the wildlife, horses, and rodeo of the modern American west, in a “disrupted realism” style. These paintings are a response to the fragmented nature of our current environment (social, political, and natural), and they are intended to spur us to ask questions of ourselves and our society. These pieces demand more from me than any other body of work I’ve done before…but I want them to be evocative, and just as the paintings require my intense focus, I ask a lot from my viewers: I ask them to participate in not just looking, but seeing.

My art is featured in galleries, museum shows, and collections throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia. My work has appeared in Southwest Art, Big Sky Journal, Western Art & Architecture, and other magazines. It is regularly shown in national exhibitions, including:

  • Buffalo Bill Art Show (Buffalo Bill Center of the West, WY)
  • Small Works Great Wonders (National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, OK)
  • Cheyenne Frontier Days Art Show (Old West Museum, WY)
  • Western Visions (National Museum of Wildlife Art, WY)

My work has also been invited into exhibitions in Canada and Great Britain