Residing in Loveland, Colorado, Julie Bender’s passion for pyrography is matched by her accurate and artful portrayal of her animal subjects. The western natural world is her source of continued inspiration. She frequents Colorado’s high country for inspiration in pursuit of observing and gathering reference for her art. She is constantly keyed into that rare moment when animals display a particular look or behavior that makes her heart race – and excites her to get started on a new work.
Described in traditional terms, pyrography is the art of drawing with fire using a heated metal tip to burn images on a natural surface. Though she burned on wood for years, Bender now prefers heavyweight watercolor paper as her surface, as it presents challenges and results that push her outside her comfort zone. Due to its monochrome nature, pyrography is all about subtleties of sepia tones and value applied with various degrees of heat. Executing her tones with accuracy and creativity becomes her ultimate goal in producing a unique and imaginative work of art. Bender is an award-winning Signature member of the Society of Animal Artists and member of the International Guild of Realism. Her work is represented in galleries nationally, in permanent museum collections, and is collected throughout the world.
I am so pleased to help put pyrography on the map as a valuable and collectible fine art medium, one that holds its unique and rightful place among all other forms of fine art.
What I find profoundly true in my personal life is that I am not comfortable unless I am taking risks. And it would seem my art most certainly imitates my life. Pyrography in itself is a medium that involves both accidental and calculated risks – and I embrace that. Regardless of whether each work is a “success,” I’m not comfortable if I’m not traveling into uncharted territory with this largely untried medium. My strongest wish is to hit the mark on all levels…conceptually, compositionally, technically, emotionally and spiritually. No matter how beautifully my work may be rendered, it is meaningless if I failed to tell my story completely and it does not resonate with viewers.
As I discover new ways to “paint with heat,” I find great relief in discovering more about myself. And while I’m all for learning more about myself and what I am capable of, my ultimate wish is to leave behind a tangible piece of me in my work that will live on and continue to inspire and move people.