Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Julia Zanes is a Vermont based illustrator and fine artist, though the line between the two is hazy at best in her work. Though Zanes’ work is used in children’s books, it defies any conventions of children’s book illustration- her work is visually and conceptually layered, sometimes light, sometimes dark, and always mysterious. I have always admired Zanes’ work because it is so completely her own, her influences are easy enough to see, but it is how she blends those influences with her own ideas that makes her work powerful. I see shades of Chagall, de Chirico, Modigliani, European folk art and religious iconography in her work (which is perhaps not surprising since she’s a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago) and though those artists are not entirely contemporary she’s able to use those influences to create highly evocative, unique and contemporary pieces. This particular piece is called Theater Underground, other works by Julia Zanes can be found at


  1. This is so beautiful. I love the color palette and I love how the colors layer on top of each other. I really like the botanical essence.

  2. The colors and variety of objects in this image are pretty appealing and interesting to look at. The image feels really soft, and a little confusing too. It lacks in perspective and vaguely hints at some dimensionality. I think it's pretty.