Julie Brookman current work is titled, Saudade. Though this Portuguese word is difficult to translate, the feeling of nostalgia may come closest. Other definitions of Saudade are: a yearning for something in the past, and: a keen awareness of ephemerality. The energy in Brookman’s paintings seems to flow from these ideas. She has found a way to freeze the pounding surf, to make time, and sea foam, stand still, and in the process of looking at the results we are somehow made aware of the impossibility of the task at hand.
The most recent of these paintings turn away from the surf and abandon any obvious direct referents in favor of mystery; these latter paintings could conceivably be construed as the surface of metallic planets or vast oil slicks, but on the wall they present themselves with an authority that requires no further gloss. The creation of the paintings involves more elemental processes than the usual picture requires. Brookman works in encaustic, a medium of ancient provenance, which involves hot wax as a binder for pigment. The paint must be heated at various stages of application in order to move or manipulate it. In addition to pans of color on a hot plate, Brookman employs a variety of torches to heat and re-heat the surface of the painting. Aspects of the process are inherently uncontrollable and instead require an ability to allow the painting to unfold on its own. Drastic changes can occur over large areas quite quickly, so the artist must be alert to nuances of timing as she wields her industrial torch in great sweeps across the surface."
Brookman graduated from San Jose State University with a BFA in photography and glassblowing. She lives in Montara, California close to the coast so she can study the myriad of faces and moods of the sea.