Paintings and Pizza: Julie Fournier Gets Ready for Meet-n-Greet at Strawberry Moon
By, Crystal A. Proxmire
Chances are good that you’ve seen Julie Fournier’s work
The prolific Hazel Park artist is known for balancing several artistic skills that help keep the bills paid while she pursues her true love – painting. She’s done industrial design work for Fischer Price, Jeep and Pez. She’s painted furniture and other items that have sold throughout the greater Ferndale area, and custom-lettered stacks of delicately beautiful wedding invitations.
She’s also pinstriped some of Woodward Avenue’s cruiser’s cars, and painted commercial murals. You know the yellow and brown Primo’s Pizza sign on Hilton in Royal Oak? Fournier painted that over 15 years ago and it’s still in terrific shape. She also painted the Continental Bike Shop mural at 24436 John R Road in Hazel Park. “I try to find every way I can to make money with my skill,” she said.
But it is her bright, fun style of oil painting that has kept Fournier in love with art all these years. “I still paint the same way I did when I was twelve,” she said. “same style at least.”
She uses the same technique as well. When asked where she gets her inspiration she said, “It may sound weird, but ideas just come to me, fully formed. I don’t debate, I just see something in my head and I paint it. Sometimes I do concept sketches, and there is a lot of work in making that idea into art. But I already have this photo in my head and I regurgitate it.”
Living full-time as an artist can be tough. “People don’t understand why it costs so much for a painting,” she said. “This is my living. I’m a professional. My time is valuable. My talent is valuable. I have to buy that expensive tube of red paint, and the canvas, or the frame. I try to price it what its worth, but not go overboard. Everyone should afford to have nice art.”
Fournier says that connecting with people is the key to success in the art business. She met John, the owner of Strawberry Moon at 301 W. 9 Mile, at one of the many art shows that she makes it a point to attend. He liked her work and offered his bakery and pizza café as a place to show her work without charging a commission for sales.
Her work is currently on display at Strawberry Moon, and she’ll be having a Meet the Artist session from 1-3pm on Sunday, June 6tth to go along with the Motor City Pride Festival.
“I think people don’t just want art, they want to meet the artist. In America we’re obsessed with celebrity,” Fournier said. “To really make it as an artist you need to be out interacting with the public and getting people interested in you and your work.”
For more information about Fournier’s painting and other skills, go to http://www.juliekfournier.com.