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Ideas and Emotions: The Art of Judy Southerland

A dark painting with earth tones and elements of textRed Dirt, Fast Cars, acrylic on canvas

Judy Southerland is an artist who works across disciplines, creating figurative and abstract works in two and three dimensions, expressing ideas and emotions from everyday life and translating them into higher experiences. The artist’s recent works combine saturated, monochromatic colour palettes with half-obscured text. 

A mixed media artwork combining portraiture with abstractionChorus (Pre-Translation)


I really enjoy the way Judy uses colour to express deeper concepts in her artwork. Each of the artist’s individual series seems to revolve around a very specific and always distinct colour palette. In Rules and Measures, a pastel palette creates the opportunity for texture and silhouette on a mixed media canvas. Some of Judy’s newest works use deep, earthy tones while borrowing a similar style of composition with text and mixed media details, creating a sense of change over time. 

The front page of Judy Southerland's art portfolio


A common theme in Judy’s work is words -- their meanings, and how said meanings can become distorted. In series like Lacking Wings the artist uses images as a way of not only exploring words but of inventing a new, perhaps more reliable visual language to convey similar concepts.

An installation view of a set of paintings by Judy SoutherlandField of Operation; Stroke/Green with Conveyors and Outliers (installation view)

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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