I'm drawn to accident. I don't like to impose order or arrangement - I'd rather stumble upon it, making discoveries. The best things with paint seem to happen when I don't think too much. And I want to celebrate nature. With all the pressure on the natural world, it seems imperative to sing its praises.
To experience nature is thrilling - the movement, the shadows, the play of light - it’s a whirlwind of sensation. My sense is that it’s not enough to take the elements of a scene and copy them. Better to respond with emotion and invention, to try to meet the unfolding drama and flux with the movement of your brush, your half-complete impressions, choice of color, choice of mark, etc. It’s the only way to match wits with nature - to make a painting as exciting as nature itself.
I usually paint scenes near my home just north of Baltimore, Maryland. I have a BA in Modern Culture and Media from Brown, an MA in English from the University of Maryland, and an MA in Teaching from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. I've also taken courses at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Maryland Institute College of Art. I've shown my work in Maryland and nearby states including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and North Carolina.
Swimming in Eden (in-person exhibit), Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely, MD 2021
Swimming in Eden (virtual exhibit), Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely, MD 2020
Four Seasons, Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely, MD, 2016
Sundry Moods, Rosenberg Gallery, Goucher College, Towson, MD, 2013
Found Accident, Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely, MD, 2012
In Nature, William Ris Gallery, Stone Harbor, NJ, 2012
Spirit of Place, Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely, MD, 2008
Bendann Art Gallery, Lutherville, MD, 2008
New Works, Main Street Gallery, Annapolis, MD, 2007
Plein Air Landscapes, Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely, MD, 2005
Land and Sky, Rehoboth Art League, Rehoboth, MD, 2004
Hoffberger Gallery, Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, Baltimore, MD, 2004
The Ward Center for the Arts, St. Paul’s Schools, Brooklandville, MD, 2001–2002
By Invitation Only, RiverArts Gallery, Chestertown, MD, 2016
Art Outside, Baltimore, MD, 2014
Art Outside, Baltimore, MD, 2013
Shore Medical Center, Somers Point, NJ, 2013
Winter Group Show, Hardcastle Gallery, Centreville, DE, 2010
Anniversary Exhibition 149, Bendann Art Gallery, Lutherville, MD, 2008
Two Sisters, Arts at 510 Gallery, Harrisburg, PA, 2008
Winter Group Show, Bendann Art Gallery, Baltimore, MD, 2007
Adkins Arboretum 2004 Art Competition, Ridgely, MD, 2004
Maryland Federation of Art Winter Juried Exhibition, Annapolis, MD, 2004
Maryland Federation of Art All Hung Exhibition, Baltimore, MD, 2004
Pawtuxent Art League Winter Juried Exhibition, Laurel, MD, 2003
Small Works, York Arts Gallery, York, PA, 2003-2004
Adkins Arboretum 2003 Art Competition, Ridgely, MD, 2003
School 33 Open Studio Tour, Baltimore, MD, 2003
Winter Group Show, Carspecken-Scott Gallery, Wilmington, DE, 2003
Small Works, York Arts Gallery, York, PA, 2002-2003
Rites of Spring, 16 Patton, Asheville, NC, 2002
Small Works, York Arts Gallery, York, PA, 2001–2002
The City of Gaithersburg Visual Arts Exhibitions, Gaithersburg, MD, 2001
Artscape, Baltimore, MD, 2001
Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show, Mount Gretna, PA, 2001
Young Audiences Arts for Learning Arts Residency in the Baltimore City Public Schools, 2020
Awards and Honors
Featured Artist at Oak Creek Printworks, 2013
Honorable Mention, Maryland Federation of Art Winter Juried Exhibition, Annapolis, MD, 2004
St. Paul’s Schools, Brooklandville, MD
Numerous private collections
Adjunct Instructor, Community College of Baltimore County, 2014
Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD: coursework in oil painting
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI: coursework in drawing, watercolor, and oil
University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 1998: M.A. in English
College of Notre Dame of MD, Baltimore, MD, 1997: M.A. in Teaching
Brown University, Providence, RI, 1989: B.A. with honors in Modern Culture and Media
McCoy, Mary. "Plein Air Oil Paintings by Cockeysville Artist Julia Sutliff on View at Adkins Arboretum." Chestertown Spy, May 5, 2021.
McCoy, Mary. "Plein Air Oil Paintings by Julia Sutliff at Adkins Through September," Chestertown Spy, August 6, 2016.
McCoy, Mary. "Found Accident, Landscape Paintings by Julia Sutliff on View at Adkins Arboretum," Chestertown Spy, August 1, 2012.
McCoy, Mary. “Spirit of Place by Julia Sutliff on View at Adkins Arboretum,” Shore Update, October 3, 2008.
“Arboretum Exhibit Features Landscapes by Plein Air Painter,” The Bay Times, October 26, 2005.