Behind The Charleston Artist Creating ‘Color Choreography’


Julia Deckman sits on vintage blue floral-patterned couch with her feet up

Colorful abstract artwork on ledge shelves and resting on the floor behind low-to-the-ground chairs and table

Although some of her earliest memories involve painting, Julia Deckman did not embrace her artistic destiny until years after college and a few setbacks. For the self-taught talent, deciding to pursue her craft meant silencing the inner voice telling her she did not belong in the art world. Thankfully, the positive reception she received changed all that. Inspired by her adoptive Charleston, Deckman’s work comprises charming streetscapes, intricate interior views and abstract studies she dubs “color choreography.”

How do you choose your hues? I’m so inspired by Charleston, with its historical architecture and colors everywhere and how the light ignites them. I come up with color combos by observing my environment; I snap photos of everything. 

Your abstract works are quite textural, and far more complex than they first seem. Two colors may look and feel a certain way but appear totally different in an alternate arrangement. And the same shapes might shift in mood completely in a novel palette. My process requires a lot of trial and error; it can take me weeks to get the visual relationships just right. 

What’s coming up for you? My next show runs June through August at Gately Gallery in Florence, South Carolina.