pursue “art”. Her paintings and sculpture sold at shops and shows in Pittsburgh as well as D.C.
In 1978 she moved to Maryland’s Eastern Shore and began to supplement her art income by selling her own handmade gold jewelry designs. Soon this jewelry business became Feather’s Jewelry and a full time occupation. Julia married Fred Musengo who had been her partner in Feather’s. They have two daughters, Francesca and Theresa. By now Julia had lived in Chestertown for 7 years, but when her grandparents offered to sell their old summerhouse on an island in the Patuxent River, she had to say ‘yes’.
The young family moved to Calvert County, and Julia began to paint again. Her classes with Earl Hofman, Tom Rowe, and Bonnie Roth helped get the paint flowing and by 1989 she was showing and selling in the Southern Maryland area. Until 1998 Julia’s artwork had been inspired by the water and gardens that surround her home. In 1999, Julia wrote some lyrics for her husband Fred’s band. They were no longer pursuing the jewelry business and had begun to spend time in South Central Virginia where they own a small farm with an old plantation house. With their daughters growing up and with more time and solitude for themselves, a concept evolved to do a show of paintings and songs-a project that, like the old jewelry business, Fred and Julia could work on together. The paintings in that show “The Colors of a Dream” represented one year’s work and were very unlike her previous garden paintings.
That was 2000 and time for a new chapter to begin. These new paintings, begun in 2002 are a delicious gumbo of fantasy, inspiration and an awakening understanding of the ancient worship of the Female. “The Goddess Game” began forming in its chrysalis after Julia visited Rome in 2001. As the twelve zodiac paintings and their descriptions came into being, Julia continued to travel to expand her understanding of mythology and to make contact with sacred places here in the Southwest United States as well as in England and Scotland. She is currently planning a trip to Athens, Greece and to the island of Crete.
In April 2003, Julia was invited to show her work on “The Goddess Game” at Main Street Gallery in Prince Frederick, MD. The date was set for October 16th, 2004. This gave Julia time to complete the 12 paintings and to flesh out the wings of her concept, to get it off the ground and flying. The altars presented at that show, 14 in all, focused attention on practical ways to get in touch with the archetypes of the twelve goddesses. The newest offshoot of the concept was a board game that introduced players to the circular patterns of astrology, to ideas of spiritual advancement through the signs, and to show how each goddess can help achieve our goals.
The month long show was a great success. More paintings and most of the altars were sold. As each painting finds a new home, Julia completes a new one to take its place. These images are like icons; each new painting retains the important symbols and posture of the original, but each new painting unveils more of the mystery of the goddess.
February 21, 2005