Julie Longacre has always been innovative in her artwork. Two years ago she produced an adult coloring book, long before the current trend. This is in addition to the projects she continues annually such as a calendar, Christmas cards, Christmas tree print, books, and several ongoing painting projects at her Barto studio.
While Longacre is known for her artistic renderings of nature and old structures, with attention to details such as stonework, she also paints abstracts and anything she finds interesting. She always works in a variety of mediums and always has several paintings in various stages of production. Her pen is seldom idle as she keeps a sketch pad near the phone.
One of her favorite causes is Christian education. For nearly 20 years her art has been the grand prize at the annual St. Francis Academy Christmas bazaar. This year she has donated two paintings for the event scheduled for November 14 in the Bally school’s auditorium. The grand prize is her original acrylic painting – Pleasantville Covered Bridge in Winter. The second prize is this year’s edition of her Christmas tree series. She will once again be an exhibitor at the bazaar with her latest Christmas card, notecard, calendar, books and prints available for sale.
A native of Gilbertsville, Longacre earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas and has been painting professionally since 1970. She has written and illustrated four books. The inspiration for her coloring book, subtitled ‘for children over 40’, came from her fans. They would take pages from her black and white, pen and ink calendar, color them, and bring them to her shows. Her latest calendar is titled ‘A calendar to color’.
“I think everyone can draw. I think everyone should have a pen or crayon and let it bring out their inner artist,” Longacre says. She notes that her coloring books are different from others on the market because she offers instructions on shading and coloring in the first few pages. The pages are acid-free, heavy paper suitable for framing. She hints that she is working on a second coloring book.
She recently helped set up a coloring book coloring club at Moravian book store in Bethlehem.
Longacre’s passion for art is bookended by her love of people. “The joy of doing all this is the contact with people. I have my show every two years and have absolutely marvelous friendships that have developed from them,” she says.
Longacre’s art and that of many other crafters can be seen at the 40th annual SFA bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 14, with doors opening at 8 a.m.