Julie Kluh

I love being outside, being connected to the earth.

I have always been an artist, but I am also an adventurer. I love to soak up the fresh air to live outside, be amongst it. In the flow, in nature, in my body, in my spirit.

I left Ventura California on my sailboat in 2011 at the age of 26 to, as I recall telling my mom, “experience the rapture of being alive!”, I quit both jobs and sold everything.

I wanted to feel the wind on my face, the sea under my feet, a visceral connection to life on earth. In search of waves, of dreams, of remote islands and the challenges nature had in store.

The idea of being on a small sailboat in the middle of the night crossing an ocean terrifies most people and it also scared me. Friends and family thought we would last a few months, thought we were crazy, ignorant, or both!

My boyfriend and I planned for over a year, studied, practiced, saved up, sold all of our things, and somehow mustered the guts to sail away. We sailed down the coast of Central America to Panama and onto the South Pacific. We spent several years stopping to surf and live in Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and French Polynesia.

Living full-time on a small sailboat at sea is how I’ve spent a good portion of my adult life.

I was scared for my life many times… storms, lightening, close encounters with ships, seasickness, engine fires, ripped sails… the list is long.

But I also experienced a vast and fascinating world very few humans ever see. I have a vivid memory from off the coast of Mexico. I was on watch in the middle of the night, a breeze filled the sails driving the boat south. A full moon lit the decks and dolphins rode the bow. Stars filled the sky, trails of luminous green phosphoresces streaked either side of Arcturus, our boat, and I rode through the sea in awe of everything on earth. It was moments like those that ignited the fire within me, that made me feel alive.

After trying to paint for years, but always being faced with travel weight restrictions, a small moving studio and an outlook that believed it was impossible to be an artist and live this kind of life, I set aside my dream of being a painter. 

But, when I looked deep within me, PAINTING was always the answer.

I realized that my own fear is all that stood in my way. I made a tiny studio on the boat and painted despite the constant movement, limited supplies and space.

Painting is my teacher, my deepest fascination, and my most satisfying work.

My longing to share the beauty I feel in the ocean is at the soul of my work.

Focusing at the canvas for hours is a meditation where I enter a flow-state oneness that satisfies a knowing of my purpose. Painting the beauty I have witnessed at sea is a gift that I long to share with the world… no matter how small, it is true to who I am.  

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” —Pablo Picasso

My mission is to share my gift and to let the creative force flow through me to inspire more to flow throughout all of humanity.

I joyfully am following my hearts desire as an artist and I believe following the unique path of our own soul is the purest, highest, most important thing to do in this life.

I grew up in Olympia, Washington and have a degree in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts from the University of Washington  

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I hope my art inspires you, brings you peace, and makes you feel alive.

Thank you for reading and visiting 💗