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Finding the light

DFW artist draws on personal tragedy for new gallery show in Grapevine

DFW artist draws on personal tragedy for new gallery show in Grapevine

Julia Ross, Finding the Light
Glass Sculpture Garden by Julia Ross Photo courtesy of Giddens Gallery of Fine Art
Julia Ross, Finding the Light
Finding the Light by Julia Ross Photo courtesy of Giddens Gallery of Fine Art
Julia Ross, Finding the Light
Julia Ross, Finding the Light

Julia Ross has been trying to find the light in the darkest of times. After suffering the loss of her 26-year-old son last summer, the Dallas-Fort Worth artist began channeling her grief into her paintings and sculptures.

The result is a new exhibition of her works called "Finding the Light," on view through December 22 at Giddens Gallery of Fine Art in Grapevine.

Guided by her son as a source of inspiration, Ross says, each stroke of the paintbrush brought enlightenment, healing, and understanding in her bereavement.

“Through my work, you will see that unfolding of my heart’s longing to connect as each new piece has grown with light,” Ross says in a release about the exhibition. “Darkness cannot exist in the presence of light, specifically divine light."

Ross creates paintings using a time-honored technique called Encaustic — wax art, acrylic paintings, watercolor, and ink mixed-media on large canvas, canvas board, and acrylic board. Paintings and sculptures include acrylic, metal, and resin encased gallium.

On her website, Ross describes her process, saying, "Drops of encaustic wax and paint begin the art process, which extends to the canvas and defines an artistic view of landscapes, water, sea life, and the ever-changing climate. Layers of transparent color and metallic elements combine to relay a calm strength inherent in both the subject matter and artwork of this artist."

The artist, who describes her late son as a "force of nature," says she wants his legacy to help touch others' lives. So she is donating proceeds from her "Finding the Light" series to the National Coalition for the Homeless, which serves nearly 60,000 families currently experiencing homelessness in the United States.

A free public reception 6-9 pm December 15 officially will kick off the exhibition. Giddens Gallery of Fine Art is at 624 S. Main St., Grapevine. Hours are 11 am-6 pm Tuesday through Saturday.