Julie Dameron: Nurse, Traveler, Fine Artist, Friend

Artist Julie Dameron painting at The Creative Center. Photographer Steve Brenneis

I really can't remember when I met Julie, but I do know it was at The Creative Center where we both had a studio. She was on one end of a very long hallway and I was on the other end. Julie was warm, inviting and seemed to enjoy laughing... such wonderful traits. As I got to know her, I found one of the things we had in common was reading books by Richard Rohr, a Franciscan friar ordained into the priesthood by the Roman Catholic Church. Julie was a former Catholic (now Episcopal and I'm Quaker/Presbyterian). Together we formed a little group of folks meeting weekly to read and share a Rohr book, chapter by chapter. During that time we discovered we were both reading Daily Mediations by Rohr and decided to meet to discuss a given week's mediations in my studio and we invited our friend, Marge Smith, also a follower of Rohr's work to join us. I guess we've been doing this for a couple of years, and this little group has become very close friends.

Let me tell you about Julie Dameron, who's a nurse by profession and the mother to four adult sons, a grandmother to six grandchildren, a master gardener with a grand rose garden, vegetable garden and fun cutting garden all in her backyard.

I just found out that while working though long nursing hours, Julie and a friend had an antique booth at O Henry Antique Market. They went to yard sales and took trips to PA to find items for their booth. She said that was when she started refinishing and painting on furniture. As time went by, there were more and more demands for the painted furniture which she loved to create. The booth was demanding more attention than either wanted to give, and eventually it was closed. But Julie continued to paint - well, it seems everything she could think of - from tiles for the surround of a new fireplace in her den to floor clothes, (small rugs) all while working. 

The day came in 2003 when Julie made the decision to retire from nursing to do some of the many things she had only been able to do a little at a time, like travel, gardening and of course, painting. She first "tip toed" into "canvas painting" as she called it, at Guilford Technical Community College, then she studied with Jack Stone, Judy Myler and took workshops with Barbara Flowers and Connie Winters before enrolling in Guilford College for eighteen months of study with Adele Wayman. Today she is studying with Wayne Epperly, so you can see she is a woman on a quest to be the best possible artist she can be. She loves to learn and says "art helps me feel useful again". 

Here's a series she did on the Beatitudes which her church reproduced for a fundraiser and has sold over 85 sets of note cards.

Julie continues to travel the world; she has been to Cambodia, Spain, France, Italy, England, Belgium, where one of her sons now lives. She also travels to visit to families and friends here in the good ole USA. I was fortune to be invited to visit Wells Beach in Maine with her as she celebrated her birthday gift of a week at her son Bill's second home three years ago where we took tons of photographs and had tons of laughter plus a lobster or two. 

Julie does all of this along with maintaining an inviting home for those of us lucky enough to visit, or to be invited to one of her art shows with her latest paintings as she continues to grow as a fine artist, gardener, traveler and friend. 

I just know you've enjoyed meeting my creative friend and will be checking her paintings as you visit The Creative Center, or see her in church. Or maybe you will be in a book group with her... I sure hope so. The greatest is the pleasure of her company whether in her garden, over dinner, at a musical event because she'll make you laugh and she'll be laughing along with you. Great, great fun. 

Thanks for reading my blog, and if you have a comment to make, it's the button on the left. just click the button below. Until next time and the next friend, I hope your day is all you've created it to be!