On September 22, 2003, artist Julia Watkins awoke as a different person. The world she now saw seemed so unusual. It looked different, smelled different and felt different. Moreover, as she looked out her bedroom window it seemed to pulse with a life and energy she had only vaguely sensed when she created her impressionist landscape paintings.
Thinking back to her past night’s dream, she remembered floating without a body over a landscape made of outrageously beautiful, translucent energy swirls. They flowed through and around her and seemed to move, changing shape and color with her changing thoughts and emotions. It was like she directed the creation of the landscape with her energy.
Then, through her dream she felt a warm presence…so many presences, people who seemed so familiar, like she had known them forever. They came to her without shape, in light and energy and filled her with an overwhelming sense of love, joy and peace.
Suddenly she experienced a flood of memories…people, lives and worlds where she had lived. She remembered making a decision to come to earth to fulfill a great purpose — to help us understand the importance of beauty. Her mission was to teach us how to infuse our surroundings, our art with an energy that conveyed spiritual beauty to our deepest senses. She realized that as a child, she knew all about her mission and was able to speak with loved ones from the other side. But somehow, as she grew into adolescence, she had forgotten.
She awoke and painted the scene from her dream. She named the painting “First Dream.” From that day forward, she could sense and paint the energy in everything she saw. She decided to call her style “Energism.”
She took her painting to Denver, CO, where she had some of her other work on display. Immediately, people began to stop and stare. It was like they were hypnotized by the undulating swirls.
“I realized they were doing way more than just seeing a representation of energy,” she later said. “The painting was pulling them in and they were actually experiencing the energy just like I had in my dream. They seemed to change right in front of me. I knew I had to continue, no matter what the cost.”
Her art patrons brought back friends, friends brought friends and Julia launched a new, albeit “feast-and-famine” art career. Undaunted by a tough economy, she gave up her home and her business as a luxury home designer in Vail, CO. She took her art on the road, traveling in a van from art show to art show. When sales were good she stayed in hotels, and when they were bad she slept in her van. Now, seven years later, after completing nearly 250 shows, over four million people have experienced the miracle of her work.
Fast forward to today, and Julia has created hundreds of her energism paintings, typically focusing on animals or the human form. She created and sold more than 30 versions of her ever-popular painting “Lovers,” one going to the Carnegie Mellon Collection. Another of her paintings, “Four Dolphins,” is in the collection of Deepak Chopra. Through her website, she sells paintings, prints, gift items and jewelry based on her images.
More importantly, she is at the forefront of the Energism Art Movement, a facebook group and art movement with more than 1,500 members worldwide. This movement differs dramatically from the more literal energy art movement in that energism movement members have a very specific mission…to help humanity spiritually transcend. Energism members strive to create art that serves as a portal or connection to universal energy flow, and thereby raise the consciousness of all who view it. It isn’t important to paint something that looks like energy, just something, anything that helps one plug into the energy.
While there are many findings in their “Tenets Of Energism” credo, the energism followers believe that the ultimate achievement of an energist artist is to create an art piece so powerful, that by merely looking at it, a viewer will have a deep, profound, life-altering spiritual experience.
They may achieve it. With the world’s newfound focus on energy, positive energy, positive thinking and the like, the Energism Art Movement appears to be both very timely and relevant. Many believe we are experiencing an accelerating spiritual evolution.
In fact, it seems highly likely that they will succeed, considering the deep beliefs, sacrifice and dedication of Watkins and her followers as they travel the country from art show to art show, living in vans and campgrounds, changing the world one viewer at a time.
Artist Julia Watkins began her art career at 16 when she entered the NC State School of Design and shortly thereafter began taking graduate level painting classes. After art school, she studied four more years at the NYC Art Student’s League. For many years she was an international model, which allowed her to travel and study art worldwide. You can see her artwork at www.platris.com.