The Wabash Valley Art Guild honored the works of Julia London-Meddles, the artist of the month featured at the Vigo Country Public Library.
London-Meddles is affiliated with a number of art associations including the Indiana Plein Air Association, Gaslight Artist Colony and the Bicentennial Art Association, among others. She is currently focusing on oil paintings and is well-known for her watercolor and mixed media works.
As for education, London-Meddles has a degree in nursing. Her art, which had always been an important part of her life, was primarily self-taught. She is currently studying advanced techniques with various experts in the region.
London-Meddles’ introduction to art came from her parents, who were both painters. When allowed to paint her bedroom furniture at age 13, she created stencil works using her own innovative methods, as pre-made stencils were not available during those days. And twice during her early 30s, London-Meddles took a break from her nursing career to paint commissioned murals in Alabama and Tennessee. By her 50th birthday, she decided to devote the rest of her life to pursue her goal of being a full-fledged fine artist.
London-Meddles has discovered her passion for en plein air painting and is actively pursuing that at present.
In 2014, London-Meddles plans to travel and paint Indiana, documenting the old and the new of the state. She explains that she loves the immersion aspect of plein air painting and the challenge posed by the constantly changing sunlight and composition. She loses herself in her paintings, she says, as she draws from the colors of the trees, the flowers, the land and the architecture. She describes herself as being “addicted” to this form of painting.
Some of her featured plein air works are: an oil painting titled “Afternoon on the Wabash”; a colored pencil work called “Angel of Compassion,” painted in New Harmony; and “A Bug in my Ear,” a watercolor and pencil creation. The subject of the latter painting is a simple green cornfield in Wabash. However, London-Meddles explains that it was a reflection of her feelings about the Vigo County drought that same year that had left the green fields brown.
It is not the physical value of the subject itself that inspires her, but rather the feeling or idea behind it that motivates her to paint it. It is no wonder that London-Meddles’ themes range from something as simple as a cornfield to something as complex as The Odyssey.