Julia Cassels

Julia Cassels

African wildife

Favourite destination
Zambia and the South Luangwa Valley

Favourite medium
Watercolour - fast and loose

I just love making that first fluid line of a sketch as I strive to capture the poise, spirit and movement of that glimpsed moment

Julia moved to Kenya to work with the Maasai in the heart of the Rift Valley in her early 20’s. There she found the wondrous rhythms, shapes, and colours captivating, sparking a love for Africa and its wildlife that is forever present in her work.

Although specialising in watercolour, Julia will often introduce inks, graphite or charcoal to gain a natural fluidity. More recently she has started using acrylics which successfully add a greater substance to her easy impressionistic approach. Her work reflects a true intimate understanding of her subjects, as her distinctive style captures their very essence with remarkable spontaneity.

Having spent many years living and working in Zambia then Tanzania, she returned to England. Julia now paints from her studio in Hampshire. She exhibits widely, with her work being regularly short-listed for the David Shepherd Wildlife of the Year Exhibition, as well as being found in many collections worldwide.

Julia has been leading painting trips for Art Safari to the Luangwa Valley National Park in Zambia since 2015.

I have always drawn, doodled and sketched since I was small, but it was the magnificent wildlife of Africa that truly inspired me.

My studio was a simple easel beneath the shade of a winter thorn tree, on the banks of the Luangwa River in Zambia. Game wandered across the sandbank below while hippos wallowed in the pools. It was both an honour and a luxury to have such a wild, ever-changing living canvas in front of me.