Celebrated Portsmouth based artist Julia Pankhurst has always known she had the gift for painting and after some years at Epsom art school, she spent her summers earning money as a portrait artist in High streets in Kent. At that young age due to a lack of direction, her painting fell by the wayside only to be picked up again in 2010 with her first ever seascape painting of HMS Ark Royal ‘All Quiet at Twilight’ which was a surprise to everyone who knew her . . .
Julia’s other talents included Hairdressing and she had opened a Barbers Shop years previously in Portsmouth Naval Base. Having a central position with the Naval base community lead her onto a wide collection of warship paintings. one of them being the final decommissioning of HMS Illustrious. (being asked by the ships Captain before she was taken out of service in 2014. The original painting currently resides with the Queens neice Lady Sarah Chatto after being presented to her on the ships quarterdeck by Julia and the Captain).
More recently Julia was commissioned by BAE maritime services to paint the official commissioning painting of HMS Queen Elizabeth , which was presented to the ship’s Captain the day after the ship’s commissioning into service by the Queen, and is now displayed in the ship’s ‘Flag dining room’ onboard.
In 2017 Julia hung up her scissors at the barbers shop and is working full time as an artist with a gallery and studio in Waterlooville. Her inspiration comes from her love of nature and the outdoors and capturing those ‘magical moments’ on canvas.
This is evident from her very realistic approach in capturing the character and spirit of whatever her subject is. Whether it be a mischievous highland cow portrait, or the energy and ever changing mood of the sea, she always interprets it in her very big, bold, vivid style, which often stirs emotions in the beholder.