GIANT STEPS opening night

I don't know who the guitarist was at the opening of Giant Steps but he was great.

Tough gig, playing on a catwalk in a full-on space suit, but he was into it, at one point breathing hard into the mic with delays to make spaceman effects, fogging up his helmet. Totally committed.

All of which was just part of the magic, which included moon cheese snacks and (pretty strong!) cocktails served in space-friendly foil containers with a straw. I accidentally squirted some out while fumbling my camera, but I soon got the hang of it. 

I would make an excellent astronaut.

Space guitar and green cheese!

Space guitar and green cheese!


"What would you do with a $500,000 art supply budget, 60kg of supplies, 48 hours on the moon with 12 hours outside your spacecraft, and one assisting astronaut?"

When I saw GIANT STEPS, Greg Lundgren's call for space-themed art on the moon, I felt like he was speaking directly to me. What could be more perfect for a space-obsessed artist?

The requirements are rigorous and the proposal has to comply with the physics of the moon, meaning low gravity, extreme temperature, and very little atmosphere. In addition, all projects chosen have to be realized as exhibits and presented at a show in the magnificent space above King Street Station in Seattle.

While their ideas are in the end earthbound, the 53 selected entrants have been working nights, days and weekends in the space to realize their concepts to lunar quality. Even as I type, a distinguished and highly qualified panel of jurors from the Northwest's art and space tech communities is meeting to view the proposals from all over the world, and make their decision. 

So, what have I been up to the past months? I'm not letting on yet, except that it may be serendipitous that the show happens close to Easter! I hope you'll come to the opening tomorrow to find out. Tickets are $25 and may be sold out at this point, so if you aren't able to get in, or would rather spend less, please come visit on any of the following Saturdays-Sundays, 12pm-6pm for a suggested donation of $10. It's the most innovative show I've ever been involved in, and I'm so excited to present my idea and see what everyone else has created.


Sketchbook Porn | starmeqs

"Whether it be a stroke of sunlight against the corner of a building, a star cluster in the heavens or detritus that stuffs a recycle bin (two years ago she commandeered the walls of Joe Bar and plastered them with a constellation of collected teabag wrappers, wine boxes, soy milk cartons and empty prosciutto packets that swirled like one giant, beautiful garbage patch), her knack for breaking large ideas and large bodies of matter into pixel-size packets has a transforming effect." - Amanda Manitach

Click on the link for a glimpse of into my latest, galactic train of thought. I call these starmeqs. 

A page from my starmeq sketchbook

Trey Gunn's The Waters They Are Rising T-Shirts

Swank music/art shirts are here! This is the vector art version of my studio/digital art CD cover for Trey Gunn's release, The Waters They Are Rising and if you can't tell, I'm excited.

The goal was to design something we would love to wear. So far I've sported mine to everything from to rock shows to art openings to breakfast at Señor Moose. Goes with everything and feels great. Super soft. A little mysterious. Just the right splash of blue for those with all-black tastes like mine. Wear it on your Harley. Or under your tuxedo. Or over your Speedo. Or all three at once.

The shirt comes in two versions, Branded (with text), and Stealth (sans text). Men's and Women's styles and sizes available for purchase in Trey's store at Trey Gunn.

The Waters They Are Rising T-Shirt design, Stealth version

The Waters They Are Rising T-Shirt design, Stealth version

The Waters They Are Rising T-Shirt design, Branded version

The Waters They Are Rising T-Shirt design, Branded version

Trey Gunn's The Waters They Are Rising CD Cover Design

Lately I've been enjoying exploring combining studio and digital elements in both my own work and graphic design projects, which recently led to a collaboration with composer, creative coach and King Crimson guitarist, Trey Gunn.

Trey turns out to be the ideal design client, meaning he loves what I do to begin with, has a strong sense of what he's looking for and is open to how I meld the two.

With a general theme of "Flow" - the first in a series of four diversely inspired, yet loosely related, new albums - it wasn't hard to find inspiration visually. The result is a combination of analog studio work created specifically for the project in the form of one of my signature Collage Paintings, overlaid with digital elements created as vector art in Illustrator.

As for the music, I'm undoubtedly biased, but it's gorgeous. From one of the many reviews:

This is hypnotically beautiful music that you can really lose yourself in. Emotionally resonant and as deep as the flood waters it sets out to portray this is not and should never be regarded as background music, the variety of the material blending throughout with the watery theme. - Jez Rowden in The Progressive Aspect

To hear a sample track and to purchase, please visit Trey Gunn.

Happy New Year! Welcome to my new site

One year and many emails back and forth with the amazing folks at Squarespace later, I'm delighted to unveil my new website.

As is the nature of websites, it will continue to evolve.

Aside from a more streamlined look, updates include separate pages (at last!) for each category of work from paintings to installations to curating, a brand new Audio page with tracks embedded, and, yes, a new Collect button that makes it easy to buy a piece you love.

All of that said, I have to admit the feature I'm most excited about is my RDIOGLXY page. This is the landing point for my newest, current project.

Here I'll be posting all manner of oddities including starwavs, documents from the blue planet, icons from the outer regions and other interplanetary communications.

So thanks for visiting and tune in again soon...strange events appear on the airwaves at this frequency.

blueplanet | Blue Loop

blueplanet | Blue Loop

Star Songs

I'm super-excited to be presenting my first ever cd of recorded music at the opening of Star Systems this Saturday, November 9.

Star Songs is a suite of six all-instrumental songs (unless you count the fleeting Ennio Morricone vocals buried in Horsehead Nebula).

I recorded them over the past eight months or so, stretching GarageBand to the limits of its Apple-y seams.

Anyone picking up one of the limited edition, handmade cd's at my opening will notice credit to legendary Seattle drummer, Greg Gilmore, of Mother Love Bone and Ten Minute Warning fame, for "Mastering and Production Consultation" professionally scrawled in Sharpie on the cover.

In the recording studio, Greg's extraordinary musicianship combines with technical knowledge for world-class results. Thanks to his generosity, I can safely say I learned one or two things in my first recording project.

I'm going to be releasing a new Star Song on SoundCloud every five days or so during the run of the show, starting from the end of the album and building to the top.

Here is Kepler 62, inspired by the five planets orbiting this newly-discovered star.

And while you're over there, have a listen to some of Greg Gilmore's stuff. He's good.

You're invited to the opening of Star Systems

Julia Hensley, AB8 Blue Star System, 2013 acrylic and gouache collage on watercolor paper, 30" x 22"

Star Systems
Solo Works by Julia Hensley

Artist's Reception
Saturday, November 9

LxWxH Gallery
6007 12th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98108

Star Systems is an installation of abstract collage paintings and paintings on canvas inspired by the universe and technology. Hard-edged squares play off washes of color in response to NASA images, translated into a complex futuristic vision. A suite of six Star Songs recorded by the artist and presented as cds in a limited, handmade edition expands her vision into the sonic realm.

Saturday, November 30
Open until 3pm

Open every Saturday except opening day from 12-3pm (barring holidays)

>>>Listen to a preview of Star Songs on SoundCloud<<<

I'll be posting another song every five days or so during the run of the show, so check back to hear all 6.

All of the images will be available online by the end of the month.

Look forward to seeing you in happening Georgetown!

The earth is flat!

Flammarion's 1888 L'atmosphère: météorologie populaire (p. 163)And when you fall off the edge, there's no Twitter! Or Facebook. Which is all to say I've been gone a while, adjusting to new digs, new studio, new job, and working like a fiend in the studio.

So to fill you in, my work is all about space right now. I'm building what I call Star Systems, which are collage paintings inspired by a combination of NASA images and technology. I'm also recording an accompanying suite of songs similarly inspired, called Star Songs. I'm completely immersed in this work, visual and audio, and nothing means more to me right now. I haven't wanted to talk about it, just be in it.

My solo show opens November 9 at L x W x H in Seattle. Sharon Arnold's Georgetown gallery space is beautiful and I'm thrilled to be showing there. I'll be showing the Star Systems, and I'll have cd's of the Star Songs for sale, a very limited edition, with original art wrappers. I hope you'll come see if you're in town.

The earth of course isn't flat, it's round and spinning, like the new planets we keep discovering as we travel deeper into space. All of which blows my mind. Isn't it amazing?