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Julie Peterson Shea artist statement 

Things that are dark or morose are often not ugly and unsettling.  A rose with dry and crumbling petals can either be seen as decayed or as a reminder of a beautiful flower that in its life cycle brought happiness to the gardener. Where some see melancholy, others see fond memories. I create many of my pen and ink drawings from this dark place that is filled with optimism and hope and sometimes even humor. Beauty, to me, is much more than appearance, remembering that we all see the world through a different lens of experiences, emotions, and attitudes.

My audience finds fascination in the macabre and sees the connection of dark and light, life and death, hard and soft. Their stories are often wrought with hardship. These difficulties provide the ability to draw personal meaning from melancholy but also the capacity for gratefulness, optimism, and humor. 

My most used media is pen and ink on paper. The immediacy and permanency of ink is like a decision in life. A single choice or line can cause a re-evaluation or an "ah-ha" moment.