From floor to ceiling there is a glorious array of paintings from every genre, Julia Collins’ house is as much as her own private gallery as it is a home. With almost everything on display for sale, it is a gallery on constant rotation. There is never a dull moment for Julia, who proudly began this business in 2021, after previously working in the finance industry for many years. We catch up on everything from finding the courage to start anew to how to choose the right piece of art for you.
We spent a lot of time as children going round galleries in France in the school holidays and I think that's where it all started. I spent a year in France as a student and was enrolled at the Ecole du Louvre which was a wonderful experience. I had quite a pressurised job after university and quiet weekends spent wandering round galleries were a real stress reliever.
I would encourage people to do what really speaks to them and to be brave. I had always known I wanted to leave the City but it took me quite a while to actually find the courage to do so. I started by working part time and studying at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Then I decided to do a Masters in History of Art which I really enjoyed. I was a very happy stay at home mum for 20 years but when my twins both went off to uni in lockdown I knew I had to go back to my initial passion and that's when I started started Collins and Green Art. It’s hard work but I feel very lucky to be doing something I really love!
Two favourites really; firstly meeting people and seeing their pleasure when they find a piece of art that really works for them. I encourage people only to buy if they love something - it’s got to give you that tight feeling in your tummy. If you don't get that then hold out and buy something else! The other thing I love is finding a new source of interesting paintings and getting to know the people behind them; always so much to learn and share.
This is a really tricky question and I am not sure I know the answer! Taste is completely subjective and individual. I only ever buy things that I would happily live with myself; it’s important to buy art that you like and that will work in your own environment.
I try to keep things in the original frames. Most vintage art is still in the frame that the artist may have chosen at the time and I think it generally works better than a new contemporary frame. Also it's so much better for the environment; vintage art is by its very nature recycled; and we recycle all our packaging.
I'm not very good at switching off, I'm afraid. My business is quite young and I just love it so I really have to force myself to do other things! I love the cinema and theatre and I do lots of yoga and it's wonderful being in London as there are so many wonderful galleries and museums to visit.
My style is probably best described as classic with a twist. I wear lots of navy blue and I’m very keen on a pop of animal print or block pattern, and most days I will be wearing matching bangles or cuffs.
I've got two fabulous Pink City Print Dresses. I’ll be styling the Midnight Tapestry Panama with an Isabel Marant Lecce belt, my blue trainers and some pearl jewellery to brighten things up. The other one [Mint Mix Margot] is the most glorious emerald green patterned one which I will wear with some chunky boots, rolled up sleeves and a black polo neck underneath to keep me warm. You can't underestimate the power of a good outfit and I love wearing green when I’m out meeting clients or doing a pop up.