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Thalo loves to promote artists and each month, we spotlight a member of our community!

This month we are pleased to have Julianna Menna as the thalo Spotlight Artist for February.


THALO TEAM: Can you give an "elevator pitch" of your work?

JULIANNA MENNA: My name is Julianna Menna and I am a Russian Academy trained artist living and working in the Philadelphia Area. While my work is of an illustrative nature, I try impart a special poetic quality through the use of form, line, color, and light. The art of the Renaissance has always been a major influence in my work and I’ve tried to combine it’s themes with my own ideas .

Skull family portrait

The Family 5.5"x 7.5" oil on board. 2015 


TT: Is there a common theme throughout your work? Is there something you want your artwork to convey to people who see it?

JM: My skulls series typically depicts ornately garbed characters covered with many layers of elaborate costumes and accessories usually relating to a specific narrative. In contrast to all of this pageantry sit my skulls, which reveal the true souls and inner lives of the characters portrayed. 

skull portrait, oil, paintingThe Fool ,oil on board 7'x 11'  

TT: Which artists do you feel have influenced your art the most?

JM: Rogier van der Weyden

skull portrait, rosesEmperor 5.5"x 7.5" oil on gold

TT: How has your work (or technique) changed over time?

JM: Recently, I’ve discovered the rich beauty of working in oil after having spent many years working almost exclusively in water based media. Oil has opened entirely new avenues of expression for me and I look forward to seeing where this new artistic journey leads in the years to come.

TT: How do you promote yourself and your art?

JM: Mostly through social media. 

skull lady, loveLove. Oil on board 9" x 15"  

TT: What project are you working on currently? What are you most looking forward to with your work this year?

JM: I am still doing paintings with skull characters, often based on themes for a particular show or exhibition. I also do a lot of exploratory drawings of them as I continue to take them down different avenues. I’ve recently started a tattoo apprenticeship in Philadelphia and as my skill in this new medium grows, I hope to develop my skull work into an entirely new direction.

portrait, oils on gold, skull portrait

High Priestess 5.5"x 7.5" oil on gold

TT: What is your favorite medium to work with, or what medium brings you the most satisfaction to use?

JM: My favorite medium is oil.

TT: Do you take commissions?

JM: Yes, I do.

Skull portrait, glasses, oil on boardNosiness 6'x 6' oil on board. 2014

 TT: What do you do when you aren't working on artwork? What are some of your hobbies/passions other than art-making?

JM: I’m a busy mom with three kids.

TT: Is there something that you would like to share with us that we have not covered, that pertains to you and your work?

JM: Art is a wonderful opportunity to chart the landscape of the imagination. In my work, I attempt to explore territories both old and new in hopes of coming up with something completely my own in the process.

Skull portrait, oil, painting, The Worm 9" x 12" oil on board. 2014

TT: Check out Julianna Menna's profile on Grumbacher to read more!

TT: More of Julianna Menna's work can be found at:

Instagram  @juliannamennaart

Facebook Page 



Click here for the spotlight archives!