Juliet Shen grew up in New York city and has lived in Seattle, Washington since 1983.
After a 35-year career in graphic design, she resumed drawing and painting, her original passion. Starting in the summer of 2012, she began making drawings in Seattle’s industrial Duwamish waterway and in the Union Bay Natural Area, a reclaimed wetlands on top of an old waste dump. When inclement weather finally forced a retreat indoors to the studio, she created drawings combined with relief printing based on her observations of the shifting Northwest landscape.
Juliet has experimented with compositions that pay homage to the Chinese landscape tradition, but with a contemporary approach [Borderline]. Since 2018 she has been working on paintings reflecting environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest, such as the restoration of the Elwha River following dam removals and the daylighting of urban streams in Seattle. She paints wetlands, wild rivers, and tidal currents in a semi-abstract syle that relies on fine brushwork. Her work is always infused with a sense of place, recognizable or fantastical. A month spent in Greece in 2016 resulted in the Aegean Series, a departure from her Pacific Northwest color palette. Residencies at Willapa Bay and on the Duwamish led to a fascination with patterns created by water currents moving in contradictory directions.
Juliet is also a typeface designer, with a masters degree in typeface design from the University of Reading, England. Her font for the Lushootseed language was included in Type is Beautiful: the Story of Fifty Remarkable Fonts, by Simon Loxley (2017). She ran an independent graphic design firm in Seattle from 1989–2012.
Research and Writing
For a list of publications authored by Juliet, see the Typography section of this website.