Meet the Artist – Alison Junda

Artist Alison Junda at work in her studio.

In our second Meet the Artist series, we touch base with Monmouth County-based artist Alison Junda, whose seascapes and still lifes have caught the attention of many designers, homeowners and design shops across New Jersey.

DNJ:  Describe your background or training as an artist.

Alison Junda: I took as many art classes in high school as I possibly could! I never thought I’d make it as an artist, so I went to East Carolina University and studied interior design. I worked in the design industry for about five years after college.

DNJ:  Did your training in interior design influence the way you approach your work as an artist?

AJ: Working as a designer has helped me tremendously when it comes to visualizing art in a home. Creating art is one thing, but creating art that looks good in someone’s home is another. With commissions or paintings for the shops I sell through, I often get photos of the space, wall paint colors or fabric swatches as a jumping-off point for the paintings I create for each space.

Artwork, Alison Junda; interior design, Salt Design Co. in Fair Haven and Asbury Park.  | Photo credit: Christopher Delaney

DNJ: I love how this painting complements the sandy neutrals in the room and echoes the tones of the sea-glass bottles. Did the designer or homeowner commission the artwork for this space?

AJ: Salt Design Co. designed this beautiful room in Sea Girt. Designer Sarah Brady and team chose this painting because the colors work so well with the other design elements in the room.

DNJ: Coastal-inspired art is a recurring theme in your work. How does living on the Jersey coast motivate you? Any favorite places you like to visit?

 AJ: I grew up in Maryland, about three hours away from the closest ocean. We vacationed on the Outer Banks every summer of my childhood, and it made me hope that one day I’d be able to live near the beach. After college, I moved to New Jersey, where I was within walking distance to the beach and was ecstatic about it! We are usually at Sea Girt beach during the summer; it’s my favorite beach for many reasons.

This jetty painting, sold at Serena & Lily in Summit, takes inspiration from photos captured in Sea Girt but is a good representation of jetties found all along New Jersey beaches, Alison Junda says.

DNJ: Designer Kara Vacca selected one of your paintings for a client’s Spring Lake bathroom that was featured in DNJ’s August/September 2018 issue. How does the artwork enhance the setting? 

AJ: The subtle colors, calm sea and swooping clouds in this painting capture that calming feeling you get from this bathroom. It’s a peaceful addition and offers a soft touch of color in the mostly white space.

Interior design, Kara Vacca of Kara Theresa LLC in Monmouth County; painting, Alison Junda. | Photo Credit: Melissa Mellor

DNJ: What other themes do you pursue in your work? 

AJ: I enjoy still life painting, although I don’t get many commissions for those. I like to collect seashells at the beach and incorporate those into paintings as well. My favorites are the mussels. I just love those shades of blue! I also love painting boats, which I’ve had a few great commissions for.

Interior design, Salt Design Co. in Fair Haven and Asbury Park, still life of Woody station wagon, Alison Junda | Kitchen photo by Christopher Delaney

DNJ: Architectural renderings are also part of your portfolio. Are there certain structures or architectural styles or details you are drawn to? Do homeowners or businesses often commission these renderings? 

AJ: I grew to love architectural rendering while studying design in college. We did a lot more renderings than I ever expected! Almost every home or building I’ve painted has been commissioned, so I haven’t had the opportunity to paint what I’m most drawn to. In the case of the Parker House restaurant in Sea Girt [an iconic Jersey shore establishment], the client had a special attachment to it and asked that the painting have an ocean view. I think the most important part of painting structures is the shadow work, so I tend to focus on that aspect of each structure. Edward Hopper’s Maine paintings are very influential to me in that area.

Parker House commissioned painting with ocean view, by Alison Junda.

DNJ: What type of materials or techniques do you use in your work?

AJ: I typically paint with acrylics on canvas or wood panel. I’ll also use watercolor and gouache in my sketchbook or if I’m painting at the beach.

DNJ:  How do you know when a painting is done? 

AJ: That can be tough to know for sure! I try not to overwork my paintings, so when I get to a point that I’m happy with, then I usually stop. Sometimes if I’m not sure, I’ll leave it alone and look at it with fresh eyes later. Taking photos of my paintings also helps me to see if they need tweaking. In addition, client feedback is very important to me. I always send photos of commissioned work to my clients and wait for their input.

DNJ:  Do you have a favorite artist or one you draw inspiration from?

AJ: My favorite artists are Edward Hopper and Wayne Thiebaud.

DNJ: What about the creative process do you find most challenging or rewarding?

AJ: Sometimes, knowing what to paint or where to begin is the tough part. When I have a commission, the client usually gives me a lot of information to use for creating the painting, such as colors, themes, or references from my other work. When I’m creating paintings for a show or for a store with no point of reference, it can take me longer to decide what direction the painting will go.

DNJ:  Where can we find your work?

AJ: I have paintings for sale at Serena & Lily in Summit (; Salt Design Co. in Fair Haven; and Noon Designs in Bay Head ( You can see what I’m currently working on by visiting my Instagram page @a.junda_paintings.