Just Who Is That Lady & Fella Jogging With Those Dogs All Around Burien?
by Guy Harper
Ever driven down 21st Avenue SW near Seahurst and have seen a slender nice looking lady wearing a head scarf, jogging while maybe pushing a baby carriage with a couple of Greyhound race dogs trailing behind?
Sounds like she lost a bet…right?
Well, not really – it seems that Julie Stiles and her 43-year old son, Chris, who also may be holding on to a dog or two while jogging are actually seen running through many areas in Burien (I get out of breath just driving by and watching ‘em jog with all those dogs)!
Now I should also state that almost every morning, Julie also works out at the Highline Athletic Club lifting weights, stretching and other body building things. If you discuss training techniques with Julie, she will readily admit that she has tapered off a bit – you see, she used to run 14 miles a day! Yes, 14…but has now reduced that mileage to “just seven” as other commitments have entered her life (holy smoke….I don’t even drive my car seven miles a day!).
So, just what is so darn important that she can’t even run a measly 14 miles a day, you might wonder? Well, you should know that Chris, her son, is autistic and was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in 1972. Chris had a lot of time to spend studying nature – trees, branches, leaves, rocks, water plus many other interesting subjects and has developed into a very fine artist – and he now communicates through his many drawings and paintings made over these last few years.
Chris actually began drawing picture maps while attending a special program at the University of Washington for children with developmental delays. Then in 2008, Julie decided to enter one of Chris’s colorful drawings in the local Normandy Park Art Show. The subject was a picture of the Matterhorn with a Village Castle that Chris noticed on the cover of a magazine. Well, his very first entry into art competition was a tremendous success – a Blue Ribbon for Best of Show – now it just doesn’t get much better than that! The award winning picture is shown below:
That triggered a thought in Julie’s mind….how about a website that may be a potential outlet for these paintings? And so it came to be – here’s their web site: http://www.artautistic.com. Visiting this website will take you through Chris’s bio, autism facts and his Art Gallery that shows over 60 of his drawings and associated gift cards that are available for purchase. After visiting the Art Gallery on the website and viewing these many colorful drawings, you will suddenly realize that each painting seems to have a message of its’ own, that being the release of a picture in the mind of one held captive by autism…
Also, on the site is their very active 2011 Calendar of Events, including the various shows that Chris and Julie attended this year. Chris may be seen at a desk drawing while the show is in process, and it is inspiring to look over his shoulder and see a painting he is developing. The 2012 schedule will be updated as the events are announced and will be posted on the website.
Each painting is mounted and framed and is ready for sale. Purchases may be made by calling Julie at (206) 242-8915 or by emailing her at [email protected].
So, now you know about these two joggers and a little bit of their background – give ‘em a toot on the horn as you drive by to get your morning latte and coffee cake! Mush you Greyhounds!