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About Barbara

I don’t love to paint. It’s hard work. I have to make myself go to the studio. Because of this, my work is well thought out, not spontaneous or experimental. Whatever I’m painting has got to be worth it, in my eyes, or else it’s a waste of time. I think it’s fair to say that much of my work happens not in my studio, but in my head while I’m walking, or driving. As a result I tend to plan and group my work thematically. I will hit upon an idea and decide to explore it through images of one specific type.

Over the past 29 years I have explored the ideas of feminism and beauty through images of fashion models. I have looked at the strength of women by painting my friends, laughing and happy. In 2004 I painted flowers, sliced in two, trapped in vases, both drooping and beautiful as a way to interpret the end of my marriage. Then came trains. I love trains. I love their lines. It was a chance for me to get outside myself too, and deal with larger issues of transport, trade, commerce and engineering. To discuss the new reality of Newfoundland as a “have” province I began a series of paintings of ships; tankers mostly, alternately threatening and beautiful. Most recently I delved into my own, private history with paintings of little girls, exploring memory, loss and expectation.

The things I have chosen to paint over this time have been varied. There are two main constants though. Beauty is one. I want to be surrounded by beautiful things, live in a beautiful place. Making beautiful paintings is part of that. Beauty is good for my soul. There is plenty of ugliness in the world and I believe that very serious and difficult things can be discussed through beauty.

The other constant is point of view. All my work is about me really. It’s about how I see, what I see. I believe all art is more about the artist than anything else. Because of that my work may sometimes be obtuse. I never want to hit someone over the head with how I feel. I’d rather they bring to it what they see while knowing, in my heart, that I’m in there.

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