I chose to feature Barbara’s paintings for two reasons: one, because each painting has a tremendous amount of energy and movement even on a very small scale—most are 6″X6″—and two, because I absolutely love the colors she’s using.
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In this first painting, Blood Orange, it’s easy to see how even a “still life” can move.
Both halves of the orange are circled with a frenzy of brushstrokes, many of which seem to lead directly to the point of greatest tension, where the two halves almost touch. Important edges are clearly defined (around the oranges) while other less important lines are left to fend for themselves.
Perhaps I just have a vivid imagination, but with so much activity in the painting I find it easy to imagine the swift, sharp, chop of a knife slicing the orange in two.
That same visual immediacy translates well to the windswept (and no doubt rainy) landscapes near Barbara’s home city of Seattle.
In Skagit Valley Tulips, Barbara once again paints the big picture, quickly capturing a red blanket of tulips and recording her overall impression of the scene.
It’s such a rough sketch that at first I wasn’t sure what the red ground was, but even without knowing everything about it, I was still intrigued by the painting’s foreboding aspect, with its hazy yellow clouds and tormented trees.
In the end, by laying the paint down quickly as she did and ignoring the little details, Barbara added another, more emotive element to what would have otherwise been simply a traditional painting of a field with flowers.
And finally, here’s Pink Eleonora, another bold painting of pink, white, and cream flowers that stops just short of being a full-on abstract piece.
In fact, without the recognizable shape of a “vase and flowers” it would be just that—a beautifully abstract burst of color on a dark background.