My 81-year-old father, artist Philip Barlow, is my teacher, inspiration and mentor. He still paints every day, and in April will be featured in a two-person exhibition at Phillips Gallery in Salt Lake City, Utah. I LOVE this recent painting of his -- titled "Sharing the Real Thing." It spotlights a great American icon and infuses it with playful romance. In this 100-year anniversary of Coke, it is so inspiring to see an 81-year-old artist, who continually strives to keep his own work fresh and vibrant, celebrate an iconic part of Americana with a nod to the past and a dose of whimsy and wit. Here's to getting better with AGE!
Sometimes dreams do come true -- and one just has for me. Last year, I was approached by a lovely professional couple in the Bay Area. They are world travelers and adventurers and also contemporary art collectors. In addition, they each have a highly cultivated appreciation for exquisitely designed and made shoes. They asked me to create a "portrait" of them using some of the delectable shoes from their closet. And here is the "dreams do come true" part -- they gave me carte blanche in terms of composition. What a gift! I worked on their portrait for many months, and yesterday, along with my art dealer Andra Norris of Gallerie Citi, we presented their portrait to them. There are two paintings, a diptych, and I titled them "His & Hers." What a pleasure it was to work with these smart, kind, vibrant, open people -- and it was truly a joy "walking in their shoes" for so many months. Thank you, dear collectors, for giving this artistic gift to me!
My amazing artist father, Philip Barlow, was a winner in The Artist Magazine's Annual Over 60 Competition (March 2015 issue) -- with his painting "Pooh's Favorite Tales." In the interview, he shares some wisdom for other artists -- but it is applicable for anyone trying to live a vibrant, engaged, rich life:
"Always paint what excites YOU. Don't be content with a certain style. Be sure you keep striving to evolve and change. It is important to have respect for your talent and hard work -- treat your painting as a business and always strive to be professional in your dealings with galleries and collectors.
Art has been my life. I have never been far from the magic of creation. I paint almost every day and am working on paintings for a show at one of my galleries in April. I am always searching for a new direction in creativity and that's what keeps all of us wanting to move on."
Gallerie Citi celebrated the opening of the new exhibition "Awaken" last night. I am thrilled to have two works in the show -- and to have the show titled after my paintings. But the real thrill is to have my work shown alongside the Bay Area legends Joan Brown and Elmer Bischoff -- and with my friend Kim Froshin who continues in their expressive artistic footsteps. It's an honor to be there!
“One of my earliest memories of art is watching my father, Philip Barlow, at the end of a long day, sitting and pondering a new painting he brought home from his studio. Did it “say” what his mind’s eye wanted it to say?
I took some creative detours – acting and writing – before finding my voice as an artist. I studied with amazing teachers and mentors in San Francisco, at UC Berkeley and the Art Students League of New York, but I have been influenced most by the work, words, wisdom – and the powerful “mind’s eye” of my father.