Monday, November 21, 2011

Southwest Art Magazine has just announced the winners of their Artistic Excellence Competition -- and my painting, "Portrait of a Social Columnist" was one of thirteen winners -- and I am featured along with the other winners in the December issue. Who says that 13 is unlucky? My contemporary still-life paintings (actually, a fusion of portraiture and still life, which I call portraits in absentia) aren't precisely southwestern, but it seem to me that the definition of southwestern art has changed -- it doesn't have to be cowboys and wildlife and western landscapes anymore -- it can be anything that is beautiful and tells a truthful story. Here's a link to the article and interview, if you care to take a dip!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

This week I had the pleasure (and luck!) of being one of the featured artists on a Margy Boyd Art Tour. Margy is a beloved Bay-Area institution who leads groups of art collectors/lovers on tours of artist's studios and homes. Margy brought 31 of her bright, incredibly curious art mavens to our home -- where I was able to hold them captive for an hour and show them six of my newest paintings. Talking about my work in front of 31 VERY knowledgeable art lovers was intoxicating and exhilarating -- what artist doesn't love being asked about her inspiration and process?

Monday, October 31, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHANNES VERMEER! People often ask me who my favorite artist is, and I always pause. It feels like a trick question -- do I REALLY have to choose? Why? But one artist who makes me weak in the knees when I have the good fortune to see one of his paintings is Vermeer. His feel for light and the palpable sense of a moment in time that he imparts -- it takes my breath away. I only wish there were more Vermeers in this world and that I could spend time with each and every one of them.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I read this quote from Thoreau early this morning, while drinking my tea and watching the sun begin to rise over San Francisco Bay. It's a call to the power of the "dawn" inside each one of us.

"Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me....We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few object beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look.....To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts." Thoreau, Walden

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My painting "Portrait of a Marriage" was selected to be part of Berkeley Art Center's Annual Juried Exhibition. The exhibition is called "California" and my painting depicts the marriage of my friends Jake Heggie and Curt Branom (below). It is part of my new series called "In Their Shoes," in which I am exploring the idea of shoes as both intimate objects and cultural artifacts. You can discover a lot about someone by their shoes!
The exhibition runs from August 20 - October 2, 2011 at the Berkeley Art Center.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I was thrilled to learn that my painting "Allen's Dress Boots" was selected by the jury for the 87th Annual Springville Museum of Art Spring Salon (April 22-July 3). Out of over 1,000 entries they selected only 250, so I am humbled and honored to have my painting chosen. My dad, Philip Barlow, also had a painting selected. Now it's back to the studio to try to delve deeper and paint ever more beautifully.....

Monday, April 4, 2011

I've been working on a new series I am calling "In Their Shoes." These paintings are "portraits" of people I know and admire -- but the paintings are not of my subjects' faces -- they are of their shoes. I am fascinated by the idea of shoes carrying us on our journeys through our lives -- of the choices we make when we select the shoes we wear -- and of the life stories that are reflected in the crevasses and wrinkles of our shoes. I feel that shoes can illuminate who we are -- or want to be. This painting is called "Allen's Dress Boots." Allen Fletcher died in 2010 at 99 glorious years of age. He was an Oregon cattle rancher and worn these beloved boots to the Pendleton Roundup every year.