I “used to be” an accountant. I sort of don’t like to mention it because it seems a lifetime ago but that is the point. For anyone else who dreams of a different life, my story is important because it shows all things are possible. My journey brought me here, without the financial assistance of a pension, inheritance, or a partner… and now I paint. I understand how lucky I am.
Since I started painting in 2006 I have won enough awards to help me feel confident, which seemed important when I first started painting and still thrills me when I am recognized that way, but it’s not the Maltese Falcon anymore. I first painted with pastels and love the resonance of pastels but the dust is particularly hard on an ex-smokers lungs. So, I treat pastels like a diabetic would a small taste of ice cream every now and then. Along about 2010 I started flirting with oils and gouache, which is an opaque watercolor. Oil painting did not come to me like a duck to water. I struggled and experienced a fair amount of frustration. What I knew I could do easily and effortlessly with pastels, was elusive in oil. And to make it even more difficult I became fixated on learning how to paint en plein air, or outside, on location. A good friend reminds me that “time on task” is what it takes. For those who think it is simply innate talent, well, I disagree with that notion. I think it is 1% Inspiration and 99% perspiration.
I am still obsessed with painting outside, but I am also exploring working BIG in the studio. In 2015 Lacuna Galleries of Santa Fe offered me a one man show. They wanted 12 large pieces delivered in early January 2016. So, I worked round the clock and December was a pretty intense month, but it put me in a new place regarding my work. I found that I really like the freedom of the arm movement and rhythm of working on large canvases, along with the brushwork of a larger piece. In particular I think I will be exploring skies and how to treat clouds. I will work hard to continue to grow and walk that fine line between growth that may not be accepted, and the need to keep a roof over my head. To that end I opened my own Gallery 2016 with sculptor friend Susana Erling. Corrales Fine Arts is located in the village of Corrales, about an hour south of Santa Fe.
To give proper credit I have studied in oils and pastels with Deborah Secor, Pietro Palladini, Deborah Paris, Fred Miller, Kim English, Susan Ogilvie, Larisa Aukon and Desmond O’Hagan. I admire The Canadian Seven a great deal, along with Van Gough, Monet, Klimt and Sorrolla among others. I hope to connect with some of you along the way, and I hope to bring joy to you and others through my work. I sincerely thank all of you who have helped make this possible.
Barbara Clark Fine Art