My paintings are layered bursts of energy that record experience, blending nature in the here and now with memories or past experience. Shape, form, and line fall into a sea of emotion. A shape appears first as a reflection, then drifts into volumetric configurations. At once capturing the sense of nature with movement and light creating an artistic metaphor both opaque and airy, thick and organic.
I am constantly aware of creating light within the work through color pairings and interactions. I pour colors onto the canvas and watch what happens. I intuitively edit and add. I don’t know that it is different from the Impressionist mindset. I am projecting an emotional response to my surroundings in a moment captured not a pastoral landscape; but the glow of the light or the movement of the forms in the painting are similar. The difference may be the application. It’s not the vigorous brushstroke but the calm, soothing application in a more organic way.
Mixed media allows for more creative freedom. It is a way to give the materials more of a voice. I direct – they sing. I use many materials to begin a piece. These can be manipulated and moved around as I form the idea of the painting. Mediums are added to get the desired consistency to allow application that takes my heavy hand out of it. I chime in to gather the idea together.
I also use graphite and oil pastel as drawn elements. I love to use mark making in the painting as a resting place for the eye. And to add diversity from the very organic shapes used in my work. Translucency is created in many ways and is usually the result of great experimentation. Water and mediums are added to the materials to ‘see’ what happens. I then use hard edges in oil paint to edit, finding the gems in the underlying layers.
The shapes I choose are very organic. The theme of my work would be seasons changing or rather watching what changes around me in my environment and seeing that come through the work. I have a pull toward certain palettes at certain times of the year. Shapes are anchors that our minds stop to reflect on. We identify them either as ambiguous or a form we recognize. I use subtle or intense color interaction to create the depth or space in the piece.
There is a lot of discovery as I paint. I am intuitively responding to shapes made as happy accidents or intentionally as final touches. I heighten certain shapes by making them the focal point or hide them beneath other layers to create the sense of a pool of water or an image seen within a wave crashing. My work commands the viewer’s visceral response, one that is not superseded by representational or abstract imagery nor technical analysis.Download Liz Barber's printable statement.
Inspired by the natural world that surrounds her, Liz Barber’s paintings echo the seasonal changes that mark universal time. Barber’s organic petal-like forms express the cycle of life, blooming, growth, withering and decay.
As a young child, it was obvious to the artist’s parents and teachers that Liz possessed an abundance of artistic talent. Throughout high school Barber majored in art, yet it was not until she attended the Massachusetts College of Art, that she truly honed her skills.
Inspired by the Abstract Expressionists and working without a preconceived image, Liz Barber paints intuitively, boldly and deliberately. Her practice involves applying multiple layers of color to the painting’s surface, either by pouring or brush stroke. Water is then introduced and acts as a catalyst for organic disruption culminating in a visual and lyrical abstraction of nature. Each organic form reveals itself to the artist through the application of multiple layers of under and over painting. Known for her vivid color palette juxtaposed with white negative space, Barber’s process is both investigative and intuitive.
Born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, Liz Barber currently resides with her husband in Marietta, Georgia. A graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art, her paintings are in the corporate collections of The Ritz Carlton, Yale Hospital and Wailea Resort Hotels.Download Liz Barber's printable biography.
(A River Flows Beneath by Nicole Borgenicht for Art Voices, Winter 2014) Thunderstorms were more dramatic in the summer. Clouds hung low. Huge plumes of cloud columns would form because of the heat and humidity. My surroundings changed and I really paid attention to new elements of nature – line, shapes, and seasons changing. Read more…
2015 The Ritz Carlton, Sarasota, FL
2015 The Cove Atlantis, Nassau, Bahamas
2014 Yale Hospital, New Haven, CT
2014 Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA
2013 Wailea Resort Hotel, Monkapu Beach, HI
2012 Archbold Hospital, Thomasville, GA
2011 Comme Ca at the Cosmoplitan, Las Vegas, NV
2001 Athero Genex, Alpharetta, GA
2016 Umstead Gallery, Cary, NC
2016 JF Gallery, Marietta, GA
2014 Thomasville Center for the Arts “Bird’s Eye View”, Thomasville, GA
2013 Huff Harrington Fine Art “Barber/Baker Abstract”, Atlanta, GA
2008 Gregg Irby Fine Art “Out My Window”, Atlanta, GA
2000 Rutledge Street Gallery “Ellipse”, Camden, SC
1999 V. Reed Gallery “New in the Garden”, Atlanta, GA
2016 Scope NYC, Untitled Projects Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY
2015 Scope Miami Untitled Projects Los Angeles, CA, Miami, FL
2015 American Airline Admirals Club Miami, Miami, FL
2014 Pryor Fine Art Metro Montage XIV Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, Marietta, GA
2014 Palm Beach International, Palm Beach, FL
2014-01 Spotlight on Art Trinity School, Atlanta, GA
2014-09 Huff Harrington “A Grand Affair”, Atlanta, GA
2013 Creatives Rising Exhibit “Artwork Projection”, Long Island City, NY
2013 The Story of the Creative, Long Island City, NY
2013 Jules Place, Boston, MA
2013 Columbus Museum “Let there be Art and Bloom”, Columbus, GA
2013 Thomasville Center for the Art “Elements”, Thomasville, GA
2013 Thomasville Center for the Art “Fresh”, Thomasville, GA
2013 Thomasville Center for the Art “Blue”, Thomasville, GA
2012 Fine Art in Brentwood, Brentwood, TN
2012 Thomasville Center for the Arts “FLAUNT”, Thomasville, GA
2012 Art in the Yard, East Hampton, NY
2011 Saks Fifth Ave Gallery, Atlanta, GA
2011 Thomasville Center for the Arts BLOOM, Thomasville, GA
2011 Huff Harrington Fine Art Blonde Bombshells, Atlanta, GA
2010-09 dk gallery, Marietta, GA
2009-00 Gregg Irby Fine Art, Atlanta, GA
2008 Studio Montclair Currents, Montclair, NJ
2008 Valdosta State University Valdosta National, Valdosta,GA
2007 Swan Coach House Little Things Mean A Lot, Atlanta, GA
2004 Artspace New Haven City-Wide Open Studios, New Haven, CT
2004 Art Show Amherst Group Show, Amherst, MA
2004-02 Lansdell Gallery, Atlanta, GA
2002 Sarah Murrin Fine Art, Houston, TX
1997 Museum of Contemporary Art Spring Fever, Washington, D.C.
1997 Museum of Contemporary Art Emerging Talent, Washington, D.C.
2015 Art Voices Magazine Cover Winter, Los Angeles, CA
2014 Art Voices Magazine Cover Winter, Los Angeles, CA
2014 -13 Studio Visit Magazine, Cambridge, MA
2012 Spotlight on Art Brochure Cover February, Atlanta, GA
2011 Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Thomasville, GA
2011 Atlanta Social Season Spring, Atlanta, GA
Nov/Dec 2009 Museums and Galleries, Atlanta, GA
Nov/Dec 2009 Atlanta, GA
January 2008 News of the Visual Arts USA U.S. News Corp.
December 2007 Art in the U.S>, Plano, TX
November 2007 Eimsbuttler Wochenblatt, Hamburg, Germany
June 3, 2004 The Recorder, Amherst, MA
June 2004 Hampshire Gazette, Amherst, MA
2002 Southern Living Summer, Birmingham, AL
June 2002 Southern Living Weddings, Birmingham, A
November 2000 South Carolina Homes and Gardens, Colombia, SC
Abstract Painting Workshop, Thomasville, GA
April-May 2014 Six Week Class-Abstract Process-Art School, Sandy Springs, Sandy Springs, GA
February 2013 Painting “Spring 1” Thomasville Center for the Arts Billboard, Thomasville, GA
September 2011 Curator for FLAUNT 25, Thomasville, GA
April 2011 Wake Up With the Artist Discussion Panel, Thomasville, GA
April 2011 Brookwood School Artist Critique, Thomasville, GA
August 2010 AGA Art Sunup to Sundown Painting Demo, Atlanta Gallery Asc.
Three years focus in painting, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA
First year Fine Art Department, Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA