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Inspired Views Artist Spotlight: Aleta Pippin & Jami Tobey

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • August 17th, 2017

Artists Aleta Pippin, Jami Tobey, Jeffrey Beauchamp and Gina Rossi will present contemporary visions of the landscape in their upcoming group exhibition, Inspired Views, opening Friday, September 8th, 5-7pm. The artists offer modern interpretations of typically traditional subject matter through their own distinct styles, which are guided by an emotional, visceral response to nature. This week we’re highlighting the work of Aleta Pippin and Jami Tobey, two painters whose work is fueled by the versatility of their materials, the emotional resonance of color, and their dramatic desert surroundings.

TheJourney-AletaPippin

The Journey, Aleta Pippin, 54×18″ oil

Aleta Pippin fully abandons the classical techniques of landscape painting in favor of abstraction. Pippin’s current environment in Santa Fe as well as memories of her childhood in southern California has instilled in her an awe-inspiring view of the desert. The artist recalls the desert’s ever-changing light as she explored the San Jacinto foothills as a young girl, with rose-colored skies descending over craggy mountain ranges. Light and color are Pippin’s driving sources of inspiration; these elements along with a fluid and intuitive painting process allow Pippin to reveal her personal relationship with the landscape, which is one of freedom and adventure.

“The Journey” is a 54×18” atmospheric oil painting that Pippin has created for Inspired Views. Pippin says of this painting: “I like the color and light in this piece. When I was a child the idea of climbing the first hill to see what’s there was an inspiration for hiking. This painting feels like if you climb the foothills and continue on, you’ll eventually reach the furthest pinnacle. It’s also a metaphor for life’s adventures and challenges as we (hopefully) become wiser as a result of those opportunities.”

The same environments that permeate Pippin’s canvases also come through in Tobey’s work. The stylized landscape painter grew up in Santa Fe and currently lives in southern California, where broad skies and billowing clouds dominate the artist’s views and compositions. Color also plays an important role as “it sets the tone and decides the atmosphere” of each piece. Mountains and mesas adorned with metallic ink are blanketed with a celestial glow as clouds swirl through vivid hues above, guiding our attention skyward.

DesertChorale-JamiTobey

Desert Chorale, Jami Tobey, 40×40″ acrylic

“Desert Chorale” is a new mixed media piece in the show that pays homage to New Mexico and its spectacular skies. Tobey says of this painting: Desert Chorale has an element of collage, which I’m really interested in right now. I love paper and its versatility, especially how it can add to the story of the painting. In the case of Desert Chorale, I used a map of New Mexico. I love the crispness of the story of this painting, with the big New Mexico skies and rolling landscapes. I come from the perspective that the real landscape is in skies, and I like bringing that feature into my work.”

Read more about our Inspired Views group exhibition here and be sure to browse more new paintings by Aleta Pippin and Jami Tobey on our website.

 

 

Bronze Sculptor Guilloume: Family Ties Inspire New Work

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • July 14th, 2017
Time to Fly by Guilloume at Pippin Contemporary

Time to Fly, Guilloume, bronze

Colombian artist Guilloume’s rich personal relationships provide ample inspiration for his figurative bronze sculptures and wall reliefs. The Albuquerque artist grew up in Medellin, Colombia with nineteen siblings and two loving parents. Guilloume’s mother encouraged his artistic tendencies when he was a boy and instilled in her son a belief that he could achieve anything he put his mind and heart to. Now a passionate family man with a wife and four children of his own, Guilloume uses his artwork to express the intimate emotions felt between family and friends. Memories from his youth, adult interactions with siblings and his current family dynamics permeate his work.

Rather than focus on physical accuracies, Guilloume molds faceless, rounded forms from clay that convey the essence of a human figure. Intimate gestures and subtle interactions express familiar emotions between friends, lovers and family members. Many of Guilloume’s latest wall reliefs depict large groups of connected figures who seem to be entrenched in conversation as they lean towards each other with cocked heads or hold each other in a tight knit huddle. These groups are inspired by Guilloume’s extensive family tree. “Twenty,” a long narrow relief with twenty connected figures, pays homage to the number of children his mother gave birth to. Guilloume says in the accompanying narrative, “My mother, Aurita, gave birth to twenty children, and although thirteen of us survived to lead full and rich lives, we scattered like the wind and took up residence in various geographic locations. She sometimes remarked that it was her dream to someday see all her children in one place at one time. I created ‘Twenty’ in honor of my mother’s memory.”

Twenty by Guilloume at Pippin Contemporary

Twenty, Guilloume, 12×48″ bronze wall relief

“Eleven” pays homage to Guilloume and his ten living siblings, while “Our Generation” depicts Guilloume with his seven brothers. The latter was inspired by a photograph taken on the last day of a family reunion in California where 62 of Guilloume’s family members gathered for a weekend retreat. As the photograph was taken, Guilloume nostalgically realized that it could be the last time he and his brothers stood together at the same place in the same moment. He wistfully recreated the photograph as “Our Generation,” a 20 x 36” bronze wall relief with figures that distinctly represent each of his brothers and himself. Guilloume explains:

“From left to right, the figures include my quiet brother – he who shares his pain and fears with no one; my brother the doctor (complete with stethoscope); my oldest brother, the agricultural engineer and writer; and my brother the ideologist, poet, painter, photographer, and forever the lovable starving artist. The next four figures include the shortest of my brothers, who compensates for his stature by being the smartest, most spiritual, and most successful of my siblings – an engineer and accomplished businessman; my bohemian brother – la oveja negra (the black sheep) de la familia; my brother the astronomer, who passed away several years ago and was not actually in the photo, but was remembered by us all and was there in spirit that day; and of course, that’s me on the end, Guilloume.”

Our Generation by Guilloume at Pippin Contemporary

Our Generation, Guilloume, 20×36″ bronze wall relief

Eleven by Guilloume at Pippin Contemporary

Eleven, Guilloume, 24×48″ bronze wall relief

Guilloume’s latest works are heartfelt expressions of familial love. They will be on display at the gallery for the artist’s solo exhibition, which precedes the Contemporary Hispanic Market in downtown Santa Fe. The show opens Friday, July 28th at the gallery from 5-7pm. Learn more about Guilloume’s 23-year history at the Contemporary Hispanic Market in the press release announcing his exhibition.

Exhibition Catalog

Emotional Expressions in Color: Painters Spotlight

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • June 24th, 2017
Spring Light by Liz Barber at Pippin Contemporary

Spring Light, Liz Barber, 40×30″ mixed media

The combination of painted line, ethereal color movement, vivid patterning and sculptural luminosity will blend together for a bold and dynamic visual display in “Emotional Expressions in Color,” opening July 7th from 5-7pm at the gallery. This group exhibition will highlight the work of sculptor Suzanne Wallace Mears alongside painters Stephanie Paige, Liz Barber and Elizabeth Hahn. The painters in the show compliment each other’s aesthetic; Stephanie Paige’s horizontal hues ground us in a meditative color experience while Liz Barber’s bursts of floating forms excite our psyche. Elizabeth Hahn brings us back to reality with her figurative work, which also continues to immerse us in vibrant displays of color but with whimsical patterning.

Paige’s symmetrical compositions typically lend themselves to square and rectangular picture planes, however for this exhibition the artist has produced circular shaped paintings with a similar aesthetic. In “Be True” and “Luna’s Ocean,” variations of a single color tone blend together and are balanced around a contrasting line of pigment. Pleasing for our eye and mind, Paige’s pigment and plaster paintings are representative of awe-inspiring moments found within the natural world.

Be True by Stephanie Paige at Pippin Contemporary

Be True, Stephanie Paige, 36″ diameter, mixed media

Barber is similarly inspired by nature and it’s seasonal rhythms. The Georgia artist favors the springtime when waves of color and intriguing shapes begin to emerge from the environment. Barber’s excitement for the season shows in her work; many of her paintings are named for the spring season’s cool rain, soft light and sweet song. “I typically focus on botanical elements,” says Barber of her work. “Buds popping out on tree limbs, flower petals emerging, grass pushing through the ground…this is the inspiration for this body of work.”

Spring Song #7 by Liz Barber at Pippin Contemporary

Spring Song 7, Liz Barber, 36×60″ mixed media

Hahn has a more representational and POP art approach when it comes to portraying her experience with nature. The Santa Fe artist inserts curtailed figures into her snapshot compositions of juxtaposed patterns and bright colors. Most of her work is focused around feet and their intimate interaction with the environment; blue high heels dance across wood floors while patterned cowboy boots traverse a desert environment. “Walking has always been my exercise, my therapy and where all my ideas for art come to me,” explains the artist of her preferred subject matter. Hahn’s body of work is a joyful reminder of life’s simple pleasures and wondrous views, while acting as a welcomed contrast to the otherwise abstract aesthetic of the exhibition.

Are You Late for a 10:30 Class by Elizabeth Hahn at Pippin Contemporary

Are You Late for a 10:30 Class?, Elizabeth Hahn, 30×30″ acrylic

Join us for the opening reception of this exuberant exhibition on Friday, July 7th from 5-7pm at the gallery. Preview this show by browsing the online exhibition catalog.

Emotional Expressions in Color: Sculptor Spotlight

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • June 15th, 2017
Desert Dreamer by Suzanne Wallace Mears at Pippin Contemporary

Desert Dreamer, Suzanne Wallace Mears, SOLD

Emotional Expressions in Color opens this July as a powerful display of emotive energy, from meditative abstraction to whimsical realism. Suzanne Wallace Mears is the only sculptor in the exhibition of four artists; her work plays an important role in breaking the show’s two dimensional boundary with a striking display of sculptural luminosity. Stephanie Page‘s soothing yet vivid color palette, Liz Barber‘s joyous abstraction and Elizabeth Hahn‘s vibrant patterns are each physically embodied in Mears’ tabletop vessels and totems, which are infused with the spirited personality of the Oklahoma City artist.

“My totems are flamboyant, whimsically named and conjure up pure fun,” says Mears, who approaches her work in an abstract manner but with a specific theme and color palette in mind. Each piece takes on its own eccentric persona from the artist’s imbued energy, from the whimsical “Alligator Swag” and “Awesome Frank” to the mystical “Desert Dreamer” and “Spirit Memories.” Below are some of the artist’s personal contemplations on her latest work.

“Rain Dance represents how it feels to play out in the pouring rain, while Little Reef Knight is that little elusive reef fish peering out from a hiding place in the coral. The Vegetarian with rust, green and a topknot of handout plasma cut steel seems like it could be a culinary delight. Alligator Swag is a cocky alligator dressed up for a night in the glades, and Amber Waves is about the wheat fields and blue skies, lazy days and easy thoughts.”


Mears cuts flat sheets of glass and layers them to fire flat in her kiln, incorporating embellishments such as copper, wire and dichroic glass into their shapes. Multiple firings at anywhere from 1200 to 1500 degrees are often required for the artist’s desired effect, with pieces remaining in the kiln for days at a time. “It’s a delightful, challenging dance,” says Mears of her process.

Vibrant, luminous color is the driving force of inspiration for Mears and is the common thread that connects the four artists represented in Emotional Expressions in Color. Learn more about the exhibition here, which opens Friday, July 7th from 5-7pm. Browse Mears’ full inventory on her artist page of our website.

Suzanne Wallace Mears Pippin Contemporary Artist

See Exhibition Catalogue.

Behind the Paintings: Rebecca Haines, “Animystic”

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • May 3rd, 2017

Curiouser & Curiouser by Rebecca Haines at Pippin Contemporary
“Curiouser and Curiouser” (pictured above) by Rebecca Haines is the largest oil painting in the Santa Fe artist’s upcoming solo exhibition, “Animystic.” Measuring five feet tall and four feet wide, it’s also one of the first paintings she’s created at this scale. “I like working in this size,” says Haines of her recent exploration with larger paintings. “It’s a cool feeling because I’m not just putting these animals down; they have as much power in the conversation as I do.”

In “Curiouser and Curiouser,” a bright-eyed deer stares out from the center of the panel, captivating the viewer with its determined gaze while a larger-than-life magpie looms overhead. Haines’ animals show up on her panels as abstract essences of their physical selves, acting as spiritual emissaries that evoke larger narratives or symbolic notions. The deer, for example, is a recurring figure in Haines’ work that is typically used as a self-portrait as the artist personally resonates with its gentle and elusive nature. The magpie carries a more traditional meaning as a messenger of things to come; it can be seen as a good or bad omen depending on the number of birds encountered at once. The deer and magpie are painted together in “Curiouser and Curiouser” with a vibrant palette under a golden sun, representing a shift in the seasons and well as shifts in the artist’s life.

For as Long as I'm Here by Rebecca Haines at Pippin Contemporary

For as Long as I’m Here, Haines, 30×30″ oil/panel

Haines committed full-time to her growing art career last spring affording time and space to embark on new experiments in the studio, such as painting on a larger scale. Haines’ work has also evolved to become more abstract with looser marks and gestural animal silhouettes that symbolize the transience of human kind. “For as Long as I’m Here” is a painting that embodies this idea of temporary life. “When I started this piece I had planned for the head to dissolve or disappear,” explains Haines. “But then I decided I was stronger than that. I may be dissolving but I’m still very grounded. Life is temporary but as long as I’m here I want to keep putting my work out there.”

“Animystic” runs May 24th through June 6th and is Haines’ first solo exhibition at Pippin Contemporary since she began painting full-time. Her new paintings embody the artist’s uninterrupted inspiration and are each a personal outpouring of Haines’ visceral response to the world around her. To witness the artist’s process, visit Pippin Contemporary during the Canyon Road Spring Arts Festival on Saturday, May 13th where Haines will paint in front of the gallery along with other participating artists. You will also have the opportunity to meet Haines at the opening reception of “Animystic” on Friday, May 26th from 5-7pm. Click here to preview new work in the online exhibition catalog.

In the Beginning by Rebecca Haines at Pippin Contemporary

In the Beginning, Haines, 18×18″ oil/panel

 

Jami Tobey: Enlivening the Landscape

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • April 10th, 2017

Jami Tobey at Pippin ContemporaryJami Tobey captures the endlessly expanding Southwest skies in her dreamy, stylized landscapes with billowing clouds and luminous mountain views. Just as the desert is constantly enveloped in a blanket of blue, Tobey’s paintings are dominated by a similar celestial glow. Tobey grew up under awe-inspiring Santa Fe skies and currently lives in southern California where drifting clouds and broad vistas continue to inspire her.

“The sky always sets the tone for the direction the painting will go,” says Tobey, who begins each piece with swelling clouds and vibrant color. While the artist starts with a specific plan in mind for the composition, her intention is subject to change as the piece unfolds. Tobey uses acrylic paint to lay down the landscape in vibrant hues and then adorns the composition with metallic ink, adding swirls, dots and detailed patterns that bring the piece to life. Finished paintings are imaginative and dream-like; yet reveal familiar scenes and distinct emotions, recalling the romance of an evening sunset or serenity of ambling clouds. Striking a balance between fantasy and reality, Tobey celebrates the wonder and beauty of nature through her work.

Staring at the Sun by Jami Tobey at Pippin Contemporary

Staring at the Sun, Tobey, 12×12″ acrylic/canvas. Click here to purchase this piece online. 

Tobey grew up in a family of artists in Santa Fe. Her father, renowned western sculptor Gene Tobey, encouraged his daughter’s artistic impulses which eventually led her to pursue an art degree at Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. Here, Tobey began to explore her fascination with painting nature in a loose, untraditional way, which continues to evolve as she discovers new patterns and materials to incorporate into her work. Tobey has sold her art professionally in galleries since she was 28 years old and has amassed a vast following and collector base for her joyful, fantastical approach to landscape painting.

Your Own Dream Landscape, Jami Tobey

Your Own Dream Landscape, Tobey, 48x 60″ acrylic/canvas. Contact the gallery for inquiry.

Visit our gallery at 409 Canyon Road to experience Tobey’s latest cloudscapes or browse her portfolio on our website.

Bassmi Ibrahim: Exploring the “Isness” of being through spiritual painting

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • March 21st, 2017

Bassmi Ibrahim, painter showing at Pippin ContemporaryBassmi Ibrahim’s Isness paintings are inspired by spiritual practices and an intuitive artistic process, resulting in veils of vivid color that ebb and flow across his canvases. The Cairo-born painter works in a meditative state, allowing a vision to arise and then recreating it with liquid paint and an outpouring of emotional energy.

“As the work became more about the inner layers of my psyche, it started having more purity and an ethereal look to it,” says Bassmi, whose early paintings called more attention to the artist’s hand through lively brushwork. The Isness series, which Bassmi began in 2005, are free-form compositions that represent a boundless existence and act as journeys to the inner-self. The artist relates the idea of “isness” to the essence of being and the intrinsic reality of all experiences.

Bassmi illustrates his meditative visions by applying oil and acrylic paint to the canvas in liquid form. He then manipulates the washes of color with soft Chinese brushes, a technique that erases any trace of the artist’s physical presence. Taking on a watercolor-like appearance, layers of color become translucent rhythmic visions that emanate a deep energetic vibration.

Isness 80 by Bassmi Ibrahim at Pippin Contemporary

Isness 80, Bassmi, 33×48″ mixed media. Click the image for Buy Now price.

Isness 92 by Bassmi Ibrahim at Pippin Contnemporary

Isness 92, Bassmi, 36×48″ mixed media. Click the image for Buy Now price.

Isness 116 by Bassmi Ibrahim by Pippin Contemporary

Isness 116, Bassmi 60×72″ mixed media. Click the image for Buy Now price.

Color field painter Mark Rothko has been a spiritual mentor ever since Bassmi met the preeminent abstract expressionist in New York City in the mid 1960s; Rothko similarly used abstract color for a psychological effect in his work. Other artistic influences include Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler and Paul Jenkins.

Bassmi’s formless painting style and poetic compositions invite varied interpretations and reflections from the viewer. The artist says, “The viewer is absolutely free. This art is made free, born free, and you’re free to look at it any way you want.”

Watch the video below to hear Bassmi discuss his process and Isness paintings:

Read more about Bassmi Ibrahim in our press release announcing him as a new stable artist at Pippin Contemporary.

Click here to browse his available work. 

Hunt Slonem: Painting Exotica

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • March 6th, 2017

Hunt Slonem, artist, at Pippin ContemporaryThere are anywhere from 30 to 100 birds that live in Hunt Slonem’s 30,000 square-foot Brooklyn-based studio, and it’s not uncommon for one to be perched on the artist’s shoulder as he paints an exotic interpretation of his feathered friend. In an interview with Architectural Digest just last month, Hunt Slonem explained that he keeps his birds in close proximity to his easel because they provide “an endless source of inspiration.” He says, “I paint from them, so they are working animals in my subject matters. I also often ask them what they think of things, and I get responses of sorts.”

Birds, released on February 17th, is Slonem’s highly anticipated book and first comprehensive compilation of his ornithological body of work. Slonem’s vibrant renderings of parrots, parakeets and other tropical birds were initially influenced by his travels to Nicaragua, where he spent time as an exchange student in high school, and Hawaii, where Slonem lived on a military base with his family as a young boy. Slonem continues to travel extensively to places like India, Mexico, Haiti and Scandinavia for renewed inspiration. By painting his birds wet-on-wet, a technique that the artist describes as “drawing in paint,” Slonem creates tangible texture with crosshatched patterns that denote wire enclosures over the animals. The birds themselves are layered on the canvas with thick brushwork and rich colors, creating dazzling compositions that celebrate the tropical vibrancy of their subjects.

Parakeets by artist Hunt Slonem at Pippin Contemporary

Parakeets, Slonem, 48×48″ oil/canvas

Finches by artist Hunt Slonem at Pippin Contemporary

Finches, Slonem, 31×61″ oil/canvas

In the studio

Another iconic figure in Slonem’s repertoire is the bunny, which he started to focus on in the 1980s after discovering he was born in the Year of the Rabbit according to the Chinese zodiac calendar. The gestural, repetitive strokes that make up Slonem’s bunny paintings have become the artist’s signature style and were the subject of his first publication, Bunnies, released in 2014. Painting bunnies is Slonem’s morning ritual; he begins everyday with several “warm-ups,” populating small panels with quick strokes that make up the animal’s familiar portrait. This repetition was slightly inspired by Pop art, such as Andy Warhol’s soup cans and celebrities, and is now a morning meditation for Slonem. The act of repeated imagery, which also shows up in his bird and butterfly paintings, is a spiritual mantra for the artist.

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In the studio: Slonem’s “Bunny Wall.” Photo by Adam Golfer for The Wall Street Journal

Simon by Hunt Slonem at Pippin Contemporary

Simon, Slonem, 12×10″ oil

Slonem’s work is in the permanent collections of over 250 museums, galleries, corporations and institutions around the globe, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. His paintings are collected by the likes of Kris Jenner, Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Fallon and more, and he is consistently teaming up with different companies or charities for continued relevancy. His bunnies and his own exuberant style led him to fame in the fashion and design world; he collaborated with Jason Wu for the Grey Jason Wu fashion label and was also enlisted by Audi to create the “Hunt Slonem Audi A5” that was eventually auctioned off to benefit cancer research.

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Slonem/Jason Wu designs for the Grey Jason Wu fashion label

Slonem’s bunnies are often displayed in formal gilt frames, which juxtapose their simplistic style and make the boldly colored panels pop off the wall. This salon-style design that can be found in Slonem’s studio has been transformed into wallpaper, carpet and fabric.

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Slonem with his Bunny Wall wallpaper

 

Bunny wallpaper in one of Slonem’s New York residences

Slonem’s Neo-Expressionist paintings are renowned in today’s art world for their vivacious color and exuberant creator. Check out Artsy’s recent artist feature on Slonem and virtually tour his aviary/studio with Architectural Digest.

Click here to see Pippin Contemporary’s inventory of Hunt Slonem paintings. You can purchase his work from our website or call the gallery for more information at 505-795-7476.

Q&A: In the studio with Liz Barber

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • January 24th, 2017

Liz-Barber-Studio
Liz Barber‘s nature-inspired paintings are created with watercolor, gauche, acrylic ink and oil paint. Layers are built up on the canvases in Barber’s studio outside of Atlanta, Georgia, where the waves of daffodil and rhododendron blooms in the spring enliven her work. Her vast studio space allows Barber to spread her work out on the floor or lean canvases against the wall in an easel-like format, inviting the artist to dive deeper into the painting and get closer to her material. We asked Barber a few questions about her creative space so we can envision her artistic process from here in Santa Fe.

Q&A: In the studio with Liz Barber

What is your favorite thing about your art studio?

My studio is attached to our house so anytime that I’m feeling inspired I can just head out and start painting. This really allows me a lot of freedom to capture ideas as they come to me.

Walk us through the evolution of a mixed media painting in your studio.

I begin the paining with a nugget of an idea and start with a washing layer of paint – very watered down so that it can move freely all around the canvas. After that dries I sit with it a while and figure out where the painting is. Usually it’s along the path of my idea but sometimes it takes on a life of its own. At this point I edit out areas that are not working so well and focus on the areas that are exciting to me. I then intuitively respond to each element that I lay down on the canvas and bring it to resolution.

What tool in your painting process could you not live without?

I’m not sure if it’s actually a tool, but music is so critical to my process. It opens me up creatively and lets me get lost in the painting that I’m working on. It actually does add to the flow and movement of the painting.

How many pieces do you typically work on at once?

I work on 4 to 6 canvases at one time; that way I can bounce around and not get stuck on one piece. This keeps the work fresh and the ideas flowing.

Your work is inspired by the changing of the seasons. Which season is most inspirational for you and why?

I would have to say spring. I think after the long winter of sparse landscape it’s amazing to see flowers bursting through the ground and color just awakening everywhere.

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1-me-with-my-work

Read more about Liz Barber’s inspirations and process in a previous blog post, and learn about her background from our press release officially announcing her as a represented artist.

View Liz Barber’s available paintings.

Liz Barber: The Artist’s Process

  • by [email protected]
  • January 11th, 2017

Liz Barber, mixed media artist, working in studio“Mixed media allows for more creative freedom. It’s a way to give the materials more of a voice. I direct – they sing.”

Georgia-based painter Liz Barber’s ethereal abstract paintings begin with a watercolor and gouache base. The artist then innately organizes layers of acrylic ink and oil paint to build a harmonized composition that rhythmically reflects her current natural environment or memories of past experience. Shapes reminiscent of flower petals or floating leaves emerge through this painterly process, moving gracefully across the canvas as if they were drifting in still water or flowing with a rushing steam. The artist anchors their movement and the viewer’s eye by incorporating drawn elements with graphite pencil to tie areas of the painting together, tracing various story lines that coalesce into a single narrative. As the viewer follows the swirling marks that connect soft airy spaces with vivid opaque forms, the piece unfolds to capture the cadence of nature and its seasonal shifts, from fresh blooms to withering decay.

Some of the narratives that take shape in Barber’s paintings represent the current season with bursts of color in spring, white washed palettes in winter and luminous lighting in summer. Other paintings intuitively form from the artist’s past experiences. Barber grew up in a coastal New England town in Massachusetts where the meditative movement of water inspired her from an early age and continues to influence her work. Foggy coastlines, rocky beaches and clear water permeate Barber’s memories and resurface in paintings such as Shoreline 2 and Surf 7.

Shoreline #2 mixed media painting by Liz Barber at Pippin Contemporary

Shoreline 2, Barber, 24×24″ mixed media

Surf #7 mixed media painting by Liz Barber at Pippin Contemporary

Surf 7, Barber, 60×60″ mixed media

The floral feel in Red Petals and Tulips 2 stems from Barber’s early memories of her mother’s flower garden and the peaceful quiet she found among the carefully coordinated blooms. “It took a lot of organizing, but looked effortless,” Barber recalls of her mother’s work. Similarly, Barber’s paintings are spontaneous yet controlled through an organized process as she meticulously directs each layer of paint and then intuitively responds to the interaction of the material. The result is a colorfully composed chorus that commands a visceral response and emotional expression from the viewer. To experience more of Barber’s paintings, visit her artist page on our website and read more about her work from our recent press release that officially announces her as one of our represented artists.

Red Petals mixed media by Liz Barber at Pippin Contemporary

Red Petals, Barber, 40×60″ mixed media

Tulips #2 mixed media painting by Liz Barber at Pippin Contemporary

Tulips 2, Barber, 60×48″ mixed media