Barbara Clark

When Life Was Simple

Barbara Clark
Oil on Panel
11 x 14″ | Framed


Barbara Clark  //  @barbaraclarkpaintings

I “used to be” an accountant. I sort of don’t like to even 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’s simply innate talent, well, I disagree with that notion. 1% Inspiration and 99% perspiration.

I am still obsessed with painting outside, but I am also exploring working BIG in the studio. In December of 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. So I will work hard to continue to grow and walk a fine line between growth that may not be accepted, and the need to keep a roof over my head. 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.