Texture

I do love incorporating geometrics into my paintings.  Many of my recent ones are urban landscapes or villages whose forms allow me to slash and cross cross with abandon.  I’ve also found that deconstructing my unending supply of Amazon boxes allows me to add quirky texture to a surface I’ve already roughed up with tissue paper and gesso.

Reflections
Here is my very latest, Reflections, which has an abundance of texture in very appealing shades of teals and greens with reflections on water in saffron and pumpkin.  (24”x 30” acrylic). 

I usually start from a photograph, often one I’ve ripped from The New York Times.  I might draw my inspiration from the photo, but then the painting takes on a life of its own.  A fun but sometimes frustrating process to get it just right.  The final product may bear little resemblance to the photo which inspired it but along the way, it has become my own.

In Cliffside, I began with a lot of texture from thickened gesso which seemed to want to dictate what I painted.  There are two small boats in the harbor that were formed by the gesso ... there was no fighting it.  The hillside dwellings just followed in an impressionist style. There was a large sailboat which wanted to appear, but I fought it mightily and just barely won.  It would have been too large for the small harbor. 

I do like the dramatic sky and can even see some mountains in the distance.  A few years ago we were on a Viking cruise from Barcelona to Rome and Cliffside takes me back to the lovely perched hillside villages we saw as we passed by.

Cliffside


2019 was Great!

I am so grateful for the support and encouragement I’ve received from Karis Gallery owner Maggie Karis.  She welcomed  and showed, half a dozen of my pieces last fall. Four have sold.  Thanks and appreciation, too, for the buyers of these four works.

Sold #1 Bellisima, my “covergirl”, graced the cover of the October issue of Pink Magazine. The painting wasurchased as a surprise for his wife by the same gentleman (and wife) who bought “Help, Help, The Contractor’s Disappeared”.

Sold #2 Papillon, another mysterious young lady whose soft green gown featured an antique lace butterfly.

Sold #3 Sisters, one of my faves to paint and so glad it found a forever home.

Sold #4 Help! Help! My contractor's disappeared

BellisimaBellisima, my “cover girl”graced the cover of the October issue of Pink Magazine and was soon sold. Purchased as a surprise for his wife by the same gentleman (and wife) who bought another of my pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PapILLON

Papillon, a mysterious young lady whose soft green gown featured an antique lace butterfly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sisters

 

 

Sold #3 Sisters, one of my faves, and so glad it found a forever home.

 

 

 

Helphelp


Sold #4
Help! Help! My contractor's disappeared

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a great year 2019 was for me and for Karis! Stop by and see what new works of mine that Maggie has on display now. (1000 William Hilton Parkway).


Cover Girl!

IMG_2732Bellisima is on the cover of Pink Magazine, October issue.  

Pink is a Low Country, South Carolina magazine all about women and their accomplishments.  The owner/publisher, Elizabeth Millen was visiting Karis Gallery and saw Bellisima in the window and was “captivated”.  

She interviewed me for two hours and said she could not decide between Papillon or Bellisima.  I put in my two cents’ worth suggesting that the colors in Bellisima fit perfectly with the magazine’s name.  

I am also happy with the write-up, and that she included my accepting commissions to paint abstracts to coordinate with a client’s color schemes.

Article

 

 


Fantastic news!

From the time I began painting (was it only 5 years ago?), it has been my dream to have a presence and to be represented by a good contemporary art gallery.

After nearly 30 years of needle and fiber art, and artisan metalwork and jewelry design, I am happy to announce that my paintings have been accepted by the KarisArtGallery.com on Hilton Head Island.

Voted Best Art Gallery on Hilton  Head, Karis shows American Contemporary Artists with a diversity of styles and mediums in painting, sculpture, photography, fine jewelry, glass, and art wearables.\

Three of my large paintings are on display and for sale.

  •  Apparition welcomes you at the gallery entrance.
  • Bellisima is on an easel in a window and you cannot miss it.
  • My latest, Cirque Soleil, is also on display.

I am so appreciative to Maggie Karis for admiring my work, giving me this opportunity.

Karis Art Gallery is in Wexford Village, 1000 William Hilton Parkway (right next to the Jazz Corner). Open Monday thru Saturday, 10am-6pm, 843-785-5100.


Sold!  

Off to its forever home goes “To the Rescue”.  

Jeep

Purchased by a client for her son and grandson who are restoring a vintage Jeep just like it.  Always glad to see happy homes for my artwork.


Coming Home

Coming_home
Still wet on my easel. 

This was definitely a tough one, primarily because I did not start with a story, but rather, a beautiful piece of handmade tie-dyed paper from Nepal.

I was mesmerized by the repeating deep blue pattern on a parchment background. I knew it had to be a piece of furniture.  But what then?

I started with a pale yellow and ochre underlay and then added many layers of transparent colors.  In one of these layers, the dog appeared and I just could not cover him/her up.  I added some stencils for rugs and another chair outline which I decided should be dark blue suede but with narrow stripes of collage cut from an old painting.

But I still needed a “story” so I added a person ... really liking the abstract-ness of her/him and how the colors worked and were reflected in the painting on the wall, yet another abstract!

Collaged chairs and corrugated frame on wall painting done last.

And the story?  I added my suitcase and titled it “Coming Home”, reflecting my immense relief returning to the USA after breaking my hip in Paris last month.  After all, isn’t everyone happy to return home?  Especially if they have a wonderful pet to welcome them back! 

Acrylic collage, 30” x 24”.  $675.  Handmade paper, acrylic, pastel, crayons, chalk, graphite.


"To the Rescue"

I am especially proud of my newest piece, an 11” x 14” acrylic collage which still needs framing.

When we first arrived in Maine this past June, I saw this World War II/Korean War vintage ambulance Jeep out alongside the road at a vintage car restoration business called Twisted Metal.  I asked Frank to take a photo next time he passed by because I knew I wanted to paint it.  Here is the photo he took.  The sign in its window says 19?? and $600. The star is what captured my attention.

Image1
So this is what I first drew, then painted then collaged.  I decided to use my favorite recycled collage material:  paper towels that I’ve used to clean my brushes with.  I have so many sheets, nicely stretched out, that I have them color sorted.  Of course I had to use camouflage color for the Jeep,  but the variety of serendipitous color combinations available allowed me to play with the project as if it were a puzzle.  Thus little bits of color, yellow, lime green, pop up and darker grays, to me, indicated people inside.  Two very vintage buttons are the headlights and a corrugated coffee container is the front grill.  Of course, the star is the focal point.

My last decision making was what to paint the sky and ground.  I had started out with a grey blue sky and ochre and grey earth but I knew those were just starting points to allow me to place the vehicle.  I experimented and painted a watered down burnt orange and my most favorite paint color of them all: Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold.  I wanted a war torn sky and I love the effect of those two washes over the grey blue underlay.  They really complement the colors in the Jeep.  

For the road, I thought MUD!  It should be muddy and very textured, where only the intrepid can go “To the Rescue!”

Image2


My Pop-Up - a limited engagement

 Thursday, from 5pm to 8pm, I'll be showing the fruit of my summer as part of the August Wiscasset Art Walk.  

Almost a dozen pieces, including what you might call two themes

Chairs and Towns and Villages

Please stop by 64 Main Street.  Have glass of wine and have a look!

Donna@DonnaBarnako.com 

 

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mailto:Donna@DonnaBarnako.com


New art

Greetings from somewhat cooler Maine

I am so excited about my latest abstract pieces completed after three workshops in Hilton Head on landscapes, figures and large compositions. I also worked with uber teacher/artist William Skip Lawrence for two weeks. and he featured my work on his Web site, too .

I absorbed so much from these classes and it is reflected in my new works and certainly my energy. I have completed ten (!!) large paintings in six weeks and couldn’t be more pleased.

Maine Village

Here are three “Maine Village” pieces. They are all a generous 24”x30” in acrylic, ink, chalk and crayon. (Click on the images to see larger versions.)

I start by applying an underlay of tissue paper to give dimension, texture and interest. Each is composed of many layers of translucent and opaque paints and mediums. Their incredible detail cannot be conveyed in a photo. 

I have many wonderful paint brushes but find that I can get the results that I want using paper towels and palette knives. Translucency and interest are achieved by the liberal use of water and mediums with my paints, and by wiping and scraping away to layers of color below. The nuances of color, I believe, make the paintings so much more interesting and never boring!

Each of my village paintings has a distinct personality. You can almost imagine the lives of the hardworking people living there.

Chairs

Following on the idea of telling a story, I created a series of chair paintings. (Click on the images to see larger versions.)

 The first was the largest piece I’ve undertaken: 24” x 48”. It is a wonderful focal point for any room.  Not only was the size a departure for me, it is largely a monochromatic muted shade of sea foam grey.  As yet untitled, the piece features a barely-seen seated figure on a very visible chair created by collaging painted paper made using hot melted beeswax. A lot of work but I feel the effort was worth it. The figure appears to me as a grandmother bent over her knitting. What you cannot see is is the lacy texture of the knitting in her lap.

My instructor likened my second chair piece to American painter David Hockney. (I should be so lucky.) It is a very inviting easy chair with a fringy rug in front (the paper was handmade in Nepal) and a framed abstract painting on the wall. That painting was actually made from the paint splatters on my palette paper. Finally, my idea with the third piece was to make a blown up version of that abstract painting. It is another biggy,  24”x48”. Both should hang in the same room, becoming a focus of imagination and imagination.

The next four chairs are smaller paintings and invite their own stories to be told. (Click on the images to see larger versions.)


Too much fun to paint!  

And the Skies Wept
24”x 36”
Acrylic on canvas.  Ready to hang.

Akieswept
I started with molding paste, crackle paste and tissue paper to provide a textured background.  Then I added bits of cheesecloth and handmade paper and a very watered-down background of paint.  

My newest find:  water soluble chalks came next.  I love them!  Wet them before and they make striking colors; wet them after and they weep wonderful striations.  

Then came Acrylic inks, crayons, graphite pencils, markers.  

Finally it was time to PAINT!  

There are layers upon layers and with each, the name changed:  first, Mineral Deposits. Then Fissures. Then Lava Flow (Frank suggested that one).

But after I put the last bits of my Sennelier oil pastels on, I decided on And the Skies Wept.