Pena Blanca Reflection I - Acrylic on Panel, 12" x 12"
Pena Blanca Reference II - Acrylic on Panel, 12" x 12"
Pena Blanca Reflection III - Acrylic on Panel, 12" x 12"
Pena Blanca Reflection IV - Acrylic on Panel, 12" x 12"
Pena Blanca Reflection V - Acrylic on Panel, 11" x 14"
Reed Calligraphy I - Acrylic on Panel, 18" x 24"
Reed Calligraphy II - 24" x 20"
Reed Calligraphy III - Acrylic on Panel, 12" x 12"
Barbara Kemp Cowlin - Aritist's Statement
Worlds within worlds intrigue me. Small, overlooked details which are part of the larger scene become near abstractions when they are separated out from the whole. This series of reeds and reflections was inspired by several camping trips to Peña Blanca Lake. First thing in the morning, with ice still crusting over puddles around the lake and creek, the air was still and crystal clear.
My little camera is a great tool for framing the small scenes that strike my eye. I take snapshots and make prints, crop the image, then dive into painting. I use acrylic because it lends itself to an exploration of various surfaces: rough and smooth, matte and shiny, light and dark, intense and dull. After drawing the main shapes on the canvas, I use a palette knife to quickly cover each area with paint. From there, I build layers of texture and color, tearing them down by scraping and sanding and then rebuilding. After creating this surface, I work in layers of glazes, building luminosity and detail until the painting feels complete.
How the paintings are interpreted is up to the viewer. The meaning may be loneliness and alienation, or perhaps joy at a snippet of overlooked beauty. I hope that my work will have an impact on the viewers’ perception of and appreciation for his/her surroundings.
Click here for Barbara Kemp Cowlin's online gallery and blog.