Shona Barr Artist
There is an intense exploration of nature, ranging from the wild beauty of coastal landscapes to the exuberant abundance of garden flowers. The floral paintings have a magnified quality which engulf the viewer. In contrast, the landscapes are panoramic, inviting contemplation rather than involvement.
The paintings start as watercolours painted in open air. The aim is to absorb the atmosphere, watch how changing light alters colours and mood, and to capture all this essential information on paper. Sometimes, only a small fragment of a watercolour becomes the basis for an oil painting. Oil studies on card help me to decide what is vital before moving on to canvas.
I work in a bold and direct way to retain freshness and energy, investigating the interplay between abstraction and representation, playing with the boundaries where completely abstract marks come together as a recognisable image. Yet, nothing is invented. The luscious textures and colours are already inherent in the actual landscape or flora. Rather than portray the obvious, the final paintings articulate a hidden presence: they are a distillation of a sense of place.