Françoise Barnes

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A major source of inspiration for me lies in the awesomeness of nature especially seen and observed from very close. My eyes are always on the move, finding excitement from the lacy details of a dragonfly‘s wing to the patterns of a mud cloth from Africa. The dots, flecks, specks, the artful unevenness of stripes and marks found in some plants, flowers, insects or animals intrigue me as well.

My studio is a repository for found bits and pieces of leaves, twigs, shells, seeds, rocks, feathers, insects, bird legs and egg shells. Surrounded by this “museum of the strange” and in total solitude and silence, I work intuitively marking and layering my board, paper or canvas. I begin with only a vague idea of color or shape and then follow where the work leads me. It is a dance between the work and me, at times perhaps some sort of an exchange of punches! Regularly I revisit and judge the latest mark or color: “does my eye approve?” or “does it bring back the emotion of my latest discovery? ”

Among the many painters I admire and who have influenced me are “les Nabis”, outsider artists, Henri Rousseau, Matisse, Rouault, Balthus, Joan Brown, de Kooning, Matta, Joan Mitchell, Tapies, Twombly, to name a few. My former work as a contemporary art quilt maker in the 70’s and 80’s is also probably not very far in the background.