What is my ISM?
I was in Spain in 2016.
(I know how that sounds, and I still pinch myself
that I have had the amazing opportunities
to see the things I have)
Plug: I love Rick Steve tours -
many reasons, but I learn so much more
than I would wandering on my own.
Having a local tour guide tell me passionately
about the art on the wall, the history, the food...
It is worth EVERY penny. (and, no I didn't get paid to say that)
We toured the Prado museum (12th - 19th century art).
We admired the details
and the realism in EPIC paintings
that are taller than my house.
I love to see and understand (once again)
why all these artists made it into the art books.
No, that 2 x 3 black and white photo
doesn't do anything justice.
I got to really meet, Goya, Valezquez, El Grecko, Rubins, Titian...
they were all...
insert word from another language
because we don't have one that describes
how beautiful and hopeful
I felt looking at these creations>
They are amazing works of art that have changed me.
I pinch myself - that I got to see them...
That same day - we moved to the Sophia (20th century art)
As we entered the old insane asylum....
The wonderful local tour guide
explained modern art in a way no one has ever before
(at least to me)
It is simple.
We just spent the morning with masters of realism.
These artists painted larger than life
details to the hairs on heads of children.
Hours and time to get just the
right look to make the images look alive.
(realism... and I know it is not easy)
Our guide pulls out a toy...
a tiny camera.
This single device was introduced to the world.
It can create the fine details
that we just saw artists
spend lifetimes perfecting.
In one little "click"
And today, they are instant and everywhere.
the introduction of the camera
gives birth to Modern Art....
Art is no longer needed to capture every detail.
a reaction to the camera.
In this one moment, this Spanish tour guide
just changed the way I look at modern art.
These big moments don't happen often.
What can I make that the camera can't capture?
a mood? a feeling? a crazy creature that nature would never produce?
This concept has rattled around
in my brain for several years now.
What is my ism?
What will be my response and reaction to the technology of today?
you can apply a filter in Instagram
to that photo that you took on your phone
that makes it look painted
and you can print it out 20 x 30 if you want.
Photoshop can move
and re-arrange the entire photo
to however you want it to be...
What the heck do I do with that???
I am a pretty abstract painter.
I haven't seen many round birds or circle trees around.
So I can go confidently painting my odd trees
with the strange circles and lines
that may be found under a microscope...
I will draw lines on the rhino
and add texture to these funky animals
no camera can capture the imperfections I add to the page.
no filter has been added that can suck the creatures from my brain.
I will let them out with my pen and paint.
New work 2018
This series of trees is created on paper using acrylic paint.
I use a card to push paint around the page, playing with the chaos.
After the painting is dry, I look for the hidden trees.
Gelli Plate printing
This is an acrylic paint technique where paint is applied to a Gelli plate and then a mono print is pulled. Ink is added to define shapes or add fine line trees. Each of these are 5" x 7".
I also create quote cards using this technique.
The cards are various standard card sizes with envelopes.
Acrylic and ink on paper
I start with abstraction and work to find the order in the chaos
I added some trees
and made something beautiful
a space to explore
Jamie and I went to Italy together back in February of 2014.
A girls trip.
I fell in love with a city for the first time on that trip.
I have so many wonderful memories of that trip
the best pasta I have ever had, art is “so smoothy”, I got to row a boat down the grand canal, gelato daily, works of art in real life that were bigger… and smaller than I expected, street art, amazing cooking class, a vineyard where I want to retire… , Vatican City and the hall of maps, so much more...
But one memory from that trip changed me.
Jamie and I decided to get up before the sun and take photos.
We bundled up, cameras in hand
and went to Piazza San Marco to take photos of the gondolas.
The first hints of light were in the air,
but we arrived before the sun.
The square was still asleep.
The only people out were on their way to something.
I was lost in my own little world
of trying to capture the feeling of the morning,
The mist in the air, the boats swaying in the water,
The slow yawn of the city as it stretched
and reached out to begin the day.
Slowly rubbing sleep out of its eyes.
I was taking photos of a couple of signs above a door
One said “Change” and the other “Travel”
I was thinking about how much Travel and Change are aligned.
Neither sign photographed well.
But it was at this moment,
A man walked by and said something in Italian.
I don’t speak this beautiful language
and wish that I did
and wish that I could play back his exact Italian.
I only knew it wasn’t good morning…
I looked at him and smiled in the usual
“I have no idea what you said but thank you.”
He saw I had no idea what he said…
he seemed to laughing and shaking his head
for my odd choice of photo.
But he repeated in English with a thick Italian Accent
“Ah Beautiful Grunge.”
And tipped his hat and kept walking on his way.
That was a beautiful present moment.
That moment is like a little morsel of really good dark chocolate.
Rich, buttery, bitter and gone quickly but lingers.
It was this unknown Italian man who gave me words
around exactly what Venice is
and it seems so much of all of life.
Actually much of Europe is filled with Beautiful Grunge.
The art that I make these days
Is inspired by this idea of “beautiful grunge”
“Beautiful Grunge” is found in so many things.
I also know it to be Wabi Sabi - finding beauty in the imperfections.
If you live this life long enough
the grunge and imperfections will get you
And it sure is beautiful.
"if you look at it with the right eyes...."
(another gem from a trip)
Travel and Change.
I had no idea how much that moment would change me.
That is the moment
that I had words to describe it.
To the man walking by
That early morning
For your wisdom and words
And for sharing them with me.
I am forever changed by that travel moment.
After my divorce,
I changed my name back to Gina Marie Barry.
I had hundreds of art business cards
with my married name printed on them.
I could have thrown them away and moved on,
but instead they became a sort of art therapy for me.
At first I used up palette paint on these cards,
covering over my old name with leftover paint.
Stacks of painted cards would travel to work with me.
In meetings I would doodle on them.
I would add a quote that spoke to what I was feeling in that moment.
I keep stacks unfinished and finished cards with me.
I jot down a good quote at any moment
or doodle something while I wait in line.
And when finished, I give them away...
That is the original purpose of a business card.
They are made to be given away.
They were created to remind someone of me.
But that me is no longer.
A new me has begun.
And Gina Marie Barry is beginning with a fresh coat of paint.
I have now covered over every single card
with layers of paint.
I used my Gelli Plate and spent a weekend
covering the last of the hundreds of cards
with beautiful textures.
No more leftovers - these are intentional.
These cards have helped me on this new journey.
They are little pieces of me,
some are ugly and some are beautiful
Drawing over the paint,
following along the lines made by accident.
Finding beauty in the imperfection (wabi sabi).
I now see this is my art practice, my journal of sorts
even if it isn't sitting down to create in my studio.
These are done in the space between.
The dream always finds a way...
Words and lines all mixed together.
Each unique and each inspired by a moment in my life
each created by a new me - to be given away
I hope they will inspire or bring a smile or send a bit of hope
As they have done for me.
I tuck them into check holders at restaurants,
(servers work so hard they could use extra love)
I give them to friends
I give them to strangers
I leave them anywhere I am inspired to leave them
with a hope that someone will find the words useful or helpful
Or send them on as well.
Maybe these cards have become a metaphor for me.
To take all the ugly of my failure as a wife
and my failed marriage
and make it into something beautiful.
Maybe it is a way to cover over my old life
without throwing it all away
because it wasn't all bad and
my beautiful daughter is here because of it.
Maybe it is just something to fill the time
so grief can't take over.
These cards are just a tiny piece of rebuilding my life
And sending them off into the world
is exactly what they are supposed to do.
Enter to win these 5 cards on Instagram
enter by July 1, 2018.
Getting ready for my art show coming up July 21-22, 2018 in Golden, CO.
I am trying to fill in a few things for multiple price points.
These are large quote cards -
each about 4" x 6".
I made these with my new found love, Gelli Plate printing.
Come by my show and check them out.
Painting while emotional
is not my usual gig.
I have had some emotions that are unfamiliar
I don't like the Anger feeling
I try to talk myself out of it
I want to fix it
I clean in anger
and in this painting I added a couple of layers
while in anger
I have learned in these past couple years
that I can't fix "it".
These happenings that make the anger grow.
I just get to ride the wave
how I deal with what is happening
And I know I haven't dealt with them well at times.
This painting has
layers of anger
layers of sad
layers of loss
layers of messy
layers of hope
layers of dreams
layers of following along
layers of doing my own thing
all mixed together
in the end
anger can be beautiful
in my Wabi Sabi world
as long as I don't dwell there too long
(and my house is cleaner...)
one is turning away
Even as the other tries to hold it close
perhaps this painting is about more than
just these flowers
I have been busy.
But they say we shouldn't say that anymore...
I have been doing lots of art intertwined with my life.
I even have the opportunity to show my work this July.
So I did a practice run this weekend.
There is something about this series of work
that is different than the others.
Still trees, still bright, but very different.
The wabi sabi concept is helping me let go.
(Wabi Sabi is the art of finding beauty in the imperfections)
This art begs me not to get lost
or stop in the "perfection" of it all.
I paint with freedom.
Pour paint and drag
paint around on the page.
I work quickly thinking of only this.
It is a meditation
this moment clear and bright
Engrossed in color combinations.
Pushing and pulling paint with a card.
The tool takes away the chance at the details.
After they dry and rest
I come back to these paintings
with new eyes
I hold a copic marker or pigma pen in hand.
I find the trees hiding in the colors
dwelling in the layers.
The painting head space is separate from the tree finding head space.
This is when the details can come.
This is when I can look for the order in the chaos.
I am not fighting this series.
I am not looking for the next idea.
I dream of the next mess I can make
and then find order in the mess.
I am content in making these paintings.
I want to find more trees in the chaos.
A painting mess
jump in (it's not in my nature - I plan and figure it all out first)
Fear is on this ride.
But as I learned from Big Magic...
fear no longer get's to drive.
The ugly stage comes and goes.
a stage in every painting and in every life. (sometimes more than one)
I have to walk away - sleep it off - ignore the fear beast.
sometimes art get tucked away for a while
but eventually I have to come back
find the beauty in the trees
Find the trees in the chaos
Find me in the chaos
Find peace in me
this is why i do this.
wabi sabi is finding beauty in the mess,
in the broken, in the imperfections
that are this LIFE... it is imperfectly beautiful.
to find beauty in the imperfections.
"to make visible that which without me would not be seen"
my art is a safe place
to find peace and beauty
and by finding this peace and beauty in artwork,
translate that to my life.
Making some art for some upcoming shows.
each is 8 x 10
acrylic and ink on paper