Liz Barber

Tree Blossoms 4
Mixed Media on Canvas
48 x 96 in

About this Artist

Liz Barber


My paintings are layered bursts of energy that record experience from nature, blending the here and now with memories. Forms and drawn lines fall into a sea of emotion.  Shapes may appear first as a reflection, then drift into volumetric configurations.  This effect captures the essence of nature with movement and light creating an artistic metaphor opaque, airy, thick and organic.

I pour colors onto the canvas and watch what happens, intuitively editing and adding in a manner similar to the impressionist mindset. There is, in me, a constant attentive awareness to create light within the work through color pairings and interactions. I am projecting an emotional response to my surroundings. A moment is captured not as a pastoral landscape; but as the glow of light or movement of forms. My tendency leans to the calm, soothing organic application over the vigorous brushstroke. 

Mixed media allows for more creative freedom and gives the materials a voice. I direct, they sing.  The materials are manipulated and moved around in an effort to form the idea of the painting.  Mediums are added to get the desired consistency and concerted application. I chime in to gather the idea together.

Translucency is created via different techniques and is usually the result of great experimentation. Water and other mediums are added to the materials to allow for spontaneous incidental reactions. I then use hard edges in the oil paint to edit, finding the gems in underlying layers.  Mark making in the painting serves as a resting place for the eye and adds diversity from the organic shapes in my work.  I also use graphite and oil pastel as drawn elements. 

The most common reoccurring theme in my work would be seasons changing or rather channeled imagery taken from watching environmental change.   The shapes serve as anchors for the mind to stop and reflect upon.  They can be identified either as ambiguous or as recognizable forms based on what the viewer brings to the piece.  I heighten some shapes by making them a focal point or lessen by hiding them beneath other paint layers. Often, I aim to create the sense of a pool of water or an image seen within a crashing wave.

Additionally, I have a pull toward distinctive color palettes at certain times of the year.  I use either subtle or intense color interaction alternately to create depth or space.  My work commands the viewer’s visceral response, one that is not superseded by representational or abstract imagery nor technical analysis. 

The overall process could be called a discovery as I am intuitively responding to shapes as they form whether intentional or as a happy accident. 

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Additional Works