Barbara Gothard, Artist Statement:
Determination In A World Of Challenges
Having been in various challenging environments and life-altering situations provides me with a wealth of experiences from which to draw inspiration for my creative work as an artist -- a personal, first-hand account of the universally relatable “human condition“ which is then translated into imaginative media formats. The most recent example of “Victory-over-hardship-turned-motivation” was when I was confronted with the prospect of losing entire years of inventory of my artwork following a storm damaged roof episode.
I view these events were an opportunity - the prospect of losing all of my artworks, resulting from toxic molds and asbestos exposure following rain storms - not a tragedy! I channeled the emotionally-charged energy people generally respond with in a time of crisis to re-commit whole-heartedly -- body, mind and soul — to the joys of the creative process. I now face each blank canvas with a combination of urgency, courage and excitement. The results are Multiple Threads, a series of complex paintings investigating and contrasting realism-versus-surrealistic, organic juxtaposed with abstract visual concepts. The theme of this series is a study in dream-like metaphors of the aspects of impermanence life can appear to have by using images of flowers, fruit and doorways -- as a way to subtly "peel back layers" of meaning for the viewer. The collective paintings’ “story” is that of introspection and reflection -- on the part of the artist and of the viewer. My paintings are physical representations of a mental/emotional understanding of self.
To achieve the series’ “unanticipated” effect, I draw directly onto paper or canvas, letting the painting take me into unexpected directions. By allowing happenstance and experimentation, and by painting in a “layered methodology“, the unfolding mysteries of complex spatial properties is what compels me to paint, culminating in works such as the Multiple Threads series.
The following artists have greatly influenced my vision as an artist and of what art can be: Hieronymus Bosch (his use of fantastic imagery and placement), the Dutch Masters, Vermeer, in particular (his masterly treatment and use of light), Gustav Klimt (elegant and decorative elements), Georgia O’Keeffe (contoured forms that are replete with subtle transitions of varying colors), and Magritte (his ability to place ordinary objects in unfamiliar spaces…). From these honored teachers I take the basics of art and expound upon their “creative language” in order to speak to present audiences.