Barbara Shark

Region: West

I make representational paintings of people and landscapes. With affection, attachment and curiosity, I depict likeness and the private faces of my subjects.

I take many candid photographs of family and friends, searching for some moment of inspiration. I may be taken with the way shadows fall on a face, obscuring yet revealing an aspect of a friend's nature. I am beguiled by the light of a moment...a bright, obscuring light and a deep shadow next to it. Often, I am simply drawn to the beauty of a face or place. After this intuitive decision as to what to paint, I discover, as I work on the painting, connections to a deep memory from my past, art history, or the vast pool of human stories. For the last three years I have been painting with only black, white and grey. I find I can get down to the bones of forms and ideas and achieve a sense of mystery and 'realness' surpassing that of the paintings made using a full color palette.