Featured Artwork: Barbara Coleman
A Thousand Faces
16 x 20 in.
Oil on Linen Panel
Available through Illume Gallery of Fine Art, St. George, Utah
A Thousand Faces is the result of a study painted in the company of great friends, wonderful artists, and much laughter. It was October, and the group of plein air painters had pulled over to the side of the road and snuck between fence lines to paint the glowing cliffs.
The backcountry of Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, is luminous and ancient. It is a landscape of paradoxes for the human soul: simultaneously fleeting and eternal. While now an expanse of desert canyons and cliffs, it used to be part of an ocean, the shorelines are preserved to this day. Ghost Ranch’s duality of being both rich in color and architectural elements, yet honed down to its essence, has captivated artist Barbara Coleman for much of her life. To begin coming to terms with this place, much less paint it, the artist must become unflinchingly present to the shining cliffs, radiant shadows and vast, cobalt sky; and then give herself completely away to them. The poet David Whyte writes: “Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that first, bright and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart.” This place, and this great sky, has that kind of power to create freedom of expression.
On that sunny afternoon, laughter slowly gave way to intense focus and solitude as Barbara painted several studies, gathering her color notes and ideas to guide her future work. Afternoon flowed swiftly into evening and Venus hung brightly in the sky as she finished capturing the study that would later become A Thousand Faces.
A Thousand Faces is part of the Oil Painters of America Virtual Western Regional Show hosted by Illume Gallery of Fine Art in St. George, Utah. It is available for purchase through Illume Gallery.
Barbara is a member of these art organizations:
Oil Painters of America
Pastel Society of America, Signature Member
Plein Air Painters of New Mexico, Signature Member, Membership Director
Women Artists of the West, Associate Member
Oil Painters of America 29th National Juried Exhibition, RS Hanna Gallery, Fredericksburg, Texas
Oil Painters of America Virtual Western Regional Exhibition, Illume Gallery of Fine Art, St. George, Utah
ArtsThrive Art Exhibition, Albuquerque Art Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Juried Members Online Exhibition, Plein Air Painters of New Mexico, Blumenschein Museum, Taos, New Mexico