Istarted painting when I was in high school...it was a way to express myself when words couldn't express my thoughts and emotions. As a studio art major at a number of colleges, including classes at the SF Art Institute, college in England, San Diego, and Stanford, I had a wonderful and broad education in traditional and modern painting history and techniques.
I was an art teacher in San Francisco for many years, including starting The Children's Gallery, an art preschool, art camp, and creative arts workshop program for children. The school was based on my belief that through the creative process we can better understand ourselves and others.
I now live in Santa Cruz, Ca. at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Everyday I see the water, land, and sky of this beautiful coast...it is ever present in my work. I am constantly aware how my everyday life enters my paintings. I work in conceptual series about what I am concerned with in my life at that time. These series titles have included; "The Faces of Eve," "Places of Peace," "North Coast Waters," "Floating Flowers," "Dogs on Haight Street," "Pool Excavations," "Tender Mercies," and "Verax."
When I begin a new series, there is an intention of what I want to focus on, but it isn't until about half way through a series, when the paintings start 'talking' to me, that I really start to understand what each painting is about.
One of my series, "Hitchhiker," is concerned with the notion of the open road. When I was young, I hitchhiked as part of my need to honor my life and choices. I would stick out my thumb and go where the next ride took me. I no longer hitchhike, but I still find following my instincts and choices intriguing.I approached this series with the same wonder and awe as when I used to hitchhike. I knew I wanted to feel the freedom of not knowing where each painting would end up. The paint would tell me when to start, when to stop, and when to totally change directions. These paintings are weighted with the layers of time and place and meaning. Each piece of work arrived at it's own ceremonious destination.
My latest series, "Cultivating Wildness," is in response to various dark forces that have recently shown themselves in our country. I wanted to focus on our innate wildness and the blooming brightness and color in our lives.
I fell in love with the painting process when I was young, and this love has been an ever present thread that has woven through my life. The process of taking brush in hand, putting brush to paint, paint to canvas...this for me is touching truth. I am fortunate. This process helps keep me aware of my self and the life around me.
I hope that you connect in some way to my work, and that my expression touches you.
Thank you for your interest.
Barbara J. Weigel
Santa Cruz, California