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The development of my art has been an ongoing and intuitive journey of 40 years, a record of experimentation, improvisation and exploration where process is paramount. Having had the unique experience of spending childhood freely roaming the open sands a a beach environment and post college years in Sub-Saharan West Africa and crossing the Sahara Desert, I continue to be inspired by the vastness of open spaces and the beauty of natural surrounding, resulting in an expression of non-representational works.

Relocating to the rural mountains north of Los Angeles from a suburban CA community in 2004 has further influenced my aesthetic in terms of balance and space and color, spontaneity and order, with a merging of concepts between minimalism and expression. My most recent body of work consists mostly of oil, wax and plaster on panel utilizing a modified fresco technique, 'A Secco'. In my 1300 square foot studio (MUSE Ranch), the paintings are planned as much by my nature as my thoughts, evolving through the application of layered materials, gesture making, dragging and scraping. 

A surface is established that is new and exciting and inspires the next journey of rediscovery.  I recognize the indeterminate possibilities and outcomes of each piece and act upon impulse and intuition, while maintaining a stylistic coherence, keeping the empty space in my work as important as the space accentuated with marks and shapes. 

As a printmaker and mixed media artist using implied or actual texture, it becomes apparent that this is a prominent component to my work. The methods I’ve developed support spontaneous creative expression through my relationship with the medium. I engage with automatism, to work from the subconscious. A cycle of reconstruction and deconstruction continues until the piece becomes relevant for me. I can relate this to a meditative, sensual and intuitive journey into boundless space. Through these pieces, I ask questions  that provoke people into responding to what they see; to leave them with the depth, the surface and the characteristics of the materials to complete the picture in their own terms of exploration and judgment and to enjoy a sense of intrigue. Hopefully, the viewer is given an intimate relationship to the work and a greater sensitivity without a literal interpretation results.

As a full-time painter and printmaker exhibiting regularly across the United States, I have shown in more than 350 juried group shows, nationally attended art fairs and festivals. Solo exhibits have taken place in museum, gallery, and college venues. My work has received numerous awards and is held in private collections, corporate, and permanent city collections. 


Mixed media painting on 100 panels, 10"x10" each, dimension 11' x 11'. Costello Childs Gallery 

 All content © 2018 Barbara Bouman Jay