Barbara Becker brings an added flavour to the West Cork art scene - the Australian born artist creates images drawn from her experiences while living in her home country, as well as Mexico, the USA and Ireland.
Creating West Cork art in both painting and pastel mediums she brings her unique style to the wider public through exhibitions and art classes.
Barbara Becker has always been drawn to wild and remote places. Her artmaking has followed her to Mexico, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand. She also lived in a tiny village in the mountains of northern New Mexico in the USA. After a decade there, she moved to the southern most regions of Tasmania.
Throughout these years it was always her dream to one day live in Ireland. West Cork is now her home. The temperate climate of West Cork is especially suited to growing a wide variety of trees, shrubs and flowers. And with the garden paradise of Garinish Island just a kayak paddle away, the inspiration to capture spectacular colour is always within view.
Oil painting allows for glazing which imbues the subject with coloured light and shadow. This is a focal point in Barbara’s work as well as the inclusion of objects of personal significance such as shells, birds, flowers, and clouds. Barbara combines a solid technical skill set with a strong infusion of intuition.
I try to find things to paint which seem to me to have an inner life, that at the same time hides in plain sight. While building up layers of colour, I’m reminded of the multi-faceted character of life and how we see our world. It’s my aim for my paintings to move the viewer beyond the obvious, while at the same time hopefully being beautiful.
Beginning with thin washes, the underlying drawing is mapped in followed by the darkest tonal areas. Gradually the images take shape, created by refining key parts of the picture using strong colour combinations.
The spectacular forms of the Caha Mountains in West Cork, with hidden lakes and undulating rocks and valleys, has become a subject for Barbara’s most recent paintings. The road linking Glengarriff in Co. Cork with Kenmare in Co. Kerry provides a breath-taking scenic route encompassing a unique aerial view of the steep and rugged character of the region.
As well as the landscape of West Cork, Barbara is fascinated by mythological figures such as mermaids, and often paints them swimming amongst the undersea kelp forests. The landscape of West Cork is extremely elemental, and its ancient nooks and crannies, as well as its ancient stories speak loudly to its residents and visitors.
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