Author Archives: Stephanie

Feelings, #5

This is my 5th exhibit in Berlin since September 2017.
 
Is there new stuff, that you haven’t seen before?
 
Yes, I have been painting, and continuing to evolve my practice and the expression of my inner-self through painting.
 
I continue to explore thoughts and emotions, in particular several pieces (5) from my in-progress series, “Opening Up” will be on display. These paintings explore the idea of sharing ourselves with the outside world, and what happens when we decide being that vulnerable isn’t worth the risk and we pull back into our shell.

All the works on display are works I have completed in Berlin.

The exhibit takes place from July 6th until August 31st at:
Private Office 
Marburger Straße 2,10789 Berlin

The vernissage is July 6th from 18:00 to 21:00 and the finissage is August 30 from 18:00 to 21:00

 I look forward to seeing you there. If you are unable to attend the vernissage or finisage please let me know and I can arrange a private viewing.

Update on Brotfabrik Exhibition (March 17, 2018)

Now that my exhibition at Brotfabrik has finished its second week and entered into its third, I thought I would share some of what’s happened and what’s coming up.

One of the gallerists at Brotfabrik has written several blog posts about the opening and my paintings, you can find them here:

1. On the opening: http://volwi-ein.blogspot.de/2018/03/stephanie-barnes-ronny-johne-going-with.html
2. The large piece that hangs in the first room: http://volwi-ein.blogspot.de/2018/03/gedanken-zum-bild-stephanie-barnes.html
3. Joy #4: http://volwi-ein.blogspot.de/2018/03/gedanken-zum-bild-joy-4-stephanie-barnes.html

I am doing a workshop on March 31 at the gallery from 13:00 until 18:00. The theme will be Resilience, and I will lead you through an interactive workshop exploring different artistic mediums and methods and how you can become the artist of your own life. Bringing artistic activities into your life can help you to be more resilient, curious, and help you to reduce stress. Come and explore and find out how. You can come for an hour or two, or hang-out for the whole afternoon, it’s up to you. If you’re on Facebook you can see details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2034316343494347/ and if you’re not on Facebook there is information on the Brotfabrik page http://brotfabrik-berlin.de/event/stephanie-barnes-ronny-johne-going-with-the-flow/2018-03-17/, but basically just show-up ready to paint/draw and explore.

I will also do an artist talk at the finissage on April 15 at 16:00. I am hoping to prepare some of it in German, so come out and see how I do. 🙂

Finally, if you’re wondering if it’s worth coming out to see the exhibition, I can tell you that there are some things installed that were not at the “Ich muss gehen” event in January or other exhibitions I have done in Berlin. Additionally, the first piece in a new series that I have just started is hanging at the gallery, it’s called, “Opening Up #1”. The series deals with how we open ourselves up to people, only to get frightened and retreat again. It has elements of the “Masks we hide behind” series and other themes I’ve dealt with, but adds some new components; I’m excited for you to see it, so I hope you’ll stop by the gallery and check it out. The gallery is open daily from 16:00 until 20:00.

That’s all for now, I hope to see you at the workshop or the Finissage.

Brotfabrik Vernissage, March 2, 2018

Info about my vernissage at Brotfabrik on March 2, 2018, 19:00 until 23:00.  You can also find info on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/events/1707791832607324/

Info on the Brotfabrik page about my exhibition: http://brotfabrik-berlin.de/event/stephanie-barnes-ronny-johne-going-with-the-flow/2018-03-02/

Upcoming exhibitions 2018

Exhibit schedule for 2018

Start date End date Location Exhibit theme
Vernissage:
July 6th, 2018
18:00 – 21:00
Finissage:
August 30, 2018
18:00 – 21:00
 Private Office
http://private-office-berlin.de/ Marburger Straße 2, 10789 Berlin
Feelings, #5

 

November 10, 2018 December 8, 2018 L’ATELIER Galerie-Café, Berlin
https://www.facebook.com/latelier.berlin/
 This is now

 

Upcoming exhibitions 2017-2018

 

Start date End date Location Exhibit theme
September 15, 2017 Finissage: September 23, 2017 Atelier Café, Weißensee

https://fr.tripadvisor.ch/Restaurant_Review-g187323-d12474603-Reviews-L_Atelier_Galerie_Cafe-Berlin.html

Joy, Chaos

 

October 27, 2017 December 7, 2017 Tuesday Coworking https://www.tuesdaycoworking.com/ Masks we hide behind
January 21, 2018  January 21, 2018 HvH Coaching-Etage
Akazienstraße 28
Im Akazienhof links 2 OG
10823 Berlin
Paintings and Poetry
March 2, 2018 April 15, 2018 Brotfabrik, Weißensee

http://brotfabrik-berlin.de/

Pieces of my Heart, The same but different, Rejection
July 2018 September 2018 Private Office

http://private-office-berlin.de/

tbd

 

The Joy of Going with the Flow at l’Atelier Galerie & Cafe

This is the first of several exhibits Stephanie will do over the course of the next year. Each exhibit will explore different themes from her work over the last six years. This one starts with her earlier paintings and explores the themes of Joy and Going with the Flow.

Details of this exhibit in September are as follows:
Location: KunstGalerie Cafe, Heinersdorferstraße 34, 13086 Berlin
Vernissage: September 16, 2017, 5pm – 8pm
Finissage: September 23, 2017 at 5pm – 8pm

Facebook event links:
Vernissage
Finissage

Like it or not

This is a blog post about some recent experiences I have had receiving feedback from other artists about my work. In one case the feedback was negative and criticized me and my paintings, the other was overwhelmingly positive.

In both cases the feedback was unsolicited by me, although in the first case I had asked the artist a question about his experience in the art world, I did not, however, ask him to critique my work.

I did not know the first artist.

The second artist is someone I have known for about 6 years. I trust her and respect her as an artist and a person.

In the first case, the artist’s comments seemed inconsistent and I wondered if he even looked at my work before providing his unsolicited feedback.

In the second case, the artist congratulated me on the evolution of my art and complemented the professionalism of my work (her word, not mine).

Not everyone likes my work, and that’s fine, there’s lots of art that I don’t like too; I am not offended by people who don’t like my work. I am often curious about why and will often engage in a conversation about my art and what it is that they don’t like about it. Often it is too energetic or colourful or they want to “see” something in it, or they just don’t like abstract art—it’s not my paintings in particular, it’s a whole style of painting. And that’s okay, they’re allowed to like or not like things, that’s what makes this world a wonderful place: the diversity of thought and likes and dislikes.

I do think it’s important to keep an open mind when looking at other people’s artwork. If they are sharing it either publicly or privately, it is clearly something that is important to them, something they are passionate about, it is a story that they feel compelled to share in whatever way they are able to. I think you should show and interest in that, out of respect for the other person and their journey, and because you might learn something that informs your own thoughts and experiences (and creative practice, if you have one).

My paintings tell a story of personal growth and development, and have become more confident and complex as I have continued with my practice. To me they illustrate the complexity of life. Where they started out simply as an expression of joyful chaos, they now combine that joy and chaos with heartbreak and loss. Such is the nature of life.

Either that speaks to you or it doesn’t. In the case of the first artist, I would suggest that it didn’t, in the case of the second artist I would suggest that it did. Neither is right or wrong, that’s just the way it is, given their own individual life experiences.

Am I going to stop painting because someone doesn’t like my painting? No. I paint because I find it to be the best way to express things that I can’t put into words. I paint because I have to. I have stories to tell, that can only be told through my paintings.

I paint, therefore I am.

Inspiration for my series, “Pieces of my heart”

A Piece of My Heart (Author Unknown)

One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley. A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart.

Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said “Why, your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine.” The crowd and the young man looked at the old man’s heart. It was beating strongly, but it was full of scars. It had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn’t fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing.

The people stared — how can he say his heart is more beautiful, they thought? The young man looked at the old man’s heart and saw its state and laughed. “You must be joking,” he said. “Compare your heart with mine. Mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears.”

“Yes,” said the old man, “yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love – I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them, and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart, but because the pieces aren’t exact, I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared.”

“Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away, and the other person hasn’t returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges — giving love, is taking a chance. Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these people too, and I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?”

The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands. The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man’s heart. It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges. The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man’s heart flowed into his.

[Thanks, to Don Jackson (http://heartbeatoftheinternet.com/) for tracking down the text for me.]

You can see photos of my series on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/mppc1967/ or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/StephanieBarnesArt/

Passage through the Opposites: Stephanie Barnes’ Reconciliation Painting

The following essay was written about my art by an art critic who reviewed my work here in Berlin. The critic wishes to remain anonymous.

Whole.

I long to be heard.

Words and pictures; not words or pictures.

I long to be whole, not half.

My struggle is to be…

Whole. 

                        –Stephanie Barnes

In 2014, the year that Germany celebrated its 25th anniversary of reconciliation, Stephanie Barnes knew in a single instant that she was going to move to Berlin. In this AHA moment, she was united between her fated pathways of opposites, as a twin born under the sign of Gemini, seeking reconciliation in her art.

“In December, it was a feeling of being home, even though I was standing in a kitchen filled with someone else’s belongings, and only two suitcases of my own with me,” she recalls of her visit to Berlin, just a month after the reconciliation celebration. “The other moment, in February 2015, it was feeling homesick for Berlin after being away for 2 days, on a 16-day business trip.”

The artist being at home in a city representing division and reconciliation for the world comes with a feeling of wholeness and integration. Barnes sees a parallel between her emotions expressed in painting and that of the German nation. This inner/outer composition between her inner feeling of reconciliation and the external reconciliation in her new environment is a theme working its way through her art.

“In Germany and in Berlin, the reconciliation is between east/west, communism/capitalism, homogeneity/diversity–­the group versus the individual,” Barnes muses. “On the personal level, the reconciliation is between left and right brain, knowledge management and creativity, business and art, standing up for myself and belonging.”

For Barnes, the journey to integration extends from her birthright as a twin born under the Gemini sign of the Twins. “Who am I?” is the question she asks, and seeks to answer, with her painting. Her passage between the opposites as businesswoman and artist has led to the discovery of a language to access the energy built up from the tension of balancing life in the corporate world with her life in art.

Paradoxically, the process of working the image through this eternal question of identity has brought her into a rediscovery of words: “The integration and reconciliation of my logical business half and the creative, painting, artistic half is my own. I am not half a person, I am not only business/knowledge management/process; I am not only a creative/painter/artist. I am not half a twin. I am a whole in a set of twins.”

Yet, she sums up her passage of reconciliation through the opposites that is her birthright with a single word: JOY.