Tag Archives: Art

Le Tour du Monde at Women’s Art Association of Canada

Just to let everyone know, I will have paintings in Le Tour du Monde at the Women’s Art Association of Canada. It opens March 7 and goes until March 25.

Details are here http://www.womensartofcanada.ca/events/1405/Opening-Reception-Le-Tour-du-Monde/2014-3-7

I will be at the opening on Friday night, March 7, 5:30pm until 7:30pm.

Hope to see you there.


Updated Gallery: Inspired by Nigeria and The Masks We Hide Behind’

I have updated the images of my art: I’ve added pictures of what I’ve been working on over the fall and winter. I was fighting a bit with the camera to get decent pictures, I will try to work on getting better images, but I wanted to get something posted that wasn’t just the work-in-progress type pictures that I post on my personal Facebook page.

The initial set of images that I have added were inspired by my trip to Nigeria in September 2013, and represent, the colours of the landscape there: lush greens, and rusty-red soil and of course then there’s the oil and the colourful clothing. (The appear part-way down the page and are called “Inspired by Nigeria” numbers 1-4. These pieces will also be on display at the Women’s Art Association of Canada during March 2014.

The energy and emotions from those pieces evolved into the idea of the “masks we hide behind” and the layers that are on top of who we really are. It’s an idea I am still exploring so the images I’ve posted are the first 5 in the series, stay tuned for more.

My Art Hanging at Above Ground

I can’t believe I forgot to post pictures of my art hanging at Above Ground, it’s almost time to go and take it down! 🙁

To make this easy, I’m just going to post a link to my Stephanie Barnes Art Facebook page, where I did post pictures https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.657509954269487.1073741830.592798060740677&type=1

My art at Above Ground Art Supplies

Just a quick note, I heard this past week that I will have an opportunity to hang some of my paintings at Above Ground Art Supplies, downtown location, for the month of November. They have a Staircase Showcase, so I have to pick 4 pieces to hang there for the month.

I hope you’ll drop by and take a look, if you can.

Too Much

I started a new piece today, after taking a break for a few weeks; I NEEDED to paint TODAY.

As I started my latest creation, which in actual fact is 4  8″ by 8″ panels, I thought about my idea, blobs of acrylic paint mixed with molding paste, 6 different colours. This was something different than what I have been doing, and was inspired by a few different things that I have been looking at over the last few weeks.

I am usually all about big, big gestures, big loops of fluid paint or strokes with a big paint brush. Bigger is better, more is better. This was very methodical and rhythmical, and tedious as I created, yet I held firm to the idea that I had for this piece, thinking about what ties it to the rest of my practice.

It wasn’t spontaneous, like my earlier works, yet it definitely has a flow to it.

It was, however, TOO MUCH….too much, that’s what ties it together with my other pieces, I like a lot of paint, paint that takes days to dry, paint that drips and puddles and oozes. This doesn’t puddle and oozes, but it is too much: big globs of paint, messy, irregularly formed blobs of paint. It makes me smile just typing the words.

I am too much, at least that’s what I have believed about myself for a long time: too loud, too opinionated, too smart, too overwhelming, too much to handle, too much, and too many (there were after-all two of me (I’m an identical twin)).


I’m not really, I’m perfectly imperfect, like everyone else. I am the most perfect one of me there is, and there is only one, not two, despite being an identical twin.

The idea of too much, informs my art practice…too much paint…too much movement…too much energy…too much…except it’s not too much, it’s JOYFUL energy exploding all over the canvas and I can’t have enough joy, can you?


Running out of Too Much (work in progress)

Running out of Too Much (work in progress)

Running out of Too Much, completed

Running out of Too Much, completed


Realistic vs. Abstract

I went to the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (TOAE) on Saturday (July 6, 2013), it wasn’t as hot as last year, which was a good thing. As always there was lots of art to look at, in all kinds of mediums: painting, sculpture, textiles, jewelry, photography, drawing, etc. The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is where I bought my puzzle piece lapel pin, that 10 years later would inspire the name of my consulting company, Missing Puzzle Piece Consulting, but I digress.

While I was at TOAE I spoke with several of the artists about their art, their process, and motivation, because as much as I dislike people asking me those questions, mostly because I have to think too hard to describe my art in words, I am curious about other artist’s practice.

In particular I had a good chat with Brock Irwin and his art. As you can see on his website he sometimes paints realistic pieces, and sometimes abstract. I asked why he goes back and forth between the two types, he said he gets tired/bored of doing one style of the other, so switches back and forth. What also intrigued me was that he said he thought the abstract was much more difficult than the realistic. He explained that the while realistic pieces were much more technically difficult, there was typically a model that he was working from e.g. a landscape, a bowl of fruit, etc. whereas with abstract pieces it was all coming from inside him. The abstract pieces demanded much more knowledge and attention to colour and composition.

I think I mostly agree with him, in the details of what he said, but for me, the realistic pieces are hard, I don’t have the patience to do them. I also feel like, for me art is about expression, and emotion, and the reaction I have to either looking at a piece or creating a piece and the thoughts of me doing something realistic is something mind-numbingly boring and tedious. I can absolutely appreciate the dedication and skill involved, but it’s not where my interest lies.

To me the abstract pieces that I create are the easiest thing in the world to create, they bring me joy and balance and I enjoy creating them like I enjoy nothing else. I enjoy going into myself to decide on colours and shapes and composition, and doing what speaks to me. That is not to say that process is easy, it definitely takes time and courage. I have had many people tell me they could never create abstract paintings like I create, they would be too worried about “getting it right” and “making a mistake.”

To me that is the best part, there is no “getting it right” or “making a mistake” there’s nothing to compare against, it’s pure, unadulterated, me.

The Plasticiens and Beyond at the Varley Art Gallery

It was the end of a long week, not a bad or good week, just a long week and I needed to recharge. I had seen the posting about an event taking place at the Varley Art Gallery, a Panel Discussion: Painting Today, Beyond the Canvas in a couple of different places, so decided to venture out and check it out. I am so glad I did!

I arrived early enough to see The Plasiticiens and Beyond:Montreal 1955-1970 on my own as well as take part in the guided tour before the panel discussion started. The exhibit is exquisite, I found myself smiling and feeling better within a few minutes. The colour, the shapes, the energy of the pieces, recharged me, almost made me giddy with the joy of it all. I wondered why an exhibit like this wasn’t at the AGO, although I suspect I would have enjoyed it less at the AGO, because it would have been crowded and I couldn’t have easily stood mesmerized by the works, in my own world.

The panel discussion was interesting, reinforcing many things that I have heard from other corners about the creative process and the state of contemporary art in Canada. One of the things that came out of the panel was the question of why people outside of Montreal/Quebec don’t know about The Placticiens or The Automatiste or in fact why there is so little understanding/knowledge outside of Canada (or I would argue inside of Canada) about the Canadian art scene. I suspect there is at least one book in that topic, and I am certainly not going to tackle it in this blog post, except to say that I think that it goes along with the rest of Canadian Culture.

Another thing that I found interesting, and I have noticed this before at other art talks/presentations, is the use of the word practice in describing the artist’s work activities (not the actual works of art, but the process of creating them). I know practice gets used to describe a law practice or a medical practice, but I don’t think it has the same connotations in those instances as it does when it’s being used in an art/creative process. When someone talks of a practice or their practice, I immediately think of meditation and I group an art practice with meditation practice. I’m not sure that’s what anyone else does/means, but for me art is meditative, whether I am creating it or looking at it. I have to clear my mind of all the noise and focus on creating or looking and tune into what I’m feeling: the emotion of the piece I’m creating or the emotion that the piece I’m looking at is creating in me. That’s what draws me to pieces and drives me to create the pieces I create: emotion.

Anyway, back to the panel discussion, I would have loved to have sat and listened longer and learned more about not just the panelists, but the audience members, who seemed to have a wealth of experience and knowledge behind them, but the room was stuffy and hot and it had to end sometime–all good things must come to an end.

I am sorry to have missed The Automatiste, when it was at The Varley 3-4 years ago, I understand it is in Saskatchewan right now, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to get out there, so I will have to be happy with the catalogue I bought.