gallery artist index framing


 

Zak Barnes



 

Born and raised in Kansas, I feel a deep connection to the prairie landscape and to the people of this land. These are the base and anchor of my work, and set the emotional tone for any narrative that plays itself out in the paintings. My strongest influences are my immediate environment, life experience, and the way my mind interprets this information. I live alternatively within remote and more cosmopolitan settings, working both in the studio and in the landscape. In this way I am able to explore a wide range of physical and emotional experience.

I find fulfillment in the rhythm of my days out in the open, loading and unloading the truck with equipment paints and dog, setting up, and working with the elements. I create all of my landscape work on site, with no preparatory drawing or reworking in the studio. I attempt to capture the fleeting moment in paint texture and color, in mood and measure. The scene changes with each passing moment, demanding a concentration of attention and quickness of hand. I paint with brush and pallet knife, often limiting the palette, using earth tones to accentuate moments of color.

In the studio, the landscape becomes secondary, drawn from memory, a setting and backdrop for human interaction. Narratives in a loose sense, I reference folk art, surrealism and contemporary compositional practices to create ambiguity in both period and environment.

I have reached a point in my painting where I feel comfortable with my working methods, in control of the paint, and able to “play” with compositional elements. In my landscape work, I attempt to remain true to the prairie, manipulating the materials in ways that will express the movement of light and shadow.
I refer to myself as an “artist’s artist.” I work for personal growth as an artist, and for anyone who finds something in what I do.

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