Read Barbara’s Bio to learn about her life experience; her Artist’s Statement to understand her artistic intent; and her Resume for details of her career.

BARBARA KEMP COWLIN

BARBARA KEMP COWLIN

Artist

Bio

Barbara Kemp Cowlin is a painter, focusing on three series; water paintings, paintings of architectural spaces and a new series, Bloom, of flowers and other growing things. They have in common her drive to capture light and shadow, reflections, movement, and all things ephemeral on water, plants, and man-made surfaces. Her medium is acrylic.

She was born in Georgia and has lived on the west coast, east coast, in-between and in Germany and Australia. She has spent most of her adult life in the Southwestern United States. Art related work experiences have enriched her life and artwork including stints as a graphic designer, arts administrator and as an art teacher at all levels from elementary school through college. Barbara now works full-time in her art studio, in Oracle, Arizona. She teaches art workshops throughout the Southwest.

She earned a BFA in Printmaking and a Masters degree in Community College Education with a major in Printmaking from Northern Arizona University and has done post-graduate work at Arizona State University in letterpress printing & bookmaking. Barbara is a certified Golden Artist Educator.

Solo exhibits include the Powell Museum in Page, Arizona; Rancho Linda Vista Gallery, Oracle, Arizona; Blue Dome Gallery, Silver City, New Mexico; Yuma Art Center, Arizona; Agua Caliente Ranch Park Gallery in Tucson; Willo North Gallery in Phoenix; and the @ Central Gallery, Burton Barr Central Library, Phoenix.

In 2015 and 2016, her paintings were shown at Aqua Art, Art Basel, Miami, in the Projects Gallery Square Foot Exhibition. The Art in Embassies Program placed a painting at the Bolivian Embassy.

Her work is included in the City of Phoenix Print Collection; the University of Arizona Special Collections; Providence Medical Center in Everett, Washington; Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio; First Bancorp Headquarters in Troy, North Carolina; Baylor University Medical Center, Houston, Texas; Edison & Sprinkles Architecture & Design, Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Blue Dome Gallery in Silver City, New Mexico represents her artwork.

She is currently working toward a solo show at Rancho Linda Vista Gallery, Oracle, Arizona, scheduled for 2018.

Bio

Barbara Kemp Cowlin is a painter, focusing on three series; water paintings, paintings of architectural spaces and a new series, Bloom, of flowers and other growing things. They have in common her drive to capture light and shadow, reflections, movement, and all things ephemeral on water, plants, and man-made surfaces.

She earned a BFA in Printmaking and a Masters degree in Community College Education with a major in Printmaking from Northern Arizona University and has done post-graduate work at Arizona State University in letterpress printing & bookmaking..

Solo exhibits include the Powell Museum in Page, Arizona; Rancho Linda Vista Gallery, Oracle, Arizona; Blue Dome Gallery, Silver City, New Mexico; Yuma Art Center, Arizona; Agua Caliente Ranch Park Gallery in Tucson; Willo North Gallery in Phoenix; and the @ Central Gallery, Burton Barr Central Library, Phoenix.

In 2015 her painting was shown at Aqua Art, Art Basel, Miami, in the Projects Gallery Square Foot Exhibition. The Art in Embassies Program placed a painting at the Bolivian Embassy on a 3-year loan.

Her work has been included in the City of Phoenix Arts Collection; the University of Arizona Special Collections; Providence Medical Center in Everett, Washington; Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio; First Bancorp Headquarters in Troy, North Carolina; Baylor University Medical Center, Houston, Texas; Edison & Sprinkles Architecture & Design, Vancouver, British Columbia.

 

Artist Statement

I’m a contrarian, I love contradictions and contrasts. I’m left-handed and I approach life and art in my own left-handed way. This means I’m usually out-of-sync with the art world which is the case now. The rest of the art world is involved in wrapping art into social issues, capturing movement with video and performance and creating time-limited installations, I’m painting. Even worse, I’m painting water, snippets of architectural spaces and flowers while striving to create beauty.

I’m intrigued by opposites: movement vs stasis, ephemeral vs solid, dull vs shiny, light vs shadow, surface vs depth, smooth vs textured. Capturing movement on a static surface, catching luminosity in shifts of light and shadow, imbuing the painting with a sense of that changeability is a challenge. Nothing lasts forever in life and I’m working to capture the moment and make it last while implying the passage of time.

I’m driven to create beautiful paintings with complex surfaces where the juxtaposition of something solid: a wall, a tree, a rock, against an ephemeral shadow or reflection has led me to the need to balance another opposite—realism vs abstraction. My work has been trending toward abstraction in the portrayal of water while solid objects are becoming increasingly realistic. The trick is to knit the two together into a cohesive whole..

I use acrylic paints and work on three to six paintings at a time, different sizes, different substrates, different stages of development. I start with the paintings flat and do pours and washes, reveling in the happy accident. Then I put the paintings on my wall easel. I work on all the paintings at once jumping back and forth from one to the other. I’m convinced that this keeps the work energized. If I find myself getting too involved in one area of a painting I force myself to keep moving and keep the paintings open, free and flowing.

The nature of acrylic paints and mediums plus my training in the use of acrylic products has given me the facility to gain some control over the paint. On the other hand, I don’t want all the control. Loss of control is where the magic can happen. All the hard work becomes worth it when alchemy happens and the paint becomes more than just paint, but something elusive and unexplainable. Doesn’t happen all the time but enough to keep me going. It’s like chasing a mirage, always a few feet, yards, miles away but just tantalizingly within reach.

I’m a contrarian, I love contradictions and contrasts. I’m left-handed and I tend to approach life and art in my own left-handed way. This means that I’m out-of-sync with the art world most of the time. That is certainly the case now.

While the rest of the art world is involved in wrapping art into social issues, capturing movement with video and performance and creating time-limited installations, I’m painting. Not only am I painting, I’m painting water and snippets of architectural spaces and attempting to create beauty.

I’m intrigued by opposites: movement vs stasis, ephemeral vs solid, dull vs shiny, light vs shadow, surface vs depth, smooth vs textured. Capturing movement on a static surface is a challenge. Creating something luminous, catching the shifts of light and shadow, imbuing the painting with a sense of that changeability is a tough challenge on a static surface. Nothing lasts forever in life but I’m trying to capture the moment and make that last in a painting while still showing time passing.

I’m driven to create beautiful paintings with complex surfaces where the juxtaposition of something solid: a wall, a tree, a rock, against an ephemeral shadow or reflection has led me to the need to balance another opposite—realism vs abstraction. My work has been trending toward abstraction in the portrayal of water while solid objects are becoming increasingly realistic. The trick is to knit the two together into a cohesive whole..

I use acrylic paints and work on three to six paintings at a time, different sizes, different substrates, different stages of development. I start with the paintings flat and do pours and washes, reveling in the happy accident. Then I put the paintings on my wall easel. I work on all the paintings at once jumping back and forth from one to the other. I’m convinced that this keeps the work energized. If I find myself getting too involved in one area of a painting I force myself to keep moving and keep the paintings open, free and flowing.

The nature of acrylic paints and mediums plus my training in the use of acrylic products has given me the facility to gain some control over the paint. On the other hand, I don’t want all the control. Loss of control is where the magic can happen. All the hard work becomes worth it when alchemy happens and the paint becomes more than just paint, but something elusive and unexplainable. Doesn’t happen all the time but enough to keep me going. It’s like chasing a mirage, always a few feet, yards, miles away but just tantalizingly within reach.

Resume

Solo Exhibitions
Upcoming 2018
Rancho Linda Vista Gallery, Oracle, Arizona
2017
Painting Water, Casa Grande Art Museum, Casa Grande, Arizona
Bloom, Pastiche, Tucson, Arizona
2016
Painting Water, Powell Museum, Page, Arizona
2015
Painting Water, Yuma Fine Art Center, Yuma, Arizona
Painting Water, Rancho Linda Vista Gallery, Oracle, Arizona
Painting Water, Blue Dome Gallery, Silver City, New Mexico
2013
Reflections in the Desert, Rancho Linda Vista Gallery, Oracle, Arizona
Reflections in the Desert, Agua Caliente Ranch House Gallery, Tucson, Arizona
2010
Nooks & Crannies, Willo North Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona
2009
Nooks & Crannies, @Central Gallery, Burton Barr Central Library, Phoenix, Arizona
1995
Southwestern Images, Downtown Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona

Two Person Exhibitions
2010
Nooks & Crannies, Lower Link Gallery, Tucson International Airport, Tucson, Arizona
1996
The Southwest, The Land and the People, Casa Grande Art Museum, Casa Grande, Arizona
1985
Fascinated by People, Phoenix College Art Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona

Selected Group Exhibitions
2017
Aqua Art, Art Basel, Miami, Projects Gallery Square Foot Exhibition
Little by Little, Art Intersection, Gilbert, Arizona
Glow, Triangle L Adobe Gallery, Oracle, Arizona
All Art Arizona, Art Intersection, Gilbert, Arizona
Liquidity, Three Woman Exhibit, First Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona
The Drawing Studio Faculty Retrospective, Mesch, Clark & Rothschild Law, Tucson, Arizona
2016
Aqua Art, Art Basel, Miami, Projects Gallery Square Foot Exhibition
Southwestern Invitational, Traveling Exhibition, Coconino Center for the Arts, Phoenix Airport Museum
Group Exhibition, Blue Dome Gallery, Silver City, New Mexico
Group Exhibition, Artifex Gallery, Troy, North Carolina
Group Exhibition, Feast, Tucson, Arizona
Art Un/dressed, The Drawing Studio, Tucson, Arizona
2015
Aqua Art, Art Basel, Miami, Projects Gallery Square Foot Exhibition
Small Wonders, The Drawing Studio, Tucson, Arizona
Southwestern Invitational, Traveling Exhibition, 6 Arizona locations
Monsoon Season, Raices Tallier Gallery, Tucson, Arizona
A Couple of Couples, Amity Foundation Gallery, Tucson, Arizona
2014
On the Road, Tohono Chul Park Gallery, Tucson, Arizona
2013
Beautiful Brain Teasers, Yuma Fine Art Center, Yuma, Arizona
Paper: From All Sides, Tohono Chul Park Gallery, Tucson, Arizona
2012
Art Oracle, Casa Grande Art Museum, Casa Grande, Arizona
2011
Poco por Poco, Raices Tallier Gallery, Tucson, Arizona
Pattern and Rhythm, Tohono Chul Park Gallery, Tucson, Arizona
2010
Small Works, Duley-Jones Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona
Four Seasons, Kachina Gallery, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
2008
Art in the Hospital, Pagosa Springs Art Center, Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Borders, Fences and Gates, exhibition accompanying Between Fences, a
Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition, Ajo, Arizona
“big ideas, SMALL FRAMES”, Dinnerware Art Space, Tucson, Arizona
2007
Rural Art Showcase, Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Tucson, Arizona
2005
Group Exhibition, Gallery 465, Sedona, Arizona
2004
Group Exhibition, Gallery 465, Sedona, Arizona
2003
Faculty Exhibition, Hormel Arts Center, Phoenix, Arizona
1997
Art in Embassies Program, US Department of State, Bolivian Embassy
The Land, Arizona Gallery, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
Outdoor Expressions, Sky Harbor International Airport Art Program, Phoenix, Arizona

Collections
Baylor University Medical Center, Houston, Texas
City of Phoenix Municipal Print Collection
University of Arizona Library Special Collections
Providence Medical Center, Everett, Washington
Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio
First BanCorp Headquarters, Troy, North Carolina
Edison & Sprinkles Architecture & Design, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Grants
2015 Professional Development Grant, Arizona Commission on the Arts
2006 Professional Development Grant, Phoenix Country Day School

Solo Exhibitions
Upcoming 2018
Rancho Linda Vista Gallery, Oracle, Arizona
2016
Painting Water, Powell Museum, Page, Arizona
2015
Painting Water, Yuma Fine Art Center, Yuma, Arizona
Painting Water, Rancho Linda Vista Gallery, Oracle, Arizona
Painting Water, Blue Dome Gallery, Silver City, New Mexico
2013
Reflections in the Desert, Rancho Linda Vista Gallery, Oracle, Arizona
Reflections in the Desert, Agua Caliente Ranch House Gallery, Tucson, Arizona
2010
Nooks & Crannies, Willo North Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona
2009
Nooks & Crannies, @Central Gallery, Burton Barr Central Library, Phoenix, Arizona
1995
Southwestern Images, Downtown Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona

Two Person Exhibitions
2010
Nooks & Crannies, Lower Link Gallery, Tucson International Airport, Tucson, Arizona
1996
The Southwest, The Land and the People, Casa Grande Art Museum, Casa Grande, Arizona

Selected Group Exhibitions
2016
Southwestern Invitational, Traveling Exhibition, Coconino Center for the Arts, Phoenix Airport Museum
Group Exhibition, Blue Dome Gallery, Silver City, New Mexico
Group Exhibition, Artifex Gallery, Troy, North Carolina,
Group Exhibition, Feast, Tucson, Arizona
Art Un/dressed, The Drawing Studio, Tucson, Arizona
2015
Aqua Art, Art Basel, Miami, Projects Gallery Square Foot Exhibition.
Small Wonders, The Drawing Studio, Tucson, Arizona
Southwestern Invitational, Traveling Exhibition, 6 Arizona locations
Monsoon Season, Raices Tallier Gallery, Tucson, Arizona
A Couple of Couples, Amity Foundation Gallery, Tucson, Arizona
2014
On the Road, Tohono Chul Park Gallery, Tucson, Arizona
2013
Beautiful Brain Teasers, Yuma Fine Art Center, Yuma, Arizona
Paper: From All Sides, Tohono Chul Park Gallery, Tucson, Arizona
2012
Art Oracle, Casa Grande Art Museum, Casa Grande, Arizona
2011
Poco por Poco, Raices Tallier Gallery, Tucson, Arizona
Pattern and Rhythm, Tohono Chul Park Gallery, Tucson, Arizona
2010
Small Works, Duley-Jones Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona
Four Seasons, Kachina Gallery, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
2008
Art in the Hospital, Pagosa Springs Art Center, Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Borders, Fences and Gates, exhibition accompanying Between Fences, a
Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition, Ajo, Arizona
“big ideas, SMALL FRAMES”, Dinnerware ArtSpace, Tucson, Arizona
2007
Rural Art Showcase, Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Tucson, Arizona
2005
Group Exhibition, Gallery 465, Sedona, Arizona
2004
Group Exhibition, Gallery 465, Sedona, Arizona
2003
Faculty Exhibition, Hormel Arts Center, Phoenix, Arizona
1997
Art in Embassies Program, US Department of State, Bolivian Embassy
The Land, Arizona Gallery, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
Outdoor Expressions, Sky Harbor International Airport Art Program, Phoenix, Arizona

Collections
Baylor University Medical Center, Houston, Texas
City of Phoenix Municipal Collection
University of Arizona Library Special Collections
Providence Medical Center, Everett, Washington
Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio
First BanCorp Headquarters, Troy, North Carolina
Edison & Sprinkles Architecture & Design, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Grants
2015 Professional Development Grant, Arizona Commission on the Arts
2006 Professional Development Grant, Phoenix Country Day School