From the second we enter this world, our surroundings guide us towards every next step. An instrument in the living room of your grandmas may spark an interest in music, or a father’s old camera in the attic may introduce you to capturing the moments. For artist Barbara of LovRichArtwork, it was nature. From the green hills to open seas, Barbara has always found the natural elements of the world (both real and fantasy) her muses. Now she’s painting all of those memories and fascinations on everything from canvases to stones and telling us about all of the above and then some.
Kendra: What you said about watercolors is beautiful. How it taught you to embrace mistakes and go with the flow. Was that something you learned early on when you first got introduced to that medium?
Barbara: When you start to use watercolors you have to embrace the fact that the margin of corrections is very limited. Through the practice and study of this medium, I started to become more skilled and confident with the result that mistakes happen less often. It is a learning process. Let’s say that I do not get frustrated like before; I just think that of it as a learned lesson. But when I happened to pour a full bottle of acrylic ink over a painting, well, my reaction was a little less zen.
Kendra: When you think back to your childhood in the countryside, is there any memory in particular that stands out that you still draw from today when you paint?
Barbara: In the place where I was raised the nature is quite wild. The greens are very bright and the high hills are full of thick trees. Spring is an explosion of colors and smells from flowers. I was so lucky because it was a strong presence in my life. We were playing in fields and walking up the hills. I learned how to recognize trees, plants, and flowers because it was just part of our lives. What I celebrate in my paintings is this spiritual connection with nature that I had and continue to have.
Kendra: You deal a lot with flowers and beautiful, surreal floral pieces. If your style had to be compared to one flower, which would it be and why?
Barbara: I would think more of the hidden aspect of it. It would be closer to the soul of a flower, the energy that pushes it to grow. It would be a flower that can exist even if it does not exist, an imaginary one because everything is possible. For sure it would be a colorful one.
Kendra: There are also a number of mermaids swimming around your work. Do you have a longtime fascination with the mythical creature?
Barbara: It’s true, I love to paint mermaids! Most of the men from my maternal family worked on boats or a fisherman, and I ended up myself living on many small islands even though I was not born in one. So I always thought that sea and mermaid fascination came from a family maritime tradition.
I am also fascinated by the feminine nature of mermaids. My paintings have a strong feminine predominance and mermaids are part of it. They give me a sense of independence, power, and freedom. I like their elegance and their strong presence. It gives me joy to paint them and I am never tired to do so.
Kendra: Do you approach your regular pieces the same as when you take to rocks?
Barbara: The stones want to be more decorative while most of my paintings want to tell a story or transmit a feeling. To paint stones I use acrylic inks and acrylic paint, mainly white and blue and the subject is detailed but still simple. I paint stones when I finish a painting as it gives me a break from the overflow of emotions. It gives me time to prepare for the next one.
Kendra: What’s next for you and your art as we head deeper into 2019?
Barbara: With my kid growing older I’m starting to have more time to myself and this gives me the chance to get more inspiration, to create more, and start new projects. I definitely sit too much to paint or work on the computer, so I really need to walk more in nature and include my yoga practice daily. This is much needed to clear my mind and take the stress out and helps me to “feel” which is vital for me in order to find the inspiration. Also, I started a collaboration of a project that has to do with pregnancy and spirituality I am very excited about and hope it will be ready by the end of the year. I am also constantly working to expand my portfolio and offer more prints and cards of my original painting in my Etsy shop.