My artwork is created in oil paint and oil pastels primarily, along with illustration using archival ink pens.  I work from my own photographs, unless noted otherwise.  With my oil paintings, I often allow paint to dry before working over areas where the paint would otherwise blend and smear colors, avoiding "muddy" results.

I was interested in painting and art all through my childhood, through high school, but chose not to pursue a formal art degree in college.  I restarted painting after finishing school and moving to Oregon.  When I was a student, I felt pressure to make art that had an overt political statement or message of social criticism.  I eventually found this to be a stifiling and stressful expectation that halted my creative process in painting.  I discovered around 2000 that I am much more productive and motivated when I create art that has a more intuitive and positive message, emphasizing the beauty I see in the world around me.  That is not to say the scenes I choose are therefore simplistic or naïve, but that they are more timeless, literal, and positive than my student work had been.

With my oil paintings, I see myself as much a photographer as a painter as I create my work.  The original photograph is usually unspectacular or ordinary in appearance, or light contrast causes it to have under- or overexposed areas.  As I am not a professional photographer, I can capture an interesting scene, but my pictures generally cannot stand alone as photography.  By painting from these photographs, I can alter and hone an image into a more ideal representation yet maintain most of the realism of the original image.  By rendering the photograph in paint, with all its irregularities, color mixing, and inherent personality, the result is a more compelling piece of artwork than a digital print of my snapshot ever could be.  

Formal art training:

Oberlin College art department (Oberlin, OH) 1996
IUPUI Herron School of Art Saturday School art program (Indianapolis, IN) 1993-1995
North Central High School Learning Unlimited art program (Indianapolis, IN) 1993-1995

Recognition:

People's Choice Award, Amateur cateory, 2006 Oregon Art Annual juried exhibit, Oregon State Fair (Salem, Oregon)
2nd Prize, Amateur category, 2006 Oregon Art Annual juried exhibit, Oregon State Fair (Salem, Oregon)

2-Dimensional Category Honorable Mention 2006, Howland Community Open Exhibit (Corvallis, Oregon)

People's Choice Award 2005, Howland Community Open Exhibit (Corvallis, Oregon)
2-Dimensional Category Award 2005, Howland Community Open Exhibit (Corvallis, Oregon)

Prelude Award/Scholarship for Visual Art, 1995 (Marion County, Indianapolis, Indiana)

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site design, content, and artwork © 2005-2006 Beth A. Barnett, Corvallis, OR, USA
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