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I had a great conversation with artist Colleen Barry in Williamsburg, New York. Colleen paints portraits that transcend time in their raw emotional impact. She has won numerous grants and awards and her work is collected throughout America. She is also the Director of Drawing at the Grand Central Atelier in New York. There was an unprecedented number of questions from social media for Colleen, over 100!! Colleen answers them all beautifully,  everything from the very granular to the conceptual.

Here are some of the subjects we visit:

  • Inspiration
  • Recording ideas
  • Relationship between technique/visual cues and concepts/narratives
  • Selecting subject matter
  • Composition
  • Size and approach
  • Reference material
  • Substrates
  • Colour palette
  • Colour application
  • Ground colours
  • Building forms
  • Lights and darks
  • Background colour
  • Skin tones
  • Layers
  • Drying times
  • Mediums
  • Edges
  • Brushes
  • Self-checking
  • Lighting
  • Seriousness
  • Focus in paintings
  • Approach / Vision
  • Technical narrative
  • Creating ART
  • Finishing a painting
  • Portraiture
  • Universality of the figure
  • Working safely during pregnancy
  • Artist and Mother balance
  • Overwhelm
  • Baby time
  • Growth as an artist and a Mother
  • Future work
  • Spousal styles
  • Pros and cons of atelier training
  • ”Correct” vs Alive
  • Breaking free
  • Moving beyond the academic palette
  • Staying motivated
  • Mental health
  • Expressing mood and emotion
  • Keeping expectations low
  • Artists talking about their work
  • Influences
  • Why painting?
  • Traditional painting in 2020
  • Underlying themes
  • Transitioning from student to professional artist
  • Art career
  • Prices
  • Most moving painting
  • Big art dream
  • Future generations

To find out more about Colleen and her work go to:

Colleen Barry

Referenced on the podcast . . .

Artists Colleen is inspired by . . .

Käthe Kollwitz

Neo Rauch

Jenny Saville

Helene Schjerfbeck

Andy Warhol

Other artists mentioned in this episode who have been on the podcast . . .

Ep 96 – Mia Bergeron : Aim For Your Own North Star

Ep 105 – Patricia Watwood : The Spirit in Excellence

Ep 52 – Jenny Morgan : Artmaking And The Open Heart

Thanks for listening!

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