It does not matter to me what other artists are selling. I create images that come from my heart and soul. I apply the same philosophy to my writings and music. I must be true to myself. Otherwise, for me, it is simply not worth doing.
My approach to art making has naturally developed from a purist attitude toward media integrity and is the logical culmination of my extensive academic training in sculpture, printmaking, jewelry, and drawing. In my attempt to avoid the traps of formula and convention, I have constructed my artworks over the past forty years to differ greatly in content, media, and size. Within that body of work, there are ten distinct series completed during the years 1974-1998.
As an undergraduate student at a small university, I made life-size Pomona busts - a series of terra cotta sculptures characterizing and caricaturizing females I knew. Faculty intervention challenged me to work with cast metals so I developed new alloys and unorthodox techniques for my abstracted figures and my geometri-terrestrial bas-reliefs. Perhaps it was due to my craftmaking in my teens that I was compelled to paint my sculptures and sculpt my paintings.
I eventually combined my training in printmaking, jewelry, and painting at other universities with my childhood interest in writing, lettering, and drawing. As a result, I was able to produce highly-structured mixed-media compositions for the next twenty-eight years.
For my second bachelor's degree, I took courses exclusively in the fine arts and finished with a BFA exhibit entitled "Closing Remarks". After graduation, I went back to clay portraiture, taught drawing, and started working with chalk pastels, watercolors, and stone lithography. My two-dimensional work became my "Art as Travel" series because for me artmaking is a journey. Then came "Through the Ages", initially a group of twenty-nine works depicting the major influences of my life at age 28. Each work was the same size and on the same kind of paper, but each had the style and media appropriate to its particular statement.
I returned to chalk pastels for my "Table Series", landscapes of the Arizona desert where I was living in 1982. Soon afterwards, I experimented with my "Silent Colors", pure color and gesture in acrylic-glazed chalk pastels with absolutely no topic or theme. This was an excursion into the subconscious.
In 1983, I jumped back into pouring molten metal with "S.I.N.T.G.", an enigmatic parody of my familial roots. This series became a mixed bag of works in bronze, zinc-aluminum, wood, relief prints, and drawings for a university show. When I finally told my youngest sibling what the acronym "S.I.N.T.G." actually meant, he laughed so hard he almost ran his truck off the interstate highway!
My initial work on "S.I.N.T.G." coincided with the beginning of my most popular series, "Conversations in Grey". I started on these pastel drawings and acrylic paintings immediately after listening to two successful male artists voice their complaints about the art scene and life in general. My original intent for this series was to simply express the human condition by using experiences common to many people - yet, having done so much figurative work already, I decided to avoid any depiction of the human figure or portraiture. By reducing my subjects to symbolic imagery and color, these universal themes are not limited to a singular person, gender, race, color, or creed. The series now numbers eighty-eight, with several more works in progress.
Last but certainly not least is "The Powers That Be", a series of drawings, paintings and sculptural reliefs which I began in 1988 in conjunction with "Conversations in Grey". The TPTB series has served as an expression of my less singular, more catholic concerns. It is also more figurative and perhaps equally enigmatic as the CIG.
What came next? Business classes in grad school, four paralegal diplomas, inclusion in some important exhibits and permanent collections, and finally a doctorate in tax law. However, I did start the preliminary work for my "Cubit" series of 12 realistic works depicting common objects in a 12"x12" format using six different media. My "America the Beautiful" project - with its photography and its prose - was also in its early development.
At the end of 1998, I returned to my native Arkansas for family reasons. Although I have since exhibited my work in competitions and other shows, much of my time has been devoted to my assorted writings and to curating exhibitions for my fellow artists and friends. On the 25th anniversary of my father's death in 1978, I unexpectedly began a series of unadulterated digital photographs called "Ana's Garden". I brought closure to that series last June with a tribute exhibition opening on what would have been my mother's eight-first birthday.
2008 also marked my 40th year of selling my art... and my heart and soul.
Revised 01.27.09. Copyright 1984-2009 B. Sloan. All Rights Reserved
About Barbara A. Sloan
Artwork of Barbara A.Sloan
Barbara A. Sloan - Arts Administrator, Educator, Advocate