Barbara Siegele - Visual Artist
Six years ago I began to paint regularly, reaching for brushes, mixing and spreading pigments, adding layers and washes throughout the day. I was living alone for the first time in 30 years and I found fertile, creative ground in a new and spacious silence. There was time to ponder, to mine memories and review how life had shaped the moment and what now appeared in high relief. Art making became an essential part of each day, and navigating colour, line, layer and texture accompanied a parallel tracking and excavating of my life up until then. And so this journey took form.
In my earlier days, I was a school teacher and a social worker. I taught art to young children and taught photography to high school students while raising my son in San Francisco. Eventually I left city life to live on an island off the coast of British Columbia. I designed and made jewelry. I coached vulnerable adults with mental health challenges. All marks leaving imprints on a timeline.
When painting became a regular practice my imagery changed from representational to the abstract. This was a surprise and one that I trusted. Early pieces were explorations of colour with layering and texture. The painting process became more interesting, more important than any preconceptions for outcome. I joined the conversation between materials and followed the leads of line, layer and texture as another participant across the surface.