Barbara Nilsson

Barbara is the middle child in a family of 13 children. This position in her family set her up to become the person that she is today. Unobserved, she watched, interpreted and reflected upon life around her. She learned to see the world my way, as layers: Layers upon layers of color, texture, and emotions. She responds intuitively to these layers and to her surroundings. So, the challenge that she undertakes is to interpret these “intuitions” and to paint them, to make sense of them so that you, the viewer, can also “see” them. She has been working in encaustic since 2002. When painting or printmaking in encaustic she applies many thin layers as this gives the works a multi-dimensional and translucent effect. For the encaustic monotypes she achieves this same multi-dimensional-ness but they will not have the same translucency because it is on paper. Circles, squares, lines, texture and color are the basic tools she uses. The first and simplest element in art is the line. Lines have the flow of nature’s wind and water, they express movement and dimension and even aggressiveness.
Straight lines are like rays of light, moving in all directions. Each direction has its own inherent quality.
The circle represents ultimate cosmic order. From the micro level of atoms and molecules, to the macro level of planets and their orbits, circles are found in every aspect of our experience. It is the symbol of perfection, representing the unity of self; the heart of humanity; the seed; the womb; the conscious and sub conscious; heaven and earth; nothing at all; the psyche and the universe. Life, death and life cycles are all symbolized by the circle. The square represents material space with gateways at the four quarters of the earth.
The square depicts four cardinal directions in physical space and time while the circle focuses upon its timeless center. It is through these symbols that she strives to convey the textures of life: our earth, our emotions (metaphorical and literal), new consciousness, activity, stillness, energy, our inter-connectedness and also our individual selves. Balance and harmony are the qualities inherent in her encaustic monotypes. Color, texture, lines, and thin layers are her tools.

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