Oklahoma City artist, Jennifer Barron uses a creative vantage point to portray everyday objects and scenes in this exhibit titled Reminders and Remainders. Cracks in the sidewalk, parking meters, and hole punches become the featured characters in these colorful acrylic paintings. By removing these subjects from their usual contexts- enlarging them, manipulating the colors, and exaggerating the effects of shadow and light- Barron encourages viewers to reconsider these components of everyday life.
Barron says that much of the inspiration for her artwork comes from her time studying abroad in Clermont-Ferrand, France at the Universit? Blaise Pascal. "The cities in Europe were designed before cars, so everyone walks more and that simple fact physically affects the way people live. That really made me think about our surroundings. Whether ancient architecture or McDonalds, we are influenced by what is around us. It made me examine my own surroundings in more detail and the details are what I started painting."
When Barron sees something that sparks an interest for a new painting, she takes several photographs. By photographing the subject in the early morning or late evening, she is able to capture very deep shadows and dramatic lift areas. If the object is indoors, she manipulates the light source to achieve the same effect. From the photographs, she roughly sketches the image onto canvas using an Ebony pencil or diluted paint and includes the light and dark areas.
At this point, the photograph is no longer important as Barron lets her imagination take over. Color choices are based on the mood she wants to portray or what she sees the subject elicits. She creates the illusion of rich depth by using both paint brushes and palette knives to create many layers of paint including thick, thin, glaze, and scumbled layers. Scumbling is a painting technique used to soften the color by overlaying opaque or semi-opaque color and applying the paint thinly with an almost dry brush. The varying layers and textures of paint allow Barron to achieve a wide range of tones and temperatures for each color.
Barron graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and a Bachelor of Arts in French. Since graduating, she has participated in numerous juried and invitations exhibitions in central Oklahoma. In addition to her artwork, Barron has recently curated several group shows, is an active arts volunteer, and serves on the board of directors of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. She is employed by the Arts Council of Oklahoma City where she coordinates arts education and outreach programs for underserved populations in the metro area.