Welcoming Painter Barbara Fisher

West Branch Gallery
May 28, 2015 5:02PM

West Branch Gallery is very excited to welcome abstract painter Barbara Fisher to its family of artists. We love Barbara’s multi-layered gestural markings, the energy of her compositions and we are delighted to have her paintings available through the gallery.

Barbara attended school in California and Colorado and has exhibited all over the country, but primarily on the West Coast. She currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina. We asked Barbara some questions the other day about being an artist and her technique, see below.

West Branch Gallery: Who is an artist that has influenced your paintings and how?

Barbara Fisher: I grew up 25 miles outside New York City so I was lucky enough to go to lots of museums. The first artist who made a big impression on me was Van Gogh. I understood intuitively at an early age that being an artist would allow me to create my own world, and I could make it look any way I wanted.

Tell us a little about painting process. How do you start? When do you know a painting is done?

I don’t start with a specific aim or visualization. The process reveals the content as I work. There are of course repetitive marks, lines and shapes, but they are not planned in advance. It’s a process of adding and subtracting, covering and revealing, through sanding, wiping off paint, overlaying, sanding again etc. I work to figure out what the painting is, in a way, rather than working to represent something I already know. It’s about asking the question rather than answering it.

Tell us about your studio. Music or silence? Dogs or cats to keep you company?

I sometimes tell people I became a painter so that I could listen to music all day…..my taste runs the gamut from classical to electronic, with everything in between.   My iPod is my Muse – it holds 5,000+ songs. My mood will determine what I chose to listen to, but sometimes I just put it on shuffle all day and enjoy the crazy mix. I rarely work in silence. We had a studio cat, Arthur the Art Cat, for ten years. Unfortunately he got out and disappeared a few years ago. But he was a great companion. Everyone loved him, and as a result he weighed 23 pounds.

West Branch Gallery

What are the challenges of being a professional artist?

I have never had trouble working, being in the studio almost daily. Of course some days are harder than others, but I try to keep the faith and push through. The most challenging thing for me is coping with the ups and downs of the art market and accepting how arbitrary and random it all seems. Seems like it’s always feast or famine. Making the work is (usually!) a joy.

Is the end product for each painting what you envisioned?

People always ask, “How do you know when it is finished?”. This is a tricky thing, particularly when you don’t start out with a finished image in mind. I honestly have no idea how each painting will evolve and end up. As I work, visual narratives emerge and I see lines, shapes, colors as states of mind interacting with each other.   I usually do not really understand a painting for a while after I finish it. I have to set it aside, get some distance and then come back and look with fresh eyes. At that point I will come up with a title that speaks to what I see. My titles don’t define, they just enhance the visual and offer the viewer a way in.

Follow West Branch Gallery on Artsy to see more from Barbara Fisher. 

West Branch Gallery