I’m a visual artist – pretty handy with a variety of tools (watercolor, oil & acrylic, printmaking, etc). I use whatever it takes to get the job done. Ideas come from reading, listening, observing and sometimes out of nowhere – these concepts seem important, so I make them into art. They manifest as landscapes, abstract designs, portraits, cartoons or whatever helps them see the light of day and are mostly symbolic of something meaningful to me, or at least fun.
Having returned to school after my children were grown allowed me the experience of bonding with artists half my age. I believe learning and working alongside my younger friends taught me to be more innovative in my approach to art making; it expanded my ability to adapt to ever-changing methods in technology and media. I earned a BFA degree from Northern Illinois University in 1989, shortly before my 40th birthday and dove into creating and exhibiting one series after another, pouring out my heart with gusto!
But 20 years of making art and running my own studio business took a toll on my energy. In 2010 I began meeting monthly with a small group of artists in the Whitewater, Wisconsin area. After having operated as a solo artist for so long, it was a relief to share the load physically, mentally and financially. We gave each other feedback and exhibited our artwork as a group. Getting together regularly over time regarding a passion we shared caused us to build trusted friendships. We learned a great deal from each other and continue to do so.
In 2014 I trained with the Alzheimers Association to learn how to facilitate their “Memories in the Making” program. The interactions I had with people suffering with dementia freed up a level of creativity in me that opened a playful experimentation. After all my years of working at my craft, now I just want to enjoy it, and I do!
BARBARA GRANT, 2022
I believe the art that graces our surroundings speaks to our hearts.