The Elk Grove Fine Arts Center welcomes Gerald Barnes with Layers of Life in the Foyer Gallery, February 2023. Join us for a First Saturday Opening Reception on February 4, 2023 from 4-7PM in the Gallery.
About the Artist
Gerald (Jerry) Barnes was born in Ireland and is a self-taught artist. From an early age collecting old photos, stamps, and banknotes were to eventually influence his style. Extensive traveling over the years and a love of history and writing were soon evident in his art. His current work, titled Layers of Life, mimics the stages of life we all have gone through; some with ease others with difficulty. Sometime the strata is horizontal and easy to navigate, sometimes it is vertical and blocks our path. “I always loved geology in school” says Gerald, “especially the part where I would draw the layers of rock and shale and use colors and cross-hatching to indicate the different levels”. But the geophysical world, like our lives, is not static and upheavals and changes can block our path or set us on a new course.
Each layer is nearly a separate painting in itself. “While I do block out the initial background” says Gerald “I do very little preplanning in my work and as a result I often run into trouble as I complete one layer and start the next. I really do create a lot of problems for myself” he laughs. A muted palette and a variety of ephemera all work to give a sense of unity to the piece.
Gerald uses a variety of materials in his work: chalk paint, acrylics, pastels and pencil. He also uses a variety of found and created images on paper which he often adds to or paints over. He likes working on wood panels as they stand up better to “abuse” as the pieces are worked and reworked over time.