Words about my work do not come easily. I do not speak much or write about it, I do not have a vision, I do not have a message about profound issues facing our world.
However, all of me goes into my work. My heart is moved by the plight of all my fellow humans suffering because of violence, poverty, racism, loneliness. My hope is that some of these emotions will be picked up by the viewer. Another major source of inspiration lies in the awesomeness of nature especially seen and observed from very close: my eyes are always on the move, finding excitement from the lacy details of a dragonfly‘s wing to the patterns of a mud cloth from Africa, or the dots, flecks, specks, the artful unevenness of stripes and marks found in some plants, flowers, insects or animals.
My studio is a repository for found bits and pieces of leaves, twigs, shells, seeds, rocks, feathers, insects, bird legs and egg shells, etc. Surrounded by this “museum of the strange” and in total solitude and silence, I work intuitively marking and layering my board, paper or canvas. I begin with only a vague idea of color or shape and then follow where the work leads me. It is a dance between the work and me, at times perhaps some sort of an exchange of punches! Regularly I revisit and judge the latest mark or color: “does my eye approve?” or "does it bring back the emotion of my latest discovery? "
Among the many painters I admire and who have influenced me are “les Nabis”, outsider artists,, Henri Rousseau, Matisse, Rouault, Balthus, Joan Brown, de Kooning, Matta, Joan Mitchell, Tapies, Twombly, to name a few.
My former work as a contemporary art quilt maker in the 70's and 80's is also probably not very far in the background.
Born and educated in France, Françoise Barnes was always painting and drawing in her youth. After coming to the United States she took drawing classes at Ohio University. Shortly after, she discovered quilts, and while not interested in the sewing process, she however immediately saw the possibilities of designing her own and not replicating the traditional ones. This was at the time when America had started to look at quilts not so much as bed covers, but as an art form. It became a passion for her. During some 20 years she exhibited her art quilts, taught, juried and lectured in the US and abroad and is the co-founder of the prestigious Biennial “Quilt National”.
Mostly self-taught, she however, during that time, continued taking some classes in drawing and painting. Eventually, It felt natural to her after some twenty years as a quilt maker, to move away from textiles and go back to what she had always loved, painting and drawing.
While the list of her quilt exhibitions is a long one, Francoise only began showing her paintings in 2014.
Her art quilts are in many private and corporate collections such as General Electric, Aetna, Delaware Art Museum (purchase), Ohio Arts Council Permanent Collection, etc.
Françoise Barnes is of the 12 artists selected by THE Magazine (Santa Fe Arts and Culture magazine) in their special issue February/March 2019: "12 New Mexico Artists to Know Now".
2019 12 New Mexico Artists to know Now, March 1/April 27, THE Magazine, Santa Fe, NM
2019 "Her Paper Stories", 2 Women Show, Mariposa Gallery, Albuquerque, NM
2018 "Curiouser and Curiouser", Invitational group Show, Mariposa Gallery, Albuquerque, NM
2016 "The Dotted Line", one woman show
Mariposa Gallery, Albuquerque, NM
2015 "New Ways",
Mariposa Gallery, Albuquerque, NM