Barbi Thomer Niblick

Artist Statement

I am drawn to balance in general. In art, it’s the balance of texture and color that are most vital for me. This is why for me to be satisfied with a piece, I must have just the right amount of texture and color in just the right places. Vibrant color and the mystery of space with its colorful wonders and celestial beings are what influence my work from my subconscious self.

Each piece is an outlet for emotion. My state of mind and emotional well-being influence the way I work. My compositions are typically not planned, other than choosing colors before I start. My colors are decided on according to how I am feeling or how I want to feel. Often using my hands for at least one layer of a piece, I start building the composition by massaging the color into the canvas. The tactile experience is soothing and helps to calm my symptoms of bipolar disorder. As the color builds, the light and dark areas appear and the composition begins to take shape.

My greatest challenge in painting is knowing when to stop. I am very particular and it is hard to feel like a piece is good enough to be called finished. I often have to force myself to stop working, either by a timer or just listening to my inner voice and walk away from the piece. When I come back with fresh eyes, the piece will either speak to me, or it won’t. If it doesn’t speak to me, I continue to work on it until it does. I often ask myself, would I hang this in my home? Would I be comfortable showing this in a gallery, in a museum? When I can look at a piece and feel confident and contentment, I know I’m done.

It is my hope that my work can touch people in intimate and impactful ways. I believe strongly that art is essential to mental health; either creating the work or connecting with it. I hope to help spread mental health awareness through my work in order to destigmatize mental health conditions in our society.

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