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From the Studio: Barbara Takenaga

Barbara Takenaga studio.

From Barbara Takenaga:

I hope everyone is safe out there. My life seems suddenly full of disinfecting – my keys, door knobs, and phone have never been so clean.

As artists, many of us are finding the lockdown solitude oddly familiar, as we often spend so much time alone in the studio. I love my time there, painting and listening to audible books. I’m lucky to have my little dog, Andy, with me as I work -- as Edith Wharton wrote “…a heartbeat at my feet.”

I have a lot of work in progress, paintings are just started and others that have been “finished” for months/years but sit there, still needing a little as-yet-to-be-found something.

That drawn out end time reflects my process – a lot of waiting for the image to tell me what to do. Learning to relinquish control when I’m a control freak. Learning to adapt and accept randomness when I hate change. I know, who knew? All of this is the underlying, invisible aspect of my work, trying to go with the (paint) flow in a mindset that adamantly wants things to stay still and structured. A very apt dilemma in these difficult days, when everything is in flux.

So in the PDF are a few details of large paintings rather than the full image. It’s a preview but allows me to avoid putting half-baked work out there that may haunt me online. Letting go and holding on.

And a few small ones.

Also, details of the studio. My view of my shoes and my stash of used paint cups. The work table where I write down random notes that get abraded and fade away over time, like a loosening memory.

Visible there, a quote from the writer Hilary Mantel, “The evening, dove-like, is circling itself to rest.”

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