"Since January of 2009 I have taken on the challenge of very large, nonobjective abstracts. This work has totally engaged me and pushed me in unexpected and exciting ways. To my first love - landscape painting - I now bring the excitement of these new discoveries. Flat tonal planes, spontaneous drawing, runs of paint and colours that are out of place but somehow right have made a confident and easy transition from the large abstracts into the work on view. As I developed the paintings for Art Sales and Rental, each new canvas moved ever more surely toward abstraction yet still retained an element that made it a landscape. I know that this is how I want to paint.
My goal in landscape painting has always been to communicate something beyond representation - an underlying mystery and strength that I feel is inherent in my woodsy home environment. Working more and more abstractly, I believe, is bringing me closer to that goal. It is my hope that the viewer will relate to my attempt to express something invisible but fundamental in landscape, and perhaps see the wilds of Nova Scotia in a slightly different way."
Barbara McLean is a Graphic Design graduate of Sheridan College and a Fine Arts graduate of NSCAD University. In the fall of 2005, after three years of painting and teaching English in Korea, Barbara returned to Chester, Nova Scotia and reestablished her studio. Although working less in the subtly modulated tones that characterized her paintings immediately after her return from Korea, Barbara is striving to retain the brevity and the incisiveness that appealed to her in Eastern ink wash pieces. Her goal is to combine that Asian directness with an 'on-the-edge-of-control' energy that she feels is often found in contemporary Western painting. As Barbara continues to concentrate on the intentionality and economy of brush stroke, she has found that colour has also become very important to her as a compositional element and for its emotional import rather than for its likeness to nature.
Barbara paints primarily in oil on canvas. Although she enjoys working "non-objectively", without a literal subject, and she sometimes paints figuratively, the largest part of her work is abstract landscapes. These paintings evolve from combinations of sketches done on site, small painted studies done either on site or from photographs, and lastly and probably predominantly, memory and intuition.