Barbara Ann Scott used to draw and paint realism, until she discovered what abstract could do for her.
“I got into abstract (art) because it’s very expressive,” said Scott, adding it’s less about copying something. “It’s more to do with expressing a feeling, an experience, a state of mind and a state of being.”
Scott’s work can be found at the Gallery @ Qualicum Art Supply.
Scott hails from Edinburgh, Scotland where she worked as a teacher. She came to Nanaimo on a job exchange, got married and decided to stay. In the early ‘90s she went back to university and got a master’s degree in art education from the University of Victoria. She continued to work full time while taking the course, and although it was a challenge it was worth it, she said.
“I think it really benefited the children,” she said. “I got lots of great ideas about how to teach them and what to teach them.”
Scott was in charge of fine arts development and said it brought her a lot of joy to see the children enjoying themselves so much while developing their own souls and spirits.
After retiring in 2005 Scott turned her attention to her own art full time.
She’s now an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, with which she has won several awards for her pieces.
She is a member of The Old School House art gallery in Qualicum Beach as well as a resident guest artist downstairs at the TOSH10 Gallery.
Scott enjoys taking workshops and working with other artists, and said one artist in particular really solidified her love for creating abstract art. An American artist named Steven Aimone, who has taught workshops in the area.
Scott said she also likes creating abstract art because of what it does for the viewer.
“I think there’s a mystery there and it allows people to bring their own sensibilities to the paintings when they’re viewing [them],” Scott said. “The message isn’t always absolutely, stop clear. You have to think, you have to analyze and get into the painting as a viewer and maybe see deeper things.”
Today Scott specializes in acrylic, pencil, mixed media and collage work. With a strong love of nature, Scott often begins a piece with the outdoors in mind and then lets her self expression come out. She concentrates on design, composition, line, colour, light and shade and often incorporates humour and even symbolism into her pieces.
“I think when you use abstract you can use symbolism- things to stand for other things- and it’s like a metaphor for your life.”
As she paints, scrapes, marks and then “obliterates” her work she’ll often loose all sense of time, she said. She’ll finish tired but with a renewed, energetic spirit.
As for plans down the road, Scott said she’s just happy making art. She’ll continue to pour her energy into creating her colourful and striking pieces and would love to improve her self expression as well as her skills as she goes, she said.
The Gallery @ Qualicum Art Supply is located at 206 W. First Ave. in Qualicum Beach
For more on Scott visit her website www.barbaraannscottart.com.