I am known as a landscape painter. Twenty-one months ago, when I was out plein air painting, a group of young male migrant farm workers came into view. I gestured them into my painting, appreciating their presence at first as merely compelling sunlit shapes in the landscape. As time went on these shapes became much more than figures. Their forms became individual people with sunburned faces, discrete personalities, and with distinct life stories. My paintings began to change and to grow. After almost two years painting in both gouache and with oil sticks and traditional oil paint and brush, my work now is more portraiture than landscape. In my paintings, my subjects sometimes look directly at the viewer. They are hard at work. They claim our attention. These workers are here among us but separated from us. My paintings ask the viewer to come closer to know these human beings.
Recently seen by curator and gallery owner, Maryanne Syrek, "very powerful work and full of your energy. Great color and light as well."
"Noble Workers" was chosen for the Chronogram by their "parting shot" editor, Diana Waldron. It is in their May 2016 issue.
All paintings on this site ©Barbara Masterson. All rights reserved.