heART struck-when the artist's work and your heart connect

Artist’s Statement

The Focus of Barry’s Art Work

Barry works primarily in water colors, pastels, and acrylics because of his love of color.

His focus has mostly been found in the inspiration and wonders of the natural world, but he sometimes includes a record of human life as a poignant hint about our place and purpose in the greater design.

He especially loves:
• rocks – for their amazing beauty, diversity, and ancient stories
• light for it’s radiance, color intensity and as a representation of God the Creator
• shadow for it’s unifying forms and compositional value
• water for it’s symbolic uses, reflectance of the light, and the way it abstracts shapes
• contours of the land for their revelation of the formation and sculpturing of the land by natural processes.

Although essentially a realistic painter, his enjoyment of the media and artistic process, and his emphasis on composition, color, form, and line often lead him to include the abstract in realistic scenes. His work may also suggest psychological, spiritual, and emotional meanings and always calls us to see and consider the work on numerous levels.

Barry’s Artistic Goal

Barry’s humble goal is to create tangible, sustained visions of what we experience when we are in an amazingly beautiful place and we sense how much we have longed for just such a moment. Through his art, he hopes to capture and allow us to hold onto such wonder-filled moments.

Barry tries to create so that viewers of his work are inspired, awestruck, even stunned, or what he calls “heART struck”, which happens when his art and your heart connect. That is why his gallery is named “The HeArt Longing Gallery”.

Here is the Artist’s Statement that my Dad created in 2011 for his last exhibit at the Green Lantern Studio in Mineral Point, WI.

THE “BIGGER STORY” ABOUT WHICH I PAINT

by Barry W. Sweeny
August 1, 2011

My art work is an integration of three parts of who I am:

  1. My knowledge and understanding of several natural processes;
  2. My artistic skills, knowledge, and experience;
  3. My focus on just those subjects which I love.

All three of these aspects of myself I try to blend and fine tune in the service of sharing my personal vision – the bigger story on which my art work is focused.

Which subjects do I love and why?

I love the natural processes which shape what we see in the natural world and which are evidence of the “way the world works”.

Over all I love what geologists call the “Rock Cycle”, which includes the processes of weathering and erosion, deposition, consolidation, and uplift. That is my personal artistic “bigger story”.

  • Part of my fascination with this is due to my love for the facts that all the processes in the natural world are cycles – nothing is wasted and everything is reused. If the natural world were left alone, without any shortsighted human intervention, we would never run out of anything. That is one of the many miracles of Creation and it reflects the wisdom of the Creator.
  • Part of my specific fascination with the rock cycle is the simple idea that, through careful inquiry, we can understand it. Even though the time involved seems infinite to us, we have learned how these processes work, and we can understand how all these processes relate to and influence each other. That we can study and come to understand this miracle is amazing !

When I paint, I share what I feel are beautiful illustrative examples of all this. I try to clarify how these examples are but small steps in this timeless story of how the earth is broken down, carried away, rebuilt in other places, and raised up again to start the cycle over, to re-create the world.

That is why:

A. I love the mountains – at once being torn down and also uplifted;
B. I love the rocks – the fragmentary evidence of what was once a mountain;
C. I love the water – the instrument of the rock’s destruction and the vehicle for carrying
it all away to a lower place;

That is why, although I show only brief moments in the long sequence with many steps, I also try to portray that one moment in a way that hints at the other steps in the process – what was before and what comes after.

I love other cycles as well; the steps in the daily cycle, the seasonal cycle, annual cycles, life cycles, the water cycle. Above all, it is the vastness and wonder of the rock cycle I love the most.

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