Born and educated in France, Françoise Barnes was always painting and drawing in her youth. After coming to the United States she took drawing classes at Ohio University. Shortly after, she discovered quilts, and while not interested in the sewing process, she however immediately saw the possibilities of designing her own and not replicating the traditional ones. This was at the time when America had started to look at quilts not so much as bed covers, but as an art form. It became a passion for her.
S T A T E M E N T: A major source of inspiration for me lies in the awesomeness of nature especially seen and observed from very close. My eyes are always on the move, finding excitement from the lacy details of a dragonfly‘s wing to the patterns of a mud cloth from Africa, or the dots, flecks, specks, the artful unevenness of stripes and marks found in some plants, flowers, insects or animals. My studio is a repository for found bits and pieces of leaves, twigs, shells, seeds, rocks, feathers, insects, bird legs and egg shells, etc. Surrounded by this “museum of the strange” and in total solitude and silence, I work intuitively marking and layering my board, paper or canvas. I begin with only a vague idea of color or shape and then follow where the work leads me. It is a dance between the work and me, at times perhaps some sort of an exchange of punches! Regularly I revisit and judge the latest mark or color: “does my eye approve?” or “does it bring back the emotion of my latest discovery? ” Among the many painters I admire and who have influenced me are “les Nabis”, outsider artists,, Henri Rousseau, Matisse, Rouault, Balthus, Joan Brown, de Kooning, Matta, Joan Mitchell, Tapies, Twombly, to name a few. My former work as a contemporary art quilt maker in the 70’s and 80’s is also probably not very far in the background. Less