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Artist Statement


I am an artist and a writer seeking the sublime in the everyday. At the age of four when I climbed up on the sofa to get a closer look at the lady in the painting, I was appalled to find she was just a blob of paint. For me it’s all in the details. A poster in my room titled "The Land of Make-Believe", by Jaro Hess, fascinated me with its winding roads, its mysterious forests, and all the fairy tale characters. A college friend introduced me to the Koh-i-Noor Rapidograph, a drafting pen with which I could  cover a page with fine detail and texture. Drawing, connecting my hand to my brain, is the key to both harnessing my restless mind and setting free my imagination. Today, I draw and collage whimsical scenes, placing the ordinary in unordinary settings. The search for enchantment has engaged me all my life.

Everything that falls into my vision is a possibility; I ask, “Can I use this? Can I put this to work?” For instance, a chance remark, “Did you hear Tommy John got traded to the angels?” led to a series I call  “Baseball in Heaven.” The odd juxtapositions gave me a new way of seeing both the grace of the athletes and the majesty of the architectural settings.

Playing with scale and perspective lends itself to narrative, fantasy, and childhood memories. Line and texture help to catch the eye, to create roads as in the old poster to guide the viewer into this new world. There’s motion, confrontation, resolution; each little brick represents a dialog, decisions, and thought.


Eventually, the drawings become stories that begged to be written down and I found another way to connect through art—that is, writing. These are my two pursuits, intertwined in my quest for enchantment. Dip the pen, make a few marks, see the pen go dry, stop and look-not just out the window-but within, to find the magic I sought all those years ago. Then dip the pen again.


Barbara Swanson Sherman, born in New York City, spent a few formative years in Northern Vermont.  Returning to the city at the age of twenty-one she found a nurturing home in the Art Students League. She was awarded a merit scholarship and studied under Robert Beverly Hale, Roberto DeLaMonica, Michael Ponce De Leon and others.  ​


Barbara writes a weekly blog titled, “Seeking the Sublime in the Everyday.” It's an illustrated short essay, commenting on art and artists, faith (in an ecumenical, inclusive way), New York City, Greenwich Village, her family, and other things that drive her crazy. Something to lift the spirits delivered every Friday morning.  Click here to subscribe to the blog.

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