I am an Artist,  Idaho

I am an artist: Jonna Barnett

1. Why are you an artist?

To keep me sane. It’s just something I have always done, just a part of who I am. I can not imagine not having some sort of creative outlet.

2. Is there a concept behind your work? If so, please tell us about it.

Hum! Sometimes but not always. I’ve done a series of house paintings, I’m drawn to doing birds and pears? My abstracts I’d say no. Its more intuitive, moving paint around, adjusting, adding papers or texture. Painting for me very meditative so I try not to think about what I’m doing or where it’s going just letting things flow.

3. Why do you use the medium that you use?

I love working in oils but years ago when I had my daughter and had no studio I just didn’t feel it was that safe to be painting with oils on the kitchen counter or table. I gave up painting for a while. I tried watercolor’s but just never got the hang of them. Then I found acrylics. They are so versatile and can emulate both oils and watercolor. I love working with acrylics.

4. How do you decide on subject matter for your work?

Sometimes an idea hits me and won’t leave me alone until I paint it. Other times it’s a real struggle to get an idea to surface. Some of my favorite paintings have been ones that others have commissioned me to do, things that I would not have normally painted. When I get in a real slump I will do a pear painting. Not sure how or why the pear theme keeps popping up but I love to paint pears?

5. Is the scale/size of your work deliberate, is there a conceptual decision behind it? If so, please elaborate.

Not really. My abstracts I tend to do on a larger scale. I like to work on a flat surface so I tend to do smaller paintings since that is what will fit on my desk. I do have a nice big easel but I find it difficult to work on an easel unless it’s a bigger surface.

6. What is the role of the artist in our society? and in Idaho?

I believe that different artists have different roles. Some like to make you stop and think about current affairs, politics, etc. Most of my work seems to make people smile and I’ve been told it makes them happy, and that works for me.

7. Where do you see yourself as an artist in 5 years?

In 5 years I would like to be selling more of my artwork to help support the habit. Have a solo art show in a gallery. Be more known in the art world.

8. What are your ultimate goals as an artist?

World Peace. Couldn’t resist. Would love to be represented by a gallery and have a solo art show. Teach at some art retreats. Stop procrastinating and get more art work done.

9. What does art mean to you?

Emotion. Meditation. Escape. I remember seeing an exhibit of Georgia O’Keefe’s at the Boise Art Museum, she has been one of my favorite artists for as long as I can remember. I must have visited that exhibit 4 or 5 times. Two of the paintings, one of a large tree the bark almost black another of a church. I would sit for 45 minutes just totally lost in the paintings and transported to another place.

Visit Jonna’s Blog: jonnabarnett.blogspot.com/