A recent move from expansive landscape and seaside views to high-rise buildings and city port cranes prompted Barbara MacKinnon’s painting practice to shift it’s focus. Little did she realise another lifestyle change forced by a nationwide lockdown would see her work deviate again.
MacKinnon soon discovered that painting was a very good way to manage these unusual times. The dining room table became the substitute studio, courtesy of an amicable muso husband. Having been allured by oil paints before, now seemed an ideal time for rediscovery - there’s no match for the lustrous, buttery pure pigments. Colour and painting style usually takes precedence over subject for MacKinnon. The fundamental aesthetic qualities are the same: luminosity, lightness of the energy of the form and an air of spontaneity.
Her normally subdued palette became a riot of colour. For now, it appears in blooms. Flowers form from her vivid imagination and memory. The subjects of MacKinnon’s paintings are simple, but the means by which she rendered such familiar themes as a vase of flowers or a sun-drenched landscape show her fascination for paint.
“Lockdown has been very freeing for me as a painter. I’ve started using colour and have been able to become much looser in my work. The lockdown has allowed me to go beyond the ideas of “what sort of a painter” I was and to go with what pleases and feels right at the time. This will probably continue to evolve... “quo vardis?”. Barbara MacKinnon
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