The Making of Art

“What I dream is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of trouble or depressing subject-matter, an art which might be for every mental worker, be he businessman or writer, like an appeasing influence, like a mental soother, something like a good armchair in which to rest from physical fatigue.” Henri Matisse, Notes of a Painter, 1908

Well over a hundred years before I was born, Henri Matisse spoke to the art I intend to create.

When I paint, and I work on only one painting at a time, the painting and I engage in a conversational dance that eventually results in a signed work. Rarely, do I ever destroy a painting in process. I can only think of one occasion, when I gleefully ripped a painting to shreds. The painting was my first Barbara Garro self-portrait and I destroyed it after I painted my second Barbara Garro self-portrait. Why destroy this one and only this one? The conversational dance images and I engage in moves in the direction of completion, whatever it takes. For my latest Artist’s Irises painting, the dance was long and daily for weeks, because we were not communicating well or dancing well either. My first watercolor self-portrait I painted soon after I took back my art after September 11, 2001. Two reasons propelled me to destroy it. The first, most important, I never intended to be a vanGogh self-portrait marathon painter. The second, I have a pleasing Barbara Garro, Artist’s Self-portrait. I never intend to paint another Barbara Garro self-portrait, since I painted the second one on the east side toward 100 years old.

Not destroying paintings does not mean that I frame every single one, although I do frame most of them. Here’s my little secret. I have a drawer where I put those painting I do not feel belong framed in my collection for one reason or another. Some have also been removed from their frames for one reason or another and ended up in the drawer. When people come to my home who are not likely buyers of my art for economic reasons, I open my drawer, put all the paintings in there all over my great room rug and they draw their names out of a basket to pick one they take home. We all have great fun doing this and some I have not chosen to frame have been framed and live behind their couches in their living rooms and other places proudly displayed in their homes, sometimes accompanied by the story of how they acquired an original Barbara Garro painting.

Now, on to the making of at least my art. The subject comes to the fore since my Master Teacher, Tom Vincent, lay actively dying. I will so miss him. Still, in the drawn-out process of completing the last painting he had a voice in, the only way it got completed was by me asking myself again and again, what would Tom say about this painting now? Again and again, I got answers and I repainted and repainted and repainted. Those of you who are not artists may not realize that every time you change the coloration of one portion of the painting, the rest of the painting often needs changing, as well.

I make art that, like Matisse, aims to bring pleasure to the viewer. I call myself New York’s Painter of Flowers, because I am a gardener as well as a painter and I find flowers beautiful, joyful, colorful and amazingly peace-inducing to look upon. When I finish a floral paintings, my hope is that it goes to live where the people adore it, allow it to bring them joy and peace, and take really good care of it, keeping it clean, cared for and out of harm’s way.

Andrew Wyeth said, I search for the realness, the real feeling of a subject. All the texture around it…. I always want to see the third dimension of something not a frozen image in front of me…. I want to come alive with the object. I want the primitive effect you get when you bring abstraction and the real together.”

Don’t you agree that the great painting masters say so well the making of their art?

Have a blessed September! Let me know if I can help you bring spring and summer flowers into your home for the winter of 2011.


Barbara Garro, MA, NY’s Painter of Flowers
Abstract Synchronism Artist and Author
 ”From Jesus to Heaven with Love: a Parable Pilgrimage”
“Grow Yourself a Life You’ll Love”
Call on us to Improve Your Motivation to Paint, Write or
Reach the Weight You Feel Comfortable Weighing
 Reach us now at
  518-587-9999 , visit our web site at


468 ad