For thirteen years I have been enthralled by the view seen from the window of my studio at Pier 70, overlooking the San Francisco Bay. Ships were the mysterious protagonists of my paintings as I contemplated their unknown journeys through changing light and weather conditions. Hundreds of ships have passed by my purview, and I’m quite familiar with all the ways they can appear and disappear.
Now, as I paint, I find it is not necessary to literally describe the ships. Perhaps I am painting from the ship’s perspective, diving into the seascape through which they must venture in all weathers. Or perhaps they are still there, just beyond the veil of fog, hugging the shoreline in the distance. I search the light particles of water and air for the perfect unattainable spot, and sift and sort the colors that seem to simultaneously intertwine and separate themselves. In this quest, mixing and layering paint is like playing with my own delicious elements. Traveling with my mind’s eye between sea, sky and shore, I imagine myself completely immersed in the colorscape.
Suzy Barnard was born in England, earned her BFA (Painting) in 1980 from Bristol Polytechnic and moved to the Bay Area in 1981. She graduated from the MFA Painting program at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1984 and has continued to paint and exhibit throughout the Bay Area and West Coast since then. Her works can be found in many private, and public collections, including the Federal Maritime Commission, Washington DC; Zuckerberg General Hospital, San Francisco; San Francisco Public Utilities Commission; Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation; Laguna Honda Hospital, San Francisco; The County of Alameda; the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School West; the City of Lafayette.
Barnard paints from her studio at Pier 70 in San Francisco, and commutes home to Berkeley over the Bay Bridge, where more ships, sky and weather are waiting to be noticed.