• Barbara Brown Art
  • Barbara Brown Art

Artist Statement

I paint the sublime. Romantic painters of the 1800’s defined the sublime as the combination of supreme beauty, wonder and terror. In addition to the historical definition and examples seen in traditional sublime paintings, my work as an artist painting the sublime is documentation, metaphor and symbolism in the environs of the modern world.

I have experienced the sublime through the loss of my home and my neighborhood in one of the largest fires in California history. My current body of work communicates that experience, both visually and through an emotional lens, marking my journey from fire fixation to healing. I want to share that experience along with other sublime experiences:

evoking a response from the viewer of the awe and wonder, the sense of impending destruction, and concern about what is about to happen.

Barbara Brown is a California-based artist interested in figurative work. She is influenced by John Singer Sargent, Johannes Vermeer, Egon Shiele, Lucian Freud and the art of the Byzantine. The expressive hand that creates energy and communicates liveliness in images but which are sometimes profoundly still, inspire her. She finds Vermeer’s use of color and light, coupled with his highly refined techniques inspirational. She loves Egon Shiele’s linework and rough color application, as well as Lucian Freud’s powerful and evocative painterly techniques . She is inspired by the juxtaposition of the flat graphic portraits of the Byzantine against the energy and richness of the golden backgrounds. Much of her work was destroyed in the Thomas Fire in 2017, her new work reflects that experience.


Coastline Gallery Virtual Exhibition, Masks II, Studio Laguna, Newport Beach, CA
Arts Ventura Virtual Exhibition, Studio Laguna, Silent Vigilance, Ventura, CA


Alumni Virtual Exhibition 2020, Silent Vigilance, Laguna Beach, CA
Museum of Ventura, 32nd Annual Juried Show - Generational Painters, Ventura CA 


In Search of the Real III: LCAD Fine Arts Faculty Exhibition, Four Mile, Laguna Beach, CA
Rising from the Ashes: Seven Survivors, 
1939 Bungalow, Rising from the Ashes (chosen as marketing image for exhibit promotion), New York Burning, Madonna of Smoke and Ash, States of Being, Masks for Other Things, Fox Jewelry, Ventura CA
Juried Fine Art Exhibition, 
City of Laguna Beach, 
Landing, Masks, Laguna Beach, CA
Celebrating the National Lands of California, Wildling Museum, Mist Trail, Santa Barbara, CA
Dessert/Desert, Coastline Gallery, YumNewport Beach CA.
Emerging Masters, Laguna Art MuseumGenerational Painters, Laguna Beach, CA 
Visual Conversations,Q Art Salon, Rising from the Ashes, Above the Fray, 1939 Bungalow (My Son's Home), New York Burning, Madonna of Smoke and Ash, States of Being, Land on Me, Masks, Masks for Other Things, In Control of Nature, Santa Ana, CA
Seven Degrees GalleryPortrait of a Sculptor, Laguna Beach, CA
City of Laguna BeachAbove the Fray, Laguna Beach, CA


The Next Wave: New Masters of Fine Art, Gallery 805, Portrait of a Surfer, Laguna Beach, CA
Faces: Brooklyn Juried Show, Portrait of a Surfer, New York, NY


Laguna College of Art and Design, French Market, Laguna Beach, CA


Holland and France, Master of Light (chosen as marketing image for exhibit promotion) 
Laguna Art Museum, Plein Air Invitational – Next Generation Paint Out, Beachside. Laguna Beach
Orange County Fair, Fine Arts Division, Girl at the Country Market, Costa Mesa


Sylvia White Gallery Juried Show, Collector's Choice, Ventura CA
International Juried Exhibition at the Sylvia White Gallery - of over 1800 entries only 200 were selected. My pieces, Between and When were two of those chosen.


Ventura County Fair Juried Show, Reflections, Ventura, CA
University of California, Santa Barbara, Reflections, Santa Barbara, CA


Laguna Beach, CA