A mingling of styles in Carbondale
CARBONDALE, Colorado Nancy Barbours sandals were spotted with clay. Terry Fontaines were peppered with paint. At first blush, thats where their similarities ended.It was evening, and the friends were sitting in Fontaines backyard. They were laughing together and explaining themselves and their work. Opening tonight, their joint show Paint & Pots features Fontaines paintings and Barbours well, you get the idea.I tried every kind of painting you can think of, Fontaine said with a Texan twang.Growing up, he never took an art class, but instead watched his grandmother, a fellow painter. He described a painting past of fits and starts. He began water colors in 1974 and quit a few years later. He started again in 1988, had a show in 1990 and then let it go once more. He and his wife took off in their sailboat from their Seattle home, sailed to Texas, and soon he was enrolled at an art school in Austin. There, he studied oils for the first time and really took to them. In 2000, he and his wife went on a trip to Santa Fe, where he was exposed to vibrant acrylic works. He fell right into that kind of paint and hasnt looked back since.Currently, his pieces are bright and textured, mostly depicting trees set against expansive, surreal skies. He works full-time at a lumber store in Aspen, but he shows and sells his work whenever he can. His pieces are hanging at local restaurants, art patrons homes and more, he
said. Somehow, this all sounded like a big deal to him and no great shakes at the same time.I enjoy coming up with the idea, he said. I enjoy the process of painting, and when Im done with it, I divest myself of it. I want someone to buy it, take it home.He downplayed the bit of art school training hed had. Barbour then smiled at his low-key words.Oh, Terry, youre so non-chalant, she said.Her relationship to art is a shade different.You live in clay, Terry told her.
Yeah, I guess I do, she responded.Currently, she spends part of her week teaching at Colorado Mountain College in Aspen, but beyond that, shes a working studio artist, fully immersed in her medium.I was overcome by clay, she said.It started in her last year at Humboldt State University in northern California. She walked into the ceramics lab, and the ancient history of the medium just hit her. After graduation, she ended up taking a decade-long break from clay, only dabbling it as she moved traveled around to Costa Rica, South East Asia and such. Finally, she delved back into the art properly at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She spent a two year residency at an art center in the coastal Californian village of Mendocino before coming to Carbondale eight years ago.These days, her pieces are all functional, and they have this unintentional, calming presence. The forms are simple, yet decorated, covered with leaves, flowers and other naturalist touches. Theyre done in yellows, browns, greens and blues earthy, watery tones. To Barbour, this current body of work represents a transition from winter to spring.I wanted to show how delicate and beautiful things are in our everyday world, she said.So wheres that link between these two artists? Its probably easier to list off their differences. Fontaines almost always had a 9-to-5 job; Barbour never has. She chose not to have kids; he has two, both grown and gone. She plans out of her work; he doesnt. His stuff is big, bold and bright. Hers is small, serene and subtle. Yet theyre each dealing with the natural world in their own way. They sounded amazed by their own process of creation, as well. For him, its sitting down in front of a blank canvas and wondering what might come out of him. For her, its taking something so watery and mushy and making rock.And both want their work to speak to people.It just has to hit somebody, said Fontaine, with Barbour smiling in agreement.Contact Stina Sieg: email@example.com
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