Barbara Sullivan’s series of Native American art highlights her captivation with contrasts between light and dark, and the use of brilliant color to set that off. Visit her website to see more of her paintings.
After painting representational, traditional Native American and western art for 40 years and being listed in “Who’s Who in American Art” for 11 years, I have decided to venture into a new contemporary direction. I’m still using my collection of Native American and western subjects from my travels and having fun! These colorful images make a focal point or statement in any room. The hand signed frames are hand painted in oil with a color pulled from the painting and are included with the painting.
It happened to me unexpectedly one evening after a desert storm here in Nevada. The brilliance of evening sunlight lit up the desert against a dark stormy sky. I love contrasts and I could not get this image out of my mind. This view and painting changed the direction of my art, and gave me the idea for my new southwest contemporary oil painting collection.
This young Navajo girl posed for me at one of my photo shoots on the Chinle Reservation in Arizona. I started out by using brilliant bright colors directly from the tubes of oil paint and only lightening and darkening the color rather than subduing the intensity of color; especially in the foreground. I slightly grayed and softened the background to create distance. I also used cool colors in sunlight and warm colors in shade.
I saw this scene off the side of the road early one morning in Colorado on my way to Fort Uncompahgre to photograph the Native Americans and mountain men.
I taught myself to paint by setting up and painting still life and later took workshops with special artists. Painting from life allows me to see color, lights and especially the detail in darks and shadows.
This painting was put in my show as a “Work in Progress” A visiting collector to the show fell in love with the painting and purchased it when finished.
This oil painting is all about space, color and reflections. It is framed in a contemporary blue frame that matches the blue in the middle tipi giving it the finishing touch.
This is a play in color and light using the image of a Native American woman in South Dakota; it makes a great focal point color.
This oil painting is not finished. I never want to rush a painting. I spend a lot of time reflecting and pondering. This rock cave has been painted in layers of oil paint with walnut oil and a fan brush.