Painter Barbara McLaughlin is a passionate caregiver and artist. Starting out as a portrait artist, she has incorporated her study with reiki, healing and meditation into her pieces, creating work that expresses her practice of healing through creative expression and experience. Barbara’s artwork will be on display at the Corinth branch until April 30, 2023.
Introduce yourself and talk a little about the work on view.
My name is Barbara McLaughlin. Over the last two years or so, I have created many, many paintings which have just flowed through me onto the paper and the canvas. As so many of us, I seek peace and harmony in my life. My favorite subjects to paint are the Buddha and clouds, some of which I have in this collection. As I am moved to create images like Mountain Temple, I am hopeful that the peace I felt while creating it is also felt by those who view the work. Some pieces such as the doors from my Thresholds series were created to let viewers know they are not alone when having to make courageous choices like walking through new doors. I have had to step over unfamiliar thresholds as well.
What themes do you pursue?
The themes I most love working on are those of hope, peace and unity.
How has your practice been influenced by your studies in meditation and reiki?
My work with reiki and meditation has shown me the lovely energies of gratitude, healing, love and joy and have led me to create images that invoke those.
What art do you most identify with?
The art I most identify with is realism. I was a portrait artist exclusively for decades. I love sketching and painting from photos.
What is your most important artistic tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
My most important artistic tool is courage. Making art takes guts. You have to set aside fear of judgement and create for the sheer joy of it. I cannot live without good lighting in my studio. It makes all the difference in how the work turns out.
What books, movies and/or music have inspired you recently?
The two books that have inspired me most recently are Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver and The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. Both of these authors have a spiritual, in-your-face sort of attitude. I love that!
I recently became a Game of Thrones fan. Yes, I came late to that party! The cinematography is amazing and artistically inspiring!
I am most inspired by folk music like James Taylor and Dan Fogelberg. Their music and music like it gives me peace. I guess I'm just an old hippie.