Painting
Monroe County
304-772-4568
B.F.A. (Douglass College, Rutgers Univeristy)
Drawing, Painting

Judith Bair

At the beginning of my painting career, I used the form of a cedar tree, or objects that evolved from its shape, to anchor my work in the natural world. This gave me a baseline for exploring the connection between the physical and spiritual energies that form our existence, the cycles and patterns that define our reality. I call these paintings “metaphorical landscapes.”

I also like to focus on natural objects, take them out of context and give them an individual power that expresses some of what I feel about the sanctity of the individual and the value of life in all its forms. These I call “iconic” paintings.

I have been painting for 25 years. I have a loyalty to oilbars–they got me past a phobia of brushes, color mixing, pthalos and over-priced cadmiums. They also allowed me to sustain my love of drawing, that direct hand-eye intensity, the gestural freedom, the personal handwriting. All my work is developed directly on the canvas (alla prima), starting with rough, loose sketches.

Biography

I have been painting for more than 25 years. My medium is oilbar (or pigment sticks) on canvas or paper. My subject is the natural world, sometimes landscapes, but more often natural objects — leaves, stones, seeds, pods — taken from context, examined, enlarged, and given rhetorical or metaphorical meaning. I have a BFA from Rutgers University (NJ), having studied with some of the cutting-edge artists of the 1950s and 1960s, including Roy Lichtenstein, Allen Kaprow, George Segal, and Robert Watts, all of whom intimidated the hell out of me as an undergraduate. It took me 30 years to return to painting with some confidence and real pleasure. I have been a working artist since 1988, participating in the rich art life of Baltimore, MD, for 20 years and more recently in the Greenbrier Valley as a member of the Monroe Fine Artists, Greenbrier Artists, and, most recently, WV Fine Artisans Gallery in Lewisburg, WV. I have shown locally at Carnegie Hall in 2004 and 2013, Greenbrier Valley Theater, and the Greenbrier Resort.