Tamsin Barlow

I’m not very old, but old enough to see that if I ever want to be an artist I should stop postponing:  I don’t want to reach the end of my life having been too  afraid to try. 


I was good at science.  I thought of training to be an artist in college, yet I had my doubts about whether I could earn a living with my skills.  Hence, I got a degree in science and used it and enjoyed it. But my mind could never stop seeing things I wanted to paint;  art was everywhere, persistently tapping on my shoulder. We all have a sense of the beauty all around us, but this beauty would electrify me, making my hands itch to give a go at trying to capture it.  


So, last year I made a vow to paint every day and to start showing it to others.  The progress was painful.  There were days that were so discouraging that it was all I could do to go into my studio the next day feeling like another failure was waiting for me.  I kept all the paintings and occasionally I would go back through them and I could see that I was improving, erratically, but still improving.  There were glimpses that maybe it would all work out and I could paint pleasingly — that I could look at something beautiful and understand how to express it with paint.  At least a little.


Thus, every day I paint.  I don’t wait for the muse.  I just put in the time and sometimes it is rewarded.  


I love to paint lonely landscapes:  trees, far-away mountains and hills, big skies.  I feel pulled toward them.  I don’t paint because I have a tortured soul.  I don’t paint to make a statement or to raise social awareness.  I paint because the world is dizzyingly beautiful and I want to see if I can place a portion of that on my canvases.  


Every day is still frightening.  Every day could be filled with another failure, but “nevertheless she persisted.”  I will not die having not tried.


Member:  Outdoor Painters of Minnesota; SouthEastern Minnesota Visual Artists (SEMVA).